Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Neighbors: A Summary

I'm working on finishing up my current order of breeches and a waistcoat. It's a heavy wool twill lined with linen. It's really too bulky for breeches, so I don't plan to do that again.

When I line breeches I hide the inseam, and just finish the outerseam together. With the front flap detail it just seems to work best.

Leg plackets: the worst part. So fiddly.

So now that we've been living here for a few months we've had time to give our neighbors code names. Our complex is in a U-shape and there are seven townhomes on our strip. To our right is a phantom family who we almost never see coming or going. Then there's the Grill family, who own at least four grills parked on their tiny strip of concrete. Just next door to us is the unhappy family, whose parents always seem tense and the children hyper. They're the ones we hear the most, endlessly running back and forth on the other side of our shared wall.

On our other side we have a Korean family; the husband seems friendly, the wife doesn't speak English, and the daughter very inquisitive and also energetic. The wife also broke campus law and planted tomatoes outside her door. I'm jealous of her rebellion. After that there's the only family we've really gotten to know a little bit; we started out calling them the fundamentals because we guessed they were fundamental Baptist. They're really not, but it's too hard to change their name now. After that is another phantom family who just moved in this spring.

We don't know much about the other neighbors in our U, except we know there's several more Korean families and one bi-racial family we've named the screamers, because their little girls are constantly, fervently, whole-heartedly screaming.

I've officially finished my corset and need to move on to my dress, with the goal of finishing by the end of July. It is amazing to me just how different this style of corset feels compared to my 18th C corset.

Friday, June 17, 2016


Way back when before our May trip I signed papers to volunteer at the Log Cabin Village. Before I start, though, I have to make that new 1840's outfit. Well, I got hung up on making the stays/corset. The 1840's seem to be that odd era where things started changing from stays to corsets, from shift to chemise. It's all very confusing. I've made several pairs of 1770's stays, but that's the only type of corsetry I've ever made. This is when bodice shapes started transitioning from the almost looser late-Regency style to the mid-century hourglass.

Eyelets and binding left.

Since this corset is for myself, and since everyone else on site is already less accurate because they don't wear corsets, and because I am now in a hurry to finish, I feel that gives me license to just fudge it through. For a base I used Past Pattern's 1840's stays pattern, kindly loaned to me by a friend. This pattern has cups, while later corsets do not. This pattern is corded, while later corsets are boned. I decided to blend the eras a bit and add boning, not cording.

For fabric I used two layers of cotton sheeting and two layers of leftover linen/cotton. All very affordable, all fabric I had leftover from something else. I did buy a center-front busk(Etsy!). For boning I'm using my favorite, plastic zip ties. I know some people say they can bend from heat, but I haven't ever had trouble with my stays becoming mis-shapen. I think I didn't wear them often enough, and that's also probably more of an issue for larger women.

I've never used a center-front busk before, so apparently I put it in the wrong order and so had to hand-sew it in. I definitely rushed the last part of making this, and it's not my best work ever! But I learn something every time I sew so nothing is wasted. Some people's corsets are really works of art; I actually don't sew costumes much for myself, and when I do I rarely spend the bulk of my allotted time on underthings. Here's another blogger who made this same pattern all by hand. I'm not that dedicated when it comes to my own underclothes!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Memorial Day Weekend

The Linen Coat
For our Memorial Day holiday we drove down to the Houston area to visit friends. Houston's been getting lots of rain and high winds, so when we arrived the electric lines in their area were all down because of fallen trees. It was very dramatic and I didn't take any pictures. We enjoyed the company and some good chocolate, despite the lack of full power.

Pocket and back vent

So far the temperature has only barely reached 90 just a few days. Every day it's still in the 80s I rejoice and am thankful for a victorious, climate-changing God. If the Sahara can change, Texas can change too. Every day this week there's a chance of rain! My potted herbs are doing well; I'm cautiously optimistic that they may be thriving. To my slight annoyance, our next door neighbor has been running the air conditioner(It's just loud) for the past two months. We determined to keep ours off until June, at least.

Front buttonholes
I mailed the linen coat this week. I think it turned out well, and hopefully the owner will think so too.