Sunday, July 25, 2010

I am resolved... [warning, girly subject]

Here I am in a borrowed hat that I want to steal.
I want to challenge myself a bit on my next costume project. I want to sew it all by hand for one, but I also want to take a lot of time and fit something properly to myself. I am a sloppy seamstress. I throw together garments in hours but they are all invariably faulty—case and point my new gown: I spent the whole day at the ORS picnic, as I have with almost all my gowns at all events, trying to wrangle my wild bosom. I’m sick of it. I’d like to go to a picnic, a dinner or a dance, and not have to worry about the invariable and looming costume malfunction, and trust me; I am the queen of costume malfunctions. I can reliably be found poking, tucking, tugging, hiding, pinching, nudging and adjusting my gown at any given moment.

My biggest problem is, aside from my own weight issues … well, I’m overly endowed in the boob department. I have very large girls. DDD to be precise. The issue with them (aside from my own back pain and misgivings) is that patterns run to my size on my body, but they never run to include anything greater than a DD in the cup-size accommodation. Naturally this poses a problem for me... it has since the seventh grade. I am always overfilling the space provided. I’m not experienced enough of a seamstress to know how to best incorporate the bosom issue in my pattern cuts. And another problem is, what works being tried on at home for half an hour is not necessarily representative of what’s going to occur wearing that same costume for a few hours, in and out of the car, and moving around in it for a prolonged period.

I confidently decided I needed no underpinnings for the picnic after successfully testing it at home. It was going to be 90 degrees and I wanted nothing with layers. It was not a good choice. I think had anyone been really paying attention, I could have gotten fined for indecent exposure several times. Heat and stretch and shifting and badaboom, badabing… badaboing.

Also, I just want to have something fitted and proper. Something nice. Something I’m not pardoning all the shortcuts for. I look at Miss Lauren, the Lady of Portland House, and I am always inspired and struck by her fastidious work and how elegant she always looks, down to the locks of her hair and the crisp line of her pressed silk. I never take a lot of time to get ready, and I always look disheveled. I surely cannot aspire to her elegance, I have close to a hundred pounds on her I’m sure, and I am neither so young or so patient, but what I do aspire to is to at least *once* at an event, to feel well-put-together, and to glide about effortlessly without once having to tug at something, or adjust another. I want to enjoy my event and not spend most of it worried that my boob is going to sproing out of my bodice—which they often do. There, I’ve said it.

So my next project is a redo of this project: my regency transitional stays—however I am going to remake it in a nice cotton duck, and with steel spiral boning (instead of steel straight boning) and most importantly; I am going to switch it up, and I am going to make this corset back-closing and incorporate a hardwood busk that the Lord of Portland House made for me eons ago that has been awaiting a stays to live in.

I chose transitional (even though I prefer a full corset) because I want to ride in it. Yes, I am going to start riding sidesaddle again sometime in the future, and since I’m going to make a riding habit for the Fox Hunt, I want to have a nice stays to wear under it.

These stays will 1) be HAND SEWN… 2) be CORDED (yes, ambitious) and 3) have larger gusseted cups and shoulder-strap-adjustability to make it a better fit for me and to contain the puppies.

I will fix my new gown by adding a strip of hooks and eyes on each side of the bib to avoid any more of the peepage I had going on at the picnic… and I am going to start using my new corset as the base for all of my new costume endeavors for this period. I’ve found a couple of ladies to help with ORS events, so I will have more time to dibble-dabble now, and I may actually have the luxury of time to get ready for events as others do.

Is this an ambitious endeavor? Probably. Hubby will appreciate it because I won’t have the dining room table all covered in sewing paraphernalia, and I can do as Lauren describes, quietly stitch in front of the television (without the avian assistant as she has).

Aside from my costume disasters… the picnic was so lovely. Here are some pics:

A Regency huddle.
Le Bon Ton
S-II's amazing feast!
Some interested onlookers, and their shy daughter.
Love it.


Lauren said...

I think your dress was lovely.

kiwicarole said...

It would be totally amazing to be out walking and come across a group of you all dressed in these clothes!! I would think I'd died and gone to heaven!!!
Only wish I could join in too!

Sarah Jane said...

Oh I totally sympathize with the bosom issues. I do a different period (1860's) but have similar problems, even in the nice stiff and controlling corsets used then. :( I have continual problems with gapping at the fullest bust point. It's not pleasant to go around checking every few seconds to see if your chemise is revealed between pulling hooks in your bodice. Sigh. No matter how I try to fit things, it always does this.

Love the photos, they are simply gorgeous! I wish we had something like that around here! Your clothe are so much more awesome than 1860's stuff!

M.Maria M. Coutinho said...

I loveeee your dress!!! good luck on the sewing!
Marilia Coutinho

Sharon said...

I think you look very well put together and I am in awe of your sewing talents. I wish I could sew half as good as you do. I've had my share of pulling and tugging too, although not in the boob area. Mine is more in the stomach area where things ride up and they ride down, but never stay where they are supposed to.

The Dreamstress said...

If you steal that hat, steal one for me too!

I share your determination to go slowly and finish things perfectly, it's something I fail at sometimes.

And I can't wait to see your progress on the stays!


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