But yes, I have actually been occupying myself with some costume stuff during me free time*. I made a hat just because I felt like it, I wanted to create a couple of new patterns for the workshop in 2014, but I cut it literally to my paper mock-up without allowing for extra space for I dunno... my HEAD, so it ended up being WAY too small, which is a shame because it turned out to be a beautiful hat.
My other project which I work on during those 'free time' hours, is my new set of stays. I've made a few since my first endeavor into the custom transitional stays project. These stays I wore for a while before giving them to a friend, who wore them to the point where the steel boning rusted and began to jab out of the fabric and cut her. I resolved never to use that kind of boning again. But that one pattern that I customized has become the template upon which all of my stays have come from since, the only change from those original stays is that I now habitually make them rear-closing with a short busk up front. I also added another gusset to the side just to give it a little more shape. I'm not sure when I started doing that, but it's now there. These work for me and have always worked for me.
They work out very nicely in spite of the fact that I am plus sized and am/was a DDD cup. I know this is a conundrum for many women, finding stays that work for their bust size. Most patterns top out at DD (the short stays may go larger, but again, I do not recommend them for large-busted women because they just flop forward under the weight of the girls.
The reason why I'm making new stays is not because my most recent stays are ruined or such. It is because my breasts have grown bigger from the advent of the child. So, I resolved to make myself a new set with an extra gusset in the cups to broaden the space allocation and widen the 'platter'. My old stays would tube-out on me, and then become prow-like before me because there was just not enough room in there to fit all that boob.
So that is the most recent mod to my pattern. The extra boob gusset. I'm not sure yet how this is going to work, I haven't quite finished the stays. Since I decided I would hand-stitch the whole thing, and stupidly thought I'd do some cording to boot, I made it a lot bigger of a project than was necessary. But I do that to myself all the time. And I do it late at night, listening to Austen on Librivox, until I can barely keep my eyes open any more.
|The Regency Silhouette, early and late (but in reverse here)|
Stays like these do not have the bust-gussets that create the shape of the cup. They promote a harder angle, and a slightly lower 'waistline' if any at all. They squash the lower half of the breast and heave the cleavage up, which can be very attractive, but it isn't what I'm looking for in a set of stays. Especially in the case of a larger bust, where the heaved up breast, with the angled underside can often make the wearer look like a strutting pigeon--more Edwardian in shape than Regency.
|Coo... cooo... strut strut.|
Regency became a fashion of the natural form, and in the 1800s, the gusseted/ruched cups appeared to help define the waistline quite well, and to lift the breasts aloft over the waistline rather than force them up by squashing them. Then you have a bust in your bodice, not just a great big chin-touching cleavage. This is the look I prefer, because it works best for a big-busted girl for one, for two, the waistline isn't widened by the shape of the corset, and it's the most flexible for the gowns that go over it, not limiting the gowns to be worn to just 1790s styles, well, at least without looking like one is wearing a 'modern gown' with an old fashioned set of stays... like wearing sixties torpedo bras today. LOL. I like having my bust defined and 'presented' rather than squashed.
|Little gathered cups give a bust rather than just cleavage.|
|This is the original pattern I customized. Note the two slits close to the center-front|
for the gussets. I will add a third closer to the shoulder strap.
|I transferred the old pattern onto some soft buckram a while ago and added the gusset slit|
for the trunk. I eventually added another gusset to go between this front piece
and the side piece.
|And there, I drew in the third slit for the gusset. I made it a smidge shorter|
than the other two.
I hand stitched the pieces together, and then got to work doing the cording and boning channels. Here is a small sample of what I've done so far. I'll post pictures when it's done completely. I'm almost done with the cording (I want to add some little leafy shaped channels or squiggles still, but I haven't gotten to that point yet. I have one panel still to finish cording, and then I have to bind these babies--which with the tabs is kind of a byeetch. But I am a glutton for punishment. And I like the tabs when they're done. They're cute.
|Some cording and boning (ppfffftt... she said boning)|
*Free time consists of the hour after Alex goes to bed, around 8:30 or 9:00 PM, until 1 or 2 AM when I can barely keep my eyes open. It's the only time I have to myself these days.