Friday, July 27, 2007

Colonial era costuming

It turns out that we need 5 costumes at work by the 9th of August, so I volunteered to make one. Since we are still planning on doing our traditional craft demos in Sept. in costume, I decided to make something I could wear. McCalls has an excellent pattern from that era, M4863, that has a skirt, tabbed corset, undergown, cap and shawl. Since I already have several chemises, I am making everything except the undergown. I looked over on the McCalls site and did not see a link to the costume, so later on I'll take a pic of the envelope and post it. The corset is covered with topstitching lines that are 3/8 of an inch apart, but only the sides, center front and center back have boning. I am using all those lovely channels and inserting hemp cording which should make it fit well and give it a lot of shape. I've had some experience with hemp boning before and it's wonderful as long as it isn't super hot and humid. I'm thinking that I should be ok at the end of Sept. I'm posting pics of the chemise from a couple of years ago, as well as 2 of the side pieces from the corset. I have 5 pieces sewn and corded, and there are 15 not counting the tabs. I am using a dark reddish brown for the bodice, and a medium brown for

the skirt. The skirt fabric was on the cheap sportswear table and has some slight flaws where it's faded and there is a slight line running through it, but it is 100% cotton which is the important thing. I was originally planning on redyeing it useing the black walnuts from the tree here, but I don't think I have a pot big enough. I might be able to do it in pieces, but I don't think I could get consistent results. If I can find a big enough pot I could maybe put it on the barbeque grill. If it doesn't work out I'll just use Procion or Dylon if don't have any brown in the Procions. I am also posting pics of the chemise, I made the buttons on the cuffs by covering wooden beads with embroidery floss. They are really easy and probably authentic to the period.

On another note, here's a link to I just found out about it yesterday when I was listening to the Thom Hartmann program on the radio. It is unabashedly left leaning. They are not trying to convert anyone to their view point, they are progressives and that's who they are trying to get on the site. They do a news cast every day that is an alternative to the mainstream media. I think I am going to add them to my sidebar links.

Melissa and Gregory are coming in tonight, they have a wedding in Madison on Sunday. We are having a family barbeque tomorrow before they leave to go up there, and Melissa will get to spin on my wheel. She can show me what I can do to get more even yarn.

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