Corset, Early Italian Ren, Fabric

I’m probably going to go for late Victorian, first, and then worry about something renaissance later. I’ve always been in love with the Italian Renaissance, and I’ve decided to opt out of wearing a corset. I hear that’s kind of okay.

The second thing on my list is how I’m going to put the thing together. On my last late Victorian corset, I sewed each layer together, and then basted the layers together, and sewed through them for channels… I was on a deadline, and I accidentally drafted it 4 inches too big, instead of 4 inches of squish because I was rushing. (I don’t squish this much anyway, what was I thinking in the first place?) But this time I was thinking more along the lines of the “quilt as you go” method, which would let me sew it together super speedy-like and sew channels as I go. The only downside to this is that I really need to make sure the toile fits amazing, since taking it in will not be an easy option. And my seams will be bulky. It would have to be a double layer at the max. I was thinking that if I’m really in a pinch, I’ll cut one layer of fashion fabric, one layer of the innards, and then just treat it as a single layer corset. But I have no boning casing. I don’t know. I should probably do it the right way and not try and save time.

Anyway, it would definitely help if I ordered myself some steel boning in the meantime. That’s super helpful! I’m getting continuous boning – it’s the cheapest per yard, and I can cut exactly what I need. I’ve heard that duct ties (not zip ties) are a really great substitute. You can dry clean them. I haven’t taken a trip to Lowe’s or Home Depot yet, but I’ll have to see what the cost for them is per yard compared to the steel. (And also what they are made of. I can’t imagine they’re good for the environment when they decompose? If they do?)

I think that corset making is a dying art, since places are disappearing *fast*! Greenberg and Hammer is gone. This scares me, but I’m sure that there will always be places for supplies. Hopefully!
My favorite places are:
http://www.corsetmaking.com/
http://www.richardthethread.com/ (They carry soufel!)
http://www.dragontowncorsetsupply.com/
http://www.voguefabricsstore.com/home.php
And others, but just for corset supplies, these are great.

I just used up my last bolt of muslin. (I buy in extreme bulk.) That bolt became toiles for many things: witches from Hamlet, togas for a music video that ended up getting canceled, doublets, Puck, vests, bodices, computer monitor covers even though that makes no sense… probably mostly flat-lining and lining though. I’m addicted to lining things in cotton. I found some great wholesale linen, however, dyeing is out of the question – I never dye it consistently. (Read as: I get distracted and forget to stir it.) I’ll keep practicing on some cheap muslin, though. I have a habit of turning on the TV or a movie when I’m doing something that involves waiting. Sometimes, if it’s too interesting, I’ll forget all about what I’m doing. Like soaking the greens for kimchi.

I said to myself, “Eh, this is yellow linen, just go for it.” I had totally forgotten why I had ever bought a ton of mustard yellow linen, but it became a version 1.0 for an underdress. It doesn’t look bad, and it’s definitely wearable. It does need a permanent lacing method. I was thinking about just lacing right through the fabric layers, since I hear it’s one method of the Italians. (Which would make a lot of sense from some of the paintings I’ve seen.) Or maybe half visible lacing rings. (Also would make sense.) I don’t like how the temporary lacing rings pull the interlining and lining out, and make it all visible from the gap. It’s a lot of stress, and it can’t handle it apparently. I think I went a little overboard with the front gap, but it looks alright, and I’m going to have layers over it anyway. My last bit of business for it will be to hem it and take out the temporary lacing rings and put something sturdy in. It’s currently hanging in my bedroom because linen is slippery stuff. Hopefully it’ll settle soon and I can hem it.

I finished patterning and draping for an overdress. My love is definitely for the Italian Renaissance so I went with early renaissance and decided to wing it. Learning through trial and error, I guess – gotta start somewhere. And I really haven’t felt like rebuilding my garb since… who knows when. Back to the overdress… I’ll be using a dark red jacquard that I bought ages ago when I first watched The Tudors. After that, I researched *HARD*, amassed tons of information, and then realized that the era really wasn’t *my* era, and that I was just fascinated because I was super into The Tudors at the time. I still love and treasure my copy of The Tudor Tailor, though. In other news… Showtime has a new show coming out soon about THE BORGIAS. Am I excited? SO EXCITED I COULD PEE MY PANTS. I might even BUY the DVD’s if the costuming and story is good. It’s this kind of awesome stuff that reminds me of my love of history. I’m coming to terms with the fact that I will never really make any money. It’s making me feel better about my sort-of decision to keep going for an MA and PhD in something historical.

Anyway, I’m actually having a hard time coming up with references and information about trim and embellishment in the Italian Renaissance. I don’t want to make any assumptions, but I guess there’s going to be a point where I just need to wing it.

I had a frank discussion with Ron about all of that. If you’ve been in personal contact with me at all over the past few months, you would know that I have plainly had a breakdown about what sort of academic and work career to pursue. I burnt out during my last semester and went on a little sabbatical.
The conclusions here are:
1. Humans are good at many things, but suck at so many more. This means me.
2. I’m smart enough to do any one of the few things that I am good at, and none of them will ever make me money I can live off of.
3. I’m an indecisive human being.
4. I was totally born in the wrong time period. But I do love the internet, computers, antibiotics, advanced medicine, Bath and Body Works, and spicy kimchi.
5. No matter what job I have, I try and help people, and they will still be horrifically cruel. Ron says I might just want to stick with research if I don’t have a backbone to handle humanity.
6. Our society operates off of debt. It’s normal for it to take decades to pay back a student loan. It will be okay. I can go to school. It will be okay. I will never be able to pay all of that back. Jeez. OMG. *panic attack*
Life would be so much easier if women didn’t have to work. Ron has expressed his feelings about him and his life purpose as a biological male need to go out, kill something, drag it home, and proudly slap it on the table. But in a more metaphorical way.

I really shouldn’t be sewing anything for myself. I currently owe about 3 pairs of tailored men’s pants to people.

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