20th century · Progress · Underwear

Sew with all the colours of the wind

So, I love sewing. It has been part of my life, on and off, since I was 10-ish, and more and more in the latter years. And yet, sometimes, I don’t feel like sewing or creating anything for the longest time. I have been in one of these ruts this winter, in a real desert of inspiration.

It started after I attended a super serious World War Two-larp in November. I had been sewing like a crazy person to finish all my overly ambitious costume plans. Then I had a few commissions over the winter, while I was battling illness, watching over my dying grandmother and organizing a massive larp for 130 people, and it sort of drained the joy out of much of my sewing, apart from creating the odd (in all meanings of the word) hat.

I am doing some Edwardian larping this year. I desperately need some Edwardian underwear. I have been trying to woman up and start working on this for months now, but I really, really didn’t feel like it. Somehow, every time I took out my patterns and my fabrics, I lost all will to work. Finally, I took a step back, looked down at all my crisp, white cotton fabric and thought “Colour. This needs more colour.”

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Doesn’t this just look like candy?

Eureka! I went and looked through my stash, found some pretty pink cotton satin, some fine shirting with narrow white and blue stripes, and some dainty trims. It seems silly, but it worked SO DARN WELL. Inspiration has returned!

I’m going to make the following garments:

Combinations! Because they are so very cute! White cotton, yellow trim, some lace perhaps.

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Circa 1917- Combination Underwear & Chemise Pattern from Wearing History
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The narrow green satin ribbon is for the drawstring neckline, and the buttons to fasten the flap between the legs.

Corset. Pale pink cotton satin, offwhite lace trims and suspenders.

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The lace trim was a gift from my friend Johanne, she found it in a second hand store in Sweden. It’s prettier than in the picture, by a mile.
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The Rilla Corset by Scroop Patterns

Petticoat. Pale blue and white shirting with lace trims.

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I’ve already pinned lace to the flounce that will go on the hem!

Corset cover. White cotton muslin and lace and ribbons.

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I found the pale blue lace-thingy in my late grandmother’s sewing stash, and it is the cutes thing to ever cute!
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Circa 1910s Camisole or Corset Cover Pattern from Wearing History.

When starting off, I was not too worried about the combinations, the petticoat and the corset cover. I’ve made my fair share of chemises, shifts, petticoats and other loose-fitting underwear. However, I have been more than a little worried about the corset…

You see, I have a history with corsets. Way back, when I was young, innocent and new to the world of costuming and historical sewing, I decided that making corsets would be the best way to get into it. I have been known to get a tad ambitious and overzealous in my sewing projects, and so of course I ordered lots and lots of corsetry supplies.

I have used some of it. I used a few bones to fix my bustle, and I’ve sewn some into bodices and dresses, but I still have more than a few lying around. More than enough for this corset, it turns out. I think maybe the busk I have (the closure-thingy for the front of the corset) might be a little long, but we’ll see.

Now, this week was almost as busy as the last one, but I managed to get a little sewing done:

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Combinations and half of a bit of a corset!

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The combinations are super cute with the buttoned flap and the “bum pleat”!
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Some dainty yellow trim on that neckline.
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Decorative stitching will keep the seams on the corset strong (I hope)
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Tied with a sweet little green ribbon.

Do you think I’ll finish all this before mid-August? While making other stuff?

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