Thursday, September 19, 2013

Underneath a Costume

Sometimes what is underneath a costume is just as (or more) important than the costume itself. Take the French Court Lady for example. If you didn't see the sketch its this one:

In order for her to get that hourglass shape, we have to shape the person first. Enter the stays. Stays are an early version of the corset, before bras and modern undergarments where created. I'm using a commercial sewing pattern because I'm going to be wearing it and its pretty close to my body measurements. For somebody else I would draft a pattern.
I'm making the one in the top left corner. The pieces have to be cut out,
(sorry blurry, smart phone is dying)

Then sewn together.

 Then all the channels were the bones (stiff rods that give the "corset" squeezing power) go in. Take a look at the pic. Every space between the lines is a space for bones. That's a lot of bones.

Which of course need to go into the corset. Estimated time to put bones into stays: 6 hrs.
Then the corset needs to be finished, which has to be done by hand, since the bones come so close to the edge of the seams. Time to hand bind seams: 18 hours.
Then the grommets go in so you can lace it to give you that "I love to compress my ribs" look.

And then when you're about ready to poke your eyes out because you're so sick of hand sewing and hammer pounding you have a set of stays. That looks like this:

Ignore the messed up lacing. It's hard to get back there by myself.
And the sweatpants, it was comfy time...
Done!  Total Time estimate: 40+ hours. (A season of Supernatural). Also whipped up some bloomers and a chemise but didn't take a picture (you all don't need to see me in my historical undies...) Next step: the dress.

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