Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Shoe Giveaway!!!

Two of my friends from the Great Basin Costume Society are teaming up to give away a pair of American Duchess 1920's inspired shoes. Debbie from Vintage Dancer, a web site dedicated to helping you create the perfect vintage look, and Lauren of American Duchess, historical reproduction shoes. Check out http://www.vintagedancer.com/vintage/giveaway-win-pair-1920s-strap-shoes/ to learn how you can enter to win a pair of 23Skiddo shoes from www.American-Duchess.com.  While you are there, explore the great collection of vintage inspired clothes available. And, be sure to check out American Duchess while you're at it :)

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Victorian Secrets: Book review

A couple of months ago on facebook, I found out about corset wearer, Sarah Chrisman, and her book.

I highly recommend reading this great little story that highlights Mrs. Chrisman's year long transformation into a modern Victorian woman. Sarah writes her story beautifully. I laughed, I cried, felt her joy and her anger as I read of the encounters she had with people who had varying opinions of her wearing a corset. Her story is inspiring, captivating, motivating, and insightful. As a fellow lover of all things Victorian, I took a particular interest in the useful information about everyday people and living during the Victorian era, especially about how people ate then. She included this catalog entry as a reference.

If you find the Victorian era fascinating and are curious about corsets, you won't be disappointed reading this chapter of Sarah Chrisman's life. After reading her story, I hope I have the chance to visit Port Townsend and meet her in person some day. I would love to have her sign my copy of her book.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

First project of the year

Technically, this isn't a costume sewing project, but it is vintage inspired. For Christmas, my wonderful husband gave me money to shop for nice, cold weather clothes. I've only just recently discovered my "style" and have started a nice little collection of vintage inspired warm weather clothes, but was very much lacking for cold weather.
I happened to come upon the cutest sweater at Banana Republic, but alas, no skirt or pants to go with it. After tirelessly searching for something perfect, I decided that I must make a skirt. Not just any skirt would do. I remembered seeing my friend, Lauren, of American Duchess Shoes wearing the most adorable looking skirt in her ads for her Clairmont, 1930's style shoes. I asked her about it and she replied that she had made it many years ago and still had the pattern. She graciously gave me the pattern, but I had to promise to lend it back to her if she ever decided she would like to make another. So, I of course gave her my word and away I went searching for the perfect fabric.
I thought for sure that the search would take some time, but was pleasantly surprised when at the first fabric shop I searched had not only one, but two possibilities. Mill End Fabrics in Carson City rarely fails to disappoint me. The first fabric I found was a dark, wool and rayon blend that had the exact wine color as my sweater. I was ready to settle on that fabric, but needed to satisfy my curiosity of wondering if there might be a more perfect fit as I was not sold on the idea of such a dark fabric for this sweater. So, around the aisles I went and was just about to leave when I saw it. At just 42 inches left on the bolt when the pattern calls for 2 3/8 yards, I had no idea if I could make it work, but it was too perfect not to try.

I carefully squeezed the pattern pieces in to fit on the bit of fabric, alternating them tops to bottoms even though the pattern instructions called to have them lined up tops to tops. I also needed to pin the godets onto the fabric at an angle.

It just fit! I could hardly believe it. And this is what was left after cutting the pieces...

The pattern went together fairly easy and quickly. Thanks again to Lauren for giving me the pattern. I love my new skirt! It looks perfect with my Clairmont's :)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Waist training week 2

As promised, here are my day 2 before and after corseting pictures. You can see how I don't have much of a waist. The corset I am wearing is an inexpensive ebay purchase that has spiral steel boning and I added hip gores to give it some comfort. I am quickly realizing that I need to hurry up and make myself a custom fitting corset, as I know that a proper corset will be much more comfortable. I plan draft my corset usning a tutorial that I found online at www.foundationsrevealed.com
After a week of corseting, wearing my corset 10+ hours per day, my natural waist has reduced by 1/2 inch and I can comfortably corset myself to 26 1/4 inches. That's down a whole inch from the first day! I feel this reduction is mostly due to the fact that I have been eating smaller portions during meals.
Overall, throughout the day I hardly notice that I am wearing it, but do find driving the school bus a bit uncomfortable. This is most likely due to the shape of the seat. I may need to use a support to make the seatback to fit my corseted figure.
I kept this little experiment a secret from my husband until Saturday. When I told him, he simply said, "Oh, yeh?". He didn't question me or try to talk me out of it. For this I am grateful.
From now on throughout this experiment, I will only post if there is a significant change or a large amount of time has past.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Waist training

Today, I am beginning waist training... again. I started last year, but failed to keep it going. I desire the nipped in waist of the women seen in the '40's and '50's like this...

and this...

Now, I'm not claiming that I need to lose weight. I'm fairly happy with my weight, just not my shape. My uncorseted measurements are B-35", W-29", H-38 1/2". Prior to having children, I measured B-34", W- 26 1/2", H- 36 1/2" and that was 17 years ago. So, I really can't complain. However, I would like to try this experiment to see if I can reshape my waist to give me a curvier appearance while wearing a bathing suit.

I already have my corset on today, measuring 27 1/4" at the waist, so if I remember to, I will photograph myself out of and in my corset for you tomorrow. This way we can visually track my progress. My goal is to have a 25" corseted waist measurement by this summer. This should put me at around 27" uncorseted. 

Wish me luck!!


I'm finally getting with the times and starting a blog to share and keep track of my creations. I'm looking forward to many sewing adventures this year and am excited to share them with whom ever cares to see what I'm up to. Blessings to all in the coming year!