In Progress

Chemise - 0%
Corset - 18%
Pocket Hoops - Done
1st Petticoat - Done
Fancy Petticoat - 0%
Gown - 0%
Shoes - 0%
Wig - Yet To Aquire
Hat - Yet To Aquire
-Silk Taffeta$16.00

TOTAL: $88.35
NOTE TO SELF: THIS LINK CORRESPONDS TO CHEMISE: http://www.mfa.org/collections/search_art.asp?recview=true&id=324250&coll_keywords=shift&coll_package=0&coll_start=11

This page contains my research for mid-18th century clothing. I am focusing on middle-upper class 'undress'- meaning not a full ball gown, but what a lady would wear during a normal day. All of my research comes from books and online sources, and I'll list my sources where I can. My information is only as accurate as my sources ;)

Latest Update on: 02/01/09

OVERVIEW: To create the proper silhouette, proper undergarments are required. A lady would wear: A shift, stays, panniers, under petticoat (maybe several), under fancier petticoat, and the gown itself. Research for each is in that order. If you have information, sources, or a costume you've made, please feel free to contact me!

SHIFT: Shift Instructions

This is my sketch of the design I am doing. I am currently working on the draft of the corset. I will be doing a pale yellow outer petticoat, and probably some shade of green gown. Click to see the full-sized image.

[12/19/08] I've officially started this project, starting with the corset. I've used Norah Waugh's "Corsets and Crinolines" for a pattern for a front-and-back lace pattern. I won't be posting the pattern from the book since it's copyrighted, but I will be showing my pattern pieces and how I made it. The pattern in the book is 1/16th scale, and when I blew it up, it was my size (I'm tiny, 24" waist) I just had to lower the neckline. It would have to be sized up for anyone larger than me. So far I have made a canvas mock-up, it is stitched with boning channels and awaiting boning to make sure the pattern is the right size and proportion before I start cutting out my final. I ordered boning from CorsetMaking.com. Good place; shipping was expensive, but I ordered a gross (144) of 17" with the intent to cut it to size, and it's probably heavy. I think this is where I ordered my coutill from originally... I am using leftover Coutill from when I made my regency corset. The lining in these is usually a light linen, but I am just going to use a plain cotton. The outer layer will probably be a blue silk taffeta, and I am going to hand stitch the boning channels in a thread one shade darker than the top layer.

Here is a progress picture of my corset mock-up. I am wearing this with my regency chemise, and it only has about 10 pieces of boning I happened to have in it. The straps are not attached because there is no boning yet so I couldn't finish the ends. Note, the edges of all these should be pinked or fray-checked if you are going to work on it by hand.

[02/01/09] I got my steel boning in awhile back and put bones in my test corset. It's very interesting to see the difference between an unboned corset and a boned one.

I've also finished the under layer petticoat. It's very important to have at least one petticoat underneat your visible petticoat. I have seen many costumers with gorgeous gowns wear them right over their panniers or hoop skirts, and you can see the hoop steel right through the dress! I finished my pockethoops with the petticoat, and the pockethoops were so easy it only took a day's worth of work to complete. I'll be adding a complete tutorial for those in time. At first I had on my chemise (this is still my regency chemise) and corset and tied the pockethoops and petticoat on top, but the angle seemed a bit extreme, so I tried putting on my hoops and petticoat, and THEN the corset, and it seemed to look a lot better. I just have to work on getting them aligned right so I can access the pockets.

As of right now, I have my final corset body together (light blue silk!) and have the boning channels on half of the righthand side done.

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