Saturday, 4 February 2012

Down to basics

Intermission over, I continue from Not Quite Treading The Boards...

Corsets! The costumes for myself and two other ladies I dressed,* had to begin with these old fashioned garments. This picture from Google is similar enough to the ones I made from unbleached calico and boning, to give you a good idea of what ours were like.

Next I had to create voluminous cotton petticoats, demure mob caps and dainty muslin or lace fichus which would give the finishing touches to yet more curtain material gowns - which were the things I enjoyed sewing most.

We were given diagrams which explained the complex stitching of tape loops needed under the skirts, so that a draw string threaded through them could create soft drapes like paniers at the side, or a bustle at the back of each skirt.

The head gear started life as modern sunhats which I  steamed, re-shaped and painted, in the case of the one for My Lady.

Then in a charity shop I found a pair of black brogues, similar to these, for maidservant Prudence, while the other ladies wore  simple flat shoes, and we were ready for the show to begin...

Continued from earlier post...*HERE 

Through the week, I'd intended to tell a couple of fun stories associated with all these theatrical shenanigans, but once I began writing, it turned into something else. Bear with me, the funny bits will surface eventually... Meantime, I'll share a little more with Sepia Saturday, whatever colour the post turns out to be...
Still to be continued...

22 comments:

  1. The brogues look just like a ppart of golf shoes fro the summer but the heels would need to be flat.

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    1. That's what I thought when I found the photo - but my shoes were all black, plus I added a silver (paper & card) buckle to them.

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  2. You certainly went into this project full bore. You didn't know then that you'd be telling the whole world all about it in years to come.

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    1. True - corsets don't often come into the conversation in Blogland!

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  3. Those shoes are beautiful, I'd wear them (albeit not today, too cold)!
    Corsets? Aren't we lucky they are only worn nowadays by the likes of Madonna? ;-)

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    1. Strange though it seems, those corsets were comfortable to wear, as they were made to measure, and not designed to make us look thin...

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  4. Sewing and I are bitter enemies Jinksy - how you could even attempt it I do not know.

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    1. More than that Weaver - I enjoy it!

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  5. Such details. Your work really evokes a bygone era.

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    1. Hehehe! You do know how to make a gal feel old! LOL

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  6. Haha, I'm sure Vivienne Westwood would love to have you in her army of seamstresses. Being able to sew corsets and bustles. I couldn't sew a straight line if my life depended on it ;-)

    http://www.viviennewestwood.co.uk/

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    1. Hmm... but I couldn't ride a horse, so I guess we're quits! :)

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  7. It’s amazing what charity shop treasures are unearthed.

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  8. I am sure my Uncle Harry used to have a pair of shoes like that. Mind you, we were never too sure about Uncle Harry.

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  9. We were given diagrams which explained the complex stitching of tape loops needed under the skirts, so that a draw string threaded through them could create soft drapes like paniers at the side, or a bustle at the back of each skirt.

    Crikey! I would have been running for the exits early on. But then I could never sew. How fantastic you can do this (and everything else--except ride a bike)!:)

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  10. Oh, Jinksy. I need a corset!! (Sshhh... don't tell! )
    :))
    Love this post. You are a hard worker, my friend.

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  11. I'll leave the corset but I'd love those shoes...really!

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  12. The costumes are beautiful . You did a wonderful job !
    I saw a tired-looking corset hanging up on a stall at a Collector's market a few weeks ago and thought then how glad I was that I didn't have to encase myself in one every day .

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  13. Oh corsets!!
    Shudders!!
    My Grandma wore one
    and I always thought these things must be painful...
    but I'm looking forward to the rest of the story.
    :)~
    HUGZ

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  14. I think there are a number of people on the bus who could benefit from a good corseting!

    Pearl

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  15. I love the shoes, really. I bet this was fun. Once and only once I was lured into the Bi-centennial celebration of US. Every town, large or small had a celebration of some kind. I sewed a dress in the mode of the early immigrants -- have no idea how I ever got that done as I do NOT sew at all. But it is amazing what we can do when we are participating or anticipating with some event we know we will enjoy.

    Did the spammers disappear? One of my e-mail accounts was hijacked last month and I have not got that all cleaned up yet. Thank goodness it was not my gmail.

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  16. Where have you gone, Jinksy? Are you taking a blogging break? You're missed.

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