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Friday, July 26, 2013

Circus Costume-final cut

Here is the final costume from the Circus pose. You can see the corset shaping that is typical of the Edwardian era. The under layer of the skirt is a vintage striped cotton that I purchased on ebay. I bought an entire bolt of it for about 20.00. It required many yards, cut on the bias to get all the ruffling built up.
I used a ruffling attachment on my sewing machine, which was a real time saver. I also used a rolled hem foot, which turned the raw edges under-also a great time saver. I am pretty new to modern sewing techniques and tools. A serger purchased last year sat in its box until recently-out of fear of trying it!
 The lower diameter was over 90" around, and this tapered by 2/3 to the waist line.
This is the middle layer of the skirt. A wonderful dotted cotton organdy from the 40's formed this layer. Under it is a layer of pale mint green silk organza. I wanted to tie in the blue green of the corset to the skirt.I forgot to get a picture of the top layer- it is silk taffeta edged in striped bias tape. Each point has a tiny gold bell which makes a jingling sound.
 Our most lovely model Savannah is perfect for this pose. She is wearing these funky tights I found with harlequin diamonds. The boots are velvet, modern made, but a good match for Edwardian button up boots. The sheer undershirt is an antique, with frilly lace details. The hat is also an antique, with added antique embellishments.
Erik and I made this swing, and it hangs from the rafters. This has been a very fun and interested variety of materials to paint.

Friday, July 19, 2013

New Painting-Regency Straw Bonnet

  "Straw Bonnet"11x14 oil on linen panel-Regency era bonnet I made a few years back of Sinamay cloth and silk ribbon.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Costume class-corset pattern from Truly Victorian

I just finished the costume for the painting class. I used a new-to-me pattern by Truly Victorian, the TVE01, Edwardian corset from 1903.

This is the second true corset I have made, and as usual I learned a lot-mostly through error! I have made a lot of 18th century stays, but they have a very different mode of construction and purpose in constricting and support for the body. I decided to use a spoon busk for the front fastening:

As the name implies, it has a spoon shaped end, and also a curve to it like a spoon when seen from the side.
This pattern had  lot of pieces, I counted 36 pieces-the outer layer of blue duchess silk satin, inner layer of antique jean twill, and inner lining of antique polished cotton.
This is my new handy tool-a magnet pin bracelet- of course Erik said "nice watch." 
 It's very handy when working with little pattern pieces .

The busk is the first sewn step. The author recommended numbering the pieces in order, and stacking them in a pile to avoid confusion. It was excellent advice. You work from the busk at front to the back grommet area.

 Here you see the bust gores inserted. This era in corsetry favored giant bosom pockets, and large hip pockets, which were padded and stuffed to make that S-curve shape.
 The hip gores give an exaggerated look to the body. This later evolved into girdles which went over the entire hip area. I would consider this the last real age of corsets.
Here is a peek of the inside before the lining was placed. The pattern went together quite well, and was actually pretty fun to construct until I had to put the boning channels in. I used strips of cotton and sewed them first down the center and then on each side of the center-this creates a pocket for two metal bones. This corset has 28 metal bones in it.
Here is the polished cotton, an antique fabric used for lining dresses. It has a nice satin look to is, and is thin. This keeps the boning channels and seams from rubbing on the person wearing it.
I recommend any of the patterns from Truly Victorian, I have made several different things from the line and they are all well drafted.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Costume/portrait painting class-Summer term

 We are starting the next term at Watts. I am teaching the costume portrait painting class. We will be doing three week poses. Here is a little preview of the inspiration photos for the first costume. The theme is Victorian Circus. My model is female, and I am making a corset and skirt ensemble that is similar to this:
The upper corset will be a pale blue silk satin, and will have a red and white striped and dotted under skirt. Here are some more inspiration pics:

 The color scheme below is really nice. I would like to make the drum thing she is standing on as a prop for class:
                                            Here are some artist renditions of circus themes
             This artist is Armand Francois Joseph Henrion. He did a ton of these Pierrot portraits.
                                                      Good old Elvgren, he is the best!
                                                   Fernand Pelez-titled "The miserable circus."