Monday, December 27, 2010

An ETSY SALE to Ring in the New Year!

Ahhh the end of the year festivities! I wish you all happy & safe soirees and festivities, if you should partake. I would also like to thank each and every one of you who stop by my blog to read my little bits and bobs....and all of my kindred spirits who email me and keep up with the goings on here, and of coarse, all the Angels who have given my dollys a home. I wish you all a Blessed New Year...and offer you a challenge, to do something you have never done before, but always wanted to. Stop waiting, just do it already!

To celebrate the end of this 2010, I offer a 25% off discount on anything and everything in my ETSY store~ just enter coupon code YND2010 at your checkout. This offer is good from now until the first of January, 2011.


Sunday, December 19, 2010

My most Sincere Wishes for You a Blessed & Magical Holiday~

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas, and if you don't celebrate Christmas, I hope you have a Blessed Holiday~ whatever it is! The dollys and I are settling in for our long Winter hibernation.....we love to just sit and gaze at the tree with all the pretty lights, all the while remembering Christmases past and all our favorite memories. A sip of our favorite Constant Comment tea, and a softly crackling fireplace~ what a gift in itself to enjoy this time with each other! With all the hustle and bustle now, I hope you all make time for a quite evening with family and all your favorite memories~ and perhaps make a new one! Merry Christmas! xoxoxo rachael

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Marguarite's 17th c Corset / Bodies Complete

I couldn't be more please with how these came out! As soon as I am finished with Marguarite's Smock, I will post a picture of her wearing them. Until then, I think you will enjoy these. Finished, her bodies measure 6.5" across the shoulder, and 12" at center front from bust to busk point
I used the last of my matching hand dyed silk ribbon for the points, and since I don't have miniature metal aglets, I made my own

Each ribbon point is wrapped in copper wire, and then dipped several times in beeswax....and yes... bees wax from our own bees :)

I used a precious scrap of handspun tow to tie the shoulder straps together in a permanent knot

The tabbed skirts flare out quite gracefully

back view

Back is laced with a single ribbon in the proper 17th c fashion. All in all, I had an absolutely fun and wonderful time stitching these, and of coarse, I kept track of every minute, writing down the time I started stitching in my journal, and again when I finished to get up for anything.... for a total stitching time of 64 hours, 1 minute.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Binding the Bottom of Marguarite's 17th Century Corset

Here you can see that I have finished back stitching the silk binding, right sides together, to the bottom of Marguarite's pair of bodies. This was extremely slow to stitch, about 6 hours for this one step if I remember right. You can see the 'skirts', or tabs, pointing up and away there. I actually used a double thickness of silk on my binding here, as I didnt want the ends of the bamboo working their way thru it, and its so thin, I just felt the bottom needed more. After the binding was on, I again trimmed the linings. NOTE: The center busk pocket. I wanted to leave an open pocket so it could be removed, so the binding only goes thru the upper layer of lining, not thru all layers here.

After the linings are trimmed, I brought the silk to the back and whipped it down, just like on the top edge. It looks right spiffy now!

Here is my busk pocket opening....cause, well, one never knows when they will fall in love, and need to give their busk to their departing beau to carve while he is out Whaling...... If you want to have a pocket like this so your busk is removable, here is a tip~ make sure to cut all your pieces so this opening is the salvage edge! There is no bulk, and its nice and tidy.

Nearly done now. This is the front view after binding. I still need to press the tabbed skirts down.....

And finish the last of the brass grommets~ there are two at the bottom back opening, and then four more each side for the ribbon points (ties used for attaching a farthingale).

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Binding a 17th Century Pair of Dollye Bodies

Here are some progress pictures of Marguarite's pair of bodies. I used 1" hand dyed bias cut silk ribbon for the binding, doubled over as shown both for strength and a more opaque coverage, since its such a light color, and such a thin tissue silk ribbon.
I waited until I was at the strap to trim it to shape (really cuts down on the edges raveling cause the straps are always flopping around while I'm sewing). In the picture above, I have the binding on, and you can see the edges of the linen lining sticking out around it....the next step is to trim all this off~ very important for a nice uniform and equal binding!

After the excess lining is cut away, the ribbon is brought around to the back with my thumb there, stretched as far as it will go and whipped down. To answer your question why am I wearing gloves.....for two , well three reasons actually. The first, the linen I used for the lining is antique and really thick and densely woven, really hard to get the needle thru~ the gloves are excellent at helping me grip the needle and pull it thru nearly effortlessly...2, on my left hand, the rubber helped to grip the slippery silk and pull it taught, and 3, they also keep any oils I have on my hands and fingers off my work. I love sewing in rubber gloves..........

Here is the binding as seen on the front, and the whipped edge to the inside. I really love these two colors together, and in the 17th century...everything was colorful!

Next step was to finish the brass eyelet holes that were up next to the binding at the back opening, and on the front and straps. Top is finished!!! And, I must admit, it looks awesome :)

Starting on the bottom edge now, saved the hardest for last I guess. First, I pin'd the 3 tabs to the bottom edge in their rightful places~ largest next to the back opening, inbetween in the middle, and smallest to the front most area next to the center boning.

I then carefully stitch the binding silk over all the layers. This is very slow going on the bottom edge, as the bodies are extremely stiff, and I cant bend them to make my normal running back stitch, so I am left to stab each stitch one at a time, straight up and down thru all layers, including thru the bamboo, which I am using my pliers to help with. If anyone ever x-rays this in the future, they will find the tip end of my last needle buried in the bamboo 7th from the left...too many broken needles today, and I cant get this one out, so in it will stay!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Good Grief!

Where the heck has the time gone? I think my life remote is stuck on fast fwd.... I have been working on Marguarite's bodies...and good grief. These things are a pain....well...theyre definitely giving me a my hands, my eyes even hurt. blaaaaahhhhhh......... All the while I am sitting with my wonderful wondrous Heavenly Ott light directly in front of me....I try and imagine my ancestors working in mainly sunlight....and wonder, what the heck did they do in the winter??? I mean, a candle can only put out so much light, even with a magnifying water globe in front of it......its pitch black dark here by 4.30 pm...... what did they do all winter long... Sitting in the front of the fire....trying to keep warm? As much as I would really love to go back in time and just see what all was going on, and what they were EATING....and what they were wearing.......and what the stores looked like inside....I am so very thankful for living in today! But I'm getting off my point for today~ which is binding these bodies. Y*U*K*. As you can see above, I snapped a pic after I bound the first tab in silk....isn't it a pretty contrasting color? I am very happy with this blue.....but actually binding the bodies is a pain in the tuccas. I have bound and picked out twice already today before finally getting the top edge halfway done. These are so stiff, it is really hard to hold them right, cause the fabric doesn't bend so its hard to make a good back stitch...they are small too so also hard to hold. So far, this binding is my least favorite part. I really wanted to use kid, but couldn't find any of the right color, so chose a hand dyed silk. Ill snap a pic tomorrow when the light is good~ until then...... sore fingers going to bed!