Friday, February 3, 2012

A Foray Into Corsetry, & Some Thoughts on Self-Sufficiency

This is my current project:

Gussets!  Cording!  Laces!  It can only be--a corset!  Sort of.  Let me explain.

Between taking the Seamless pledge, reading the entire backlog of the makeshift project (which is brilliant, and which I highly recommend checking out), and discovering other blogs with similar sensibilities like handmade mess, I've been thinking a lot lately about self-sufficiency in my wardrobe.  As my sewing skills grow, too, I'm reconsidering my knee-jerk assumptions that certain things have to be store bought.  After all, Natalie Purschwitz wore homemade shoes for a year.  Shoes.  And I'm balking at making underwear why exactly?

For these reasons, I've found lately that my sewing feels less like a fun hobby and more like a life experiment (still fun, but also meaningful).  I've never been one for flashy party sewing--as you will probably have noticed by now--but I find myself getting even more practical as I brainstorm upcoming projects.  Can I make jeans?  Oh yeah.  Can I make washcloths and handkerchiefs and kitchen towels?  Totally.  Can I make knitted scarves and leg warmers?  Probably (jury's still out on the leg warmers).  Can I make socks, underwear, bras?  More than likely.  Hence my current project.

The more research I did on making undergarments, the more I realized I wasn't going to be happy with t-shirt panties and underwire bras.  Not my style.  I'm just contrary I guess.  Then I happened across this post on Wearing History, and I thought 'Regency short stays!  That's exactly what my wardrobe is missing!' (don't ask me why).  So I did some research, and I drafted this up.  I don't know if it'll be street-wearable or not, but at the very least it's been an enlightening exercise in drafting foundation garments.

And the research.  Oh, the research.  I'll throw up a post sometime next week with some of the resources I found on corsetry, specifically Regency corsetry.  I never would have expected the amount of structure you can get in a garment just by sewing some yarn into it!  I'll also post pictures once it's finished, although probably on Dottie and not me (I do have some modesty).  Stay tuned.


  1. What a crazy idea (crazy as in rad, neat, awesome!) I'll be following along excitedly! I'm also now following you on pinterest, you've got great taste!