June mini-projects

Some of the smaller projects I’ve done in the past month or so: two more Redthreaded supports, a plain 1865 summer dress, and a bonus pocket!


I had made Redthreaded’s Regency long stays before, and wanted to try my hand at the short version (mostly because I foresaw them being easier to get into on my own).


I made life harder for myself by flatlining a heavy acetate satin to my coutil (I didn’t want black stays, and white cotton wasn’t opaque enough). It refused to iron properly! They recommend boning the front, but that really wasn’t working for me, so I tried a small wooden busk. In the end, I’m not sure that ended up being any better…

I really have to hike these up with the straps to get the lift I need (on the long style, most of that effort went to the torso/waist instead, and didn’t weigh on my shoulders as much) and seeing as the separation isn’t happening – I think I need to give up on these and make a new pair of long stays. In total, I wouldn’t recommend the short version for anyone that has any sort of serious bust.


I also broke my speed record for corsets with an XL of the RT 1860s corset for an interpreter at work: just over five hours!


The only shortcuts I made here were 1) not serging most of it, because hey, it’s coutil; & 2) I didn’t add a waist tape (primarily because I didn’t have any white grosgrain on me….)

Screen Shot 2018-07-03 at 8.57.44 PM_censored

Mara, getting a nice bodice shape with her new corset…

The kit was very nice to use. While I’m usually able to buy all the materials slightly more cheaply on my own, this saved me the legwork and provided very high-quality stuff (like boning channel tape, which I don’t use normally because it’s more expensive). It doesn’t include bias tape or the waist tape, and I was annoyed to find that a couple of bones were missing (and a random 3″ one was included??), but I filled in the blanks with cable ties and it’ll be fine. Overall, would use again!





The 1865-70 dress… This wasn’t a big project; I needed something on the earlier end of the period we do at work, in something light and summery. 1865-70 work dress = simple coat sleeves and a pleated skirt, and I recycled my 1870 bodice pattern.


IMG_0016I only realized midway through it that linen was pretty rarely used for dresses at this point in time; it would have been more likely to see this pattern on a lightweight woollen.  The linen dresses I’m finding in my research do tend to be this tan color, but they’re almost always solid – and usually a walking dress, not an everyday work kind of thing. Whoops! I have found a couple references showing plaid linen homespun from the South, so it’s probably not the worst fabric I could have used…

This was somewhat cobbled together, in that I made a full finished skirt and then attached a bodice – and didn’t keep in mind what side my closure was on! So my skirt fastens over on the right side, when it really should fasten on the left to enable a proper dogleg closure. It’s still dogleg style (bodice fastens down the center and then the skirt overlaps it to the side, and everything is sewn permanently along the rest of the waist), but I had to add more hooks and eyes than I wanted to.

IMG_0014I finished this really quickly for my work event (cooking program outdoors, in lovely MD summer weather…) and to me, it shows. (Especially that waistband wow.) But it’s very comfortable, and accurate in shape, which was the most important thing. It’ll be nice to not have to wear the dresses made from heavy quilting cotton that we have at work!

(I would normally care more about my finishing touches and construction, but I’m working on two large projects on the moment that are taking my real effort. This was 100% just a quick thing that I had to throw together.)



Dress debuting in 105F….













Bonus pocket!

IMG_0020Talk about rushed construction…this and the plaid dress are projects that I wasn’t very motivated about to begin with, so they had just been laying around for a while, keeping my sewing room messy. I finished the dress with time to spare, so I finally whipped up this pocket. (And of course, when I finally get around to it, I can’t find the fabric for its twin….??)

A friend of mine was going through her late mother’s things and found an embroidered shirt; she gave it to me to use rather than see it thrown out. I cut around the embroidered sections – really, I was given messily cut out patches of embroidery and the lower halves of the sleeves, so I had to do a bit of piecing. #HA

IMG_0022Messy, but I’ve been needing a pocket so here we go! Found a bit of pink bias tape in my stash, and used 1/4″ linen tape for ties. I think it has the spirit of an 18th century pocket, if not the stitches…

My next post will be MUCH more interesting and process-heavy, so I’ll see you then!

2 thoughts on “June mini-projects

  1. Pingback: 1872 “Rainbow” Fancy Dress (CoCo ’18) | Sewing with Kenna

  2. Pingback: 1790s Transitional Stays (and gown!) | Sewing with Kenna

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