Thursday, May 26, 2016

White Shift for Historical Costumes

I am still working on rebuilding my sewing muscles. It's hard because I have neck and hand issues and sewing is pretty hard on both. I have to limit myself to 30 minute sessions which is pretty frustrating because of how slow projects progress.

BUT I did finish something new this week!

I have been wanting to construct a proper set of undergarments for some historical costumes. Primarily I want to do dresses from the 1500's and 1700's, so I'm creating undergarments that will work for both periods. They're not exactly the same, (I'll need different hoopskirts), but I am fairly certain I can make the same shift and set of stays work for both. When we moved, I had a sheer curtain I no longer needed that I could then utilize for a shift, so I put that project into action!

 It's not precisely historically accurate - I wanted functional and pretty. Hand embroidery was out, but I have my embroidery machine so I could still do some sweet details.

The sheer fabric frayed like crazy, so there were a lot of french seams.

Also, for once my rolled hem foot actually worked! It's really best on straight seams, and the light fabric worked well.

The most difficult part of the shift was gauging the neckline. I didn't want it to show under the overdresses, and the Tudor period had wide necklines so that meant I needed to leave the shift neckline pretty large. I have very narrow shoulders so the shift probably is going to need to be pinned in place or it's going to slip down. Bleh.

It looks how I wanted it to, which is quite gratifying! However, the lace neckline is a little harsh on my delicate fibro-sensitive skin, so ultimately I may have to nix it - or insert a soft underborder. (which, if I made it extend beyond the shift, might help solve the large neckline issue. We'll see.

It took me about 5 separate days of short sewing sessions, but I did finish it (for now) which feels quite good!

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