Making Foundation Garments (1780s, 1890s), Part 1 and Some Other Updates due to Bad Luck

This post was meant to be a little different. I lacked motivation the last weeks, but also time. When I finally found the time and energy to sew, my sewing machine decided to leave me far to early. I’ll have to try and get it repaired or to get a new one. So for now I don’t have that much to update you sewing wise. I started some fondation garments, aka my chemise, patterned my stays, tried my best with some embroidery (that I accidently might forget to insert here… it is not that good), bought some fabric and more. I hope you still enjoy, eventhough just half is about actual sewing. I wish you a lot of fun while reading and hope you’ll bear with me.

The white cotton I use for my chemise as well as the chiffon are from Buttinette. I also ordered the two grey fabrics there. The beautiful jaquard I used for my stays as well as the trims shown are from my local fabric store Modesa. Btw. If you are interested in how I finished both of these garments, you can find the second post here:

Now to the actual start that is not that actual anymore:

Starting with my Chemise

In this and the following posts I will discuss making two sets of foundation garments, one for the 1780s and one for the 1890s. Since I have planned two projects for each decade, I thought it might be best to sew these two sets before starting on the actual dresses. Well, at least, that was the plan.

I started with an 1890s chemise using a white lightweight cotton fabric, some lightblue lace and lightblue chiffon. Patterning was both, easy and challenging. I am still not sure if I like it or not. It works for its purpose, but it is not the nicest so far.

I cut out the back and front piece and sewed them together with french seams to hide the raw edges. Than I started making the ruffels. I cut a 12 cm wide stripe from chiffon, that is twice as long as the hem. I sewed two sides together, turned the whole thing over to the right side (which was a pain in the neck) and started gathering it.


Off topic (at this time, my machine was still working. So you can blame me for the interruption with unnecessary details): In the last two weeks I switched my bedroom and my office. My sewing- and bedroom now is in the smaller room, but like this I can get the most out of the space I have.  I’m really happy with the decision. I still sew outside on my dining table whenever I need my machine, but for hand sewing, patterning etc. I have a nicer place now.  Here is what my sewing room (or sewing edge) looks like:

And I finally bought a mini tripod for my iPhone. The era of shaky selfies is over now 👻. I really began to enjoy photography and I want to improve (and I have a lot to learn…). The tripod  is a small step, I know, but I’m not going to miss my arm situations or taping my iphone to my shelfs. I’d love to invest in a camera but for now my iPhone has to do the job. Studies first, expensive equipment second 🤗 (05.06.2017: A little Update here -It is already broken… Maybe expensive isn’t that bad at alk… Bad luck strikes :P)

One last thing before going back to sewing. I bought this beautiful mint and dustyrose jaquard from my local store… The quality is outstanding but even half the price, it was still 38 swiss francs per meter. I’d really love to have enough of it to combine it with either mint or dustyrose fabric for something from the 18th century. But well, as it was so expensive I bought half a meter and I hope that it will be enough for making stays and an 1890s corset.

Patterning a Pair of Stays

Back to sewing or rather patterning my stays since I really want to work with this fabric. I’ll go on with the chemise later I’m not really happy with it’s skirt. Since I love the fabric that much, I’ll for sure make a mockup for the stays first. The book I used as a reference is from Mandy Barrington (,Stays & Corsets’). I did not follow her instructions but just its illustrations are quite helpful already. I also used Nora Waugh’s ,Corsets and Crinolines’.

I cut my pattern out from some leftover fabric and the pattern works quite well, only a few alterations before I start to sew the mockup which will for sure have to be altered a bit as well. But well, before being able to finish it, my machine said goodbye.

Back to the Chemise

I went back to my chemise:

Off topic: I have to figure out the lighting situation in my new room :). #nopro

Since I had no machine, I started to fix the issues with my chemise. I added four darts, two in the front and two in the back.

Random Pictures of my Medieval Inspired Fantasy Set (in Bad Lighting, of Course)

I also finally took some pictures of me wearing my fantasy inspired costume. #noproatall #nomodel

I like shooting with the window behind 😅… But the editing is difficult… I still love, how the photos turned out.

I never smile… Just noticed… Next time I’ll ask my boyfriend again, he gave good instructions.

Fabric Time!

The last things left I can write about now are the new fabrics that I bought and my plans for it.

The first fabric I purchased is a warm grey whipcord. I like the stiffness of it and I will make an automn coat (if I cannot use it  together with my second purchase. If I can it will be turned into an 1890s street costume. Still on the fence). Maybe it will be enough for both, I just want some accents for my street costume… I purchased 3 meters.

Here is a close up of it. I adore the texture, it will give the garments some character.

This is the second fabric and it is also nice and stiff and drapes beautifully. I decided to buy striped fabric because I’d love to work with different angles and create a unique pattern with it.

A close up from this cotton that I bought 6 meters of to close the post.

I unfortunately have to wait for my machine to either be repaired or to get a new one to be able to finish my foundation garments :). I know, this post was all over the place, I’m really sorry. But I would like to get back into schedule, so I thought, I’d post it anyway. Thanks a lot for reading and have a good time.

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