Underpinnings, Early-Mid 18th Century

This was my first attempt at making any sort of 18c underpinnings. What a way to start, with making fully boned stays! But the JP Ryan and Kannik's Korner patterns I used for these garments were really good, and I was able to get through it, and learned a great deal. Details of each item can be seen below.
Dress Diary
I'm really quite glad I chose this particular pattern as it went very well and worked out the first try. I used a fabric called "duck" for the top layer as well as the middle or interfacing layer. In all the on-seam channels, I have used "whitebone" (metal dipped in plastic) in 1/4" width, and for all the other casings I used 1" wide flat reed (purchased from Noresta) which I cut, split, trimmed, and sanded to the perfect fit for each individual channel. (Yes, I'm insane. And yes, I will probably just buy it in 1/4" width the next time around!) I made the eyelets using silk buttonhole twist that I ordered online from Ribbonsmyth. I spent a lot of time working on this in front of my favorite costume movies! : )
This pattern was easy and went together well on the first try. It is very suitable for a beginner. The pattern calls for "a bundle of #7 or #8 round reed, available at craft or hobby shops." I could not seem to find a craft/hobby shop in my area that carried this item, or knew where I could find it. I finally emailed JP Ryan asking exactly what it is and if there is somewhere online one can purchase it. I received a wonderful informative email in return with different ideas, and suggesting NorEsta, where I was able to purchase my bundle of #7 round reed, and from then on this project was a snap.

The one thing I did not do was use the weights to hold the hoops down, and as a result my hoops tend to float too high, unless they are filled with stuff. I also wanted to add that simply wearing these around the house a few times during fittings resulted in one of the reeds snapping. Next time I might try a stronger reed, or perhaps use more than just three rows, to make the reeds a bit more sturdy.
I made my shift from Kannik's Korner #6102. This is a fantastic pattern but the neckline is much too high for any 18c clothing, so I will be making it again, but cutting the neckline lower. This pattern really taught me everything there is to know about flat felled seams and putting in gussets.
This page © 2010 by Jennifer E. Lithgow
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