Posts Tagged ‘shift’

I can’t believe I forgot to blog about this when I first saw it – clearly I had a lobotmy that week – so here it is now and my gushing about how much I love it:

Yep, I said it – I don’t mean her (nothing against Lily Cole, it’s just not her I’m in love with), I mean her costume in this scene of The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, specifically the pair of stays she is wearing.  Annoyingly, there are very few pictures around of the outfit:

Really, these pictures do the stays no justice – they’ve got this fabulous flowery/fruity thing going on and would make a great fae/goddess/woodland spirit type costume, or go for grapes and get ready for Bacchanalia!

Either way, I love the stays and want them.  I think I’m going to have to buy the DVD and get some screen captures.  The whole outfit is a nod to the 18th century, with that hair and the shift and the pantaloons she’s wearing could either be a Victorian lady’s bloomers or a 17th or 18th century gent’s breeches fancified.

If you haven’t seen the film, do have a looksee: it’s a lot of fun and if you don’t enjoy it, then you at least get to see these stays as they’re right at the beginning!

And yes, it says ‘part I’ up there – I think I’m going to give some film costume love every once in a while, so look out for more as and when the whim strikes me!


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Shifty Progress

I’m getting excited – it’s nearly there… All the details are done, just gotta sew down the sides…

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The fabulous Clara of 18th Century Baby today shared her list of planned projects.  Strangely enough, I had spent the day at work thinking about how I felt the need for a list of what I’m planning to do and in what order, so I got around to sorting that out.

Lists are great – they make me happy.  Sad, but true!  I used to suffer from anxiety quite badly and organising what needs doing into a list helps me to get it out of my head and onto the page.  I heart lists.

And so, here is my list of projects, from the in-progress to the far-off dreams…

Near Future:

1. Shift.  In progress.
2. Halloween 2009 costume – Zombie Antoinette.  Pattern and fabric purchased and ready to go.  Consists of:

i.      Dress – need to make toile and then the real thing.
ii.      Fan – need to get materials (estimated cost = £1)
iii.      Shoe bows – ready to make.
iv.      Hair pouff – needs working out and making.
v.      Make-up – needs buying and experimenting to make the cut and sewing on the throat.

3. Butterick stays.  Pattern, boning and half the fabric purchased.  Need to buy lining and fashion fabric.
4. A pretty folding fan (or two, or three…).  (As a break from sewing)
5. Embroidered pockets.  Need to design a pretty pattern (perhaps based on my tattoo?)
6. Kimono.  Pattern and fabric purchased (some years ago!) and ready to go.

The next year or so…


Waterproof hooded jacket (thick wool?) – for modern wear.

Riding habit (polonaise-able?  With military-esque frog fastenings?) – for modern wear.


Blue Kyoto jacket – probably for modern wear.

A mini-tricorne (or two, or three…)

Red stripe jacket – probably for modern wear.


Chemise a la Reine – possibly for modern wear.

Ruffled mantelet (a la Madame Berg)

Stays with faux front lacing.  (Like these ones I posted the other day: Stays

Embroidered engageantes – (a la Fuchsia’s 18th Century Dress)

Special Occasions

Blue stripe polonaise

Madame de Pompadour

One Day…

Stripe zone gown (a la Ducreaux)

Couched waistcoat

Gainsborough hat

Piratical justaucorps

Awesome jacket/bodice (with removable sleeves?) inspired by this, but dependent upon finding gorgeous fabric:

18th Century Bodice

Alas, my fan-purchasing was foiled today by a few factors, but hopefully should be sorted tomorrow… I want to save the sketch for then, too, so I can post it all together!

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Things to Do…

  1. Print work for my Masters and hand in (huzzah!).
  2. Lunch with friends who had done the same.
  3. Finish shift.
  4. Start on Halloween costume.
  5. Go to job interview (double huzzah!).

I can’t wait to do 4, which unfortunately means I’m hurrying 3.  My sewing last night started to get quite wonky, and annoyingly this is one of the only bits of stitching which will be visible from the outside.  Note to self – don’t do handsewing when you’re

(a) Tired


(b) Watching comedy programmes.  (Laughter is not conducive to straight stitching!)

Oh well… At least it’s underwear and not outerwear!

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Neckline… endless… sigh…

Shift is looking slightly like a thread massacre… Glad it won’t be seen. It’s coming together, slowly…

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Hello my dears!  Another late night working on the shift (after essay-writing – hand-in on Friday!!  Eek!) – I’ve attached one sleeve to the body and the other one is gathered and partially attached.  I just need to finish attaching the other one and sew down the sides and they’ll be proper sleeves – my first ever!

I was quite pleased after pressing the seams of the one that is finished – it’s starting to actually look like an item of clothing – so I pinned it closed and tried it on:


Not too bad, right?  For my first attempt, anyway.  I’m wondering if it might be a little too tight around the armpit (despite careful measuring), but I won’t really know until it’s finished. If it is, nevermind, I’m sure I’ll end up making another one at some point (ahem – when I have my sewing machine!), and this one will do for now.

I also went out for a wander today and bought some heavy duty cable ties from a local hardware shop:

Cable ties

22 to be prescise!  They’re 9mm by 45cm, so I’m hoping I should be able to make one tie into two sections of boning for the shorter parts.  I’m also wondering whether it would work to use the tapered ends for the parts that go down into the tabs – they are still quite stiff and wide, and they’re already rounded off and uniform in shape… Any thoughts?

Tonight’s Viewing:

Plunket & Macleane – So fun and a lot more grown-up and gorey than I was anticipating.  I loved their take on the period.  It was also a real treat to see so many British actors I recognised – it felt like each scene I was saying “oh, he’s in such and such” or “isn’t she on thingy?”  And Alan Cumming was F A B.  Oh, and I liked Liv Tyler’s character – I like her feisty.

Persuasion (2007) – Meh!  I was trying to get the 1995 version after it was so heartily praised on the Historical Sewing Forum, but this was the only one I could find.  Goodness me – at times it was so bad I thought it was meant to be a comedy!  Most disappointed.

And a bit of TV to end the evening: Being Human, Episode 1 – I loved this brilliant take on the urban fantasy genre.  It’s about a werewolf, a vampire and a ghost who live together… yes, that sounds like one of those dodgy “An Englishman, an Irishman and a Scottish man all walk into a bar” jokes… But anyway, this is wonderful – there are plots and intrigue, but it’s also, as the title suggests, very human.  Each character has a struggle and emotional baggage.  (Oh, and if you need any more persuasion – the guy who plays the vampire is rather lush – and I could totally imagine him as some darkly handsome regency hero.  Cor!)  Highly recommended!

For now, however, bed time!

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