I have severe costuming ADD which means I usually get bored with one project really fast and end up working on several things at the same time. So instead of being a good girl and working on the commission for 1930's tea dress, I have started messing with some regency long stays. As I mentioned in an earlier post I have been planning to make a corset from Jean Hunnisette's book Period Costume for Stage and Screen.
|Great book for any costumer!|
This lovely book has a whole host of graphed patterns you can scale up and use as a base pattern for yourself or when sewing for others.
The pattern I chose to try my hand at yesterday is a ca. 1805-1810 pair of corded long stays.
|Pretty Empire stays with cording. I probably won't cord them just do some quilting.|
For those unfamiliar with graphed patterns, they are in theory quite easy. the pattern pieces are printed on a grid in smaller scale in a book or other publication and can be enlarged to true size by using the squares of the grid for reference. the grid usually has a scale of 1 square to the inch or something similar, European publications will have 1 square to the centimeter....
|bad picture of the graphed pattern I scaled up.|
Which brings me to the first problem I ran into while trying to enlarge this pattern. It was in centimeters not inches, I did not realize this beforehand! Which of course is stupid of me, because i knew that Jean Hunnisette to be British and the Brits use the metric system! Duh! In my infinite wisdom I had assumed the patterns in this book to be on a 1 inch grid not a 1 centimeter grid . I had gone out and bought ghost line poster boards with a pre drawn one inch grid on them, I thought I was being so smart buying the poster board so I would not have to draw my own grid...
See I suck at drawing straight lines. When i try to draw my own grid it get's all crooked making it useless for drafting. So I figured if I bought paper with pre drawn 1 inch squares on it I would avoid this problem. HA!
I gathered all my drafting materials, and ready to tackle my task opened the book with confidence to discover that the scale is in metric! Crap!
First I tried to just convert the measurements to inches, but it turns out a one inch grid was just to big to correctly convert something from a 1 cm grid. Then I figured if I just drew it on the one inch grid it would work cause I was going to hve to enlarge it anyway since I'm bigger than the original pattern anyway. Yeah, that did not work so well either... I really only need it to be bigger width wise not length wise, and the pattern turned out way way to long length wise, more like a mini dress than a corset....
|the first attempt turned out a bit elongated...|
Then I tried to draw a metric grid, as mentioned above I suck at this and it turned out all crooked....
I had almost given up and decided to just break down and buy a commercially made pattern when I realized than my cousin who had visited from Germany 2 years ago left behind a blank notebook, with a 1 cm grid on all pages ( for some reason in Germany notebooks come with grids not lines.... no idea why but I'm so glad they do! ) Bingo!
|The German notebook that saved my butt!|
I went to my so called office ,which really is now princess Charlotte's play room but still holds the leftovers of a once organized home office space, and dug up the note book! I taped a bunch of the pages together and voila metric drafting paper!
Once I had the correct size grid to work scaling the pattern up was pretty easy.
|First draft of the corset pattern.|
It's all cut out now and waiting to be enlarged to my size. But knowing myself I will do something completely different costuming wise before coming back to that...