August 27, 2010

must move forward

I have double checked the box marked "corsets" for the 1650's bodice.

There were several other corsets and stays, but no partially finished bodice.

This means I packed it with something else, which probably seemed very wise at the time. I'm ready to get back to sewing, so I can either frantically search through everything again and not take another stitch until I find the bodice, or I can begin work on the next corset. This does mean I'll have an unfinished project hanging over my head, but I know I'll eventually find that bodice. I'll decide it's time to reassemble the Venetian chandelier and there the bodice will be, wrapped in tissue paper hiding beneath the top layer of bubble pack. Until then, onward.

August 18, 2010


Don't move. Wait, I don't really mean that. What I meant to say is, go to new places but sell everything you have because packing and unpacking is a hassle. No, that's not right either. Maybe the better statement is, take the leap. Move to a new place. Edit everything you have so you pack only what is important to you, but definitely and keep all your books, fabric, and corsets. And your grandfather's martini glasses even though you only use them once a year.

I've managed to take the boxes of books from this,

to this.

It's a start. I have not hit the box with the 1650's bodice in it yet. I better find it soon. Those eyelets won't stitch themselves.

August 11, 2010

conner prairie

Why, why, why didn't I bring a sketch book? Why?! I was able to visit the Conner Prairie Interactive History Park and take a look at some of the corsets and stays in the Conner Prairie Historic Clothing Collection. So cool! And because I didn't bring a sketch book to jot down notes I hope I can remember all that I learned.

You can learn a lot from looking at pictures, but there is nothing like seeing the real deal. A huge thanks to Jenny who arranged a hands on look at some of the corsets and stays in the collection, and to Lana, the collections manager, who took the time to pull the garments out and gave us gloves and a magnifying lamp so we could inspect everything closely. So fun!

Stay with Decorative Stitching. 1831. © 2009 Conner Prairie

These stays were just one of the treasures that were brought out to learn from. They were made for a girl by her mother, and the busk was made by her father. I also got to see this old time bust support.

Bosom Support. circa 1880. © 2009 Conner Prairie

The description reads, "kidney-like shaped pad, stuffing is man's facial hair covered w/linen." It felt crunchy when squeezed, not at all like the hair stuffed pin cushion I made.

It was wonderful to meet Jenny, and Conner Prairie was so cute. Maybe cute is not the word. You step into the 1800's when you enter the park. How about so educational? Or so entertaining. You get the idea. If you can't make it in person you can access some of the textile and clothing collection through IUPUI Digital Collection. Once you dive in there you could get lost for a while. Have fun!

August 4, 2010

the official summer corset photograph

Finally, a really nice image of the late 188o's summer corset.

The details come through really well in this shot. If you know where to look you can just make out where the major cleaning was needed. But don't look that hard.