MA Week 4: Corsetry

Costume Construction, RWCMD

I’ll be honest, I was a bit nervous going into corsetry week. Our tutor, Jill Salen, has literally written the book on corsets and as I’d made two before, I feared she (and the rest of the class) were expecting great things.

Fortunately for me, having made corsets before meant I got to choose a corset from another period, so I chose to remake these linen jumps from 1790:

Linen jumps, c. 1790, Hereford Museum

Linen jumps, c. 1790, Hereford Museum

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Absolutely Frilling (& Pants-tastic)

Costume Construction, RWCMD

The shirt is FINISHED! The final button-loop got sewn on Friday afternoon, halfway through making up a pair of ethnic trousers (we’ll get to those in a minute). Day two and three of shirt construction went much smoother than day one – getting over my cold and having slept better probably had a lot to do with it. And you know what? The gussets really weren’t so bad the second time round. Behold!

Eureka! My costumes in the news!

Costume Construction, Eureka! The National Children's Museum, Realised Design

I’ve been terribly neglectful of my two-year-old project, but I figure it’s only worth posting when I’ve got something worthy of posting, if you know what I mean. And since I haven’t been sewing lately (bad Rebecca), here’s the next best thing: two of my Ancient Greeks costumes in the Yorkshire Post!Eureka! Yorkshire Post

Going Greek! Part 2: Himations & Tunics

Costume Construction, Costume History, Eureka! The National Children's Museum, Fashion History, Realised Design

Yassou! Kalimera! (That’s out of our Ancient Greek script, and they mean “hello!” and “good morning!” in Greek.) Welcome to Part 2 of the Greeks, in which we explore ancient menswear.

First, the tunic! Or chitoniskos if you want to be technical about it. A chitoniskos is basically a big Ancient Greek tee shirt, as seen on vase paintings like this:

Going Greek! Part 1: Hellenic Chitons

Costume Construction, Costume History, Eureka! The National Children's Museum, Fashion History, Realised Design

Good news guys! I recently got the opportunity to design and make the costumes for Eureka!’s latest school workshop, The Ancient Greeks. Woohoo!

In the past Eureka! has sourced all of its costumes for special events and workshops from a fancy dress company called Smiffys, so I was chuffed to be asked to take on the project.

I found this handy website, essentially a manual on ancient Greek costume construction and draping. It all looked so simple, and I thought it’d be a breeze. That is, until I realized just exactly¬†how much fabric you need to make a 2m x4m rectangle for an Ionic peplos (or Hellenic chiton, as I prefer to call it).