7 Girls around my age met at my house this weekend for a Draping workshop. It's a technique for making gowns in the 18th century way... pinning pattern pieces and fabric lengths to the undergarments for a perfect fit. It is difficult to do yourself; although my friend, Chris, does it herself! I agreed to have the workshop here at my house, much more a privilege than a chore. This is Chris helping me with my shoulder pieces.
Cindy has done this before... and we had directions written out. Our 'expert' was unable to come at the last minute so we relied on our collective experience. It wasn't as difficult as we thought it would be! Here, Cindy and Chris are working together to pin, clip, fit and form the pattern pieces to my stays. I was trying to take pictures by myself like my students do for their profile pics... arms length! Many of these shots were way out! and caught just the edge of Cindy's fingers, lots of window, or corners of the room! Ha!
This is the 'armpit-cam'. You can see the repairs I've made in the sides of my stays. I've had this pair (Beth Gilgin's pattern) for about 10 years or more. A couple years ago I refurbished them completely, replacing canes, recovering the inside and re-doing the binding at top and bottom. I used a soft, yet strong, gray wool and stitched a band of linen just under the binding on the outside because the canes had worn holes or near-holes along the top. I love the close work of mending linen... it is a lovely fabric and wears so well that I know my efforts will last. Besides, I love my stays and wear them a lot in the summer or at events where I really enjoy myself and the people I'm with.
There was lots of laughter working on this and I loved spending the day with these women! We laughed and talked about other events, being women at our age (we were all around the same age), the men in our lives, the things we love, our kids, our jobs, challenges and lots of sewing projects.
I am waiting for the next piece here, in my shift, petticoats and stays! We are all comfortable in these clothes... and for us there is a love of this period of style... you figure it out. Oh, and you can see the spumanti on the porch... just chillin', waiting for Mimosas!
Here is the finished fitting of the pieces of the lining. I will take these pieces and make a linen lining for my gown, and then cut the gown pieces. I have some red rosey linen with tan sprigs through it. That will be my summer gown, I think. I've wanted something new and different for awhile. I've always wanted a daygown... so... watch for it!