HSM ’15 Challenge #6: Out of your Comfort Zone


A few days belated, but definitely worth the wait!  I finished the sewing on my 1780 outfit about five minutes before I had to put it on this morning.  A few of the pieces aren’t 100% completely finished, but they’re wearable and they look great!  I had a lovely day at South Street Seaport, and totally geeked out about the Hermione the whole time like the huge nerd I am.  She was absolutely gorgeous and I am in love.

The Challenge: Out of your Comfort Zone

What the item is (and why it was out of your comfort zone): 1780 shift, stays, pocket, false rump, caraco, and cap.  I also decorated a pair of shoes.  Out of my comfort zone because I’ve worn a lot of 18th century clothes but never made any, plus a few materials I’ve never worked with before, plus HUGE time crunch.

Fabric: Shift – white handkerchief linen.  Stays – linen canvas, cotton ticking.  Pocket – linen canvas, cotton ticking.  False rump – linen canvas.  Petticoat – linen.  Caraco – Colonial Williamsburg cotton print, linen, cotton ticking.  Cap – super fine handkerchief linen.

Pattern: JP Ryan strapless stays and caraco, shift drafting instructions from Sharon Ann Burnston’s website.  Pocket, false rump, and petticoat drafted/draped by me.

Year: 1780

Notions: 1″ cotton twill tape, cane for stays boning, polyfill, pewter sleeve buttons.

How historically accurate is it?  There’s a good deal of machine sewing on it, so not completely, but as usual it looks pretty good!

Hours to complete: I worked on this outfit almost every weekday evening throughout the month of June.  Shoving the cane into the bone channels on the stays took about 20 hours on its own.  My hands still hurt.

First worn: Today, aboard the Hermione!

Total cost: I definitely lost track.  The three different linens were about $7 a yard, the CW cotton is $12 a yard I think (I’ve had it sitting around for about a year to make a caraco out of), the cotton ticking came out of my stash, I’ve had it for years.  I also ordered a bunch of accessories to complete this outfit (kerchiefs, stockings, etc) and supplies to decorate the shoes.  So I have no idea.

Yay!  Enjoy some gratuitous photos of the Hermione!


One thought on “HSM ’15 Challenge #6: Out of your Comfort Zone

  1. You did an amazing job hon! This is part of why I love doing projects that are out of my comfort zones from time to time. It’s a great way to learn and grown in your crafting. Good for you for taking this on and rocking it!


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