FOUNDATIONS REVEALED COMPETITION ENTRY
Fire and Ash
Outline the story …
I have created a design for the character Sydney Carton from A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. Carton is a man who thinks himself a burden, and finds comfort in sadness. In a brief and uncharacteristically passionate display, he confesses his love to a woman who is kind but promised to another. In his confession he says - "I ... wish you to know with what a sudden mastery you kindled me, heap of ashes that I am, into fire- a fire, however, inseparable in its nature from myself, quickening nothing, lighting nothing, doing no service, idly burning away."
With this quote in mind, I created a stomacher decorated in a way to represent flames, and a pair of stays in black and white to represent the ashes. When I think of Sydney Carton, he is dispassionate and simple on the outside, with a flaming passion on the inside. Thus I chose a lining with a flame pattern to accompany the simple exterior.
I had a lot of ideas for what garment to make to represent Sydney Carton, and eventually settled on stays. A Tale of Two Cities takes place during the French Revolution, so even though my comfort zone is gathered petticoats, I though I would really stretch myself to make a garment that somewhat evokes the time period that story takes place in
Outline the construction…
Most of the materials used in these stays were fabric scraps purchased from Joann Fabrics. I used store bought bias tape for the binding, and cheap amazon eyelets. I bought really nice eyelets from an etsy seller, but ended up not being able to use the tool I had purchased, because it was the wrong size. I went with the eyelets that came with the setting tool instead, and it worked out great!
As for challenges, this project was a huge jump from the other items I have made. Everything in this project except sewing seams was a new skill for me. In my mockup, I had difficulty making straight boning channels. I did not mock up the binding, and to me, that was the hardest part of the entire project. If I could do this again I would mock up the binding. I ended up hand sewing the binding on the bottom, and machine sewing part of the top, and hand stitching the rest.
I used the Red Threaded 1780's Stays pattern which fit well, and had really clear and easy to understand directions. There were definitely steps I missed and had to back track on, but overall I found it a very friendly pattern.
There was lots of information available within Foundations Revealed regarding stays and their construction that I was able to read through, as well as questions asked by others in the facebook group that I was able to use for myself as well.