FOUNDATIONS REVEALED COMPETITION ENTRY
Outline the story …
"There seem to be many Seamstresses in Ankh-Morpork, and yet bachelors or old widowers have difficulty when they try to find needlewomen who wield needles and threads to repair garments. Genuine ability with needle and thread and occasional mushroom is the province of Sandra Battye, who retains the most cordial relationship with the Guild while, strictly speaking, not practicing as a Seamstress in the accepted sense of the word.
The seamstresses in the Seamstresses' Guild are, in the politically-correct language of the modern Ankh-Morpork, ladies of negotiable affection, ladies whose company and loving attention, crudely put, could be hired for a night. A survey by the Guild of Merchants in the docks area of Ankh-Morpork found 987 women who gave their profession as 'seamstress' – and two needles (according to 'Men at Arms')."
My costume inspiration is from Terry Pratchett's Discworld series of books (Men at Arms). While they don't get much of a story line, I found the descriptions of the 'seamstresses' guild', in other words, the sex workers of the city, to be wonderfully positive and humorous and wanted to create some beautiful undergarments for a character from this world, set pre-industrialisation and with just a hint of magic.
Outline the construction…
I have created a shift, modified from some traditional designs to incorporate better gussets for arm movement (these ended up being modified in shape as the shift was too tight across the bust). I have modified the Red Threaded 18th century stays pattern to incorporate chamois binding and adjustable cotton twill tape straps. This was made out of an old pillowcase with matching sheet that my Dad put his foot through and was chucked under my parents' sink for scrap, some zip ties, a chois cloth from Asda and various scraps of cotton I had in my wardrobe.
The petticoat matches the stays (being from said bed sheet) and is an 18th century style with front and back closing ties and gaps to access pockets. Everything was hand sewn by myself, only moderately destroying my fingers when thimbles went missing. I love how the thriftiness of the material pairs up with the nature of the character and contrasts with the beautiful pale pink floral pattern.