jabots, corselets, bustle and the flu

Thanks to everyone who commented on my last post about writing more on our homeschooling adventures. I think I shall share more about that as we go. On a side note, girl child, we've discovered, loves to make book recommendations so if anyone wants to know what my nine year old like to read, just ask.

But enough about that, I have some sewing to share!

This past weekend I had, ay, a costume assignment for Sweeney Todd and, bee, the flu. Oh, the flu was a wicked old thing. Both girl child and I were down for most of the time. I am only now starting to feel a bit better. When I wasn't laying in bed, weeping from the pain of my swollen glands (no, really, it was horrible), I lurched myself out to the kitchen table to sew. I would like to say it was a welcome distraction but, honestly, it was only my fear of disappointing people that forced me to finish the projects. I really couldn't let the kids go on stage without jabots, could I?

What, you now want to know, is a jabot? Unless you already know, in which case you are a clever one and can skip the rest of this informational text and go straight to the pictures. For the rest of us, a jabot, pronounced ja-bow (as near as I can make out), is that ruffly collar thingee that judges wear. They have been popular, in various forms, on and off throughout the last few centuries and even, perhaps, briefly for a time in the eighties with secretaries. For the costumes here, it serves as a period piece for the Victorian era setting.

It was exciting to design a jabot pattern because I got to do math for the curves (that was sarcasm, actually - my flu fevered brain short circuited once or twice).

Here is girl child wearing my tester jabot, now a part of her dress up wardrobe.  (See her smile through her fevered pain?  She's a trooper, she is.)

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Worked fairly well, at least for the play's purposes.  (Don't talk to me about the direction of the stripes - it's a tester, ok?)

And the jabots for the play.  In case you are wondering, the serged edges are a part of the deconstructed look of the costumes. 

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A larger jabot for another character.

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I made a couple of corselets also. 

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Both corselets are the same except one was about seven inches smaller than the other. I was given a pattern for the larger one but, to resize for the smaller, I wanted to make sure my pattern adjustments were going to work so I made a tester corselet for girl child.  I figured she could to add to her (extensive) dress up collection as well as the pink jabot.  But then I just went ahead and made the full bustle piece for girl child.  Out of brocade.  Because sewing for the theatre has made me lose almost all touch with reality.

I don't know why my nine year old would need a brocade bustle, but I think that it's cute as hell on her anyway. 

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Even in the smaller size, I had to cinch in the waist even more to fit girl child.  I made a secondary tie in the back to take in the extra fabric.  With a bit of luck, this one should fit her for a few years.

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Although, maybe not.  Look at how small her sequined princess dress is on her - I made that just last summer.  I feed them coffee and everything and they still keep growing!  

I would like to maybe make a dress that properly works with the bustle.  Something with big puffy sleeves, a high collar and lots of lace.  Girl child has been asking for a crinoline (that's normal, right?) so it may be a good excuse to get that particular accessory. 

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This youth theatre production of Sweeney Todd is going to be amazing.  I can't wait to see it in a week and a half.  If you are in my area, you should definitely get some tickets.  Below is a picture of some linen that I have been told is a hundred years old.  Today I turned it into some barber shop props.  It gives you an idea of the sort of detail that is being taken care with for this production.   

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I also have a story to share about how I fought my serger and won, but it'll have to wait until my heads clears a bit more and I finally shake off this flu.  Also, girl child has finally convinced me to cut into the red velvet we've been keeping for something special.  You will not be surprised at what she wants me to make.  Until next time, take your vitamins and make sure you wash your hands often!

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