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The 2020 Competition is now over.
The 2021 Theme will be chosen by our Members in April!

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 A Bas Bleu A Bas Bleu

A Bas Bleu A Bas Bleu

A Bas Bleu

 

A Bas Bleu

Jeanette Murray, North Carolina, U.S. (Jeanette's blog)

IG: JeanetteMurray

 

The Design

Renewal occurs in all of nature and no less than in the renewal and recreation and rebirth of our physical selves daily. To appreciate and protect all around us we have to first appreciate and protect ourselves. We feed and clothe ourselves and sleep 25 years out of a 75 year life to maintain this constant rebirth. But what do we feed our minds? The part of us that works even as we sleep: dreaming, solving problems, and performing the functions to keep us breathing and our heart beating. To renew our mind we have to read, imagine, and dream even when we are awake. "Reading refreshes as well as renews the mind." Lailah Gifty Akita; "Renewal requires opening yourself up to new ways of thinking and feeling." Deborah Day. Be Happy Now! Let's follow Mrs. Elizabeth Montague in 1750 and "Be a Bluestocking!"

 

The Construction

Historical costuming has a wealth of impressive resources in books and online. It can be almost overwhelming for a novice in a new costume era. With Simplicity's release of patterns for the 18th century and the books released by American Duchess, the designer of the patterns, I decided to follow that path to creating my first 18th century foundations. Although I have made four Victorian and Edwardian corsets, stays construction is a very different type of construction. Although I started the stays construction in June, I quickly became overwhelmed. Moving on I created the pocket and shift, practicing 18th century hand stitches, and then created the pocket hoops with reed, a new material for me. In December I finally pushed my way through completing the stays. Creating the boning from nylon cable ties and hand sewing all of the bias binding took hours to create and determination to complete. I wore it all for the first time for these photographs and, amazingly to me, it fits and feels completely comfortable. Am I allowed to say yay??!!!

 

Materials Used

Linen fabric destashed by a textile artist and purchased by me years ago and used for the pocket, shift, stays, and pocket hoops. Cotton twill tape used for the pocket, pocket hoops, and stays. Oval and flat reed for the pocket hoops. Silk ribbon for the pocket ribbon embroidery. Bias binding and matching ribbon for the stays. Nylon cable ties for the stays boning. Gifted toile linen for the stays outer layer. Metal grommets covered with embroidery thread. Linen for the night cap with ribbon bow.

 

What was it like to compete this year? What would you say to someone who is on the fence about entering next year?

The dream, the project, and the creation are what the Competition inspires. There is so much to gain from every part of participating, including overcoming the fears and tears!

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kitty mortensen
I love it, and you are right it's so important to feed your mind <3 the photos are stunning too
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anniebrahe
It looks so good! There is a beautiful fragility in the print of the fabric, but the construction is clearly sturdy and able to last
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sl_webb
And here I am in the front row, the fan of all things toile; needless to say I love this, right down to the red satin ribbon. Well done!
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Oh my goodness, this is gorgeous!! Absolutely love the sentiment, too....(I need to work a little more on feeding my mind!) Thank you for sharing this lovely creation.
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Judith Rauchfuss
Well done. The stays are perfect. I love the vintage look of the fabric as well.
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kirstymitchell
So many elements constructed so beautifully. It's lovely Jeanette
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bernadettebanner
Yes. You are most definitely allowed a very proud ‘yay’ for this! Extraordinary work, Jeanette!!
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Renee
The fabric choice for this is lovely. I appreciate that you took the time to embroider over the metal grommets, as it really adds to the historic feel of the stays.
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lyrisdesign
Beautifully done, I love it!
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cmurph03
I love the fabric selection and the hand sewn binding looks fantastic.
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Lenora
My late Grandpa used to tell me that, "The day you stop learning is the day you start dying." It follows, therefore, that learning is renewing! I had never thought of it in that way before. Thank you for sharing rolleyes
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Anni
This ist just stunning. The colors are really really fitting and beautiful!
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librarygirl
Definitely my favourite so far! We must be kindred spirits. Only 2 colours one being red. Toile de Jouy fabric (I have a red and cream wallpaper version in my bedroom) and the mannequin in the video is tonal AND is in an old library. And we haven't even started talking about how lovely the construction is. The delight of handsewing (those eyelets!) is almost as lovely to me as handling an old book. I am slightly green with envy over being able to handle the books in that library too. Beautiful.
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certainsundries
I love this, Jeanette! Well done!
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royalblack
Such a beautiful piece!
Well done, Jeanette!

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lcostigliolo
Nice work Jeanette, Well done!
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Yay indeed! Love the abstract interpretation of the theme - very clever. Oh and the corset is pretty good too! Great work.
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paulay71
You're definitely able to say Yay! Well done the whole piece lovely.
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marloes dadswell
What a delightful creation and setting. I love it!
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jema
Books and research! I feel renewed already :)
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kikkii
Yay indeed!! Beautiful work, well done :)
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Niki
Of course I LOVE it!! You are so talented.
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