eyelet back

cunning-and-cool  asked:

*gives you 10 cents and a shoelace* tell me about corsets and widows wear

sure thing! those things all vary quite a bit depending on exact timeframe, but i’ll do my best to cover as much as i can. big disclaimer that i am not a historian! hopefully other people will jump on this post to help me out a bit.

corsets! corsets changed a lot over the course of the 19th century since the ideal figure and cut of dresses changed so frequently. in the regency era, the ideal figure was pretty columnar; they didn’t want too many curves. the natural waist was deemphasized, as the waistline was just below the bust. this led to regency corsets, in their more popular form, being soft, with minimal boning. many stopped soon below the bust, like the dresses:

a very comfortable era in fashion, which did not last very long. already by the late 1810s, waistlines were beginning to move downwards, and corsets followed suit:

here’s some from 1819. as you can see, there was still some diversity in shape and style, but they did extend at least to the natural waist. they served a few different purposes, and each one unique in which they would emphasize. in general, they would gently narrow and lengthen the waist, push up the bust, and improve posture. gussets did a fair bit of the work, showing off the parts you want shown off.

the big board you see up the middle of the one on the right is called a busk. these were generally made of either wood, baleen, bone, or sometimes even ivory. they were meant to separate the breasts and keep the posture set.

boning was usually made from baleen; reed was an older convention and slowly phasing out. steel boning wasn’t much of a thing until until the 1850s as the industrial revolution took its course. boning was pretty light for a while; gradually corsets came to have more boning.

the fabrics used for corsets at this time was almost always cotton, though i have seen at least one example where linen was used as a lining! multiple layers of the fabric would be sewn together to make the corset strong.

the lovely pattern you see is the cording! strong cords made of cotton or similar fabrics were sewn into the fabric to stiffen it a bit. here’s a really great image of someone’s modern recreation:


while early regency corsets laced in the front, as time passed, they came to be laced in the back. the eyelets could either be holes in the garment itself, as so:

or separate rings:

conveniently, both those past two examples are from the 1820s, so you can how slowly the ideal silhouette became more of an hourglass figure. the 1830s kept this pattern going, as corsets continued to narrow around the waist:

the waists weren’t nearly tight enough to suffocate you or anything like that, but they did show off your curves! note the shoulder straps, too – some were attached directly to the body of the corset, as in that white one, and some laced on, as in the brown one!

moving on to mourning clothing! widow’s weeds is the general term for widows’ clothing specifically. not weeds like plants; the term comes from “waed”, the old english word for garment.

this is a subject i know much much much much much less about, so this took a fair bit of research. customs tended to vary a lot between cultures, too, so ??? people who know more than i do please lend me a hand here

the main point is, there were specific rules you’d have to follow, depending upon the period and region. the essence of these was modesty: simple fabrics, less flashy color and ornamentation. to cheat on any of these specifications would send a very distinct message – possibly that the widow was promiscuous, vain, or didn’t really love her husband. the rules began pretty simply in the regency era, and grew more and more complex until the mid-victorian era, with the influence of queen victoria taking hold over england and spreading to france in the way popular fashions tend to do.

mourning was broken down into stages, the length of which varied.

the first period, called full morning, lasted a year and a day for widows (i’ve seen this figure mentioned for both regency and mid-victorian customs, so it appears fairly constant, though both of those sources were focused on england). the only color to be worn was black. fanciful ornamentation was to be minimized as much as possible, if not cut out entirely, and it should only be black. shiny fabric wasn’t allowed; all fabrics should be matte. crêpe was the fabric of choice, though matte silks like bombazine were also solid options. here are some examples:

^ evening dress from 1817

^ morning dress from 1818

^ another from 1819

^ 1820


^ 1830

^ these two from 1837 – a few years past out era, but you get the point.

the two stages past this varied, and honestly confuse me quite a bit. i’m not clear on the duration of these stages in the regency era, but by the mid-victorian era, it seems pretty clear that the second stage lasted one additional year, and the final lasted 6 months. even the textiles – one website that focused mostly on the mid-victorian said that shiny fabrics became okay in the second stage, but a blurb for one dress in the victoria & albert museum says the lord chamberlain decreed velvets & shiny silks only okay for the third stage sometime around the death of princess charlotte in 1817. regardless of period, subdued colors other than black, such as white, gray, or lavender were allowed in first as small adornments, then as the color of a full garment. so uh ???????? here are some pictures, anyway.

^ evening dress from 1819 – this is one of the few ones i’m sure is from the final stage

^ the victoria & albert museum confirms this as a final stage mourning dress from 1823-1825

^both from 1827

^ late 20s/early 30s


the range of jewelry in the later stages also expanded to include lockets, pins, or brooches with the hair of the deceased inside, like so:

all of these rules were incredibly unfortunate for anyone without a ton of money, since new clothes were expensive. most people chose to try and rework some of their old clothes into appropriate mourning attire, dyeing dresses black, sewing in black linings to outerwear, or draping bonnets in black crêpe. if you were too poor even for that, you’d have to resort to finding any small black accessory, or even scrap of fabric to add somehow to your outfit. that or follow marius’ route of just only leaving your house at night so your clothes all look black.

that’s the best i’ve got to say, so the floor is 100% open to others!

How I Made Isabela’s Jewelry

This is the first installment of my “Isabela Cosplay? How?!” series. I’m going to be breaking down the cosplay in the order of how I made it and this is sort of strategic on my part because in my opinion the two things that really set an Isabela cosplay apart from the others are the boots and the jewelry. I’m not trying to downplay all the other pieces it’s just these are the ones I personally took the most time to get right.

Let’s get this party started with the pictures I referred to most!

I got them from the Tumblr user thedosianimports who has just a ton of high res reference pictures for dragon age! I can’t stress how important these pictures were to me.

The first thing I do when working on any cosplay is determine what type of material would work best for this project. I originally intended on making all of this out of worbla, but due to the fact that it was Christmas time when I made this I was short on money. I ended up just using craft foam on these and I’m really glad I did.

The circles were the first part I worked on (earrings and chest piece). I started with a pattern out of paper and just kept trimming the circles down until they sat on my chest in a way I liked. 

There is absolutely no rhyme or reason the the “writing” around the antlers. It’s completely random because I got super frustrated trying to make each piece match. I drew that directly on the craft foam with pencil. I then went over all the designs with white 3D puffy paint. There are small holes in the craft foam where the wire that holds all the pieces together goes.

I followed the same steps for the earrings, except that the base wasn’t foam for those. I just used a pair of circle earrings I already owned. This part of the necklace is separate from the choker. I put this part on first with a small gold necklace chain.

The next part I worked on was the choker. I actually didn’t make a pattern for it. I just cut a general shape out of foam and repeatedly put it around my neck and trimmed it down.

Once I had the shape right I needed to add the lovely details. The top and bottom edges I added strips of foam so they were slightly raised. Under the top part are ball necklace chains and the bottom is a curb necklace chain. Those are just hot glued on. I used some of the left over ball chain to encase the blue bead I got for the middle piece. The rest of the raised detailing is 3D puffy paint.


 I hammered eyelets in the back after it was painted. I just lace it up with some leather cording. It’s not pretty but it gets the job done. (aww yisss sexy face in the mirror)

The sneaky snaaaakes~ are made out of tin foil and sculpey. I put on what I had of the necklace and molded the foil till it was the right shape. After that I rolled out the sculpey super thin, and wrapped it around the foil. The “neck” of the snake is two layers of sculpey, and the head is three. I also added little sculpey eyes. Then I just followed the directions for baking. After everything was painted I just hot glued the snakes directly onto the choker. I can only hope my snakes are phallic enough for the great captainallegra.

The labret piercing is literally a googly eye I spirit gummed to my face. I originally used a magnetic one, but that thing hurt like hell and I almost swallowed the magnet whenever I ate or drank. BAD MAGNET!

PAINTING!!! TIME! I used DecoArt Dazzling Metallics paint in the color Splendid Gold for absolutely everything. 

The weathering is just black acrylic paint brushed on with various sized paint brushes and wiped with a paper towel.

Here is the finished product.

I think that’s about it. If there is anything I forgot to mention or anyone has anymore questions feel free to throw them my way. Just in case anyone doesn’t think they are capable of doing this, it was my first time working with craft foam, sculpey, and 3D paint and I think it came out pretty great. I promise it’s easier than you think! If anyone uses any of my methods to make their Isabela Jewelry PLEASE SEND ME PICTURES! I wanna see your awesome work guys!!!!


Progress! I showed the fabrics for this project a few days ago, and now it is finally starting to take shape. 

The chiffon was poofing out in a very unattractive way so I stitched it in place with embroidery floss and really large/random stitches.  If I should have smocked the chiffon before attaching it to the base bodice…but I didn’t do that, and this was my solution. It looks messy up close but neat from a distance.

The bodice is made from cotton with chiffon and shantung overtop. I added a few bones to the waistline and hand sewed eyelets into the back. I also did a simple beading pattern across where the shantung and chiffon join.

Now I have to figure out the sleeves…and skirt…and headpiece. This project is really similar to things i’ve made before but i’m trying to switch up the materials and accessories so I have a feeling it will still be a challenge at times!


“Our Sulky Bat has flown off– whatever shall we do with this cage?”
In our photos you will see a pumpkin (sympathetic to surface tradition), an Exceptional Hat, a Pair of Neathglass Goggles, a Foxfire candle, a jar of Prisoner’s Honey, and a spoon with which to imbibe it.

Clayr wears the Respectable Grey Gown, a downgrade from her usual attire (the Parabola-Linen Frock, of course) but entirely appropriate for skulking in the fog/attacking hapless passers-by in dark alleys/clandestine meetings with Devils. She has accessorized it with a less-than-Shabby Opera Cloak in a modish shade of berry.

Anyse has also chosen her outfit carefully, in order to attract the maximum of amorous attention. Her Elegant Emerald Gown is both attractive and practical, for though “all greens are subdued by gas-light… This does rather well”. Her Neathglass Goggles light the way as she pursues dangerous criminals (like her wife Clayr) through the Flit. She typically prefers seduction over deduction, but reluctantly utilizes the latter upon occasion.


Lady Licorice made Clayr’s cloak and gown, patterning the bodice from an extant 18th century garment and self-drafting everything else. It was entirely hand stitched with two minor exceptions– even the 30 tiny eyelets in the back were embroidered by hand. The bodice is boned with artificial whalebone, and the cloak’s hood has steel hoop boning to help it keep its absurd shape.

Ace of Cake ( @peppermintmusique ) made Anyse’s outfit using Simplicity 2172. The jacket and skirt are made of taffeta, with the jacket lined in contrasting black taffeta. It was Ace’s first time completing a garment entirely by herself. It has large pockets, tailored seams, and tiny lacing loops in the back.

The blouse was purchased.


I just realized that I haven’t posted any progress pictures of this costume, even though I finished it last week!

I decided to make a bodice that matches the escoffin I made. It’ll be paired with the skirt portion of a kirtle I made last year but never finished. The fabrics are very similar in color so it should work out well!

This is the mostly finished bodice. I got the piping/ruffle/bias tape sewn onto the collar, and eyelets embroidered up the back. The next step is attaching the sleeves and lining!

The eyelets on the back of my kirtle are done! I wasn’t looking forward to this part but it went really well. I watched The Almighty Johnsons on netflix while sewing them and that kept me amused throughout the process.

 Took five hours or so? Something like that. I don’t seem to be getting faster at them. They probably aren’t as even as they should be, but they are done and i’m happy with them!

I designed this 9 eyelet boot back in 1990… I was wondering if I would wear it tonight despite the horrible weather! What do you think about it? BTW, I wish all my followers a merry Xmas and a happy new year. Thank you all for your support. With all my love, MG

Chase your dreams! We love this look that one of our Merchandising Interns, Kelsey B. styled! Our Eyelet Back Crew is available at Aerie.com and in your local Aerie store. Check out more cute #OOTD looks on the Aerie blog at blog.ae.com/aerie! #AerieREAL #Fashion #Style (at AEO Headquarters)

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