Doňa Ramira

a Spanish noble lady - in her undergarments, for now
(cca 1660)

Yes, people, I decided to rob Velazquez, Carreňo de  Miranda and the movie Follie des grandeurs

Undergarments is very important - they help to create thes hape of the costume. So I began here....  In days of old as undergarments were considered chemise, stays (corset), petticoat(s), hooped petticoat (called farthingale, crinoline, paniers, verdugado, tontillo, guardainfante -  depends where and when) and stockings

The truth is, I haven't clue, how the Spanish hoopskirt  of 17th century looked - and I researched quite thoroughly! (A Spanish prudery, perhaps? :-)But the guardainfante was the "grandma" of rococo paniers, so I borrowed the  way of construction there.
The undergarments were made for  a regular Barbie doll, not for the modern "belly button" type.

The stays are partially machine sewn, one piece + lining, reinforced with stripes of a thin plastic. The upper part, including the shoulder straps is trimmed with a bias stripe. They are laced back, the shoulder straps are attached at front with small hooks and  thread eyes.

How to make stays for Barbie doll:
you need  a thin, but strong, non-fraying fabric ( a cotton muslin or  strong batiste) ca 50 x 20 cm, a piece of thin plastic sheet, bias cut stripe (50 cm, silk pongee here) and fabric glue. FrayCheck helps magnificently, but is not necessary.

  • Draw the pattern to the fabric, and stitch the lines by hand with thread of different colour, so you can see the shape of the corset on both sides of the fabric.
  • Sew even number of a rectangular shaped small "sacks" (12 pcs here) turn them to their right side, iron it.  Then glue the seam allowances of the sacks to the seam allowances of the RIGHT bottom side of the corset, so the bottoms of the sacks head to inside of the corset. 
  • When the glue is dry, put the corset piece right side to right side on the lining fabric. Sew  the back  and bottom edges. cut the seam allowances to ca 3-4 mm, clip where it is necessary, and turn to the right side. Iron it. 
  • Quilt the tunnels for the "boning" - by hand or by machine, depends on you. Into the tunnels insert stripes, cut  of the plastic sheet. the stripes should be 1-2 mm shorter than the tunnels. Sew together both  layers of fabric on upper edge, cca 1-1,5 mm under the  pattern line. Cut out the seam allowance completely, secure the edges  against fraying with FrayCheck or textile glue, and trim the edge with bias cut stripe.
  • On  each end of the shoulder straps  make a thread eye, and to  wrong side of  each "corner"  sew a small metal hook.

And here are Elizabethan stays  and farthingale for a 16" Tonner doll, mostly machine sewn.


Both corsets
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©molendrix 2004