Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

Hello my dears!

Yes, I'm still alive ;)
As I had told you before my new job has taken up most of my time for the last (nearly) couple of months. And will probably do for another month or so.
But all is well so far (besides suffering from the last twitches of a nasty cold) and my new coworkers are really nice. So the 12-14-hour-days are not too bad *lol*
We're off for the holidays and will return to work on Tuesday.
So I wish you all a merry merry Christmas as well. I hope you can spend it with your loved ones, just as I can, and have a great time.

On another note I surprisingly found out that my Foundations Revealed article was published early. What a nice present :)
If you're a member, you can read it here
If you're not a member yet, the Christmas offers are still available. Save up to half of the price.

Have a great time and see ya soon

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Victorian Corsets

Hello again and Happy Halloween!

I know it's been 6 weeks already since my last post, but a lot has happened in my life, so I didn't get to do much. In the last weeks I have mostly been working on the corset for my Foundations Revealed article which is scheduled for January.

On Tuesday I will start in my new job and it won't leave me much time to sew outside of work. So there probably won't be any new stuff here for some time.
But before I go on my blog-hiatus, I wanted to show you the two 1880s Semibust Corsets I made some time ago. For more details please see my previous posts about them. As both corsets are made of the same pattern you can very well note how the kind of boning and construction can affect the fit and shape.

First we've got the single layer corset with external bone casings and flat steels throughout:
I was positively surprised how the cording helped holding the flatsteel in shape at the bust. Other than that, the bones keep a quite smooth line in the waist. The corset was not broken in when the pictures were taken. It would probably mold better to the shape with longer wear. Yet it felt quite comfortable already.

Then we've got the double layer corset with internal bone casings and flatsteels at the central front and back and spiral steels through the rest.
You can see that the spiral steels are molding better to the body, giving me a nice hourglass shape. Yet at the bust the bones seem to stay straighter than the flatsteels in the other corset. Again this corset is comfortable as well.

I can't really decide which one I like better. Both styles have their advantages and disadvantages. I haven't tested them over a longer wearing time, so I can't tell which one is more comfortable in the end.

Which style do you like better?

Tell me what you think and how you have been.
I hope to see you soon. Take care.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

How to get a big girl in shape...

So here it is, the promised post.
It'll be mainly a "show-off" post. So beware ^^

Three weekends ago my dear friend Claudi was visiting and we took the opportunity to take a few pictures of the black and red silk corset I had made for her last year.
So without much more ado, here are the pics:

The flat steel bones in this corset are really rigid, so it's hard to completely break the corset in. Still I'm quite happy with the overall shape.

And while her being here I took the opportunity to photograph another plussize corset I made to her measurements. That has been the "secret" corset I had mentioned in one of my previous posts. I couldn't tell more about it at that point, as I wanted it to be a surprise for her.

When I made my pink-black underbust corset, she had told me that she really liked the design. So I made her a plussize version of it.

 I'm quite happy with the overall shape, it fit her without a previous fitting. The only thing I don't like that I again got those nasty side front wrinkles. Even though I added a bone within the big front side space. I need to find out how to alter the pattern to get this right.
But it was really fun to play with all the bone casings on the bigger surface. This is working really well for plus sizes. Please excuse the muffin top here, but this is due to the short back height. I don't think I could really avoid it. It already occures on small sizes.

Okay, so if you want any further information on the corsets or have some advice to the problems mentioned, feel free to comment. Also critique is always very welcome.

Thanks for watching, see ya soon...

I might be biased a bit...

Hi again!

Argh, time flies too fast, way too fast. Is it already almost a month since my last post? Not good, so not good.
At the rate the time flies by in a couple weeks we'll have Christmas *lol*

Anyway, I'm here to show you some corset progress.

Basically I only cut, filed and tipped the bones, put them in the in the channels, closed the top and bottom and attached the bias. It is again handfinished on the inside, which was really hard to do, as the needle was pretty difficult to push through the cotton twill. This resulted in quite some finger ouch, so I had to postpone the continuation of the embroidery of the underbust for a bit. I want to take it up again in the next days.

So first the double layer corset:
This has a mix of flat steels (at the center front and back) and spiral steels (throughout the rest), both 7mm wide. It also lacks a front modesty panel for a change. It was easier to cut this way.

Second the single layer corset:
This has 7mm flat steel boning throughout. I was really surprised that it curves so well over the bust already. I hope it will adjust to the hips just as well. Here we have my standard front modesty panel again and on the inside you can see the waisttape.

As you can see, the bottom area is more pressed flat due to the flat steels.
Also you can see that the color of the bias binding is very close to the shade of the cotton twill. I guess this time I got the dyeing better with only using one bag of black tea and leaving the bias in for a few seconds. I hope dyeing the lace will work just like that. I have to wait for my corsetry supply order though, as I only have a too short piece of white lace left. Also I still need to punch in the grommets.

But I also want to show you just how light the single layer corset is.
I really like how the boning and cording  and even the waisttape sticks out against the light.

But I did do some embroidery already, here is the current state:
If you take a close look, you'll see the desired design of the embroidery. The round shapes will later hold ribbon embroidered roses (If it'll work out as I want to).

The boning for this corset is also finished as is the colour of the biastape, that will be off white at the top and red at the bottom.

Okay, that's it so far. I will make another post later today. So stay tuned.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Corset ³

Hello again!

So here it is, the promised corsetry post.

You might remember that in my post about the victorian underwear I mentioned to make more versions of the 1880s corset. One version being single layer with external cording and boning channels, the other being a double layer with both elements internal.
So a few weeks ago I started on them, plus another sample from my underbust pattern.
As they would be all made of the same off white coloured cotton twill, I cut them all together on one weekend.
While also working on renewing my offline portfolio I started sewing the pieces the other weekend. It took me the whole saturday afternoon and evening to get the external cording done for the single layer corset. I also sewed the boning channels, but that was not the time consuming part.
Yet I must say a big thank you to Jo from bridges on the body. Her awesome WIP of the 1880s corset probably saved me twice this time of trial and error as well as headaches.
So thanks a lot, Jo!
I basically stuck to her method by using a double, folded piece to place the first cord in and the proceed from there.

With a zipper foot sew next to the cord and keep the fabric tight to it. Repeat 7 more times to get 8 Cords in total. Then cut the lower part off and fold the other under to place the last cord in this fold.

Do this again on the remaining three corded panels.

The boning channels sewn to tubes.

The next day I pressed the channels and started joining the pieces. I did the corded panels first to get over with them *lol*
The remaining panels followed right after (it's amazing how quick the pieces of a single layer corset with 10 panels is sewn together^^). Note that the seam allowances go to the "fashion" side.
Then the seams were pressed, topstitched and the seam allowances graded.

Next the boning channels were put over the seams. By Sunday evening I had all the casings on. Also I didn't baste them, but only pinned them in place. Worked fairly well.
Monday night after work I put the busk in and sewed the front and back facings in place.
Unfortunately my new machine seems to have a problem with the thread tension everytime when I do the busk. Changing the needle and upper thread tension didn't help much. I guess for corsetry I will go back to my good old workhorse machine ^^. And only use this for decoration and maybe topstitching, as is is really neat here.
However this was the result:
These pictures were taken on Wednesday morning. In the meantime I had already started joining the panels for the underbust corset, the lining had been done Tuesday night, including topstitching, the shell was done Wednesday morning.

On Thursday night I attached the boning channel tape to the lining, so this corset was ready for boning and painting. For this I had already done a little colour tester.
It turned out a bit too pinkish for my liking, so I decided to get another orangey-er shade of red and mix them.

Last Saturday I started with the double layer corset. Again I did the cording first.
For this sample I decided to sew the channels first and then pull the cord through it.
This worked way faster than the external cording, as I could mark the channel lines on the backing piece and just follow them. (Still this doesn't mean that I didn't have to unpick a few rows and redo them ;P)
Although the corded effect isn't as strong as with the external piece it's still better than I had expected.
As you can see I cut off the seam allowances of the cording back pieces. I took this advice from Jo again to reduce bulk at the seams. The best idea ever. Even with just the backing layer and no cord it would have been too thick at the seams. So I only had one layer per panel and was able to joing the pieces pretty normal.

By Saturday night I had all four halves of the corset assembled.

The seams were pressed Sunday morning, the lining layer topstiched and the waistband attached. Then the busk was put in (again with tension issues, but this time I remembered to baste around the busk right away so unpicking and redoing the seam was no big problem), the back seam turned and the boning channels sewn.
So Sunday early evening I had the third corset ready for boning.
Those cups look huge for my small form *lol*
Tuesday morning (you might have noticed that we arrived in this week already ^^) I got my dolly a nice plastic dress and pinned the underbust shell on it. On Friday I had gotten the other shade of red, so I could start painting.
The first layer of red still wet.
In the evening I put on another layer.
I let it dry thoroughly and took it off this morning (well it actually was already yesterday, but we count it today as I haven't slept yet^^). Laying it flat the front has a nice colour effect from the wrinkles it had on the dolly.
Cool, huh?
I'm not sure about the final design for the embroidery. I need to try a few samples first anyway as I haven't done ribbon embroidery before.
Over the course of the last weekend and Monday I also finished my portfolio and only made a cover for the album yesterday and this morning (it had been too late yesterday to get out my loud serger, so I sewed it today).
Oh and I also *finally* started stitching together the mockup for the 1880s day bodice *yay* A quick throw over to check the very raw general fit looked quite well. At least it's not toooo big or small. ;)

Okay, that's it. Thanks for reading.
Comments, critique and advice are as always very welcome.
Goodnight, see you soon