Truly Victorian TV110

TV110

Today is bright, cold and wintery – the perfect day to catch up on some photography.   Get dressed, run outside, take photos and run back inside to the warmth.

This is my first attempt at Truly Victorian’s TV110 pattern.  I really liked the shaping of the pattern – it’s perfect for a modern figure which wants a bit of shaping but not tight-lacing. I adjusted the measurements a little, but I largely followed the pattern.

I completely fell in love with the lace I used around the top of the bust line.   I found it at Hobbysew’s Top Ryde store and it just screamed out needing to be bought.

Will definitely use this pattern again.

 

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Problems? Let me count them

 

black flocking corset

This one nearly killed me.   It was a pattern which I’d used successfully a number of times before, but I just make mistake after mistake on it.  Some were silly mistakes and some were ‘learning activities.’

The exterior fabric itself was all upcycled.   The black and grey flocked material on the four front panels was upcycled from a skirt I found at a goodwill store.    The black velvet on the other panels came from my favourite fabric upcycling place – The Fabric Cave.  I know I keep plugging this place, but if you’re in Sydney, it’s well worth a look.

Problem #1 (Learning experience).    My first choice for the plain black panels was black cotton.  I found the blackest cotton I could, but it just looked lame next to the dark black flocking on the front panels.    I then remembered that I had some black velvet in my stash so I decided to try it instead.   Start unpicking all the cotton from the coutil backing.

Problem #2 (faulty fabric).   Replaced the cotton with the velvet and have it looking fabulous with a good fit.  Then the velvet pile started coming loose and left the corset looking like it has mange.    Start unpicking it all again

Problem #3, 4, and 5 (learning experience).   I headed to the Fabric Cave for some replacement velvet and found the perfect stuff.   Put it all back together again and find the busk is no longer sitting straight.   Not just a little off, but way off.   And the lacing at the back is also off.

Thought that perhaps it was because I didn’t sew the panels all in the same direction, so unpick and re-sewed the panels.   No luck.   4. Try again.   Thought it was perhaps because of the velvet, so I unpicked the velvet from the coutil and re-sewed the coutil only.   No luck.    I’m really wanting to give up at this stage, but the technical part of my brain is determined to find cause and solution    5.  Try again.  Finally I compared the flocked panels at the front and found they weren’t sitting identically.   Turns out that because the length of the sides weren’t absolutely identical, I’d joined the panels on left and right unevenly.    Note to self: make sure all pattern pieces have absolutely matching seam lengths.

Problem 6.   Don’t iron velvet flocking.  Just don’t.   Part of the flocking now has a dull patch on it.   Thankfully it wasn’t destroyed, but still……

I’m pleased to say that I’ve worn this a few times and it was worth persevering.  I am finally happy with it.  I could have given up, but I think I would have stayed irritated at not knowing why it sat unevenly.

 

 

 

Black Brocade Underbust

Oh I had a lot of fun with this one.   The client is my daughter’s friend who has a wonderful curvy shape and was so enjoyable to work with.   If I could dedicate myself to dramatic curves I’d be very happy.

Technical aspects:  Black brocade basted onto coutil with a cotton lining.  I double boned each seam.    As the wearer is only 16, I wasn’t comfortable with giving her a large reduction so we just stuck with 2″ reduction.  Not that it matters because she has such a great natural hip spring.    I extended the top and bottom of the back for both dramatic effect and to prevent any over spill of flesh.

She is delighted and so am I.

black brocade1

black brodade rear

black brocade1 (2)

 

A corset for my teenager

Now that I’ve made a couple of corsets for myself, my daughter wanted one for herself.   And I was very happy to be learning how to work with a body type which is vastly different from my own.

This is the Laughing Moon Dore Corset pattern with adjustments for a better fit.    She didn’t want any waist reduction, and given that she’s only 16, I was very happy about this.

She is a small breasted lass and we found that the mock-up squashed her bust flat.  So I found a cheap push-up bra, fitted the corset over the bra, then cut the padding out of the bra and put it in the corset lining.   I also had to use way more boning than what the original pattern called for because of far too much wrinkling.   The fashion fabric was raw silk – which I’ve never worked with before – and despite my best efforts at ‘roll pinning’ I got some really awful wrinkles.    The bones did help it hugely, but I remain unsatisfied with a little wrinkling along the top of the bust line where the padding has ended.   I’d like to have another attempt at padding the bust of a corset and see if I can get a more natural line.   The ruffles along the top were made using the ruffler foot on my sewing machine.

This is probably the last time I will use the Dore corset pattern.  It’s been a fabulous pattern to learn on, but I do now prefer the look and fit of a corset which has more bones and panels.

Anyway, she loves it.   And her eye is far less critical of my work than I am.

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Black and Purple Underbust

I’ve had a break from corseting while playing around with quilts and learning to sew stretch fabrics, so it was lovely to return back to this and try out some things I haven’t done before.   I’m very keen to keep trying new patterns and techniques.

The pattern I used was the Ariadnes Thread Corsetry 24″ pattern.  I’m not a tight lacer and so had to resize this to fit my corseted 31.5″ waist.   This gives a 2″ reduction, so is a good size for a corset beginner.

The instructions for resizing the corset were from a great download published by The Corsetmaking Revolution called The New Corset Pattern Drafting Masterclass.    Resizing is all math, so I ended up making a spreadsheet to do the multiple calculations.  Soooo much easier than doing each calculation on a calculator.   I think I’ll make a spreadsheet for resizing each corset pattern I own now.

After the resizing, I was absolutely delighted to try on my toile and discover that it fitted beautifully.  Who knew it could be this easy?!

When I started putting it together in the final fabric, I tried a technique called “Roll Pinning” when sewing the fashion fabric to the strength layer.   The idea is that it will help stop wrinkles – and it worked a treat.   If you’ve never heard of it, here’s a tutorial

I also tried a new way of tipping the bones.  Instead of battling with the little metal caps, I used heat shrink tubing which an electrician friend sourced for me.   It shrinks down real quick with the heat gun from my scrapbooking stash.    Now only time and wearing will tell me if the tubing is good for the job.  I doubled the amount of boning this time too: two bones, side by side on each fabric join.    I didn’t make a modesty panel for it because I will be wearing it over black anyway.

Incredibly comfortable to wear, I can’t wait to give it an outing

black and purple underbustblack and purple rear view

Corset #2 – Under Bust

After having a very successful attempt at my first corset, I’ve been bursting to try another corset in a different style.    I’d been debating different styles, but ultimately I found inspiration in the beautiful work and stunning fabric use at Lovely Rat’s Corsetry.  

The choice of fashion fabric for the outer layer was relatively easy – I’d previously fallen in love with the peacock colours in a particular patchwork fabric at a local patchwork store.   At the time, I knew that I didn’t want to use it for a quilt, so instead stored the fabric in my memory for use in a future project.   And this was going to be it.

I decided on an under bust style of corset with boning channels on the outside.    The pattern was an adaptation of my previous Laughing Moon over bust corset.   It took two mock-ups to get the fitting right – the main issue being the length of the corset.

I think the most trying part of the corset was in stitching the seams of the boning channels so that they’d be discretely hidden ‘in the ditch’ on the underside of the corset.   If my memory serves me correctly, all but one channel had to be readjusted in parts.    But I don’t regret the work – my perfectionist self would not have been happy with anything less.

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Fishtail Skirt

A recent event had me a busily sewing a skirt which I could wear with my new corset.   Much deliberation with a friend had me finally decide to make something inspired by this long fishtail skirt

fishtail skirt inspiration

I started out with dress pattern Simplicity 1541 to give me the fit I required for the top of the skirt.    I made a calico mock up of the longer skirt and then extended each gore of the skirt with more fabric to add the floor length fishtail.    I also tapered in the original pattern substantially around my knees to create a figure hugging style.

1541

It all came along rather well until I realised that the amount I’d taken the skirt in around my knees meant that I couldn’t pull my skirt up to attend calls of nature.    I remedied this by widening the black layer a little and by ending the seam of the red top layer a couple of inches higher.   It could also be fixed by sewing with stretch fabrics in the first place.

The skirt is made of two layers, the hip area of each layer being identical.     This will fit together when the skirt is complete.

The top layer is shorter than the bottom one and not flared to the same degree.  I have split it up the back and added a satin bias binding around the bottom.   Hemming flared fabric is just too difficult for me to contemplate.

The bottom layer started out with the same cut as the top, but longer.    I then added large wedge shaped fabric pieces in the lower side seams of the skirt to add volume.    The layers of ruffled lace at the back have been sewn onto another large wedge and fitted into the back seam.    I also finished the lower edge of the bottom layer with ruffled lace.   The lace I chose was 5 1/2″ wide and I gathered it using a ruffler foot.  I worked using 3:1 ratio of gathering.   I’m so in love with my ruffler foot!  Makes gathering a breeze.

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Apologies for my dodgy drawings, but hopefully they make sense of how I described the construction of each layer.

Once the two layers were complete I basted them together and attached to a waistband.  I then inserted corset grommets for the lacing down the back.     There is no zip on the skirt – I have to lace myself in and out of the skirt.    The lacing is open at both the top and bottom.

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All in all, I’m very happy with the result.   And had a fabulous night out with the girls while wearing it.