Pram Blanket

There’s a baby girl due shortly and my family are bursting with excitement.    I was looking for a simple idea for a newborn gift and decided on a pram blanket.   (Jadie, don’t look!)   This is likely to be the first of many baby gifts leaving my machine in the short term.

I knew the mum has decided that she wants to avoid pastel colours, so I went for the vibrant colours in this piece of fabric from the patchwork store.  The zebra print back is a velvety, soft, fleecy fabric which I just want to stroke.  Continuously.  Lime green binding lifts the edges and also compliments the zebra print.

It was all very simple really.   I layered the two prints back to back, some random safety pins in the centre and dressmaking pins held them together while I put the binding on.    I was wondering if I’d need to put some random stitches through the blanket to hold the layers in place, but it seems to be doing just fine without.

Hope she likes it

pram blanket

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.