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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A Teenage Boy Quilt.

This was my first quilt.   It was 2011 and my son had well and truly grown out of the beautiful appliqued alphabet quilt made for him by my mother.   I explained to my son that I was making a ‘teenage boy’ quilt and the name stuck.   “A Teenage Boy Quilt” is now it’s official name.

He had a very strong love for Star Wars at the time, so his room had lots of Star Wars merchandise around.  It was painted red because he wanted it to look like the lava planet Mustafar.   I wondered if the red walls would send him a bit crazy, but he’s been fine.

Anyway, the red, black and white was chosen because a) it would compliment the Star Wars decoration and b) I love working with vibrant colours.   The quilt is finished with ‘in the ditch’ quilting and has a very soft and light batting.    He loves it.

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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.


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.



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.