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.