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Aquamarine Corset

I finished my aquamarine corset!
Aquamarine CorsetAquamarine Corset
The fashion fabric layer is aquamarine dupioni from Silk Baron interfaced with fusible tricot. Strength layer is one layer of black English coutil from King and Company, and it's lined with purple couture linen from FabricMart. I used the King and Company Celine underbust pattern. It's supported by 24 quarter-inch spiral steels, 4 regular 1/4" flat steels (sandwiching the grommet panels) and two of those extra-thick flat steels that corsetmaking.com sells as 1/4" but are actually 3/8". I put the extra-thick ones in the side-back seams to improve the back support. I boned all of the seams as usual, and used black tubular bone casings between seams for the additional bones.
Aquamarine Corset Front Embellishment Close-Up.Aquamarine Corset Front Embellishment Close-Up.
I embellished it with two different types of lace; a fuchsia stretch lace and a black lace netting "shadowing" the front lace embellishment. The fuchsia lace was a bad choice, it wanted to pull and snag and unravel at every chance. I ended up applying small bits of fusible web and liquid thread with the a flat hotfix tip to stabilize the lace. Next time I'm definitely going to be much more careful about selecting the lace. I like the visual effect of this lace, it was just really not well suited to being cut out and sewn to a corset.

I used black silk threads for the flossing, which was also unnecessarily difficult. I liked the look better than using topstitching thread, but I didn't have any black dupioni so I used threads from another black silk that wasn't as thick and required more threads. Next time I'll either make sure I have the right colors to use dupioni weft or I'll get some silk embroidery thread.

I accented the lace embellishment with hotfix swarvoski crystals. I used a few ss10 AB crystals on the protruding parts of the pink lace, but the majority of the of the crystals I used were the teeny tiny ss6 crystals. I used jet ones on the black shadowing lace lace and a few different colors from a "passion" pack (which contains shades of pink, red, and purple) scattered around the fuchsia lace.
Aquamarine Neck "Corset"Aquamarine Neck "Corset"

I had just enough of the aquamarine dupioni left to make a neck "corset"/posture collar thingy to match. It's kinda cute, but next time I make one of those things, it must have a zipper! I'm not entirely sure how I'll fit a zipper in because the back felt thick and awkward to work with as it was, but it's a pain to get on and off and it really needs a zipper in addition to the lacing.
Aquamarine Corset FinishedAquamarine Corset Finished

Despite my zillion complaints about my choices on this one, I'm actually very happy with the results. This is only the second corset I've made with coutil, and the last coutil corset (the tea-dyed one) didn't have a separate fashion fabric layer, so I learned a lot with this corset.

Silk Baron!

Silk Baron Scrap Sale OrderSilk Baron Scrap Sale Order Vinyard Haven DupioniVinyard Haven Dupioni Dublin DupioniDublin Dupioni Coppery Violet and Aquamarine DupioniCoppery Violet and Aquamarine Dupioni
I got my order today from the Silk Baron scrap sale. OMG. If I thought I was forgetting to breathe while waiting for it to get here, that was just preparation for actually getting it!

I have never seen anything so beautiful in my life. It makes my heart flutter and my stomach do flips.

I'd never ordered from Silk Baron before, they never really have sales besides the scrap sale, and even that isn't much cheaper than their regular prices. Of course, it's also the only time you can order less than a yard, and I don't necessarily need a yard for it to be the fashion fabric for a corset. And I just never manage to find beautiful dupioni in the kind of colors I want, it just doesn't go on sale. Heck, nowhere else has colors like these! You find a pretty color here and there from other stores, Vogue Fabrics usually has a few, but they're no cheaper, so why bother? So I finally ordered from a scrap sale.

Just.. Look! And it's even better in person. It's shiny and iridescent and.. Wow!

Fine, maybe I'm biased because I have a thing for iridescence in general, it just fascinates me how a fabric can be two colors at once. But.. the sheen! and the depth! and.. and.. there just aren't words!

Some fabrics I pet. This I hold. Fold it, turn it, stare at it in awe!

I'm Declaring the Ivory Corset Done!

I'm Declaring it DoneI'm Declaring it DoneIvory Corset InsideIvory Corset Inside
I know, it doesn't really look different than the last one or the one before that. Or the one before that. After finishing the flowers and the blue top flossing for the boning channels, I felt like it needed something else. So I added little stars in blue and silver, and silver running stitches along the sides of the busk.
The inside doesn't look particularly polished, but it actually is lined, but the lining is Vera Wang canvas rather than something white. And the flossing is of course goes all the way through to the lining. I believe that's how it's supposed to be done, but it does look unpolished that way. Perhaps I just need to work on making the underside of the flossing look decent. Or do less flossing. The pinstripes on that canvas also make straight lines a great deal easier.
I've kept going and going with the flossing because since it's really way too small, especially around the top, I don't know what makes it done. Maybe it's not a completed project at all, but besides the size problem, I rather like it. It's not perfect, but it does look fairly decent, and the general technique is definitely an improvement on my previous corsets. It's a learning experience! Flat fabric, almost no wrinkling.. just way too small!

And So It Continues (or, The Never-Ending Tale of the Ivory Corset)

Ivory Corset -- Getting Even Closer!Ivory Corset -- Getting Even Closer!
..The corset goes ever on and on..

I've finished everything for this corset that I expected to do-- the top and bottom of each bone and of both sides of the busk are flossed, and I've made a modesty panel, although it still needs some improvement. I used a floating modesty panel with grommets at the top, but other than that, it's only attached midway down by a loop of fabric, so at the very least, it needs a few more grommets. I also think that the busk flossing needs more. Definitely a flower on top off the "grass," at least.. it looks unfinished as it is. And I'm still thinking I'd like some flossing along the boning channels, probably a blue star-like design.
And then of course there's the problem of the fact that it doesn't quite fit. Well, it does in that I can wear it, so if that means it fits, then it fits. But it is too small, and the strips of lacing warp a bit, probably because the gap in the back is bigger than it really should be. And I can't tighten it without getting a really bad muffin-top effect. Next one *definitely* gets ease added at least to the top-- I seem to displace more upward than downward. Woah, that might even give the illusion that I actually have a chest!

On a related note, I just learned from Gloria's Blog entry that "muffin top" has been added to the Oxford English Dictionary.

Construction Completed!

Ivory Corset ConstructedIvory Corset ConstructedOkay, I haven't done the binding or flossing or anything, and I think I"m going to trim it down on the sides a bit.. but the actual construction part of my ivory corset is now completed! ...and it seems to fit! A few wrinkles, but not too many.. I've still got quite a bit of work to go before it's actually finished, and the gap in the back is wide enough and the lacing thin enough that I"ll definitely have to make a modesty panel for it.. but the construction itself--done! It's not perfect, but it is distinctly better than my previous corsets!

More Progress on my Ivory Corset

Ivory Corset -- More ProgressIvory Corset -- More ProgressSo, I'll babble some more about my ivory corset. I've gotten the construction on the right side finished (I think) and am now working on the left side. (That's right and left sides of my body.. looking at the sides from the front, like in the photo, it's reversed.)
It's turning out significantly smaller than my mockup. Some of that may be due to the fact that my mockup was only one layer, but I don't think that accounts for all of the difference. I'll go through and finish construction and check the fit, and then I'll decide if it's a final version or just another mockup.
I decided to try holding the layers together with something that I guess can only be described as a cross between pad-stitching and hand-basting. I'm not sure if there's a more accurate way to describe it.. I'm basically using more-or-less pad-stitching technique to hold everything in place and in shape while I sew the boning channels, then I'll remove it. The blue line of hand-stitching I used as a guide for the straight grain. The innermost layer is the striped Vera Wang canvas, so since I can't see that while doing the stitching from the outside, and stitching from the inside tends to be unpredictable, I decided to hand-sew a guide line.
I've had to re-fix my walking foot several more times, and I'm really wanting a real walking foot machine with needle feed. I've been doing some research on walking foot machines, and I'm getting somewhat confused as to what exactly I'd need. They're generally made for sewing canvas and leather, and while canvas accounts for a great deal of my corsets, there's also the silk layer to worry about. I haven't had much luck googling on what the best type of machine is for corset-making; I don't believe they make any specifically intended for the task, and I'm sure that if they did, they'd probably be crazy expensive. Somehow I doubt I'd be able to find a meant-for-corset-making machine on craigslist!

My Silverado Corset is Finished!

Silverado Finished!: Finished Silverado corset, picture taken with the flash.  It looks better this way, but is difficult to see the flossing.Silverado Finished!: Finished Silverado corset, picture taken with the flash. It looks better this way, but is difficult to see the flossing.

Silverado Finished! 2: The finished Silverado corset, taken with my camera's "manor/museum" setting.  This setting makes the wrinkles look much more obvious, but it shows the colors a bit better, and makes the flossing more visible. *sigh*  It does look less glamorous like that, though.Silverado Finished! 2: The finished Silverado corset, taken with my camera's "manor/museum" setting. This setting makes the wrinkles look much more obvious, but it shows the colors a bit better, and makes the flossing more visible. *sigh* It does look less glamorous like that, though.

My LM100 Silverado corset is finally finished! While it's imperfect in about a zillion ways, and there are a ton of things I'll do differently on the next one, this if the first corset I've actually finished and considered "worthy" of a busk. I should have considered the boning more carefully, used more boning in the front panels, taken the flossing into account while cutting the plastic bones, and thought out the binding more thoroughly. I also should have thought ahead of time and used a light-colored canvas layer rather than olive-green canvas with muslin sandwiched between the canvas and dupioni. BUT, for all that, it's a finished, flossed corset that's not half bad if I do say so myself! Not only that, but all of it is stash fabric, and so with all 4 layers taken into account, it's two yards for the stash contest!

Laughing Moon 100 Bound

Laughing Moon 100 BoundLaughing Moon 100 Bound
More progress on LM100. I used foldover elastic as the binding. This may not have been ideal, but I had some in light-ish purple, and I had matching thread for the flossing, so I used it. I've only just started the flossing, but I figured I may as well put up another update, since besides the flossing, it is more or less done. Not perfect, but the fabric couldn't have handled too much more seam-ripping and re-sewing, so I'll give it some details and wear it. The flossing is actually more visible than it looks in the picture... and it matches the binding better!

Progress on Silverado Corset in Dupioni

Dupioni Silverado  --in progressDupioni Silverado --in progress

I've spent a lot of time working on this version of the Laughing Moon Silverado corset. It's not done yet, and I plan on adding a few more boning channels, as well as perhaps attempting to smooth out some of the warping of the outer layer. This is the version that I altered according to the Foundations Revealed instructions. Besides lengthening it by an inch, the alterations were actually fairly minor. It's a total of four layers, cotton lining, the canvas core, and muslin in between the canvas and the dupioni, because the canvas is dark colored and was showing through too much. I really should have used a light colored canvas. The extra layer has increased distortion problems quite a lot. Of course, the fact that I don't have a walking foot massively increases that problem, I've really gotta get my paws on one. I'm hoping that I can get at least one more boning channel into each piece 13 (the front side piece, with the worst distortion there. It is coming along, though.
After the needle that shattered when I hit a pin making one of the boning channels, I'm seriously considering wearing safety goggles for sewing! It very nearly did serious damage.

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