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Floral Rayon Challis Blouse with French Cuffs -- In Progress

I've been sewing, so you can't say I haven't!Butterick 4609 View C -- In ProgressButterick 4609 View C -- In Progress

I've been working on View C of Butterick 4609-- the blouse with the French cuffs. I'm doing the sash thingy too. I'm making it out of one of the "Trendy" rayon challis-es I got from FabricMart's most recent 75% off sale.

It's not done, but it's getting there. I still need to hem it and put in the buttonholes, and stabilize the front band. Well, it's not actually a front band it's a self-front-band, basically just folded over and then over again to form what would normally be the front band. It says to catch-stitch it in place. And doesn't say anything about interfacing. I used some stitch-witchery tape in between the innermost layers, I'll probably add another strip on the back. I'm not completely sure, though. I've been playing with buttonholes on scraps. Hopefully I'll pester Kris into helping me rewire my BC so I can use my actual buttonholer. But, uh, I've been saying I'm going to rewire the BC for quite awhile..

This blouse is the first time I've successfully made real cuffs! My first try was McCall's 5929 which caused a huge amount of frustration and ended up being a wadder. The Simplicity 2758 blouse I made back in December to shut dfr up only had those little narrow cuffs and not all the trappings real cuffs like the bound slit-- and the bound slit is the mind-boggling part. (Why didn't I do a post on that blouse? I wrote a review, but no blog post. I thought I wrote a post, but now all that seems to be on my site is the picture. Oh, it was probably because it was while dfr was in Florida! LOL Okay, that explains my lack of a post!
But this time I managed real cuffs! The instructions on the pattern were pretty good, and in combination with my copy of the Singer Sewing Book (1949 edition) I managed to make it work!

It looks a little awkward on my dress form. I do hope it ends up looking better on me. My dress form is slightly crooked, which makes everything look a bit awkward. Most of the reviews say that it runs a bit big, but it actually seems quite snug. I cut a 14, which should be about right, and seems to be, but it's hard to tell for sure before finishing up the buttons and all. I did use French seams, but I don't think they should have made too much of a difference.

I'm hoping to finish this one up tomorrow. Either with buttonholer-ed buttonholes or my normal unautomated machine buttonholes.

More Progress on My Denim Corset -- Bottom Edge Bound

Denim Corset -- More ProgressDenim Corset -- More Progress 25 Inches!: And I got another inch of reduction!25 Inches!: I got another inch of reduction!
I've gotten the bottom edge bound, and most of the flossing on the bottom. I think I'll have to lower the edge under my arms a bit, it feels too high. And the bottom edge pulls apart a bit. But the fit is a definate improvement, and there's not too much in the way of wrinkling. And I can get my waist down to 25 inches! I still have a bit of a gap in the back, too. It feels like I might have placed the waist tape a bit too high; it feels like it's putting pressure on my floating ribs, and I'd meant it to be just below that, I'm not sure exactly how I screwed that up.
It's using mostly 1/4" spiral steels, with flat steels on either site of the grommets in the back, and a couple of cable ties in the back, too; I'm low on flat steels. I'm pretty happy with the progress, though!
The top edge pulls apart, too. I might actually just cut a centimeter or so off the top all around, or almost all around, rather than only lowering the sides under my arms, perhaps it just comes up too high in the front.
There might even be a coutil version in the near-ish future.

Denim Corset In Progress

Denim Corset Inside -- In ProgressDenim Corset Inside -- In ProgressDenim Corset -- In ProgressDenim Corset -- In Progress Denim Corset -- In Progress -- Embellishment OptionsDenim Corset -- In Progress -- Embellishment Options
When dfr completed her denim mid-Victorian corset, I realized that that too-tightly-woven-to-make-good-jeans denim in my stash was destined to be a corset. So, I've been working on an updated version of the corset pattern I drafted using the Foundations Revealed instructions, and dfr has, of course, been complaining about my lack of in-progress pictures. So finally, here are some progress pictures! I'm using mostly spiral steels, which I like so far. Flat steels on either side of the lacing, of course, and a few cable ties in the back, probably. I am somewhat worried that the spiral steels might be less supportive for my back. This is the first corset I've made using real grommets, and not using duct strapping in the back to stabilize the lacing; just the flat steels on either side. I'm using size 0 grommets (which I found, along with size 0 grommeting tools, on for pretty cheap. For some reason size 00 grommets and grommeting tools are harder to find, and the tools are more expensive.)
So far I'm using some double-faced satin ribbon from a mystery box as the lacing. The regular corset lacing I have seemed too narrow. The satin ribbon is too thick to be practical with eyelets, but seems to work quite well with the size 0 grommets.
I'm mostly just boning along the seam allowances, plus a few added denim inserts that function as boning channels too. And as you can see, lining it with the cherry-print broadcloth. I'm trying to do most of the flossing before actually installing the lining all the way, so that the inside will (hopefully) look neater.
I'm thinking of doing some contrasting topstitching, but I haven't decided on a color, and I might not. Of course, I also haven't decided exactly what I want to do so far as embellishments. This last picture shows most of the options I'm considering; lace, trims and appliques from mystery bundles. But of course, I haven't made up my mind. I'll probably put up a few more in-progress pictures as I experiment with the different options.
And one more thing I haven't decided on is the binding. The denim I used is really too thick to be practical as a binding, so I still have to figure out what the heck will work and not look goofy. Serging the edge and then using lace as a sort-binding may be possible. Or some kind of contrast bias binding, although I have no idea what. Maybe purple cotton.. but I'm not sure that would look right.

Ivory Self-Drafted Corset In-Progress

Self-Drafted Ivory Corset ProgressSelf-Drafted Ivory Corset Progress Ivory Corset In ProgressIvory Corset In Progress Herringbone Canvas-y.. stuff: The herringbone stuff I'm using as a middle layer in my newest corset.  It seems to have more give than the Vera Wang canvas, but that could be said of most things.Herringbone Canvas-y.. stuff: The herringbone stuff I'm using as a middle layer in my newest corset. It seems to have more give than the Vera Wang canvas, but that could be said of most things.
Okay, so I've started what may be a "real" version of the corset I drafted from the Foundations Revealed instructions. Since I decided I did want to use the ivory dupioni for the outer layer, I decided to nix the second layer of Vera Wang canvas and use the herringbone canvas-y stuff from a mystery bundle as the middle layer. I'm thinking that next time, I'll definitely fuse the fashion fabric layer to the next layer in, because extra layers to make it much more difficult to get everything to sit right. (I'll have to order some more iron-on bonding web. I've got some, but mostly the tape kind rather than the flat kind.)
It's not turning out bad so far, but not quite *right* either.. I'm getting some diagonal warping along and between the boning channels that bugs the heck out of me. My walking foot is also being slightly unreliable. There seems to be a pin in it that keeps slipping out of place. I can put it back, but it's kinda a pain, and there's dark grease inside that gets all over my fingers when I do, not great for working with ivory silk. I dream of an industrial walking foot machine with needle feed. Perhaps something like this. Wouldn't that be wonderful?

I did order a yard of white English coutil from King and Company on Etsy, although I may not be ready for it yet. It will be nice to see coutil up close, and be able to compare it to what I've been using. I figured there was probably no point in using domestic coutil as an intermediary, given that the canvas I've been using has very little give, and it's hard to imagine that a coutil described as having some give could really have much less than the Vera Wang canvas does. *shrug* But maybe I'll have to eventually get my paws on a bit of that anyway, just to see. I thought about ordering two yards of the English coutil, one white and one black, but despite the fact that King and Company has awesome prices on it, it's still expensive. Besides, it's not like there won't be other orders!

Currently I only have the normal type of awl, rather than the tapered kind recommended by Sydney Eileen in her tutorials on Grommeting by Hand and Inserting a Busk. I've ordered a tapered one, but haven't gotten it yet, so I'm kinda waiting on that to do any hole-poking. I'm not sure how necessary it is for the grommets currently, since I'm still using my stabilizing-the-eyelets-with-duct-strapping method that really does require punching holes, but I'd really like to have a proper corsetry awl before inserting the peg side of the busk. (I may eventually start using real grommets and not doing the duct strapping thing in the back-- grommets are actually not as deep as eyelets, and so I can't actually get grommets all the way through the duct strapping. Yes, I've tried. Although I also don't have grommet tools yet. I'd been kinda hoping that eyelet tools of the same size would work.. but eyelet and grommet sizing are different anyway. That doesn't make complete sense, since apparently the biggest difference between metal eyelets and grommets is whether or not they have washers on the back, but I've also got some eyelets with washers, and the tool to apply them, but they still don't use the same tool as the grommets. Go figure. I'm getting a serious headache on the metal eyelets vs. grommets issue.)

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