Skip to Content

Sewing

Purple Satin Overbust!

Purple Satin Overbust PhotoPurple Satin Overbust Photo
My purple satin overbust is finished! (I think.)

It has 28 1/4" spiral steels, two of those extra thick flat steels that corsetmaking.com sells as 1/4" but are actually 5/16", and four regular 1/4" flat steels (on the sides of the lacing.)

The fashion fabric layer is an utterly infuriating silk/rayon slipper satin interfaced with fusible tricot, the strength layer is black English coutil, and the lining is that mysterious handkerchief maybe-linen with the bizarre description about being "100% handkerchief linen" that breathes like linen and is mistaken for linen but wears better than linen.

I originally intended just to do the lace embellishment at the top and bottom, but then a rogue bit of fusible web attached itself to the outside of the satin, and in trying to get it out, a light spot developed.. so it needed more lace to cover it up.

Purple Satin Overbust BackPurple Satin Overbust Back

Jet swarovski crystals in ss6 and ss8 sizes accent the black lace and crystal AB crystals accent the silver-edged lace.

I'm still not sure what to wear with it. I'll definitely have to make some kind of bolero, probably in either purple chiffon or silver lace.
Purple Satin Overbust Embellishment FrontPurple Satin Overbust Embellishment Front
Purple Satin Overbust Embellishment Front BottomPurple Satin Overbust Embellishment Front Bottom

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.

Tea-dyed Coutil Corset! Finally!

Tea-dyed Coutil CorsetTea-dyed Coutil CorsetAfter much procrastinating, I've finally done an actual coutil corset! I tea-dyed the coutil because, um, it was white and my iron spit on it and left a stain. So dyeing it seemed logical, and white isn't so practical anyways. I'd originally figured on using a fashion fabric over it, but for my first coutil corset, I thought maybe it would be nice to just use the coutil.

It's a two-layer corset with sandwiched boning channels. It seems like a logical construction method, but I'm getting pretty frustrated with it. It's just so impossible to change anything once you've done much of anything at all. I was dumb enough to clip the seam allowances together instead of one side and then the other side in a different spot, which created wrinkle-looking things where there's less thickness because of the clipped seam allowances.. and then by the time I noticed it, there was really nothing I could do about it.
I'm not really liking the inside. I just couldn't really come up with any way to get the inside to look clean; the back of the flossing is just too visible. The hand embroidery isn't quite as bad but the back of the flossing just looks bad.
For my next corset I'm going to use one strength layer and just add boning channels wherever I need to. A single layer corset with a lining just looks so much nicer from the inside.
I'm wishy-washy about the shaping on the bottom edge, too. I think it turned out too not-one-thing-or-another. Not straight, but not shaped enough to look.. well, shaped.

I really am pretty happy with the corset overall! I think it looks decent and I'm excited to have completed my first coutil corset. There's just a lot that I can point to and say "next time, I'm not doing that." And assuming I listen to myself, that's good, I think.

Tea-dyed Coutil Corset Side BackTea-dyed Coutil Corset Side Back

I used a total of 32 steel bones. Twenty-four 1/4" spiral steels, four 1/2" spirals, two 1/4" spring steel bones and two extra thick spring steels. The extra-thick ones are sold as 1/4" but they're actually 3/8" wide. The extra thick ones are on the back edge and the regular spring steels are on the other side of the grommets.

I'll probably change the lacing-- either dye it purple or use more of that ribbon that I used for my denim corset.

Chat Gift Exchange -- Val's Capelet

Yea, I know I've been horrible about blogging lately.
So finally I'm getting around to posting about the capelet I made for Val for the PR chat gift exchange. I forgot to take pictures before mailing it, so the picture is Val's.

In the questionaire for the gift exchange, Val said she has fitting issues so she didn't think clothing was do-able. So I figured that she wouldn't be expecting clothing, and the Simplicity 3921 capelet doesn't require much fitting.
I used a turquoise wool gabardine and a light purple dupioni for the lining. Originally I was planning on using these two purple appliques I had from a mystery box as a front embellishment.. but then I realized that they were identical, not mirror images of each other, so there went that idea. So I dug through my trims box some more and pulled out the ruffly white lace, which was excuse to use the jar of purple dye-na-flow that had been sitting on my desk since some sale a year or two ago. So I got experimental and dyed the lace purple. First I tried painting it on, but then I realized that for bright color it needs salt, so I ended up mixing it with some water and salt in a plastic container and letting it soak. I still have to figure out what else to dye purple, assuming that the dye-water-and-salt mixture is still good. It's sitting on my kitchen counter.

The instructions on the dye say to iron it to set the color. Obviously this wasn't particularly practical with ruffly lace. Happily, a hair dryer works too! I soaked, hair-dryed, repeated a bit to get the color where I wanted it. Then hand-washed it with some detergent to get off the salt and excess dye. Water ran clear, and lace was still purple. Yay!
Then I hand-sewed that flowery trim (another mystery box item) over the seam where I'd sewn on the purple lace, so that the seam wouldn't be visible.

Val thinks it could be reversible. If I'd thought of that I would have put a button on the other side too! Val had told me awhile ago that she was allergic to wool but that she could wear it so long as it was lined. For some reason it didn't occur to me that as I was making something that she'd wear over other clothes, the wool allergy was irrelevant anyways. And the lace isn't exactly the same color as the lining.
But Val was all happy and so I'm all happy.
And now I've finally blogged it!

Penannular Brooches

Penannular Brooches: From Thorthor's HammerPenannular Brooches: From Thorthor's Hammer
Alright, well here's a belated post.
Ever since I made the cloak-ish looking big cozy sweater cloak last year, I've been browsing the internet for penannular brooches.

So after I finished my velvet-and-wool cloak I decided it was time to finally buy one! I found this lovely little site called Thorthor's Hammer that has a nice section of penannular brooches.
I actually ended up buying two, because the really simple ones were nice and cheap and it occurred to me that they'd work well for fastening a medieval belt as well.

I'm impressed. They're quite nice, and the shipping was inexpensive and quick.

Pink Simplicity 4079 Vest

Pink Simplicity 4079 VestPink Simplicity 4079 Vest Really, I haven't been doing nothing.. I just haven't been posting. Bad me.

So I finished this Simplicity 4079 lined vest. I used that pink cotton basketweave that was on sale for $1/yard from FabricMart awhile ago, and lined it with a pink cotton/linen blend.

It's somewhere between a mockup and an actual project. It certainly has its share of problems, not the last of which being that I sorta didn't realize that there's supposed to be a little slit in the bottom of the sides. I was having trouble visualizing how it went together. How to turn it by pulling it through the shoulders is just really hard to imagine until you do it. And the bulky cotton suiting certainly didn't help with that.

I didn't have anything suitable with which to make Chinese frog closures that would match, so I used shell buttons and ribbon loops in the front. The suiting is also too bulky to work with any appropriate buckles I have, so currently the back tabs are just held together with a safety pin until I figure out what to use.

Cloak -- Finished? (With Snaps)

Cloak -- Done?Cloak -- Done?
My velvet-and-wool cloak might be finished.
After picking up some more of the Dritz snaps that work with the snap pliers while I was out at Joann today, I finished with the snap-tabs between the cloak layers. I'm not totally sure how I feel about it.

The snaps do the job of keeping the bottom edge of the cloak off the ground when needed, while allowing me to let it fall to floor-length when I want it all the way down.

Pinning it up certainly changes the silhouette, but I kinda like it, I think.

I'm still somewhat considering just making it a bit shorter, but it was such a pain to hem in the first place that I just don't want to.

Of course, given that I'm considering making it shorter, it wouldn't be the end of the world if the bottom edge got raggedy and I just trimmed it down to hem it shorter at that point.

So, my velvet-and-wool cloak is done.

Cloak In-Progress (Almost Done!)

Velvet and Wool CloakVelvet and Wool Cloak
So, I've made progress on my cloak! Actually I think all that's left at this point is hemming it. I haven't decided exactly how long it needs to be, though. I'm actually having some thoughts of trying to make it floor length or almost floor length, but with some way to fasten it up at least another several inches to keep it off the ground, especially when it's icky out.

Dfr thought that the wool should be on the outside and I thought that the velvet should be on the outside.. But who says it should have an outside at all? I decided it should be reversible.

I haven't decided if that ribbon closure is permanent or not. A tie closure certainly is the easiest way to close a reversible cloak. I might go with a less conspicuous ribbon, though. Or a Chinese frog closure, maybe on both sides? ...or I'll just keep the ribbon.

Of course, eventually I'll get a penannular brooch, which will make closure on most capes moot.

It wouldn't have worked to make it reversible via the directions, but I wasn't fond of the directions anyways, so I scrapped them. They were just wrong anyways. They wanted the outside to be sewn to the lining at the bottom! And they wanted the lining to be sewn to the outside at the bottom too, before sewing on the hood! Even if I weren't making it reversible I wouldn't have gone for that.

I haven't pressed it at all yet, besides pressing open the seams on the wool part. Pressing velvet is a PITA. I haven't decided just how much pressing actually needs to be done.

Velvet side out vs. wool side out is certainly a very different look.

Bright Challis Blouse! (And Musings on a Cloak)

Pink Floral Butterick 4609 -- Front/SidePink Floral Butterick 4609 -- Front/Side
I have been sewing, I just haven't been writing!

I did another Butterick 4609 blouse in "trendy" rayon challis. I thought the color might look weird on me, I usually seem to look better in muted colors, but it actually seems to work fairly well for me.

I'm still totally fond of the French cuffs. I've been using the two connected buttons that the pattern says to use, but I'll have to eventually get a pair of real cuff links.

I've discovered that the 1.5" fusible tape from Cleaner Supply is the perfect width for stabilizing the front band, and makes the buttonholes about three zillion times easier. It's their own brand, but it's pretty much the same thing as stitch witchery, just wider.

Floral Blouse -- Without Neck TieFloral Blouse -- Without Neck Tie
I'll probably eventually do this pattern in silk too. It would probably work well with a charmeuse, although probably the blue charmeuse is the only one that would work well. The other couple of charmeuses I have are all large patterns that I'm not sure would react too well to a button-up blouse. ..And I'm still kinda afraid to actually use the charmeuse!

Burgandy Velvet: Synthetic burgandy velvet from a half-off red-tag sale at Joann.Burgandy Velvet: Synthetic burgandy velvet from a half-off red-tag sale at Joann.
I've been saying for ages that I'm going to make a cloak out of this burgandy velvet I found at a half-off red-tag sale at Joann. I got some in red and some in burgandy, and I used the red for a vest-like thing and a doublet for Kris.. and the stuff is absolutely murder to work with. It feels wonderful, but between being a synthetic that melts and having a pile that sticks straight out rather than having an actual direction, it's nearly impossible to press and slips and slides and shifts when I try to sew it. So I absolutely cannot use it for anything more complicated than a cloak.

So I decided to pull the velvet out to remind myself that I need to turn it into a cloak-- probably the one in Butterick 4377. But then I remembered why I haven't yet-- I can't decide what to line it with.

Generally I like silk as a lining, but a cloak requires too much fabric for that to seem practical. Wool might be nice, but it would have to be fairly thin and something I have enough of. The boiled wool would be too thick.
Would a dark olive tricotine work?
Or would the burgandy/dark olive combination end up with a Christmas-y red-and-green feel to it?
The turquoise gabardine would definitely not look right. I guess I will have to unearth the rubbermaid of wool to decide that. I need some type of organization that doesn't involve stacked boxes.

The one on the envelope cover is actually burgandy velvet-- but the lining is white, which I definitely don't want to do. I actually wear cloaks.

I've been sewing! (Vogue 8599)

Vogue 8599 VestVogue 8599 Vest I did this Vogue vest in the same grey wool suiting as the Simplicity 2758 skirt in my last post. It was the only vest pattern I had at the time (I picked up another one at the most recent $.99 Simplicity sale at Joann.)

I'm feeling rather "meh" about this vest. The only real problem with it is that the armhole shape is weird.
There's just rather little that seems right about it.
"Unlined vest" sounds like it should be a fairly simple project. This was not.
For one thing, It called for an absolutely ridiculous amount of slip-stitching. Slipstitching has its place-- like to close up the hole after turning a lining to the inside. All around all of the facings is not a good use for slipstitching. I ended up making inappropriate use of stitch-witchery to keep the facings in place and just doing some very large slipstitches around the edges as a supplement that.

I'm not fond of the triple darts in the front. I guess I haven't pressed them well enough, better pressing will probably improve the look. But they just seem a bit purposeless; they don't seem to play a prominant role in the visual effect (you can barely see them on the envelope cover) and they're not particularly effective in fitting. Looking closely at the envelope again, the vest doesn't seem to properly fit the dress form they used to model it.

The design of the vest is obviously not meant for warm weather, and the fact that it's unlined seems to make it more complicated to sew, so what's the point of not lining it?

The collar bit is interesting, but I'm far more likely to try to frankenpattern it onto another vest pattern than I am to sew this one again.
It's not awful or anything, and I wouldn't specifically not recommend the pattern. My main complaint seems to be that I feel as though an unlined vest should not be this labor-intensive.

Syndicate content


about seo