Sunday, 27 September 2015

Corsets, Papier Mache and Masquerades

I finally finished my first ever corset! and I wore it! Yesterday was my friend Rebecca's 50th Birthday and she had a masqureade ball to celebrate. I had been planning my outfit for a few weeks and it was the perfect opportunity to wear a corset.

I used the GBGS pattern from series 3, adjusted the neckline to make it more sweetheart shaped, and reduced the waist to give some reduction.

The Details:
Outer fabric: A chinese style brocade in royal blue with a bit of gold in there. I've had this in my stash for a couple of years and can't remember where it came from.
Inner layer: Artists canvas - couldn't get my hands on any coutil, of this was the next best option.
Lining: white cotton also from my stash.
Bra Cups: salvaged from an old bra.
Boning & Eyelets: Spiral Steel and Sprung steel from Sew Curvy.

The corset was fairly simple to put together, but you do need to be rather precise. I decided to make this without a busk and really it needs longer laces as I can only just get it on over my head without unlacing it. I should have made a muslin as this is quite a short corset and I have a long torso so next time I'll make a longer version.

The boning is contained within the canvas layer and then has the shell and lining attached. the bias binding is self fabric and was machine stitched to the outside layer and then turned and finised with fell stitched on the lining side.

I did have to practise with the eyelets as there was a lot of fabric to get through. I marked the placement on the lining side, but had to get my husband to hammer the punch through the fabric. I used eyelet pliers to secure the eyelets. (you might have seen more on my instagram feed over the last few weeks @artcoopsville)

As the corset had gold in the fabric I decided to pair it with a gold skirt and thought that a full circle skirt would be the way to go. I bought my fabric from Sharma's in the Victoria Centre Market in Nottingham a few weeks ago. it's a shot fabric with gold threads running one was and black running the other. I added an invisible zip and hand stitched the hem (= hours of work), mainly because I didn't have any tread exactly the right colour. Oh and I like hand stitched hems.

I also made my mask from papier mache, it was a bit heavy to be honest and I didn't keep it on long. My husband decided he was going to go as Frank Sidebottom.

So we spent ages making his head, also from papier mache. the shape was finished a few days ago, but I spent most of yesterday painting it. safe to say it caused a bit of a stir when we arrived at the party.

Many thanks to Pam at Threading my way for featureing this post.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Libby's Dress (Anna dress hack)

Whilst we were in london back in July, my sister picked out this beautiful teal fabric. We bought it from a little shop on Brick Lane and I made up her dress.

The Little shop, which was crammed full of fabric!

Libby decided she would like a slash neck dress that had cap sleeves and a full ish skirt, but that also emphasised her tiny waist. I knew just the pattern to hack! The bodice is from the By Hand London Anna dress. I used a base 14 size to accomodate the bust and back width, but Libby's waist was nearer a size 8. I took a little off of the side seams and made the darts deeper to redude the waist measurement.

The skirt is approximately a half circle skirt, and the ties are based on my Hobbs style dress, that I made earlier in the year.

The fabric is very well behaved and did not need lining, so I used facings for the neck edge. it's such a lovely colour and perfect for Libby. It can be dressed up or down. On this occassion she wore it to a family party with a simple necklace.

It's not a bad fit considering it was made based on measurements alone - no fitting. Rather tricky to fit when you live 300 miles apart. Still I think it really suits her and I hope she gets plenty of wear from it.
The photos were taken by my brother in law.


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