Wednesday, 22 April 2015

planning for a sewing retreat

I haven't even looked at my camera for photos of my black 1913 dress - I made sure to get a couple and hope they're not blurry. I came down with a virus a couple of days after getting home, and hadn't unpacked properly as on a couple of those nights I visited hospital. A very good friend had life-saving surgery while I was at Discworld. I've not been able to visit her again as I still have swollen glands, and can't risk infecting her (or anyone else in the hospital either).

Because of teh bug I had to cancel going to Ironfest in Lithgow - which was very, very disappointing. It's one of the highlights of the year for me.

So my bug ends and we get a couple of days cyclone level storm sitting over Sydney. At least I didn't get flooded or power outage, or anything worse that drenched getting to/from work.

It's the sort of weather that makes you hibernate in your pjs as soon as you get home, and not be productive nor deal with any domestic chores.

I'm home this weekend - YAY - and I'm refining my list of things to sew at a sewing guild retreat. Over the next week I need to make sure everything is cut out, and to pack all the things (overlocker thread, zps, buttons, thread, pattern instructions in case I forget what I'm doing).

~ black twill linen/cotton skirt (Decades of Style 3004)
~ ufo blue stripey cotton shirt (KS2966)
~ ufo floral cotton dress (Lilly Rose)
~ fluoro tiger fleece dressing gown (where is that dang pattern!)

Plus I fitting a mock up of the Evadress Coat pattern 33269

I want to add another shirt in there, but maybe I should finally use the SBCC Tonic fitted teashirt  and see how it goes together.

So this weekend not only do I need to deconstruct the mess in my home space, but fix the pattern drawers in my storage room so that I can start putting my patterns away and then sort the mess down there out. Once I'm not stepping around bags/boxes of patterns it'll get easier.  I also need to put all the to-be-culled items in something to take the the Fabric Cave.

I'm looking forward to the retreat. It's great to get away and not have to cook or clean for 2 full days - starts 5pm Friday and we're packed up by 4pm Sunday. Plus I can sew til as late as I like and not disturb my neighbours. I can't do that at home or risk complaints and being evicted.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

One small change to the pattern instructions

I did one change to the original pattern/instructionss.  When I've worn the black one I find the steels at underarm and towards teh bust dig into my arm, so I thought about the corsets with horizontal bones/cordning on the upper side edge. It works!  I'm not getting stabby stabby!  They're 2xshort  6mm wide flats, and covers side seam to the bust gusset seam.


 The nylon lace is stitched in at the same time as the binding, and it covers the horizontals quite nicely.


It's so comfortable to wear, and I'll get a decent photo on the weekend, I hope.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

corset steels shopping list

This morning I worked out what steels I needed, and went through my stash.  I've got more than half, and I could use all spirals, but I'd prefer flats at the centre front, and either side of the grommets.


I also put my pliers somewhere "safe" so I've added replacements to my shopping list.  I have PLENTY of 6mm spiral and enough end caps for a couple of corsets at least. But no pilers to put them in place. Oh, do I have the dies for my American Tag press.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

slow progress on my edwardian corset.

Only the binding and casing had to be bought so far and part of me wishes I'd waited til I got home & checked the stash for cotton prussian tape. Though it's heavier than I know is available in Japan - a herringbone cotton "Damask Tape"  that I have from a fashion designer who's business closed.  The Damask Tape isn't wide enough for this task.  From stash, I've used coutil, busk and some of the steels and I have a choice of white lacing cord too. So that's great.

Tomorrow I'll go & buy a list of the steels I need to finish it. So here's so far - it only needs the steels inserted - am measuring & counting them right now.  Hmm maybe I should give it a steam press before I insert the steels.


I really do like the bias binding. Thanking the now retired quilt binding person who produced so many delightful ones to choose from.



I've recently been diagnosed with non-anaemic iron deficiency and I just run out of energy far too quickly. Still hopefully it'll resolve itself easily.

Monday, 6 April 2015

Progress pics as procrastination

The bobbin ran out of thread so instead of instantly re-filling and stitching I ran away from the machine.

I'm probably going to find out why grosgrain ribbing isn't a good choice for corset boning cases, but meh it was there and it was cheap. Instead of basting i pinned it. A LOT. first I folded it in half and finger pressed it so I could see the middle as it's double boned with 6mm, not wider steels.




Then I started stitching - was in early days of the either-side-of-centre stitching when it ran out.


And as you can see I can't bring myself to use plain white for everything. the waist tape is, but the casings aren't, Neither is the pure cotton bias binding I got for top & bottom edges, along with some nylon type lace which I'd normally avoid like the plague but it's quick and cheap and so is this corset.  The coutil wasn't even listed in my stash catalogue. Oopsie!


As you may have noticed, I love stripes.

Sunday, 5 April 2015

A rant and a solution - my new black fabric

Not only did I have infected sinus with headache from Tuesday til yesterday but my ebay fabric order was a disaster. I paid for it two Wednesdays ago and they were a bit slow (5 days) sending it on Monday. The dealbreaker for me is that unlike every ebay notification which said AustPost 3kg satchel they used Fastway. Which aren't fast! I wouldn't even use them within my own city let alone another state.

It's a brick & mortar store, so not a random potentially flakey solo seller. They're just flakey, because apparently their using Fastway without checking with me (and their mentioning aust post everywhere) is Ebay's fault for not automating the choices on offer. Could they have used the 5 days to message me for a preferance ... well I certainly think so.

It's 2-3 days from Melbourne via parcel post, and though I was irked that they'd waited til Monday it should still have arrived by Thursday. Easily. Except it didn't, and only on Thursday night when I checked the tracking number did I discover that it was Fastway. F%^&#*s. Yes I still feel that strongly about it. And either the tracking number I was given has a typo or the fabric was delivered (as in to recipient) in Brisbane - another state again.

So I may have had a tanty, and am still crankstipated. But solution oriented I went shopping yesterday and found a black cotton with metallic thread, in a subtle weave. Here's a macro photo of it on the clothesline, where it's drying after a soak in hot hot water.

The run off was brown, like cold black tea , but there was exactly the amount I need on the roll, so it's a winner.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Starting a new edwardian corset - TVe

 Is your brain spinning around - cos mine certainly is!


My corsets are uncomfortably too small :(   The 1880-90 is a small amount too small but it's brocade fashion garment and not suitable as underwear.  With garments on the outside perhaps making wear patterns on the brocade.  My c1903 is that bit smaller again, and the larger gap at centre back moves the side back steels to the wrong spot on me and so they're trying to twist rather than not even being noticable. Too rapid a curve in & out for flats.

So, I need to make a quick & dirty corset, or I'm dooooomed.  I raided my corset patterns & supplies.  I was going to make Ageless 1288  as I love the design lines of it, and its in my stash.

I traced it off, adding to each panel to get it to my new stouter measurements.  And thought, hmmmm this is going to take too much altering. The waist to top edge is too long to fit my shortwaistedness, and the waist too hip edge too short for my preference. Too much futzing around for a timecrunch. So I spent the last of that evening and a day at work with my brain flip-flopping between slightly enlarging (simple) the panel corset or taking a little more effort and the Truly Victorian edwardian corset.  I love the back shape on both, but the TVe slightly wins the race cos I like the front of it that little bit more.
Here's a poor quality photo of me in the black corset I made with it in 2012.








So I decided that I'd leap to the side of the edwardian, so long as I made a couple of changes. So after work I managed to get the pattern pieces photocopied onto larger paper and just cut out the size i want to use.

The changes are to make the lower back 1 size larger than the rest of the corset (the waist squish has to move somewhere) and, and instead of cutting the top edge down 1" (as I'm short-waisted) that I'd more properly take that 1" from between waist & bust. I takes a whisker longer but provides the correct width at upper edge.

Lastly, most importantly, raise the point at which the bust gusset is inserted by 3cm. It meant reshaping the Centre Front & Middle Front pieces.



Which also meant changing the bottom half of the bust gusset the most - I got lazy and will infill the lower section as I cut.


Because I also had to take 1" from the top half of the gusset, I took that from two half inc slices and it now looks like


Now I'm about to cut it out from white coutil. Yayy for stashbusting as I have the coutil, a choice of 3 busks and assorted steels.  I also have a roll of 6mm spiral steel somewhere. I likely put fabric on top of it, so need to find it before I can finish. Unless I buy some precuts at Metro Fabrics next Wednesday.

Monday, 30 March 2015

Stashbusting a lobster tail

Lobster-tail bustle cage that is.  (If you're not sure what garment I'm talking about, here's one in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art)

I got it cut out & started sewing it yesterday, using the Laughing Moon pattern #112 view D.  I can't resist being economical with fabric even when I don't have to - got it out in 1.5m of 112cm (45") wide fabric. I made some changes to the construction. I flat felled the cage seams - no manky fraying inside my underpinnings.  Plus the top 2 & 3 steels now cross each other, mainly cos the extant ones I've coveted seem to have that and I want it.


Also I will have the bottom inside panel button closed, not lace up. Second lastly (maybe) the seam joining the cage & front drape will all be on the inside of the cage, and bound with bias tape.  Maybe last change, the edge of the front drape will also have bias binding around it - the pattern instructions are to turn the edge under 1.5cm and stitch it down - despite the fact that it's only 0.5cm  longer than the seam it abuts and that you've.just.already.sewn.it.to!!! WHAT!


Oh, not my last change, I'm not leaving a gap in bottom of the channels to insert the steels, but popping them in the seam that I'll then stitch close.  Easier!

Probably my last change is to add a pleat to the the lower edge, stitching it just above the lowest steel. But I haven't cut and pleated athat yet.  I'd have got the steels in already but I didn't take them for my stay in the mountains (keeping a friend company after a breakup).
Here's some flowers at her local train station.