Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Soothing Crafts

After just handling housework for a few weeks, I came to the conclusion that I absolutely need to do other things to stay sane. I'm a creative person and I simply feel bad if I can't exercise that creativity. So after weeks of just laundry, cooking and caring for cats, I took to sewing. In December, I got loads of fabric from a close-out sale, so I was well prepared. I've been dreaming of a rococo style gown and for those, undergarments are the key. The natural first step was to get 25 meters of plastic boning and patterns for pocket hoops and a 18th century corset.

Because I'm not good at waiting or doing just one project at a time, I also cut the pieces for a 1830's inspired gown and a black version of the Victorian top I have previously sewn from copper orange taffeta.

Pistachio green 1830's inspired dress on the dress form.

I used to sew a lot when I was a teen, but during my studies I rarely had extra money for fabrics. I still feel lucky that I've got quite good basic sewing skills and am not afraid to try out new things. I recently got a serger, so it should speed up the phase I hate the most: finishing raw edges! My second most hated thing in sewing is sewing by hand. Unfortunately the corset requires it (or I'm too dumb to understand how the bias tape could be attached with a machine on top of boning channels) but I'm a fighter and one day it will be finished!

Butterick's Rococo corset. I still have to sew the bias tape on the backside of the corset and install eyelets, but most of the work is done. Go me!

Those frickin' bone channels. A true pain in the behind to sew. This one is probably not the prettiest rococo corset there is, but it's my first one and it will do. Also if I ever make another one of these, I will absolutely not use anything resembling satin.
This is the pattern I used. My corset is the top left design. For anyone using this pattern, make sure to go for a couple of sizes smaller corset if you want it to do any cinching! The patterns are drawn quite large. And when adding the bias tape, I don't know how you are supposed to sew it on top of the boning channels with bones in them. My corset is still not finished, so I can't say much more about it yet.
 The cats are naturally been excited about sewing too! Lots of little things to push off tables and plenty of comfy fabrics to lay on. We got a new table some time ago and it's just perfect, I can fit both the serger and my regular sewing machine on it at the same time and still have room for a pile of sewing supplies and/or cats.




Mör enjoying sewing paraphernalia. 

 I already finished the pocket hoops (sans pockets, because I'm lazy like that), the green gown only needs finishing the neckline and the hem, and the black taffeta top is missing hooks and eyes at the front because the local sewing supply had ran out. I was thinking of trying buttons for the closure, but I'm not sure if it's a bit too bold for my skills and the amount of interest I have in sewing button holes. Which is close to zero. But it, too, will some day be finished! I find it quite relaxing to just sew away, fiddle with beautiful fabrics and see what comes out in the end. The perfect thing to get my mid off work and housework.

13 comments:

  1. Awesome progress shots!
    Unfortunately with corset binding that complex, I don't think there's any other way but hand sewing it on to get a clean proper finish. I learned to rock my needle when hand sewing-- makes hand sewing go along so very fast.

    Sometimes I wonder why I haven't sewn a full Victorian or Edwardian gown yet... but then I remember I'm shy of being a total recluse so if I were to make something like that, it would sit in a garment bag for gosh knows how long lol.
    But I do love to see people sew them, gosh I do!

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    1. Thanks! It might be that the binding should always be sewn by hand, but the instructions don't mention it at all, which confused me. Oh well, I still have the upper edge to do, but then the corset is finished except for the eyelets!

      I hope you find an event you could make a dress for, it's so rewarding to get it finished!

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  2. Hitsi mitä ihanuuksia siulla on tekeillä. Mie oon keskittyny vaan neulomiseen tällä hetkellä :) (eipä miulla oikeen olis rahaakaan ostella kankaita isoihin projekteihin) Toi pistaasin värinen mekko on ihanan värinen! :)

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    1. Kiitos! Mä olen ihan surkea neulomisessa, oon enemmän isojen linjojen ihminen ja siksi tällaset jättiläismekkoprojektit vetoaa muhun eniten ;D

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  3. I think that truly is amazing! It's not even finished and it looks gorgeous already :)

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    1. Thank you so much! Yesterday I sewed until my fingers hurt and it seemed the corset will never be done, thanks for the encouragement!

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  4. I am pretty curious how it will turn out. It already looks pretty.

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    1. Thank you! I'll post pictures of the finished corset if it looks even half way decent ;D

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  5. This looks amazing! And kudos for sewing with satin and getting a passable corset - it wrinkles like hell! Someone onc
    e said that satin is satan's gay brother and I c
    an't help to find this true...

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    1. Thanks! I'm just hoping none of my mistakes show because the satin is so dark and my stitching is equally dark ;D Your description of satin is spot on!

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  6. Starting these sewing projects was a great decision, I'm looking forward to seeing the results! For the bias tape thing, I'm by no means a sewing expert but in all corsets I've seen the bones are a little bit shorter than the corset specifically to allow sewing the bias tape by machine. They do the wrong side first and then the right side. The wrong side ends up with two rows of stitching but the right side is neat. The garment edge keeps it shape because of the binding, there is no need for bones till the very end. And if the bones are properly rounded/capped, they don't rip through the channels.

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  7. Wow, you sure get things done! In my experience, cats always love to "help" with sewing!

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  8. I go insane if I don't do creative stuff too! Must get around to posting a few recent endeavors! I, too do multiple things at once so it takes a while!

    The cat, Mor looks positively pop-eyed with excitement over the fabric!

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