Sunday, 28 September 2014

Review/Tutorial: Prym Bias Binding Tool, Me-Made Corsetry Plus Some Sneaky Sewing Time

 Bear with me sewing people. This post is going to be quite long as it has some sewing with loads of pics plus a product review for a tool that I find to be one of the most useful that I own. Now to start off I was at the Studio yesterday and managed to sneak in a  little sewing time, in between moving furniture and mini-meetings.

Totally rocking shot  of Lois Wetherup by the awesome  Tom Farmer @ Glasgow Photographer, Knickers and fascinator by the super-taleneted Marie @ Amuse Bouche. Corset by me.

There is much going on at the moment, everything is in a state of flux, so loads to do.

Recognize this fabric? Yep, it is the leftovers from my Flea Market Fancy shirt. Nothing wasted in Kitty Towers.

More on that when it is all finalized. However despite all the too-ing and fro-ing I managed to complete the lining for the orange neck corset and make the outer and lining for a red one.

Lovely super thick silk, so many pieces.

The red one will match the corset above that I was commissioned to make for a Miss Scotland to be featured in a Christmas-themed shoot for The Sun newspaper a year or so ago. I am trying not to look at my wrinkly fabric. Nice fit though for only having the rough measurements.

I am going to use the two of these in the upcoming photo-shoot and am looking forward to getting them finished. I have to say that making a neck corset probably takes me as long as making a bigger one.

I always line in quilting cottons. They are so pretty and the cotton is nice to wear next to the skin.

My pattern has 12 pieces to cut out in the outer silk fabric, interfacing, corset coutil and then a lining. the shell is sewn up from the interfaced silk flat-lined to the coutil. The boning is sewn to the shell and the lining will be hand-stitched onto that to keep it in place. They don't lie flat as they are both shaped to be three-dimensional. Plus I will steam them into shape and leave them to cool down in the same way that you would do a coat collar.

Once that is done I will  tidy up the edges and cover them with bias binding, sandwiching all the layers together and unpicking the holding stitches. This is where one of my favorite wee gadgets comes in - my Prym bias binding tool.

NB.To be fair I also have ones from Clover and they are equally as useful but this is the one I will always reach for first as I like the little handle and the size.

One of my favourite tools, ever!

The tools are simplicity itself to use and they come with pretty good instructions but here is my method.

Here are my bias strips. I have ironed them flat. Look how the grain is on the diagonal. That is the bias and will allow it to curve round edges easily.

You will want to cut out strips ON THE BIAS that are twice the width as stated on the tool e.g for a 12mm tool cut 24mm, for an 18mm tool cut 36mm, etc. If I am using silk (as I am here) I cut out 40mm strips instead of 36mm just because they will shrink widthways when you pull them through the maker. You won't need to do this with a thicker fabric like cotton.

Plus you need to be quite accurate in your cutting or your will get wonky binding.

The back of the tool. Right side of fabric facing this way.

An easy way to get your first cutting line is to fold over one end of your fabric so that the selvedge is at 90 degrees to the selvedge on the other side to form a right-angled triangle. Give this an iron and, hey-ho, your cutting line. The pointy ends of your strips make it easy to push through the maker but if they don't you can pull it through gently with a pin.
To make your binding you will need to push your fabric through the tool with the right side facing downwards. The fabric will be folded round as it goes through to create the little flaps on the back of the bias as illustrated below.

Please ignore the stray thread. Never noticed that one when I was taking the pic.

It helps to secure the end of your strip to your ironing board with a pin so that you can pull against it gently when you are ironing. Use loads of steam (test your fabric first) and keep the point of the iron quite close to where the binding comes out. you should then end up with beautiful "single-fold" flat binding that you can either use as is or iron over double to create "double-fold" tape.

Easy peasy! Now you have no excuse for finding matching binding, plus the design options are endless. I really recommend buying one of these if you use binding at all. They come in lots of widths too and are only about £7 or £8 depending on size & brand.

Apologies for the wonky photo editing and hopefully will have a few more things to show next week.
Take care,  lovelies!

P.S. I won a sewing pattern  giveaway from the brilliant "Pendle Stitches" blog so will be making a much needed bag at some point. Huge thanks for the pattern. Am chuffed to bits. xx

Disclaimer: The views above are totally my own and this is definitely not a sponsored post.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

2000 Miles Is Very Far.......

Hello All! I am writing this on the train, my new (spiritual) home. (Updated: added pictures today).

The slightly squashed first mice pie of the year! My new portable dinner plan.

Can someone please explain to me why I thought it would be a good idea to commute to work? You will be able to get some sewing done at nights she said (in her head) and loads of knitting on the train (sardines anyone?). 

King Cole Double Knitting. 

Well that idea has come back to bite me but at least on the upside I am home to sleep like the dead the minute I am through the door have more time with Sprogzilla. In reality I am now out for about 15 hours a day and am clocking up a fair few (100s) miles every day so sewing will be relegated to the weekends if I am lucky. I am doing some knitting though.

I am using one strand King Cole DK and 1 strand  DK black wool

Lots of scarfs again. Triangular ones using a pattern from King Cole. It is super simple and as it is knitted up on 10mm needles (size 000 in old money) it is pretty fast. It also has the bonus that it will fit in my bag. I am also using some Noro Kureyon but have run out of wool to finish it so need to go back to the shop to get more. I bought it from Ramshambles in York which is a great wee shop with really good customer service and lovely wool.

Noro Kureyon. Lovely to knit with. The camera has lightened the colours a lot.

On the sewing front there is much happening. I am doing a photo shoot in a couple of weeks. I am making some neck corsets to go with corsets I have already made as it (in corset making terms) is a bit last minute. I have started making a nice orange silk one and a dark red one.

QE1 - This is my inspiration for the orange one.

I also hope to have the pastel pink/silver grey shot one finished as well. Trouble is as I have no neck and woudn't suit me I have no first hand exoerience of wearing one and I can't decide how comfortable steel boning will be in them. I have made one with 7mm spiral steel boning but it seemed a bit stiff. The orange one has the fabric covered sew-in type of ridglene boning in it. It was a breeze to sew in and you can even sew over it. I think that this might be my default from now on,

One layer of silk dupion and one of cotton herringbone coutil flatlined together, but only at the sides. I also normally interface the silk before sewing them together but my iron was playing up so didn't want to risk it.

Anyway I am using my self-drafted pattern. I has 12 pieces and is cuts to cover the collarbones and a bit of the shoulders as well and is a nice fluted shape at the bottom.

Corset front embellished with an old crochet doilly, mother of pearl buttons and Swarovski crystals. The fabric is the same as above just more like the actual colour in this shot.

It is made to match the orange corset that I made for Fashion Week 3 years ago but have never done a photoshoot with yet. I have many, many samples waiting to be photographed. :(

I really love these two colours together but I had a problem as although I bought three of the bits of crochet I couldn't find the other two.

I did have a vintage necklace that kind of goes with the general feel though which I had bought at the time with this look in mind.

I also found a few bits of French couture laces in various colours, with some in ivory , mink and cream. The quality is amazing but I only have very small pieces. These are attached all over with tiny invisible prick stitches. I also have tons of strands of vintage pearls as I usually try to pick up interesting second-hand vintage jewelry when I see it. Comes in handy. 
This lace is beautiful. wish I had more.
Anyway, progress has been slow but I am really looking forward to the end result. All Scottish team - fabulous models, a super photographer lined up and Mel from Le Hat Noir is doing the hats again. Some are tartan so really bang on trend for this winter. I am super excited but sewing for me is on hold until after the middle of October. Will keep posting when I have finished these. There will be flowers!

Hope your week(s) have been great. Happy creating.
K xx