Thursday, 23 April 2015

Me-Made Corset as shot by Christeeny

I am the luckiest woman alive to have so many uber-talented friends. One of them is the lovely Chris Patterson, who is a fabulous photographer and all round artistic genius based in the North East of England and fellow studio resident.  Last week she was shooting with the very beautiful Lucy Bennison from Tyne Tees Models and I loaned her a few me-made bits and bobs for the shoot. Just look at the result! Isn't this image just amazing? 


Model : Lucy Bennison Tyne Tees Models
Corset & Head Piece : Bad Kitty Corsets

Photo Credit:

I know that Chris was trying to go for a painterly feel and the use of light in this shot, to me, is very much like Vermeer or Rembrandt. I was so pleased that one of my me-made (and designed) corsets could be of use along with this 1920's/ early 30's wax flower bridal crown and veil from my rainy day collection of "stuff that might come in handy for a photoshoot". The tulle is so delicate, almost disintegrating to the touch but very beautiful.

Anyway, I was bursting to share this image with you but had to wait until Chris very graciously said it was okay. If you would like to see more of her work then please click on the link above to her website or find her on Facebook.

Not forgetting of course the amazing team of MUA and hairdressing whose links can be found above too.

Apparently there are more images to come (using other me-made corsets) and I hope to be able to share those with you too sometime. If you are interested the corset design is derived from an original line drawing in "Corsets & Crinolines" by Norah Waugh. I have used this pattern a few times now, most notably for my dip-dyed silk corset that I must get some pics of too.

Hope that you are all having a great week!


Monday, 20 April 2015

Vintage Pattern Pledge 1 - Simplicity 1692: A 1940's Top

Hi All, I hope that you have all been making the best of the good weather and the Easter break. In the UK, this Easter has been really lovely so far and we have had some very balmy spring days. I had the long weekend off over Easter which was great as I have been feeling a little burnt-out lately and took this time to make a start on my Vintage Pattern Pledge offerings for this year, making a top. But because I have actually been sewing I have not had any time to blog about it until now. Typical! I have even finished off a UFO skirt  and done a little Kantha quilting for a cushion front but more on that later.

Simplicity 1692  is a vintage repro-pattern from the 1940's that was purchased many moons ago and was originally traced out in a size 22 (I made View B). Convinced that it wasn't going to fit I scrapped the pattern I had traced and graded up to a size 24 everywhere except the shoulders.   I could probably not have bothered. After reading some of the reviews on PatternReview that mentioned that the neck on this view was very high and not so flattering, I decided to scoop out the front neckline a lot lower, tracing over the lines for the size 14 as printed on the pattern sheet,  lowering it by about 2 inches. 

The fabric is this gloriously colourful cotton lawn remnant that I picked up in Fenwick's in Newcastle. I love these colours and thought that they look terrifically summery. However, I am not convinced that it was the right fabric for this pattern. I lengthened the body by 3 inches at the bottom and did a 2" FBA. I would have lengthened it more but I didn't have enough fabric. I used a black invisible zipper from the stash for the side-zip. I made no attempt at pattern matching as I was short of fabric but I did cut my front out after choosing the "splodges" to be in a balanced place and not in *ahem* anywhere awkward. As I didn't want to lose any length I used bias on the bottom and just stitched and turned it to the inside. I like this finish and use it a lot. The eagle-eyed among you will spot that these pics show the top with the hem still raw and none of the tucks in. These were taken before it was finished but I don't have any more and have not had a chance to take some decent (and made up) shots of me since then. Tuck-less is really not a flattering look for this top.

I have no idea why I am pulling a funny face but if you think this shot is bad you should see the rest of them.

Sewing-wise it came together very well. It is a nicely drafted pattern. I took my time with it, hand-basting everything and finishing off as as much of the inside as I could with French seams. I skipped the pattern pieces for the neck binding, cutting 4cm bias strips and using this to make bias binding in my Prym bias tool. These were stitched down then folded over and hand stitched on the inside. No wonder it takes me so long to make stuff, all the hand stitching that went into this. I was even quite pleased with my invisible zip.

Look at that sleeve puffiness. I definitely don't need volume added on the top half of me. 

So do I love it? I don't know. I think that I should probably have used a softer draping fabric as the sleeves are WAY to puffy for my rugby player shoulders. I didn't use the recommended shoulder pads and the little fabric support as when I sewed them in I had that whole linebacker look going on. The sleeve puffiness was something that has been mentioned in a few other reviews. I might have a go reducing the sleeve head and make it again in something a bit drapier. The top look better with the tucks in the front and I'll try to get some decent pics next weekend.

I was quite a busy bee, I also finished and inserted the lining in McCall's 3830, a pencil skirt that I have had hanging round since August (!!) last year. There is no lining pieces supplied with this pattern just a facing so I just made my own.

The lining was cut the same size as the skirt pieces and stitched to the facing along the edge of the binding.

The hem was stitched to the lining. All the enclosed seams are bound in the gingham bias tape.

 I will review this pattern ASAP in a separate post. I also did some hand stitching on an odd bit if fabric that I had lying around to make a cushion front.

When I saw this bit of Designers Guild interiors fabric remnant I thought that it would look lovely quilted in a Kantha style with maybe some beads and sequins.  I love their style and have DG for nearly all of the decor in my house, although this fabric doesn't match any off it. I haven't quite finished it yet but here is a sneak preview. I plan to get some purple velvet for the back and some big hassle/pom pom trim but am waiting until I happen upon the right colours.

So to round up, the top is not my best work but not a total fail either.  There was some good sewing in this top, plus that's one down on my Vintage Pattern Pledge. Two more garments to go and I have already got the patterns. It does look a lot better with the tucks in the front, honest.

So what have you been up to over Easter? Have you been sewing or just relaxing?

Have a great week!!