Sunday, April 14, 2013

Little Things

I haven't touched the next iteration of the corset yet. Maybe I'll do that in the remaining hour I should be awake.  Instead, I made straps for a bridesmaid dress.  Yup!

So, yeah, straps. Which is to say, a tube of black polyester chiffon, gathered, and stitched to the back of the dress where the optional ($70) straps used to go. I haven't yet sewn down the fronts, because who knows how I'll feel day of?  But at least that's one less naggy thing on my mind.

Travel tomorrow. I wish I had a better handsewing project to work on.  I did make some pattens today though, but this isn't a *woodworking* blog now is it.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Doin' It Wrong

So, the point of a mockup is to make mistakes. Okay, yeah, I got that. The Barono fabric was a mistake, albeit a calculated one. Racing through all the boning channels? Also a mistake. About half of them were too narrow for my 1/4" reed, so I spent a lot of time trimming bits down and now as ever my floor is covered with cuttings. And yes, I am frustrated enough with this corset that I don't think I'm going to finish it.

In the ugliness, there is some epiphany.  You see, I've always hated this style of corset, because I always get huge ugly bias-pulls in between the boned sections.

Like that trench that runs up over my hip.  Yeah, like that.

 And then it hit me. They're pulling on the bias, because... they're on the bias.  You see, the first 18th century corset I ever made was from a pattern so sparse and so low on instructions that even now I look at it and wonder how I ended up with something so good.  The second was, as I mentioned, another mockup, and thus I'd blamed the fabric.

But it turns out, I've been cutting the panels on the wrong grain tilt all this time, and would never have known except that there's been another book out recently which actually, wonder of wonders, MARKS THE GRAIN LINES. When I did the first one, all I had was the sparse diagrams in Corsets and Crinolines to go on. And while there are pattern pieces in those line drawings, it's unclear where the grain lines are. So really, this is new information to me - the CF is not on the straight of grain, and the grain is ALSO not supposed to go vertically from hip to armpit as in my Victorian bodices.

Nope, the grain is supposed to match the main line of boning - so the angle of navel-to-nipple for the wide front panel, and from navel to armpit on the super-tilted side panel.

(For those of you at home wondering, this is what I imagine any time I hear or say "wellp!")
Other than the major fail of lack of infoz, I feel like the thing fits fairly well.
It's a little big. and I think it needs to come in at the side and side front a bit - we're talking like half an inch from the bottom of the center point-armhole seam, and maybe a bit more tuck at the waist. Oh, and I'll probably narrow the back panels, since I had it laced 100% completely closed in this picture, and wasn't feeling any real "squish":

(Also, this fabric totally matches my bathroom tile. <3 )

Soooo... Onward! The next version will have slight pattern alterations, and be made of much more biddable material. Also, cut on the correct grain. And with more even boning channels.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Okay, literally a month later...

I can't be too hard on myself really.  Because I've been a busy bee this month, and it's amazing that I've had time for any sewing of any sort at all. And in fact, a lot of the sewing I've been doing is "fill time" mending and hemming and eyelets and endless linen ball-buttons for unspecified Renaissance undergarments... in cars and airports and taxis and airplanes and hotel rooms.

Yeah, it's been a traveling month (ski trip, backpacking, ski trip, work travel), capped with a weekend celebrating turning a decade older. Yow!

So today I whipped myself into a froth sewing all the remaining bone cases, measuring and marking grommet placement, and just consoling myself to the fact that as pretty as it is, this Waverly Barono stuff is *crap* to sew with, and I am perfectly justified in never wanting to work with it ever again.

I am not kidding. It takes a lot to get to my (as one ex put it) "fuckit horizon", but this one got me there early. I'm not finishing the edges. I'm not making hand bound eyelets. I'm not even doing anything special for the thread ends, and I'm honestly debating *not* binding it at all.
Right, so... We'll see how this goes.  Laid flat it looks blocky and ugly. But let me tell you, readers, do not attempt to put on a completely unboned corset mockup. Man, it's the most frustrating thing ever. :P  And now I need to run off to the weekend's activities.