I made this one for a customer a few months ago. Very pleased with how it came out - materials are a cinnamon brown matte satin and soft, but fairly thick, black twill piping. The piping fabric is actually a really nice polyester - I hate that plastic shine many polyesters have, but this one is completely free of it and neither looks nor feels like polyester. The hand is similar to a wool/cotton blend twill I have a pair of pants in, although with a slight stretch. Very expensive for a polyester, but worth it - I have three or four garments in it, I like it a lot.

Made for a male customer who wanted a fairly significant reduction, which is why it sits nicely on my mannequin...

...who, being possessed of a fashionable 1890's silhouette, has rather more in the way of hips than the owner of the corset - and most other people too, at least in proportion to her waist.
pimpinett: (Default)
( Jul. 18th, 2008 11:45 pm)
I just got a loving, sentimental drunken phone call from a close friend who lives far away, and now I feel all mushy and sentimental myself, so here's to darling Camilla.

A sketch, this time. The show this weekend was overbooked, so I have another month, and I'm mostly pleased with that.

I ended up rethinking the cut rather drastically after the change of fabric plans. The original idea was full cups cut separately, a v-neck, not too deep, and wide, continuous straps - rather like a pre-1950's bra. Still like that idea, but it wouldn't give the right impression in this fabric, and once I decided on doing some kind of hussar style braid decoration on the front to cover the busk I had to ditch the separate cups.

The current version is very like my favourite dress. I'm totally repeating myself, which is a bit irksome, but it finally feels right again, with the fabric and everything, so I'm going for it anyway. Five panels per side, though, not six as I had planned. The back will be cut like a bodice, going all the way up to the neck, and I don't want to mess around with three back panels right now. With five panels I can cut it much like a princess-seamed bodice with an extra side piece.

Right side is the planned cut of the dress alone around the shoulder area, left side is the planned jacket. I'll do hussar braiding, like on the left. The jacket will have collar and lapels after all, but the funky incroyable kind where the lapels are pretty much separate from the upright collar (I'm telling myself that it will be less of a pain in the ass than I find modern collars and lapels) and a triangular turn-up at the elbow-length sleeves. Part of me wants to line it with a different fabric to get contrasting lapels and turn-ups, but I can't think of any other colours I'd like in the mix apart from the grey of the fabric and black braid, and black lapels seems boring and pointless, so I don't think I will.

Not sure how to treat the bottom part of the jacket in the back - very short, above the waist, I suppose, since the waist and the back lacing is to be the focus, but I'm not enthusiastic about that bit. I would like it to do something interesting, but I don't know what. I think I will see if I can figure out that old-fashioned way of cutting the shoulders, with diagonal shoulder seams that sit on the back of the shoulders, along the shoulder blades, instead of on top of the shoulders. I like how that looks, and I'm guessing that the shaping over the slope of the shoulders that's done with vertical darts on the back in modern patterns, and always look so much like an afterthought, is put into those seams instead. Beautiful and functional.

Am considering epaulets too. I think that's too much cowbell, though.
pimpinett: (Default)
( Feb. 4th, 2008 08:20 pm)
I went ahead and got that fabric today - it really is lovely, and as it turned out to be a lot less expensive than I expected (35 crowns + tax! And there's nothing wrong with the quality!) I bought four meters. Am thinking blouses and shirts, too, maybe a summer dress? The colour isn't very summery, but then neither am I, in the general way. The quality certainly is.

It's the weft that is black, not the warp. Still just as pretty. And it matches my colour scheme!

I'm probably hallucinating here, since I can't think of any good reason why, but something about the drab colour and the slight luster in it makes me think of DDR and the Soviet Union. In a good way.

Now I just need to figure out all the details of the corset dress and the jacket - I know I don't want the busk showing, but I'm not quite sure how to cover it up. Buttons or not? Single row or double, and how long? Or maybe some other kind of fancy closure - frogs, or braiding, hussar style, or that vaguely military-looking horizontal ribbon appliqué technique, whatever it's called? I dunno, but I need to decide. I'm not quite sure whether the jacket should have have lapels or not, either - I think I want lapels, but not is definitely the sensible option.

Decisions, decisions, decisions...
pimpinett: (Default)
( Feb. 3rd, 2008 08:27 pm)
Dreadfully hungover after a great dinner party last night - I drink so little alcohol nowadays that I'd almost forgotten how it feels. I shouldn't drink wine, it always makes me feel awful even in very small amounts.

Brought the camera to work yesterday in order to take some photographs of the progress on that three-piece ensemble for L, only to discover that A, in one of his flashes of brilliance, had left the memory card in his computer at home. Some other day, in other words.
The skirt is finished, and the corseted vest only lacks a few hooks and buttons. Haven't done more than the pattern for the jacket, and my busks have not arrived yet, so I'm a bit behind on everything right now; we'll see how that goes. I plan on doing a lot of the hand-sewing on the lapels and collar of the jacket at home in the evenings.

Still undecided on fabric for the corset dress, but I lean towards a grey viscose/cotton mix I picked up a sample of last week. It has a discreet duochrome effect, the warp is black and the weft is some shade of greyish beige - very nice. A bit dull, maybe, but subtle and elegant, which is just as well, as the garments in themselves will provide enough drama.

Am going to spend the rest of the evening vegetating over a cup of tea in front of Railroad Tycoon II. Pure luxury.
pimpinett: (Default)
( Jan. 26th, 2008 01:32 am)
Here it is.

That button isn't really sewn on crookedly, I just missed that it had been twisted a bit when I took the photos. Nothing short of seeing it in person can do the fabric justice - it's that striped cotton I've been talking about, and I can't get over how stupid I was not to buy up a couple of extra meters of it while it was around. Now it's sold out, and I'll regret that for the rest of my life. Bah.

Anyway, I like how it turned out - the buttons and the fabric go very well together, and the buttons really stand out. I'll wear it out tomorrow, will try to snatch a few minutes to get a few decent photos of the thing on me. The dummy does a good job of showing it off, but it isn't wearing the matching garrison cap...

In other news, the European Figure Skating Championships are in full swing and I'm positively wallowing in it. God, I love tacky, glitzy figure skating costumes! I love the melodrama, the big gestures and the incredible skill, strength and grace of these people - figure skating makes great television, and it's at that dull time of the year when you often don't have anything better to do around bedtime anyway.
pimpinett: (Default)
( Jan. 18th, 2008 11:45 pm)
I got the preliminary date for a fashion show I'll be doing at a local burlesque club; february 15th. Ergo, I am working my ass off right now and will be doing so for the next month - stayed at work until 11 last night drafting patterns. I have quite a few things to show already, but there are three complete outfits that I want to finish:
 - A three-piece suit for my business partner L, consisting of a skirt, a corseted vest and a fitted jacket of a red and black herringbone wool, inspired by an early 19th century riding habit. Especially the jacket, which is cut to resemble early 19th century frock coats with huge collar and lapels, short front, longer back with pleats and buttons and shoulder puffs. The cut of the skirt is more 1930's than anything, calf length with inverted box pleats opening above the knee, and the vest is something in-between, if you can imagine that.
 - A pale pink overbust corset and garter skirt for my very lovely and very pink friend S, will be worn with seam-backed stockings and lots of black ostrich plumage.
 - A corset dress with a short bolero jacket for myself, still haven't decided on fabric, as that black-on-black striped cotton I wanted to use for it is N/A; I'll look for something similar, I want the whole outfit to have that slight, military flavour that I like. Have considered and rejected pinstripes - I'm a little sick of that look, it's been done to death lately. Besides, I couldn't make a pinstriped garrison cap. That would be ridiculous.
 - Plus as many extra garments for some other could-be-improved outfits as I can manage. These three outfits will be the icing on the cake, though, and I really look forward to making all of them - especially the suit, although I predict that it will turn out to be a pain in my behind, and S's pink outfit.

I'm done with the strict little underbust, I just have to sit down and sew on the buttons. It turned out quite well, but I'm not quite used to the look of the waist. Seven years ago I would probably have thought it measly, now I don't wear corsets all that often any more, and the huge visual difference just four centimeters made (four centimeters smaller at the waist than the last one I made for myself, that is) rather startled me. It feels just fine, but I think I look verging on freakish in it.
I'll get used to it, though - I always did. The silhouette is nice, straight over the ribs, curved from the waist down.
Been busy working, traipsing around Malmö on a short weekend trip, seeing Laibach and a few other bands I don't care that much about, a couple of friends I do care very much about, and finally battling the mother of all colds. I won, but it took a while, and it was no fun at all.

The glove project hasn't made any progress, didn't really have time for it before we went among a heap of work projects, so I made another black garrison cap to match another little black wiggle dress with military-inspired details for the Malmö expedition instead. I'm getting good at it, and I have no less than four almost, but not quite identical black garrison caps now, to match two dresses, a skirt and a jacket. Maybe five, or six, I may have forgotten one or two. I don't think anyone notices much difference between them, but I feel good knowing that it's not just made of a similar plain black fabric, but the same plain black fabric as the dress, with a matching button in front.

Malmö was fun, even with that cold sneaking up on me; Laibach were very good, if not quite as good as they were at the start of the same tour a little over a year ago in Stockholm. Still, it was completely worth traveling down for, as I think it's pretty likely that we will not get to her the Volk songs on coming tours; and electriXmas, a one-night industrial festival that was held the same night in co-operation with the Laibach gig at another venue across the street, was fun, too, with a couple of good bands and lots of fun people to watch. I wore one of the aforementioned black wiggle dresses with matching garrison cap - picture behind cut. )

Now I'm having a couple of weeks off, and I think I'll use some of the time to work on a few projects of my own - I really need to begin working on some corset projects for a planned show, but I'm low on hardware at the moment, will have to do something about that. I am going to do some work on a pretty simple waist cincher for myself, in a gorgeous, sturdy black cotton fabric with a narrow, textured black-on-black vertical stripe pattern - it's hard to describe, rather simple, but incredibly pretty. I'll have to get some pictures of the various items I've made from it - that skirt I split during the Nitzer Ebb show, for instance.
The corset is going to have a functional button closure over the busk, anyway, because I'm sick and tired of looking at busks, but I love buttons. I happen to have the perfect buttons making their way here across the Atlantic as I write - namely, these babies:

Black plastic, American Red Cross. No idea how old they are - not very, I think, which is just as well, because that means that they will hopefully stand up to gentle machine washing. Pretty, pretty, pretty! I'm fond of uniforms, military styling and details in general; I've even done a tiny bit of collecting in the past, although mostly just female uniforms that I could wear myself, most of them nurse uniforms. These buttons speak to that side of me (mostly they said "buy us! buy us!").
They will be gorgeous on a strict little corset, with a pencil skirt in the same fabric, a plain cotton shirt with short puff sleeves, striped cotton shoulder straps, buttoned down with a couple of these, and a garrison cap in the same striped cotton with yet another one of these buttons in front.


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