mandag den 4. februar 2013

New year, New rules!

So, 2013 is upon us, and for this blog, it means a lot of changes.
First and foremost, you may have noticed the change in language. While blogging in Danish comes slightly more natural than in English, the number of people who actually care about sewing techniques AND read Danish are fairly low. Having the blog in english just makes things easier.

In order to draw a little attention to the blog, I have also entered into Foundations Revealeds sewing competition this year. For those of you who do not know Foundations Revealed, it is a subscription only homepage, full of high quality articles teaching you how to make corsets and other historic underwear. The page has two twin-sisters in Your wardrobe Unlock'd and History Unstitched, and I have been so lucky to write an article for YWU on how to weave fringes for trim.

In order to change the language on the blog, all new posts will be in english, and as times go, hopefully I will have time to translate some of the more popular posts.

So, that was one new thing. What was the other?
In 2013 I have decided not to buy new cloth. A common declaration among online seamstresses, this is actually rather healthy and sometimes quite needed. My stash of cloth for hobby projects have exceeded 100 m, and thus are becoming a slight nuisance. As I am bad at planning my projects from what I already have, this will be a good exercise.

January contained such a project, as I needed a costume for Copenhagen Grotesque Burlesques Persian Decadence & Subconscious Uprising party. Here I only needed to buy a white wig, two blue feathers and a bit of satin band. The rest was found in the stash, and in my opinion, it all went rather well... :)

Picture taken by Pao-Lung Tsai at Copenhagen Grotesque Burlesques Persian Decadence & Subconscious Uprising party.

søndag den 3. februar 2013

Entry for Foundations Revealeds competition: The peacock corset

This is the UK dress diary for my entry for Foundations Revealeds competition 2013: Ornamentation. The corset was produced in december 2010, but as it fits the ornamentation category so well, i decided to give it a go.

The technical specifications:
  • single layer coutil
  • 7 mm spiral steel boning at all seams
  • 7 mm spring steel at center back closure.
  • Thais silk fashion layer
  • 151 peacock feathers
  • 26 metal eyelets
  • satin band

I used an old self-drafted pattern, with a discrete overbust shape, and no reduction at the waist, as it was to be used for new year eve dinner, and I'd like some comfort while wearing it. Using the pattern as a guide, I planned the position of the peacockfeathers. The feathers were placed, so the eyes of each feather was shown to its best advantage.

 The pattern used for the corset.

Each feather was then cut, so the eye and a little rim of brow flowy featherparts were kept. Each feather was then sewn on to the olivegreen thai silk, -a leftover from my wedding gown. In order to keep and overview of the project, each feathers position was marked with a pin. Each feather was then sewn on with approximately 5-7 stitches around the stem of the feather.

A feather sewn on to the silk. discrete stitches have been used around the stem to secure the feather.
After having sewn on most of the feathers I realised, that the placement pattern was not good. All though all feathers were displayed as well as possible, it never created a whole. It was a corset, with peacock feathers on, not a peacock corset.

 The original placement of the feathers did not work as a whole.

So I removed all exept the lowest line of feathers, and fiddled with the next layer, until I had a design I liked. After that, it was a simple question of stitching feather on. I used different sizes of feathers depending on the diameter of the corset where I was working. The big and medium feathers were used on the hip and chest, while the small feathers were used at the waist.

 The two lowest lines of feathers, with an overlap that shows of the feathers, while still creating a whole.

As the stomach and back area was getting done, I had to decide on the placement of the feathers on the chest, as they had to line up in a nice way, in order to expose as few ugly stems as possible. In order to keep an overview, I regularly mounted the silk/featherlayer on mu dress form, to assess how everything was working together.
I decided on changing the directions of the feathers gradually, so they pointed away from the center of the chest. Thus, the last stems wound be covered with only three well placed feathers.

The almost covered fashionlayer. The feather eyes are almost covered by the brown fluffy part of the surrounding feathers. 
After the feathers were all sewn on the fashion layer, it was time to finish the structural layer. All seams were ironed open, and covered with a tube for the 7 mm spiral boning.  At the back metal eyelets were placed with more eyelets towards the waist.


Finally the fashionlayer were sewn together with the structural layer, all done by hand. At the back the fashionlayer overlaps the eyelets, so the satin band is kept away from the feathers, and stress them as little as possible.
After assembling everything I trimmed the feathers lightly, in order to make the corset less fluffy and show off the eyes of the feathers.I tried to trim the feathers as discretely as possible.

And the peacock corset was done!