Monday, June 27, 2011

Sew Much Progress (Ilythia and Corset)

It was a busy weekend for me, sewing wise. I tried to knock out as much as I possibly could. I actually did more than you will see because the camera ran out of batteries. I played with the Cindy Loo cartridge while the embroidery machine was going. While the cricut was going, I cut pieces of a corset. Multitasking FTW!

My loft is starting to feel more and more like a factory when I have all the machines going at once. I've yet to let the baby bug go while the E2 is going though.

But this post is not about the cricut stuff. It's about the sewing stuff. We'll start with Ilythia (pink toga). I had that mostly completed (so I thought). I had gotten the underskirt done last week. And the top and skirt portions were done last week. So here I was thinking that I only needed to attach the two. Yeah, no.

Here's where I started. I couldn't get the skirt on the dress form, which should have been telling.

 So, as I mentioned above, I couldn't get the skirt over the dress form. I frequently have a problem with dress forms and shoulders. Theirs do not move, mine do. So the process of putting on an item of clothing isn't quite the same. But I've got this nice new system meant to be just like me. I should have taken this as a sign.

I thought the underskirt looked pretty on the dress form.
 Before I get to that, let me tell you an interesting part of the underskirt. I had sewn the casing for it. And I pinned in a piece of elastic with a safety pin on the other end to help thread it. Then I got on the phone with my mother. Some how the end that was straight pinned was not the right place, so when I reached it..I couldn't get the safety pin out without undoing all that work. So I decided...the safety pin stays. It's still got an elastic waist band...just with a safety pin inside the waste band. It's an one will see.

Pre-chiffon, test for fit
 So back to the toga. I pinned the top and skirt together, since I was able to put both on. I pulled it over my head and it then got stuck. And worse, there were pins sticking all in me. ACK. I pulled out the pins (not quickly enough for my taste) and then rolled with a different option: zipper and hook and eye.

So I took out the back seam of the skirt and the back seam of the top. The top will be hooked with a hook and eye. It's now much easier to get into and it fits on the dress form.

All sewn
 This is it's slightly less than current state. Where did the belt portion go? Well, actually that wasn't the belt. That was leftover trim to see how the belt would look. The trim hasn't arrived that I'll use for the belt. Also, need to find leather. It will be a slightly different color as they were was not enough of the trim I was using and the seller didn't have anymore. But we decided it would look okay due to the leather layer. I added the chiffon neck piece later on in the day.

Also,. if you've seen me rant lately about evil pink fabric: this would be it. I'm not showing you the insides on purpose. It's a hot mess. I had to use fray check to get it to stop fraying (no serger and pinking didn't help).

What will this be?
This is my favorite thing to be working on, and probably the one that is SUPPOSED to be the most difficult. But it never fails, I succeed at difficult and fail at simple.  It will be a steel boned corset. I've never done steel boning before, so I'm excited. And this is actually the under layer that will hold the boning. 

I might make another for Halloween, because ORANGE AND BLACK

And here it is partially boned. Unlike the plastic boning that I'm used to, this came with twill tape for the channels which then have to have the boning placed into them, whereas the plastic boning is already in it's channels. I think getting the channels sewing close enough to allow them to hold the steel is supposed to be difficult, but it wasn't. Tedious as I had to watch it close, but not difficult persay. I still have to add more channels.

Now, if I hadn't already done plastic boning, it might have been more difficult. The most confusing aspect was figuring out which pieces went to which channels. Trial and error mostly. But having done the others, I knew there had to be some space leftover at the ends, as I'm going to end up hemming/combining layers. So if you haven't done it, keep that in mind.

The top layer has been sewn. So next up is the back facing, grommets for the lacing, and the corset busk (?). That last one is the one I'll be most nervous about. Although the pattern I'm working with is not double layered, so the back facing may be complex to figure out.

I also made some progress on Katherine's corset/top and I made some decisions towards that. I took measurements for the skirt and was all set to begin the pleating...but True Blood came on.

Still left to do by Sept. 1st:
  • back chiffon piece of Ilythia
  • jewelry for Ilythia
  • belt for Ilythia
  • finish orange corset
  • shorts
  • Katherine skirt
  • Katherine "bustle"
  • details for Katherine (ruffles, lace)
  • tailcoat
  • vest
Still left to do by my niece's birthday
  • hula monkey shirt
  • cricut shirt
  • curtains for mom
If you don't see me post a lot between now and September 1st, know that it's because I've locked myself in my sewing room (that doesn't have a door). At least some of these just involve internet searches (I'm looking at you jewelry which I do not have the skills to make). Some are more time consuming than difficult (PLEATING), some I've never done (tailcoat) and some will just be experimenting (details).

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