28 March 2011

It's time for an apron

Yesterday I remarked that after spending about three and a half weeks making my corset (which I am wearing today!) I want my next project to be quick and easy instant gratification.  Rebecca from Wannabe mentioned one of her favorites: an apron, and that had been what I was thinking after an incident last week involving flying popping bacon grease and considerable cussing.  I did the cussing, not the bacon.  The bacon's aim was a little too good ...

So, apron it is!  I have two apron patterns: a pretty Butterick from their costume section (translation: it's an historical pattern), and a McCall's one labelled "home dec" because the pattern set also includes bins and hangers and an ironing board cover:
Maggie made this apron during the stash contest, and said it was pretty easy (minus mystery fabric issues).  Since this is my first try at an apron, I figured I should start off with the easier pattern this time.  LOL  I do have a history of tackling the difficult patterns first ...

And yes, this is more of that Delft print cotton duck I used on my waist corset/back brace back in December, and part of the six-pack of cotton ducks I scored on the Black Friday sale with visions of corsets, jackets, and grocery bags dancing in my mind at the cutting table.  I'm planning to use the solid blue for the straps, ties, pocket, and upper ruffle, with the print for the body and lower ruffle.

Let's see just how quick and easy aprons really are ....

27 March 2011

B4254 midVictorian corset finished!

The pics you've been waiting for:

It's not perfect ... but this is an improvement over my last attempt at a corset ... and hubby says he *REALLY* likes this one.  Still a few wrinkles to work out ... and I'll have to fuss with the lacing ribbon a bit as hubby said he couldn't work it straight.  Overall, I am pleased with how this turned out, and hubby says he is very pleased.

I think I'll pick something quick and easy for my next project.  I am needing a bit of instant gratification after this one!

Almost done with B4254 D

I spent yesterday putting on the bias binding after making some up in the denim left over.  My fingers are still protesting because I sewed half of each bias binding by hand ... yes, your handsewing-hating blogger is still handsewing!  For good reason ... this is the first time I've done bias binding that I don't hate once it's finished.  No wrinkles, nothing kinked under, nothing gone wabberjawed ...

I did try to do continuous bias binding, but somehow hosed up sewing the crooked tube and my lines didn't line up, so I ripped that seam out and just did strips.  Machts nicht ("mox nix") since each strip did a top or bottom with a little bit left over.

I did attach the bias to the front of the corset halves by machine.  While my machine sewing still isn't *all that* it does look straighter than my handsewing, and is quicker to boot.  After the first bit of binding, I had the smart idea to trim the corset layers before folding the binding over.  This made it both easier and much less messy, as the edges were trying to fray after so much handling.

Now, about that handsewing that my poor fingertips are still complaining about ... do it!  When someone who avoids handsewing (when possible) heartily recommends sewing something by hand, there is a darn good reason.  The results will speak for themselves, but - especially on corsets - handsewing is worth the time and sore fingers.  Apparently, the way I did my binding is the same way quilters do theirs, so if you don't believe me ... go ask a quilter.  LOL

I don't have in-progress pics of the binding ... I guess I got a little excited about getting it done before bedtime.  This morning I am setting the eyelets, and will *TRY* once again to get clear pictures of this step-by-step as has been requested since the waist corset I made in December.  It's almost 10 AM here, and I am still waiting for a bit of sunlight ... it is so grey today I need to turn on the lights even with an east-facing window in the sewing area (that hubby and son still insist on calling "the dining room").  I do have the eyelet tools gathered up and the spacing figured already.
I marked the waist by feeling for the waist tape I put in, then figured out from there with the two eyelets-to-be right next to the waist being a tiny bit closer than the others, as these will be where the "rabbit ears" will be.  I have both satin and grossgrain style ribbon that matches the lace ... right now I am leaning towards the satin.

I need to find my FrayCheck, as the lace is trying to fray at the cut edges.  Since I don't have buckram in the lacing panel, I'll want to use it around the eyelet holes as well.  I just straight up forgot the buckram this time ...

25 March 2011

What a difference flossing makes

No, not teeth (although it does hold true as well) but corsets ... I have one half completely flossed, and while I don't know if y'all can tell the difference in the pic (due to my poor photog skills) but I can sure feel a difference when I pick the two halves up.  The flossed half holds its shape!  This may be something I have been missing in previous corsets I've made.  Oh, the pic:
I'm using jeans thread on top, since I have decided to go with the lace under the top binding.  The bottom binding will just be topstitched denim bias.  Besides flowers grow *up* ... even completely pink flowers.  Using the jeans thread which is practically invisible on this denim gives me the opportunity to try out variations on flossing.  My still coffee deprived mind is also wondering how the designs will look with variegated thread ...

24 March 2011

B 4254 zipper and boning

I actually put the zipper in yesterday afternoon, but didn't bother with taking a pic because I was pretty stoked to roll on ... I got half the corset boned last night and finished the other half this morning.  I had to knock off last night when my hands started hurting a bit from cutting and filing the cable ties (remember I had to buy tin snips for these cable ties!).  The snips leave an edge where they cut, plus there are the corners to round, so I've spent some quality time with my metal file.  Add in my cats trying to "help" every time I use my dressmaker measuring tape ("It's moving!  We'll save you from it!") and also attacking the end of the long cable ties as I file the end ("It's moving!  I'll save you!") ...

Fuzzy pic alert ... again ... here it is boned with the zipper in:
I should mention I think metal zippers are where the expression "like pulling teeth" comes from ... I had to pull 5 teeth from each side of the top before putting on new zipper stops.  And just a grumble on the side: Why do zip repair kits contain almost a dozen slides but only four zipper stops?  If you know of a source to buy *only* the stops, please post it!

Next step after boning is flossing the cable ties in.  Of course I have a link to a corset flossing tutorial ... and of course it is once again from Sidney Eileen's site.  I thought I had bought green embroidery floss, but in sunlight it is actually grey ... so I am flossing all in pink.  I am still planning to put my pink lace into the top binding, although I am still waffling to-and-fro on whether to use lace on the bottom.  Pic with lace and floss:

Now ... I have half a dozen short pieces of cable ties left over ... pretty much too short to actually use in a corset ... but the perfect size to stitch into some scraps to practice flossing designs!  Errr ... to practice flossing, period ... I've never done it before today.  However, in between fussing at the camera and waiting for my computer to install updates, I think I got the idea I want:
I had to turn the flash off, then lighten the pic in gimp due to the very pretty shiny-ness of my rayon embroidery floss ... but the shiny is why I bought the rayon kind.  This will definitely be the flossing design on the bottom of the boning channels.  Right this second I am thinking flossed flowers on the bottom, then use the jeans thread on top under the lace.

Anyone have opinions or suggestions on my current bit of lunacy?

22 March 2011

Butterick 4254 D boning and inspiration

Here's the point I stopped at last night: the vertical boning channels sewn after basting my layers together.  Well, all but one vertical channel ... and I need to put the zipper in before I do that one last.
The curved channel through the bust cup was a royal PITA to sew ... but it does curve!  They all curve to some extent, which is the idea.  Today's project is putting in the diagonal boning channels, with aid of a fabric marker.  I need the channel seams to be mostly straight as the cables ties have no sideways bend to them, which is also a good thing.  I'm also thinking of adding another diagonal channel/bone between the bust and side seam. Pic with extra boning:
From browsing threads and comments over at Merry Corsetiers the diagonal boning helps support both bust and stomach ... which is what I am working towards with this. 

Now, for a real treat for those of y'all who don't have a copy of Nora Waugh's Corsets and Crinolines ... the inspiration for this project and boning scheme!

It's the center - right sketch on page 102, and has very similar bust gusset cups along with diagonal boning along the side.  There's no back sketch, unfortunately ... and no pattern for this one.  The bottomline is different - with hip gussets - but the overall style is pretty close to my pattern and as you recall when I switched boning schemes in fitting it is definitely a better shape than the vertical-on-seams scheme from the pattern instructions.  I'm also wondering about the double boning shown in the sketch ... maybe another cup of coffee is in order before I start.

21 March 2011

B 4254 D progress and waist tape

Just a quick check-in after running my only errand on this absolutely lovely spring day, and to snap a couple pics before I baste the layers all the way together.  Last night I basted in twill tape along the shortest length of each side, following instructions from Sidney Eileen's tutorial on adding a waist tape into your corset.  For those who haven't bookmarked it yet (or had the old bookmark before her site revamp), Ms. Eileen has a number of useful pic-heavy corset-making tutorials.  So here's a pic of my waist tape on the canvas core layer:
And I tried to snap a pic of the topstitching, plus how neat the CB looks by using the stitch and flip method instead of trying to bind the center back ... with my usual (too) "soft focus" photography (lack of) skill:
Meh, you can sort-of see the pink topstitching I did with my narrow twin needle.  You can also see where I intentionally skipped the top part of the seam through the middle of the bust cup.  No need to emphasize just how far out that seam will sit.

Now, to grab bright red thread and baste the layers together to put in the boning channels.  I was asked last night in chat why I am hand-basting when I dislike handsewing so much ... my battle with fitting this corset showed me just how much a difference moving the seams can make ... and there are six vertical panels!  If each slides even just 1/16th of an inch, then the layers will not only be hosed overall but if it's off by more than 1/4 inch overall that changes how it fits.  With everything basted together instead of pinned, that is one less thing to worry about as I sew and I can concentrate on trying to keep the seam where it ought to be.  Not to forget about another benefit: if everything is basted together, that is much less chance of getting the bottom lining layer folded up underneath or caught in the wrong seam!  (That's an oopsie that tends to happen about every other project.)

20 March 2011

B4254 view D layers sewn

Not much to snap a pic of, but I have all three layers sewn for my Butterick 4254 view D that I have been working on for several days now.  I decided to use my medium blue linen/cotton left over from that wacky Simplicity jacket last spring for the lining, and decided against pink topstitching on the denim layer ... although I may break out the pink embroidery thread and topstitching needle anyway ... I haven't decisively made up my indecisive mind on that yet.  Well, here's a pic of the layers stacked on each other in the post-lunch sunlight:
They're not laying flat on each other ... simply because this pattern is shaped so it can't lay flat.  A good thing, since my body has no flat surfaces!  LOL  I found my twill tape, and need to review putting in a waist tape along with hammering out the details on this next step of construction ... err, the hammering step is part of the eyelets.  I need to quit mixing metaphors or make an afternoon pot of coffee ...

17 March 2011

Hand basting B 4254

You read that post title right ... I am hand basting the seams on my Butterick 4254 corset.  No, this is not a guest post.  No, I am not a pod person left in place of your handsewing-hating blogger after her abduction by aliens ... at least I don't think I am!  And no, I haven't suddenly developed a love for handsewing either ... and yes my fingertips are still letting me know about it.

We've been having some lovely spring weather, so I have been running errands and admiring the cheery bright yellow daffodils and watching the white and pink dogwoods bloom.  Yesterday after some errands I cut out the canvas core layer for my B4254 corset ... and while leaning over the last piece to cut with the rotary my back gave me a warning that it was not about to tolerate sitting at the sewing machine after all the errands and cutting.  So, no putting it together ... unless ...

Necessity may be the mother of invention, but determination and stubbornness are what tend to get things done for me.  I still wanted to put the pieces together - not just to make progress, but to keep my furry feline faction from "playing" with it as I slept.  My cats may be cute, but they are still ornery mischievous monsters.  So yesterday evening I hand basted all the seams except the side seams and the seam in the center of the bust cups.

I'm on my 3rd cup of coffee, took time to clean my machine and change the needle, dig out light pink thread ... and it still isn't even noon.  I have all those seams machine-stitched, pressed, pinked, and even topstitched.  Already.  Seriously!  Even stitching up the bust gusset curves was easy.  And here is the obligatory "Prove it!" pic:
I basted with the dark green that is still on my desk after the velvet ribbon handsewing for my friend's doublet.  I used up the last of the lavender thread in a bobbin ... errr, I don't recall what project that is left over from.  For the canvas layer, I am pressing the seams the opposite way - towards the front - as the outer and lining layers will have their seams pressed towards the back and I am not thrilled with the idea of sewing through 12 layers when I put it all together.  I've also decided to do only three layers instead of four.

I've come to the conclusion handsewing is like exercise: while I don't really enjoy the process, I do like the results.  Now, to hand baste the remaining four seams ... then cut out the denim and indigo linen/cotton for the lining so I can hand baste them this evening.

14 March 2011

Butterick 4254 D fitting Round 2 Part 3

Another round of tweaks, and I managed to undo the new problems I created in the last round.  This is better, although I am still stumped by the horizontal wrinkles at the waistline area.  The canvas is starting to show all the seamripping and resewing I have been doing to it ... and I still cannot get a lacing gap in back.  I'm debating the merits of trying a third fitting muslin in size 12 ...

The pics:
Just a note: my left side is the tweaks I did yesterday morning, and the right side are the tweaks I did yesterday afternoon/evening.

So now the big question is whether or not to do up a third fitting muslin in yet a smaller size in the continuing attempt to get a lacing gap in back.  Oh - I keep forgetting to post up my waist measurement in this corset (I remembered to measure yesterday) ... it's only 33 inches (uncorseted I am 35-36 inches, depending on water retention).  It just looks like more.

I may just go ahead and whip one up, because this really is comfortable ... lots of back support without bust compression.  Then I can come back to it to tweak the fit more ... this is tempting, as I sit here typing in the fit muslin (long cable ties and all!).

12 March 2011

B4254 fitting round 2, part 2

More frustration ... and a couple new problems without the "last" problem really being fixed.  I'm still glaring at the pics, trying to figure out what's gone wrong and what might fix it, but I'll post them up with commentary in hopes more eyes and more brains may help spot things.  The front:
Now too much room at the top of the bust cups, and the "center" seam for the bust cups has naturally moved more to the side ... a little too far for my tastes.  The two extra boning strips alongside CF haven't brought the CF against my chest, even with double cable ties (and also double cable ties in the inside V channels as well).  I am thinking I want to keep the extra CF channels, but I may need different pieces for inside bust gusset versus outside bust gusset, taking some of the middle seam off the inside gusset and moving it to the outside gusset.  The Sharpie marks on my left (your right) bust cup are where I think I will try tapering the seam allowance to bring the top of the bust cup in for a bit more contour.  The side view, showing the slack in the bust cup top:
Noticeable slack in the outside bust gusset ... grr.  Faint distributed wrinkles along the side panels ... and the side seam is no longer straight along my side.  Now for the true Charlie Foxtrot*, the back pic:
Not only do I have more distributed horizontal wrinkles, but spillover at the shoulder blades!  Eek!  The cure for spillover is to let out the seams a bit, so this means I took the back in too much when I flipped 5/8 inch over at CB in my attempt to get a lacing gap.  And I *STILL* don't have a gap between the lacing.
So as I still attempt to get this puppy fitted, I've let out the front too much and took in the back too much ... and right now am wondering if maybe the size 12 would fit as I am wanting.  I've tried Googling for corset *fitting* tutorials and have come up with exactly bupkis.  Plenty of construction tutorials, and a good amount on pattern drafting ... but tweaking fit?  Either there just aren't enough or my Google-Fu is weak on this one.

Does anyone see anything I've missed in this critique?  Any suggestions?  Links to fitting tutorials you've found?

(* Charlie Foxtrot is an enlisted US military term ... I won't explain it here as it does involve profanity.)

10 March 2011

B 4254 bust gusset

I spent a little time this afternoon pulling all the boning casings and eyelet strips off my kaleidiscope scrap fitting muslin ... then while showering I had a thought about the bust gussets.  Don't panic, it's only one thought  ;)  Bust instead of tweaking the gusset shape more ... why don't I first try backing the seam allowance down to 1/4 inch instead of the 5/8 inch?  That would bring the entire gusset out more, which is what I am thinking will help.

So I'll need to rip out 3 seams, resew them ... then put the eyelet strips and boning casings back on again.  If this moves the gusset out from CF enough (and it should if my fraction math is correct) then I'll need to make two more boning casings and run cable ties between the CF/zipper space and the bust cup, which should help even more with getting that CF straight (as opposed to sticking out still).

So standby for fitting muslin #2b ... or not to be ... LOL  Hubby is taking me out this weekend to a local production of Hamlet for our date this week.

09 March 2011

B4254 view D fitting round 2

First of all, hubby says he likes the shape of this one (go figure, LOL).  I lengthened the pattern pieces half inch a little above the marked waistline and another half inch at the bottom,  made the bust gussets a bit larger, and as y'all can see I tweaked the boning scheme - in addition to cutting a size 14 this time (last time I cut a 16, and the measurement chart puts me in a 20!).  The pics:
I still have the horizontal wrinkles at the waist, but instead of one noticeable crease they are distributed.   The CF still sticks out, but I am thinking that enlarging the bust gussets more may fix this.  This boning scheme is more comfortable than the last one, and the biggest surprise is there is still no gap in back, although it no longer feels loose.  The wonderful curves hubby likes still give me fits both sewing and pressing ... but I am liking the results!  This fitting muslin is an improvement over the first one, in my opinion.  Feel free to leave your observations and opinions ...

Final note, I used up some scraps making this.  Continuing the "scrap use" theme of the past week, maggiedoll shows off her scrap quilt and JillyBe finally devotes a post to her scrap scarf.  If you have a blog and a use for scraps not already highlighted, feel free to jump in on the fun!

07 March 2011

Scrap fun and function

Last week, Rebecca at WannabeSeamstress asked "What to do with fabric scraps?" and I promised her a post about all the things I do with them ... because I only throw away the pieces too small to do anything with at all.  I just got finished putting a second denim scrap to use for today repairing/patching the pocket of hubby's jeans, after doing the same to a pair of son's jeans this afternoon.  For both, I had to use my denim scraps wrong-side-out due to the fading of the jeans' denim, and with both being lower section of the back pockets that meant handsewing since I am not inclined to take the pockets off then reattach exactly plus topstitching.  If you and your family wear jeans, save denim scraps for patching.

The past couple days you probably noticed the cotton duck from my friend's doublet showing back up as boning casings for my corset fitting muslin.  I briefly thought of using the canvas scraps from mine and hubby's KwikSew barn coats I made in December to do the actual fitting muslin, but opted to use my unbleached canvas because it is heavier.  I might still use those scraps for fitting muslin #2 ...

But what about the nicer scraps?  This is where I need that smiling devil emoticon here .... I have an embroidery machine that I paid more for than my three sewing machines combined ... and I ain't afraid to use it!  A decent-sized scrap from hubby's linen/cotton longsleeved shirt became an embroidered monogrammed handkerchief for my grandmother-in-law, who declared it "too good to use!" and tucked it away to keep it nice.  Here it is:
It's all good ... I have another scrap the same size to make another hankie ... I also have embroidery designs for small gift bags!  And tissue holders, and eyeglass cases ... if you have an embroidery machine, that opens up a whole lot of uses for the nicer fabric scraps.  Leftover pieces of fabric from projects (like my brown linen pants) can also become nice kitchen towels to hang next to the coffeemaker.

Printed and solid color cotton scraps get saved for quilters ... and they don't need to be huge either.  I have a bag I need to pass on to a local lady who makes charity quilts that I met at Hancock's cutting table.

Home dec scraps?  I of course have some of those ... and intend to whip up drawstring bags for my gaming guys to use as dice bags.  I think the rayon challis scraps will make nice linings for those ... especially the scraps from hubby's beloved parrot shirt.  At some point, I will have faux fur scraps ... and if they are too small for anything else, I will just make stuffed "mice" for my cats to play with.

Have I covered the offbeat uses for scraps?  I think I shall tag JillyBe for her to post about what she's done with her very nice scraps ... she needs to do a blog post about it anyway!

06 March 2011

B 4254 D fitting round 1

I finished converting scraps into boning casings and basted them onto the corset mockup.  To make taking them off easier on myself, I basted the boning casings on using bright red thread on top for easy seamripping.  Here is today's round of pictures:

This time, I wore a simple elastic-band skirt instead of jeans ... and it does make a bit of difference.  The crease in the fabric above the marked waistline is still there ... and I think that make me either my waist or simply the smallest circumference around my body ... but my KS bustier is also developing the same crease in the same spot so this is something I need to nail down and fix.

Remember I said I cut a size 16 instead of the size 20 the measurement chart would have me do?  I think I need to go down another size to a 14 ... this is still loose on me (for a corset).  To my eye, it also looks like I need to make the bust gussets a bit bigger, and even though the hip flare has smoothed out I want to try it a smidge longer.

First things first, though ... I am going to take a nap on the idea!

Simplicity 4059 doublet on the right man

I finally managed to catch up with my friend the history professor to give him his doublet ... and get pictures of it on the right man it was fitted for!  I do definitely appreciate hubby modelling it for pics last week ... but it looks so much better on the body it was fitted to:

My friend has lost a few pounds since October, but he usually does over the cold and flu season.  I'll wait until he gains it back before attempting to fit him for pants, so the next project for him will be the flat cap.  I'll also need to show him how to do spiral lacing .... he says he isn't familiar with it.  He is quite pleased with how this doublet turned out, though.

05 March 2011

B4254 fitting in progress

... and I'm not quite sure how it's going, so I'll post up pics and ask opinions and observations.  I took all but the front seam on the bust gusset in to 5/8 inch again, and have so far taken 1/2 inch of each side on the CB, and still have next to no gap in back.  If you recognize the fabric on the boning casings ... yeah I am using scraps from my friend's doublet.  The back eyelets were cannibalized from the original version of my Elizabethan which didn't fit.  The pics:

I should probably whip up more boning casings ... that *might* fix the wrinkles at the side waist.  Also - I am wearing a bra under my shirt and am wondering if this is messing things up as well.  I'm trying to mimic the spacing for a zipper in the front.

My senior prom dress from 1991

The other night in chat we ended up discussing prom dresses, as a gal is making hers.  This brought up the one garment I have held onto tenaciously: the prom dress my mom made me in the spring of 1991.  I drew my mom a sketch of what I wanted, and she said "No problem!" as she had seen a pattern close enough to it to make what I had drawn.  We picked out fabric ... of course even then my tastes in fabrics were expensive, but I paid for it with my weekend job because I wanted a *wow* prom dress for my senior prom.

Pictures have never done this dress justice.  Let me say that right off the bat.  The flounce and outer layer of the skirt are an iridescent fabric that changes from blue to purple depending on the angle you're looking at it from.  The bodice is a black velvet that will shine when the light hits it right.  It's also still in great condition ... it just doesn't fit me anymore.  Even dialing Mathilda's adjustments down as far as they would go, I still couldn't get the zipper in back all the way up ... has my shape really changed this much?  Here it is:
Sooo ... this is the standard I aspire to: making a garment that not only lasts 20 years, but one that the recipient wants to hold onto for 20 years (and counting).  I've learned a little more about linings and its construction doesn't seem as mysterious now, but Mom is very technically proficient.

Oh ... did I mention I have worn this dress more than just for prom?  In 2004, I wore it to my last battalion formal as active duty, then wore it again in 2006 to hubby's battalion formal.  Both times it got as many compliments as the first time.  No one could believe it was my prom dress from high school!  Given the 80s-retro look in the mall right now ... I bet it could be worn to a high school prom this spring and garner even more compliments.  I just doubt my son will wear it!  LOL  So it will go back into the cover and back into my closet, waiting for a girl who is the same shape I used to be to appreciate it.  If it takes a couple more decades for that to happen ... no problem.  The dress will still be in good shape then as well.

04 March 2011

Butterick 4254 D fitting muslin

I've gotten the canvas fitting muslin almost done now, except for some more markings and basting eyelets on the back (and figuring how I want to do makeshift boning casing for it).  Here is a pic I took earlier today, before I became exasperated enough at the fraying to overcast the outside edges:
Although the pattern doesn't mention seam allowances at all, which usually means the Big 4 standard 5/8", I played with the seam allowances rather than cutting new pieces to get the right width around *so far*.  The proof will be when I put it on and lace it up.  My original 1st version of Simplicity 2621 is donating the eyelets since it was a lesson in fit last year and isn't comfortable to wear.  I just need to decide how I want to cut the eyelet strips off to baste onto the fitting muslins (plural ... my intention is to reuse them as long as they hold up).  For the front two seams, I went down to 1/4" for the seam allowance, and then used 3/8" seam allowance on the side seam.  This put everything in the right spot on my front when holding it up to my body.  The back panels were fine with the intended 5/8" seam allowances ... of course I am half-wondering what this says about my body shape versus the "model" Butterick used to draft this pattern!

On the pattern tissue, the waistline is marked on the CF and CB panels, and the line goes around the waist very neatly.  I also need to mark the CF line on the fitting muslin, although I plan to use a zipper and will need to leave a space for that.

As for boning casings for fitting muslins, I am thinking to construct some canvas tubes with finished flaps to either side that I can hopefully baste on then remove.

I've done mostly thinking on this today, as I woke up with a headache and an achy back and neither seems too inclined to leave just yet.

03 March 2011

Butterick 4254 view D pattern error

I meant to post yesterday evening on this, but simply forgot until it was late enough for me to be tired.  I have learned (the hard way) to not sew when tired, and realize I probably shouldn't post when tired either.

The pattern error is a wrong-symbol-printed one on the center front piece for view D and involves the bust gusset attachment:
I circled it in red on the pic ... it should be a single notch, as depicted in the instructions, and not a double notch as printed on the pattern.  The double notches will be where the two sides of the bust gusset attach to each other.

Now, about those instructions ... I am not going to be using them much at all for constructing this corset, because I don't care for the idea of sewing the outer and inner layer together, turning it, then sewing boning to the outside.  They also say to sew the trim on the topline after the boning is sewn on ... and I am planning to attach it under the bias binding with the lace hanging down instead of sticking up.  My last two working brain cells also say that if you wanted to have lace sticking up on a turned corset, why not sew it into the seam before turning to cut down on steps?  Meh, maybe I'm missing something here, as those poor last two working brain cells tend to be overworked.

I thought I had everything cut out yesterday ... but I only cut one set of bust gussets when I need two sets.  A little more coffee and then I can get rolling on that one.

02 March 2011

Fondling fabrics and formulating plans

Yesterday was a general "fun" day for me, as I overcast raw edges and prewashed a whole heapin' mess of fabrics: cottons, linens, and a couple rayons went through the wash and I also fondled - err, overcast the raw edges - on the two fancy silk charmeuses.  Note to self on the charmeuses: a sz 12 universal needle left holes as if I used a wing needle!  I'll have to see how a sz 8 does on it.  The beautiful silks are very slippery, slinky, and will probably need all seams hand-basted before going under the presser foot.  Also, file all fingernails!  Thankfully, the snag was on the selvage ... Now, for the wash-n-wear fabrics:
The only fabric I was disappointed with is the graphite print rayon (on top of the pinks).  Even though it looks like a normal weave (versus a satinesque weave) that bugger is quite slippery, and reminds me of a lightweight rayon challis print I have ... and will be assigned the same fate to be used as jacket, coat, and corset lining.
Meanwhile, I have pulled out a denim remnant I got a while back ago and begun pattern work on Butterick 4254, view D.  I originally planned this corset back at the end of October, and it was the reason I started up my Corset Sew-Along over at PR, but then gift sewing got in the way and although it's been in a dark corner of my mind for months I am just now pulling it out.  I had thought I'd do up embroidery on my machine for it, but wrapped up in the denim remnant are some very pretty pink floral-themed appliques.  I haven't done appliques yet, so I'll probably give that go just for the new experience (and adventure!  LOL).  Two major caveats in the previous reviews: the sizing runs big (like most Big 4 corset patterns), and this one runs short in the torso with no lengthen/shorten lines on the pattern.  However, I have seen the waistline marked on at least a couple pieces so that can be a good reference point.  I'm going to start off with a muslin in my unbleached canvas so I can mark it up with a Sharpie marker.  Official start pic: