The first muslin, pictured below, went together with ridiculous ease. I was done sewing in a little over an hour. I then drew where I wanted the new seams to be with a marker and cut the pieces out. It was only after I'd done that that I realized I should have taken a picture first, so it has lines drawn all over it in the picture and is just laid out on the floor.
Anyway, I made a new muslin, was happy with the overall shape, but needed to add a triangle piece in the back to make the fit smoother over my hips. The second picture reflects that change as well as the individual piece shapes. I was worried about enough ease with all the anticipated layers of it, so am following advise Cleopatramwi on LJ gave: adding a bit to the outer edges. I really like the Vogue pattern and it seems to fit my shape fairly well (I'm big-busted, with a smaller waist and bigger hips.) without much modification. (5-25-2006)
Turning the corset is a bit tricky, but it can be done. I didn’t end up having too much trouble with that part.
Some advice that I posted on my Livejournal regarding the corset embroidery:
First off, don't be afraid! Yes, it is scary to tackle it. I was scared to death that I'd mess it up, but Padawan'sGuide, MiraxTHorn and the other ladies at the Jedi Council Forums gave great advice: just start it. Take that first stitch and don't worry about messing up. It's thread on cloth and thread can be cut out and re-done. Have fun with it. The hardest part of the corset is getting the shape of it right, but even that can be personal preference. For the dedicated embroiderer, it won't take nearly as long as it did me to do the corset embroidery. I simply hated the thread I used on the flames and that's what really made me bored with it. When one loathes their thread, t'ain't nothin' getting one to work on it. Once I worked on the other bits, the stems, etc., it went quickly. Well...for the slow embroiderer it went quickly! If I had actually worked on it every day, it would have gotten done a lot sooner. Tackle it one bit at a time. I did not use a hoop for it. The hoop wouldn't tighten over the layers. Others have been able to use a hoop and still more haven't. If it works and you're comfortable, do it.
The skirt and blouse:
The fabric I chose for the skirt and blouse was a crinkled georgette. I felt it had a nice weight to it. However, it was difficult to dye the right color. After numerous attempts, I ended up with a lovely buttery shade. In order to darken it, I decided to use an orange-gold silky fabric as a lining in lieu of the white color-splotched underlayer. The two fabrics together will give an illusion of the correct color and go very nicely with the finished corset.
Skirt and blouse embellishment:
I’m doing the chain stitching by hand, though if I can ever get my sewing machine with the chain stitch function working, I’ll give that a try. Of course the flowers and flower centers will be done by hand as well. The threads I chose are:
Vining: Coats and Clark 359 Kiwi I've since changed this to DMC 166. Plain embroidery floss. I seem to always go back to it.
Flowers: DMC 3348
Flower centers: DMC 747
The sequins I ordered when there was a big group order at the JC Forums. I’m very glad I did! I was able to share some with a friend recently. For sewing the sequins on, I recommend drawing some vining lines, then gluing them to the fabric. I wouldn’t try to add them as you go. It didn’t work too well when I experimented with that on a scrap piece of fabric.
The Blouse: I am using Simplicity 8715 for the blouse. Below are three pictures. The first is of the left sleeve with no mesh attached inside. The second and third have mesh attached.
Here's what I did: I took a measurement between where the top line of elastic goes on the arm and the bottom line, then cut out cream colored mesh in that length. I sewed the mesh along the elastic channel at the top of the top channel, stretching it as I sewed. Next, I folded the sleeve fabric up out of the way and sewed the mesh to the second elastic channel, remembering to always stretch it as I sewed. Repeated the process along the third channel and added the elastic after. It was interesting trying to sew the sleeve together after that, but I went slowly and it was fine. I like how it looks and maybe it'll work with the georgette. (5-18-07)
The Skirt: I used Butterick 4025 and didn't add a yoke. All embroidery was hand completed. It took me something like 84 hours to finish.
Honestly, I couldn't justify the expense of the amount I'd need, but was lucky enoguh to come across 110 yards of Lion Brand Incredible ribbon yarn for $3.99 at Hancock Fabrics on clearance. The ribbon has all of the colors of the embroidery and I love how it looks!
A long while back I picked up the curtains at WalMart. It was before they discontinued the print and then, before our Big Lots store closed, I picked up another two smaller panels. I dyed one panel on the stove and was very pleased with the color. I believe I used 2 parts Rit Gold/Yellow and 1 part Tan, plus a sprinkle of cocoa bown. I used the highly scientific dump in until you think it's about right method.
Cape edge thread: Coats and Clark 575 Spring Green I used about half of one little spool, making two passes along the edge to fully cover it.
April 1, 2008: The cape is done aside from the yellow paint along the edge. I used Sulky Totally stable along the edge. I must admit, I was skeptical at first, as I've had horrible luck with that sort of stabilizer, but it was beautiful to work with. Hands down it's the easiest I've used and pulls away like a dream. I recommend it highly!
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April 1, 2008: Update! I decided to work on this a bit, but with changes. The blouse will not have the embroidery or sequins, though both can be added at a later date if I decide to. I modified how I'd planned to do the sleeves and did not use the mesh. I simply sandwiched the elastic between the georgette and the lining. The sleeves went together fairly easily. Pictures below in sequence, including a couple self mirror pictures of the blouse both with and without the corset. I'm very happy with how it's turned out!
I fray-checked then cut rose clusters and individual roses from the scraps left from making the cape. The ribbon I used is wide and a pretty green shade that will go well with both the cape and the choice of yellow I ended with. It's just wide enough to have the edge showing after the roses were sewed on.
I used crochet doilies. and painted them for simplicity's sake. Yes, I know they look rather bright!
This was made from Premo Sculpey and colored with a silver leafing pen before coating with glaze. I'm pleased with it. I made it 11/2" wide.
I have a pair of gold flats with a strap across the top that I got in 2007.