Thursday, December 10, 2015

Corset Re-Making

You know that weight I lost? Yeah, my foundation garments don't work so well anymore. Its a bit daunting when you realise that all your corsets don't fit anymore as they are a bit of an investment to then have to replace, but that's where I am. Tbh, I wouldn't swap my current difficulties to go back to my prior weight anyway, so I guess it all works out.

But it does mean that I've had to do something I haven't done in years- make a new corset. I wanted an under bust, which I not only don't have, but have no pattern for either. So it was back to the drafting.

I used the instructions here, swapping in my own measurements. And you know what? Unlike certain catsuits, these were pretty much perfect.

I made the first corset out of old coutil scavenged from the carcass of one of my old corsets and just some simple lining material I had lying around. It was very strange seeing how much I could salvage and still have to cut out.

I've since remade this and put it into "proper" fabric and I think I'm in love with it mostly because I was sick of dealing with what happens when you don't use proper materials-

Unpleasant, let me tell you. After standing all day with a bone poking me and finding that it had rubbed exactly where my bra line hit so that it was still sore even once I was out of the corset, I decided I just had to finally re-make this.

The pattern was still perfect, and I have to say I love the fabrics. My new one has coutil on the inside and a matte satin on top which just feels beautiful to the touch. It is sooooooo much more comfortable to wear too.

Now I just have to make an overbust corset and my foundations will once again be complete.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Holiday Gift Ideas- Jewelry Bag Tutorial

Normally if I haven't started my holiday crafting by this point in time, I start panicking as everything always seems to take longer to get started finished fit into the schedule around this time of year. That's why I like having a quick'n'easy option up my sleeve. For me, that option has always been jewellery bags.

I got one of these when I was little and loved it. Then I got another, and another. I still use them today. Which of course means that I feel like these bags are super wonderful gifts, because not only are they useful, but they're as pretty as you want them to be.

I will say that I refer to these as jewellery bags, because that's how I was introduced to them. They don't have to be used for that purpose. Simple modification would easily make these handy bags for anything really. I've seen basic versions without the inner pockets used as dice bags and sold for fortunes, which makes me consider (again) whether or not I should bother with Etsy.

The other nice thing about these is that they are great for using up stash pieces.

Things you will need: 

-At least 2 colours of fabric. I use three colours in the example. Size is dependant on how large you wish the bags to be, but 1/4 meter will do. Fat quarters work, however you will need at least two of each colour. This can also be done with 3 or 4 different colours. As I mentioned, this is great for using up stash pieces and off cuts. The tutorial will be written for two colours, but you can adjust to make allowances for multiple colours. I like to use one pretty cotton for the outside, but I prefer using a satin for the inside to give it a more luxurious feel. 
-Cording or ribbon- 1 metre or 1 yard in a complimentary colour. 
-Templates- You can either print out circles, or use plates. I usually use a dinner plate and a side plate as my guides. 
-Marking tool- pencil, chalk- whatever you prefer. Needs to be something that will go away without requiring washing.
-Batting (optional)- 4”x4” is plenty
-Pretty finishing charms (optional) - I use metallic cones, which I like the look of, but you could use anything. You will need 4 (1 per end of the cording). This number could be adjusted to your own specifications and preferences.

Step 1: Prepare your fabric as you prefer (wash, dry, etc) and then iron it.

Step 2: Arrange and trace your large and small plates/templates on each of your fabrics. Add 5/8” around each for seam allowance. Cut them out. If your fabrics are similar in size, this can be done with one on top of the other.

Step 3: Put the right sides of the two large circles together and pin in place. Sew along your seam allowance leaving a 2” gap for turning later.

Step 4: Put notches around the outside, making sure not to go past the seam. Press the seam allowance open. 

Step 5: Pull the circle right side out. Press the seam again, ensuring it does not turn under. 

Step 6: Repeat steps 3, 4, & 5 for the small circles.

Step 7: Hand stitch the opening closed or stitch down the edge of your circles. If you choose to stitch around the edge, you will not need to hand stitch the opening closed. If you wish to pad the bottom of the bag, slip in your padding into the large circle before you close the opening. I find it best to slide it in place and pin it from the outside of the bag so it won't move.

Step 8: Place your large circle outside fabric down. Find the centre of your circles and mark it. Line up the the two centres of your circle, with the smaller circle on top of the lining fabric. 

Step 9: Sew your small circle down with top stitching as detailed in the above diagram. The circle at the centre becomes your base, and each spoke that goes out allows you to have little pockets for items to be stashed in. 

Step 10: Halfway between the edge of your large circle and the inner circle, run a line of stitching. Sew a second line of stitching 1/4" above that. This is the channel for your cording/ribbon. 

Step 11: Carefully cut a small hole between the two channel stitches on the outside of the fabric. Clip only the fabric on the very outside of your project, not the inner lining material. I like to do a little square between the lines of fabric. Clip a second one that is opposite to the first.

Step 12: Cut your cording/ribbon in half so that you have 2 half metre/yard lengths. Thread one cord through one of your openings and out the same opening. Repeat with the second piece of cord, but enter and exit from the opposite hole.

Tie your cords together and voila! You're done. When you pull on both cords, your jewellery bag should close together. 

If you'd like to use charms at the ends of your cord, you can add them, however you can finish your project without them easily. 

I love giving these as they are useful, handy, and (despite all the steps) actually very easy to make. Enjoy!