Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Black Corset, Beetle Green Trim

This is the first corset I've ever made! I really love the beetle green silk I chose to make the trim, I think it contrasts nicely. :) I say "beetle green" because it reminds me of the iridescent green colour of many beetles.

Since it was my first time, and I had no clue what I was doing, I am only posting finished pictures of this rather complicated piece. Expect more in-depth detail on my next corset! Haha But you can still take a look at how I made from scratch and attached the piping trim here!

Thanks to my sister for doing this impromptu photoshoot with me!
It was constructed from a pattern from Farthingales (aka the best place to get corsetry supplies). It had to be modified a bit to fit my size--as between my bust, and hips I fell under 2 different sizes, and my waist was somewhere in between... Not quite entirely happy with the fit at the front, but that is just the style.

The bones in this corset are plastic.

It's actually quite comfortable! (Corsets should be comfortable if they fit correctly!) Technically I could lace it tighter if I wanted (you can see I have plenty of room to at the back), but I prefer the look of it this way.

Pictured left you can see the embroidery detail at the top front up close. Those were pretty fun to do, wish I had had time to do more of them... I hand embroidered all the eyelets as was required for the project. Those were much less fun...

Already working on corset #2! Praying it will be finished in time for the deadline!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

March Update

Hey all! I am quickly running out of new material as the end of term and the beginning of con season now approaches. Pictures of my first corset will be up later this month (as it was just returned from my prof today), so look forward to that! :) No tutorial on that project, as I have very few progress pictures and the process was so complex that I don't really feel I could easily write how I did it considering it was my first time making one. Hoping to fix up Presea's axe in time for a spring photoshoot, so I can finish posting that costume.

In the meantime I am madly working on some very labour intensive projects for school that you will get to see around the beginning of April. Currently working on my second corset, a tailored wool coat and a night table. Unfortunately my original design elf costume has stuttered to a halt, but I am hoping to resume that shortly... time will tell whether or not it will be done for CostumeCon...

This past weekend I was involved in a collaboration that I will talk more about in April. I won't give too much away, but I will say it involves 3D printing and some really cool technology!

That's all for now! ;D

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Piping Trim Tutorial

Here's a short tutorial on how to make from scratch and apply your own piping trim. This kind of trim makes a really nice, clean finish on a garment. This is a particularly good way to finish the edge of a corset.

This is the trim I made for my first corset, for my corsetry class this semester. It's now finished, but I will be posting some finished pictures once I get it back from my prof. ;D

I really love the beetle green colour of this silk fabric I chose. :) As far as fabric choice goes, I highly recommend using a thin, but strong fabric. Make sure it is not sheer or really stretchy as this will be way harder.
First you cut bias strips 1 1/2" wide. These should be cut on a 45 degrees angle from the selvedge. This will allow the tape to easily stretch along any curves you need to apply it to.

It's easiest to mass produce piping in one long strip and then cut as needed instead of making pieces to fit. Make sure you have enough cord to go along all the edges you are applying it to, and that you cut enough length to cover the cord. (Keep in mind if you are attaching pieces that seam allowance between pieces will make it shorter.)

To attach strips, sew them together as pictured on the left, forming a 90 degree corner, then press flat. The strip will have a 45 degree seam running across it, which makes much less bulk than joining the pieces straight across.
Fold over one edge 1/4" in and stitch 1/8" in from the edge. Make extra sure not to pull on the strip as you fold and stitch, because it will stretch and get thinner, which is not what you want. This creates a nice finished edge for the inside of the garment.

Fold the unfinished edge over the cording and line it up with the stitching on the inside of the tape. Use a zipper foot on the machine to snug your stitch line up against the cording. Again, don't stretch it when sewing. I find it easiest to not pin it and fold it over as you go.
^ The finished product should look like this,  the 2 raw edges meeting on one side, and the other showing a nice finished edge.

To apply it is pretty easy. On the outside of the garment line up the stitch line of the piping with where you want your finished edge. The trim should be nice/finished side up, the folded edge on top of the garment's seam allowance. Pin in place. You should leave about 3/4" hanging off the ends so you can fold it in and finish it nicely afterwards.

You can use this opportunity to further snug the cord inside it's casing by stitching a little closer to the cord than on your previous stitch line.
Fold the finished edge to the inside and carefully hand stitch it down so the stitching is not visible from the outside. If you are having trouble, put in a basting stitch to hold it in place first, you can take that out after. If you have excess seam allowance trim it off first.

The loose ends should be folded up under and neatly hand stitched in place.

Do not iron your trim, otherwise it will flatten it out which kind of defeats the purpose. :P