Friday, 30 July 2010

Absinthe corset day 4

Ok, it didn't really take 4 days to make this corset, I was doing a lot of other things as well...

You can now see the curvy shape properly. There's a 22" difference between waist and hip measurement and a 14" difference between bust and waist. I am very curvy to start with I hasten to add, my natural waist is still 16 inches smaller than my hips... So it's really only a 6" reduction...

The chest is not squeezed at all so there's no pressure on my ribs or breathing!

This pic was just taken quickly on my phone I'll upload some better ones soon... But you can see the flossing detail on the bone ends and the huge amount of lace - I hand dyed the green cotton net lace to match there's also some real Victorian lace and some Nottingham lace layered up in it too. I haven't quite finished hand sewing on the lace... One side still needs it's ribbon inserted layer...

Overall though I'm really excited about the shape and fit!
Next task- make the crinoline cage....

Friday, 23 July 2010

Absinthe corset day 3

Today I decided to add a 1 inch band to the top of the bust, mainly because after trying it on I thought I might not want to wear a chemise with it so it ought to be a little higher.

I added two extra spiral steels going the full length of the corset to support the additional piece, that'll teach me not to make a toile!

The extra part will be hidden by lace anyway, which I shall be dyeing green tonight, I have some lovely vintage cotton lace which will look lovely with the green flossing!

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Day 2

I collected the laser cut uv wings today! Cut to my design by a great local company.

They look awesome, I'm sending them down to Herr doktor later so he can assemble them into the mechanism and do a cool paint job to blend them into the main body.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Absinthe faerie costume Day 1

For the big UK steampunk convention, weekend at the asylum I'm going to make a proper fantasy steampunk outfit....

I'm taking the absinthe green fairy as my inspiration and thought you might like to follow it's progress!

The corset is the first part of the outfit, on which everything else will depend.

I'm using a pattern from a vintage corset altered to fit my shape and measurements. It's a Charles Bayer corset from around 1897/98 and I wrote a detailed how to tutorial on it's construction for Your Wardrobe Unlocked earlier this year.

I've already created a couple of corsets from this pattern so I felt happy with the fit and cut it out without creating a toile.

You can see how curvy it is already, shown on the wrong sized stand and without any boning! It's just a single layer of fabric, I've used corset weight black satin and a lovely vintage striped black and green silk that's very tightly woven.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Hendricks Carriage of Curiosities

Some of my more eccentric friends found their perfect job this summer, aboard the Hendricks carriage of curiosities.

Hendricks Gin has a fun promotional railway carriage and drinks kiosk where you can see all sorts of unusual objects, be told outrageous (and probably untrue) facts by the curators whilst enjoying a complimetary gin and tonic.

They have been in Buxton for the fringe festival this week and are going to the Secret Garden Party and Bestival too (if you happen to be one of those cool hip and trendy folk who go to festivals)

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Stunning Steampunk Style Wedding

At last I can share the beautiful gown I created last year for Emily's wedding. Her initial brief was for something along the lines of a magical but dark fairytale crinoline, along the lines of film maker Tim Burton's designs. I love the work of his costume designer so I looked carefully at the original gowns she uses as inspiration and continued some of the motifs.

The triangle shapes on the front of the bodice are similar to some I admired on a black and white original Victorian gown in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. and I used jet black Swarovski crystal buttons to fasten them at the points.

The skirt and boned corset style bodice were made separately and worn over a small crinoline caged petticoat with a chemise. The chemise incorporated lots of original Victorian lace, which was fine as cobweb, so beautiful.

The edge of the tulle apron front was also edged in lace. I like to include real vintage trims and fabrics in my work whenever I can at Bridal-Originals, though I would never take garments apart just to get at the trim! There is fortunately still one wonderful company left in Nottingham's lace market who create fine lace, so if I need something a bit more sturdy I always go to them. They supplied the lace for Princess Diana's wedding gown too!

Emily initially considered a scarlet gown, but after seeing the sumptuous purple and turquoise shot silk I had in the studio we decided to go with that instead. I played with the colours in photo shop after the gown was finished just to see what it might have looked like in red.

As you can see there was quite a steampunk theme going on throughout the day! and top hats were much in evidence, I created the brides to match the chemise, with a velvet flocked rococo swirl in black on black. She also had a darling lace choker from vintage lace and velvet ribbon.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Gorgeous steampunk buttons

Aren't these buttons fabulous? Arrived today as samples for me to use for projects in the new book. They are from button and one cog can even spin! Amazing, can't wait to use them.