Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Almost-Finished Victorian Corset

It's (almost) finished!

I still have to floss the bones, but it's now fully functional.  I ended up saving my spring steel boning for a different project and sticking with the zip-tie boning.  It turns out I squish easily, so eventually I'd like to cut a curvier corset, but this is perfect for a day dress.  The edges are bound with black bias binding that doesn't show up over the background.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Piece by Piece

More pictures of the necklace in progress:

This will be all the updating I can do until I get new batteries for the camera.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

New Collar

I'm in the mood for a new bead embroidery project.

I wanted to play with my stash of shisha mirrors.

 First I make a template then play around with different elements until I have an idea of what beads I will use.  The pearls shown here didn't make it into the final design.

After drawing a template with a compass, I transferred the pattern to a piece of stiff felt.

The shisha mirrors are held in place by a small dab of white glue to secure the mirror during stitching.  The mirror is then surrounded by a peyote bezel.

The bezel starts with a line of back stitched beads surrounding the mirror.  From there, two rows of tubular peyote stitch are worked in Delica beads, then a final row with size 15 seed beads.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Corset Update

Here's the corset with all the panels assembled and boning channels sewn, with temporary zip-tie boning:

The next step was to cut and tip the spiral steel bones:

The corset is now fully boned except for one piece of spiral, since I ran out of boning tips.  I also need to order flat steels for the back next to the grommets because I forgot that in my original order.  After completing the boning, the next step is to bind the edges and floss the bones (embroidery that keeps them from shifting around in the channel).

Sunday, June 10, 2012

My sewing adventures continue.  The corset project has been on hold for awhile while I ordered the hardware for it.  I'm using Laughing Moon's Dore Corset pattern, which is Victorian style.  My package from Delicious LLC arrived last week, so this weekend I've sat down and started to piece it together.  I've finished inserting the busk pieces into the front panels.

Next, I need to assemble the back panels which contain the grommets for lacing.  Then the various side panels are stitched together, boned, and bound with bias tape.  I bought the spiral steel boning in a ten-yard bundle, so I get to have fun with my new pair of bolt cutters.  The final step will be flossing the corset, or embroidering at the top and bottom of the bones to hold them in place in their casings.  I haven't decided what color I want to use for the flossing yet.

Sunday, April 01, 2012


There is a reason I've been playing with flowers lately.

The dogwood trees are in full bloom and the university campus is full of them.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

My Little Scrap of Outdoors

The tulips I planted over the weekend are now in bloom.  The patio and sidewalk are covered in crab apple flower petals.

While I surveyed my new garden expansion, I was being watched.

Another Style of Kanzashi

Here's my second attempt at kanzashi making:

This one uses 12 pointed petals made from 1" squares of cloth.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Premature Summer

The past several weeks has been summer, following the long not-a-winter.  For some reason, the weather has given me a sudden urge to decorate one of my straw hats.  This, of course, requires that I pick up a new craft: Kanzashi!

Kanzashi are flowers made of folded fabric, traditionally used to make hair ornaments for geisha.  I'm using cotton for my kanzashi, though traditional kanzashi are more likely to be made of silk.

Here's my first flower:

I haven't decided how I'll finish the center yet, but most likely I'll use beads.  I used 2" squares, which means the flower is just about two inches in diameter.  I'll be experimenting with different sized petals and with pressing the petals as I fold them.