Sunday, February 26, 2012

Steampunk Everywhere!

I've been up to my elbows in Steampunk goodness this week. I decided that in order to make the new bodice I was planning on, I really needed a new corset first. I have a very good corset that I bought about 10 years ago from Isabella Corsetry.  It's a wonderful corset and has held up beautifully, but I really want an overbust corset, and this one is overbust. It also comes up a little too high and goes down a little too low, so I need something that fits a bit more to my liking.
So, anyway.  I didn't want to use one of the Simplicity "historical" patterns, and I was being impatient and didn't want to wait for something to come in the mail. Luckily, I found this! The pack of 5 has a very nice 1870s style corset. The problem was that the pattern is for a size 8-10, so I had to size it up quite a bit. I added 1/2" to each seam, and a 1/2" to the bottom edge, since the only spoon busk I could get was 14" and needed a bit more room.

 The original pattern

Sized up

I bought some striped black fabric for the fashion fabric. For some reason, I was stuck on the idea of a striped corset!  I ordered all my boning and supplies from Delicious LLC, who I've ordered from several times before.  I was thrilled that all my supplies came in in under a week!  I have the corset half finished so far, and am super thrilled with how it's turning out. This is my first time using a spoon busk, and I'm actually really pleased with it. I think it will give me more support over my lower abdomen and hold me in a bit better. 

You remember that simple little overskirt that I was planning to make to go with my striped skirt. Yeah, well...

The basic design is pretty simple. The back is pleated at the centre underneath the waterfall pleated panel.
This was my first time making waterfall pleating, and it was definitely a learning experience! I couldn't really find any info about these pleats, how to make them, or patterns that included them.  So, it was a bit of trial and error. I plan to write up a tutorial on how to make them for anyone else that wants to take a stab at them!

I also decided that I need a hat for this ensemble. Again, I didn't want to wait for a pattern to arrive in the mail, so I did a bit of digging and found a couple of blog posts (here and here) that helped me work out the pattern for the French Bonnet I wanted.

I set into ghetto costuming mode and broke out the plastic canvas for my hat making shenanigans. I was a bad blogger, though, and didn't take any pictures of the hat making process.  Here's the hat in full canvas mode.

And here it is covered in fabric!

Admittedly, I didn't go about making it in the best way possible.  The fabric isn't the smoothest, but I figure the puckers will be covered with trim when it's all blinged out. I'm going to add some pleated trim to the inside of the brim, and some feathers and things to the hat itself to dress it up. 

So, that's what I've been doing all week. I feel like I've been sewing nonstop and have very little to show for it, but all three pieces will be finished up soon, so I'll have my first new pieces of the year under my belt!


  1. One of these days I'm going to try and make a corset. I wear one daily as it makes horrible back pain bareable. They are a bit pricey so it is hard to have an assortment for variety and laundering sake. Yours looks great! And I love the over skirt!

    1. They're not as difficult as you may thing! I say dive in and give it a go. :D They are pretty pricey, I paid over $300 for my first really good corset, so making it yourself definitely is worth the savings.