Sunday, May 22, 2016

Quick Tatting Projects

Typically for every long-term project I have going on I try to have a quick and easy project too. I find the balance helps keep me interested in the long-term by having the immediate gratification of something that can be done in an afternoon. Lately, though I've just been working on long-term projects, either one of the two sweaters I have on the needles or wedding projects. I've been starting to feel frustrated and burnt out because I was working and working without getting anything finished, so this weekend I took a little break and made a few quick tatting projects.

First, I made a pair of earrings:

Did you know it is ridiculously hard to take a picture of your own ear?

This was the best I could manage to try and give you an idea of how large they are.

I got the pattern here. The instructions for how to tat are a little less than helpful I think. I would have been totally confused if it was actually my first foray into needle tatting, but I thought the pattern was cute. 

Making the earrings only took me about half an hour to do both, which just made me want to tat more so this afternoon I made a small piece of lace.

 I didn't use a pattern for this one, I basically just made it up as I went along, and I didn't write down what I did, so I probably couldn't do it the same way a second time. I like the way that it looks, though, and I think it will be really cute as part of a hair comb for the wedding. Ha. I was trying to get away from wedding projects, but I wasn't very successful. Oh well. At least I have the satisfaction of two finished tatting projects. I feel a bit better now.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Working on my Wedding Corset

I really hoped to have a finished corset to show off today, but alas, although I did finish one the fit is less than ideal. I would go so far as to say it is disappointingly too big. So instead you get a long, picture free, post mostly made up of me taking notes for myself.

Although I did make a muslin before making the corset, and I was happy with the fit of the muslin, the finished product gapped too much at the neckline and didn't give me the kind of waist reduction I was hoping for. Not that I want to be cinched so tight I can't breathe, but my natural figure is very straight from my waist to my hip and I want to alter that, just a little bit.

There are a few errors that I think I made with the first corset.

1) I did not lace up the muslin, I just had a friend hold the back shut for me and tell me what kind of gap I had. As a result, I didn't really realize how much tighter it actually needed to be in order to fit. Corsets should fit very tight to the body if only to eliminate shifting (and therefore potentially rubbing). There were rubby spots on my corset because the fit was too loose.

2) The fit of the bust area was perfect without bones, but when I added bones the fabric stood up to much. For some reason, I foolishly thought that would magically go away; in reality, the bust was too loose and nothing was going to magically fix that.

So, now I'm making a new corset, having learned a great deal from the first one and being able to move forward with greater confidence.

I redrafted my pattern today to include a much greater waist reduction. My original pattern I only aimed for a two-inch reduction because I thought more than that would be uncomfortable or look too exaggerated. This time, I aimed for an additional 4 inches (so 6 total). I also took in the bust and eliminated the sweetheart neckline in favor of a lower straight neckline.

I already made a new muslin. This time, I pounded in some cheap eyelets and laced it up. I used masking tape to hold the bones in place rather than sew on ribbon for bone channels. It's easier, cheaper, and still gives a good approximation of what the corset will be like with bones.

Already I can tell the fit is better. I now have a cute, little, defined waist, but it doesn't have that waspy look vintage corset patterns impart, I just look skinnier than I am in reality. Making the top shorter also helped with the fit in the bust, there was just less material for the bones to hold stiffly away from my body. Now I do have to keep reminding myself that the corset will be underneath my gown, and there will be more coverage because the girls are way on display, which I don't typically feel comfortable with. Now I'm noticing that they are squishing a bit more to the side than I want them too, so that is the next fit challenge to overcome.

I will have a tutorial for the handbound eyelets that I did on the first corset coming up this week. And hopefully soon I will have a finished corset that fits to show off.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Still Plugging Away

It's been nearly a month since I posted and in that time I have not finished a single project; a state that I find very frustrating.

I've been steadily chipping away at wedding projects. I made more paper flowers but y'all have seen those already so I didn't feel like posting them again.

I've almost finished my petticoat. It just needs some sort of ribbon of something on the lower edges because even though the nylon tulle won't unravel it looks really unfinished with nothing on the hem.

I have nearly finished a corset, I'm just hand sewing the eyelets now, I hope to have it done by the end of the week.

When the corset is finished I can then start drafting a pattern for my actual wedding dress. I didn't want to start working on it before the foundational garments are done because that seems like a recipe for disaster.

All in all, I know progress is being made, but it isn't happening very quickly and I'm starting to get anxious. I've been having nightmares where I wake up, it's my wedding day, and I haven't done anything more than what is currently done (picture a room with only half the tables sparsely decorated, no food, and me in my (admittedly elaborate full coverage) undies.

I know I will get it all done, I just need to spend more time working on it. Oh if only I didn't have to go to work all week :)