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Printed Canvas Waistcoat

dandy damask vest

I have made many waistcoats over the years, but this was my first one with piping going all the way around.  Piping is made by sewing bias strips around a narrow cotton cord, and it provided the purple edge you see in these pictures.

back lacing on vest

The back laces up, 1830s style, for decorative adjustability.  And here you see close up, my painstaking matching of the printed pattern.

matching printed damask

lacing tabs with grommets

 

Extreme Pattern Matching

When setting out to make a garment, one way to increase the level of difficulty is to use a patterned fabric instead of a solid color. The designer needs to make the stripes, dots, or other motifs line up nicely on the body of the wearer.  This project is an example of a pattern matching challenge.

Sewing lines on brocade fabric

Normally one would draw a sewing line with a black pencil on light-colored fabric, or use a white pencil on dark colored fabric.  When presented with this high-contrast brocade, neither black nor white pencil would show up against all of it; so I had to use both pencils and trace each pattern piece twice.

The person requesting the garment wanted me to use both sides of the brocade, so I had the challenge of matching the pattern not just to itself, but to its flip side, balancing the slight difference between the two.

Matching brocade on seamsMatched brocade pattern on pant leg

These are a pair of trousers, and here you see the pattern was carefully matched up each leg. With that accomplished, there came one more hurdle.  Extra pockets were to be placed on the sides, like cargo pants.  Somehow the pocket’s pattern had to blend in with the two brocade patterns already present, even though the pocket is a different grain.  Here is my design.

crochet pocket over brocade pocket

The crochet rectangle on top of the cargo pocket is not just a decorative element, it is also another pocket.  I made it the ideal size to hold ID or business cards.  If you want to make a card pocket like mine, use a V stitch in Speed-Cro-Sheen (a stiff cotton thread about size 3).

Combining Old-fashioned and New-fangled

NavySkirt3RowsLace

This outfit is made up of two different projects I completed recently. There is a muslin sheath dress, of a very modern style, and over it is an early Victorian skirt.  I used scraps from the skirt to make a pair of fascinators (large hair clips), and the necklace was already in my inventory. The muslin sheath was a commission, but the skirt is for sale.

Steampunk Corset, part 2

cotton Victorian corset in progress

After the layers were assembled, it was time for boning channels.  The diagonal ones across the raised back keep the corset from digging into the shoulder blades when worn.

cotton coutil corset in progress

Most of this corset’s bones are 6mm cane (the kind of wood-like material often seen woven into chair seats).  After cutting each length I smoothed out their ends with sandpaper.  This photo also shows the bias binding being added to the hem.

Here’s a link to the first installment: Steampunk Corset, part 1