Saturday, January 23, 2010
The fabric store I work at was selling off these old vendor samples of embellished taffeta and I snatched up three of them, a deep burgundy, a chocolate brown, and this lovely olive green color. They are all embellished in this charming cream and brown braid work with tiny holographic sequins (it reminds my husband of fancy braid-trimmed Spanish jackets, hence the name). The samples are little, though, maybe 14 or 15 inches tall and about 30 inches wide. Figuring our what to do with such a limited amount of fabric was a bit of a challenge!
This style of corset worked out well because it's made from a single piece. I was also lucky because I happened to find a plain taffeta in a perfectly matching olive green for the binding (the brown and burgundy, I'm afraid, were not as lucky).
Man-made taffeta is terrible to work with. There could be a whole post here devoted to the steps I had to take just to put the grommets in down the back of this corset. I was pretty thankful when it was complete. There aren't any pictures of the back yet, though, because I want to replace the lacing I made for it with a ribbon in a complimentary color first. That is my shopping chore for tomorrow!
I lined this corset in a cotton twill printed with scenes of Chinese riders and deer and love the way it looks on the inside even more than the outside! Click through to my Flikr page to see a shot of the lining, including the novel stitch arrangement I invented for the stays.
Monday, January 11, 2010
This little top was made from an intriguing silk crepe border print that arrived at the local fabric shop, recently. It was narrow, about 38" (most silk crepe is about 45" wide), and strangely printed in 1.333 yard long panels. Lucky for me, that is exactly how much I needed! We know it's a "designer end" fabric (someone had it made for a production run of something and then there was some left over afterward so it was sold to a distributor who then sold it to the store) and we think maybe it was originally designed for long scarves or something. It's a lovely crisp weight for silk crepe, and remarkably it wrinkles very little (I was so amazed at how not wrinkly it was that I burn tested a swatch to make sure it was actually silk. Sure enough, it is.)
I added a big bow drawstring to the top made from inside-out silk charmeuse and beaded the hemline with tiny black sequins and raven (black with an almost-iridescent multi-colored finish) seed beads.
I feature this on a moonlit patio, champagne glass in one hand, keys to my very expensive convertible sports car in the other...