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Sunday, July 12, 2015

Still Catching Up

Jon and I finally had some time together during daylight so we could actually take good pictures, as opposed to the terribly-lit ones you'd get inside my apartment at night. We took a ton, though, so I will probably break them up into a few posts so that I won't run out of material too quickly. I have plans for some more sewing, but I never know how long it will take me to finish it, as you should know if you've been reading my blog.

Today, I'll start with my new corset. It is made off the same pattern I made for my black one (by duct-taping myself into a t-shirt, cutting it off, and then drawing on lines where extant corsets I've seen have seams, then translating that into pattern pieces), but we bought a busk this time. I'd share the link, but it seems to have changed, so I don't know for sure if I have found the same company again. I do remember that I got a great deal by buying a pack of 5 for about $30. Do I really need 5 corsets? Probably not, but who cares? They'll be pretty.

Because I had a normal busk this time, the little posts are squeezed between the weave of the fabric as they should be instead of any holes being cut. The other side of the busk is also put in correctly this time, and there are three layers of fabric--white duck cloth (for strength because I already had it) closest to my body, white muslin next to create the boning channels and protect the third fabric, white satin. I was using scraps, so that's the real reason for the alternating between the embroidered satin and the plain. I like the way it looks, though.

The boning, which of course you can't see, is still made from lumber ties (giant zip ties) from Home Depot. I cut it to length with a utility knife and rounded off the ends, so they wouldn't be too snaggy.

I highly recommend using actual grommets, not eyelets, for corsets as they are stronger, and they have smooth edges, so they don't snag the fabric as you push them through. They look nicer too.

This corset is intended to be all white so that it can be worn under white Victorian blouses without showing, but the day that I finished it (and needed to wear it right away), I didn't have any white corset lacing or ribbon. I did have blue, and as I was not wearing white that day, it didn't matter. I still intend to replace the blue ribbon, but it has not become urgent yet, and that's what's most likely to get me to do it.

I'm also considering taking this apart a little to add boning to the back. I don't know why I thought I could get away with leaving the bones out of the center back, but I shouldn't have. It's not the worst mistake I've ever made. It still creates a good shape under my Victorian clothing, but as you see, it puckers a bit. The question is, can I add boning channels without messing it up? I don't know yet.

And since I know I've mentioned it and never actually written about it, I will include Jon's steampunk Batman costume. It was included in my last post, but last Halloween, he only wore a simplified version of the costume, leaving off most of the accessories he wore the previous Halloween, and I didn't take detailed photos before.

The pants a are just a regular pair of black slacks Jon already had, and the boots are Harley boots. We found the leather tool belt at Harbor Freight. We found the lock on his tool belt at a Renaissance Festival or something like that, and I believe we inherited the old flashlight from his grandpa. The grappling hook came from a military surplus store. Ideally, this will get more fake gadgets, but as we are always making new costumes, we may or may not get back to that.

When we went looking for a black button-up shirt, we got lucky and found a decent looking one at Walmart. I removed the part of the collar that folds down, then stitched the remaining edge closed, giving the shirt a band collar. I made the bib piece out of some black twill we already had and stitched close to the edge in grey thread for the visual effect. Jon cut the bat symbol out of lightweight leather and riveted it to the bib, then I made the buttonholes and sewed the buttons on the shirt.

The mask was not made for this costume. Jon actually made it (very quickly, I might add) for a masquerade we attended a few years previously, but everyone kept saying it looked like a Batman mask, so it was actually part of the inspiration for this costume.

The throwing knife sheaths and vambraces were made for the TLC Trio Skyfall video--the throwing knife sheaths for the rooks, and the vambraces for the white knights. We kept all of the pieces that didn't belong to anyone else because we figured they'd come in handy at some point. Obviously, they have.

I think he looks rather dashing, don't you?

Next up, Victorian menswear.


  1. Oh man... love this. Corsets and steampunk and batman all in one post? Awesome! I've been wanting a steampunk poison ivy or harley quinn outfit for awhile...

    1. We should talk. I would love to do that.

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