Black and Tan Longline w/ Waist Belt & Straps

I made this sample piece to test out a clients patterning before cutting into her expensive fabrics. Here are images of the first try-on during Dickens Fair Workshops last year:



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1880s style coutil corset: mock-up & construction testing

I’m working on this new 1889s style corset for a client. The final corset will either be in natural or a fleshtone coutil with coutil boning channels. I’m tempted to add a lace top edge to the final corset. But until then I’ve drafted up the pattern, constructed the mock-up and decided to try out bias cut coutil boning channels.

Here is the sampler of possible colors for the project:

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Steampunk Bridegroom Ensemble: making of

I’m going to try to go back and document some of this fantastic project. Like usual it started with a muslin toile that tells me enough to make pattern adjustments but doesn’t really show off how fantastic the final garment will look:

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Starry Nite corset: emb. sample w/ piping

I’m working through some of the sample embroideries by testing them in different threads.


The one satin stitch star will be nixed because the design ended up too heavy. The one star pattern doesn’t work well in the metallic thread but is fine in the others. The tiny fleck of a star needs to have a stitch added because the cutting mechanism pulls the last stitch out so it needs to be anchored. All in all I’m happy with the results thus far. I can’t wait to actually make the corset!

This shows a very fine piping but I’m thinking of doing something more chunky so it will be more like ribs of metallic gray running down the corset.

Hybrid corset: constructing the mock-up


This is the beginning of a corset incorporating elements from 18th century stays but without tabbing at the hip section. The bottom will be solid panels more like a Victorian corset. However, we decided for this one to keep more of the 18th century boning pattern details even with the solid hip. I’m liking the look so far. I can’t wait to be done with the fittings so I can cut into the beautiful silk. This is a good way to get the shaping of a pair of stays without the hassle of binding all those tabs. Not that I don’t love binding tabs. I’m becoming rather fond of them actually.

Gray & Blue Jacket: initial mock-up


This jacket will be done up in a silk twill with accents in blue silk (matching a corset & skirt combo I’ve made previously). The front will be cut away at an angle with a detachable belting so it can be worn open,looser or belted for a more fitted look. We’ve altered the sleeve setting a bit during the fitting and are starting on the final piece this week.

Plaid Victorian: skirt & mock-up

Here is just mocking up the fabrics for the waistcoat and zuave jacket:

The edges of the zouave jacket will actually be cording covered in bias cut plaid matching the skirt but I just threw on a scrap of straight grain here.
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Blue Accent: draping possible trimming options

We had a limited amount of Belgium lace and tried a bunch of possible placements. The final arrangement with it over the under-bust only was the cleanest and most elegant choice. We also played with different widths of blue on the bodice. We stayed with a more consistent width instead of doing the small edge seen here:

We had enough to do the halter strap but in the end the blue accent alone at the neck framed her better and brought out her eyes more. So you will see a blue halter strap in the final wedding gown.

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Fabric Sample : test swatch

My client took a trip to LA fabric district and picked out this lovely peach shot-with-white silk and white silk for binding.

I’m testing out a color for flossing (not completed on the swatch) which was later abandoned because it was too cream and blending in too much with the base color. Thread, ribbon, and grommets are tested. The swatch also provides information on the actual turn of cloth for the final construction and patterning adjustments.

Wedding corset mock-up

Look at all that blue erasable marker! Stitching lines can be drawn on the mock-up pattern pieces for quicker construction but the washable/disappearing markers warn that they don’t always “disappear” permanently so they are relegated to mock-ups only.

Fitting notes are made on the mock-up itself with permanent marker and then transferred to the pattern.

Gold & Burgundy Corset: preview

This is a preview of the completed corset which will be modeled at a later date by one of my clients. I am looking forward to capturing some lovely photos of this corset on a real body. I have more photos but the dress form just won’t squish!

I really like the fine burgundy striping in this rich gold silk Taffeta. I have just enough of this fabric left to piece out one more corset :).