Production in ProcessHi, everyone. Here are the pictures I took of the costume in the making. I'll most probably be making a list of things I could have improved on at the end of each item. This is also going to be a long, pic-heavy post. All the same, I hope you enjoy your perusal.
The challenges I set for myself were:
- A time limit. I gave myself a month to finish the entire project. This was important since I had to balance an eight-hour Monday-to-Friday job as well. Then there's also weekends off, since this was rest and couple time. It didn't help when I fell ill for most of the first half of the month, leaving me with mostly two weeks to put together the petticoat, corset, peasant top, and both skirts.
- I must make use of whatever materials I already had on hand. since I am (mostly) a compulsive crafting shopper, the materials I had accumulated over time more or less satisfied most of my needs. Which brings us to...
- Expenses. I must not spend more than Php 1,000.00 ($18.00 to $20.00) for extra items and accessories. This includes tights, jewelry, extra fabric and nuances (if necessary), and so on.
- Use Organza instead of tulle. The poof organza offers has a longer life and staying power compared to tulle.
- For ample-hipped ladies like myself, set the top layer of the petticoat on the first hip level, not the waist. this will give the petticoat (and the skirt you eventually wear over it) a nice gentle slope downward. The short fluff set on the waist tend to give the skirt a Fathingale-like effect.
Detail shot of the underskirt.
You might surmise that this is upholstery material.
You are absolutely right.
-- To achieve the conical shape of the original Atelier Boz creation, make it a circle skirt. On the other hand, it might not get the same layout of the raised woven pattern on the material as if it had been pleated from a long parallelogram.
-- Have a care to check the evenness of the hemline, front to side to back to side to front again. This is definitely going to show with a petticoat underneath the skirt.
-- Have a care with folding hems too. It's often easier to let out a too-short hem with ample extra cloth than it is with a tiny fold-in hem.
For the corset, the peasant top, and the over-skirt, I made do with Lacoste Cotton.
No, I did not put her there. She just wants more huggles, and a cheeseburger while I'm at it.
the Front Shell of the corset.
"Cuddle time! Because I says so!"
Again, since there is no steel boning in the available Philippines, sewable boning would make the next best item to use. (Better than the stick plastic boning, in my opinion.) although it might not have the body-shaping abilities of its metal counterpart, it makes for sturdy construction and and gives excellent support. Since you can sew on the boning itself, it does away with sewing channels to slip boning into. I still have to experiment with combining plastic stick boning and sewable boning on a corset, but that's going to be another story for another time.
the Back Shell of the corset.
In the absence of available busks in the Philippines, I had to make do with a plastic jacket zipper (thank the gods for Japanese Php99 stores). Mon later told me plastic was a good call. A metal zipper's teeth has a higher chance of getting derailed or split with the constant pressure put on them once the corset is laced up properly (read: snug-tight). More over, they may require constant oiling, and run the risk of ruining both the fabric of the corset, and the fabric of the top or dress worn underneath the corset.
James Asis, a good friend of James, took some time from his computer repair job to help jimmy up a makeshift system to install grommets/eyelets. Unfortunately, it proved to be too time-consuming, and it risked damaging the fabric of the corset. We soon opted to fall back on D-rings. I am still very grateful to Asis for the effort, the brain-power, and the willingness to experiment and aim for success. I am quite lucky to have good friends in my man's friends.
"And it is a problem with me being in here because...?"
Testing the corset the morning after.
-- Invest in sewable boning. I initially bought five meters of the stuff, thinking I'd have some left over enough for another corset. Turns out only a few inches remained from this project. At Php 55.00 (about $1.00) a meter, it's all worth it.
-- Set the boning with the concave side (or the inner curve) facing the body. It will straighten out once laced tightly, and will give a neater silhouette.
-- Count the D-rings (or in the future, grommets), and make sure one side mirrors the other. if you'll notice in the picture above, the left side has ten D-rings, while the right side has eleven. I think I was particularly sleepy when I made the left D-ring panel.
-- Practice, practice, practice lacing up a corset properly. Note: You do not lace a corset up like a tennis shoe! This usually only happens in wedding gowns, but not corsets. Since it's situated on your waist area, you will want the tightest area to be around there. Hence, the special lacing. Here's a guide on how to lace a corset properly.
Here's how to lace a corset for someone else.
And here's how to lace yourself into one.
The peasant top was finished in a single sitting (4:00am - 8:30am.). Now I wish I had a dress form with poseable arms.
Aaaaand I forgot to take pictures of the overskirt as a work in progress. Wunderbar.
However, I did manage to take pictures of it on the underskirt.
Do pardon the unshod, cankley feet.
The ruffles are actually one long strip of cloth box-pleated and pinned. I wonder if this would have looked better had the strip been wider?
-- Make the overskirt slope lower and steeper... perhaps just to expose about three or four inches of underskirt.
-- See how the back dips an inch r so lower than the hem of the underskirt at the back? Like this? Yes,. Aim to replicate that next time. If this underskirt looked like a Giant C, this one must look like a more pointed C.
-- A circle skirt overskirt goes with a circle skirt underskirt. again, try to work that out. Maybe with dupioni silk next time?
Well, that's about it for the production pictures. Thanks for looking, everyone. If you liked this, or have something to say, don't hesitate to leave a note in the comments below. Have a great day!