Sunday, October 25, 2009

That darned corset, footloose and Heathcliff

I've completed drafting DD's formal dress, made a muslin and fitted the bodice. Now the work has commenced on a boned corset sewn on very fine tuille that will sit between the lining and the underlining. The rationale for this is that I need to construct the front and back of the bodice separately to enable the draped sections to be secured on the side sides. The separate corset allows me to attach the outer lining and ensure that the draping follows the correct shape - in theory.

The corset fits perfectly on her body (not my dressform). However I am concerned because the boning was bought in readymade casing on a roll and is curling up when not worn. Will this be alright when I attach it to the lining? Or should I start again making my own casings and inserting the boning? I have tried iron it under a rajah cloth.

My Chanel jacket is nearly finished. I am hand stitching the lining and the trims. I had hoped to complete the jacket this weekend,
but Mini-Me and I did the Seven Bridges Walk, a 25km saunter around Sydney's beautiful harbour instead. It is an annual event - unfortunately this year the weather conditions were not favourable. For most of the course we walked in heavy tropical rain and thunder but it didn't dampen our spirits. The walk took us through so many foreshore parks and high street villages that we had never visited before. Mini-Me is a good distance runner and she urged me on to complete the course. I was so deliriously weary by the end that all I was up for on Sunday night was a BBC adaptation of Wuthering Heights. Surprisingly I'm not sore, but have a shocking 'wet socks' blister on the sole of my foot.

The day has reignited my lifelong ambition to walk from Sydney to Melbourne. I'll have to buy a copy of Gillian Souter's new book Slow Journeys: the Pleasures of Travelling by Foot while I contemplate about what a silly idea this really is!


  1. Firstly, I love the new header picture! Secondly, I am super impressed that you are making a corset. I'm considering making my first (and probably only) strapless dress this year as I suspect I am getting too old to wear one, so this might be my last chance. As for Chanel jackets, yours is looking wonderful. I, of course, have done nothing. Hearing about your walk is making me homesick. After almost ten years living up here, the past week I have found myself missing Sydney quite severely. I may have to come for a visit soon! Looking forward to seeing your completed jacket.

  2. I love the Chanel! You are coming right along. Can't wait to see you in it!

    I receieved your kind package yesterday! I am waiting for a quiet moment to look at all the patterns! Thank you so much. My girls are so excited.

    And I love your header!!!

  3. You are a brave lady to take on a formal with all that boning. I really can't give you any advice on that front.
    You are amazing to finish a walk like that in weather like that!!!
    Your jacket is amazing, too.

  4. I love that extensive explanation of the boning, and then: "In theory." LOL Oh, Chanel... your jacket looks great. Mine has had no traction for at least a month. The wall color in the room in your new blog header is close to what I am considering for my own sewing room!

  5. I love the Chanel jacket!(color,trim, pattern...)
    Your sewing formal dress sounds like a real adventure. :)I'm impatiently waiting for the result.

  6. Your jacket is lovely. Good luck with the formal dress. Love your blog header!

  7. I agree - love the new header! I don't know if you can call yourself an amateur, though, when you're working on a *boned corset* for an *evening dress*!

  8. That jacket is looking great! Well done with that walk.

  9. Gail November 2009 Threads has an article by Susan Khalje on an making an inner foundation - they use "soft lightweight cotton", 2 layers and make casings by sewing channels.
    I used rigaline boning (for the first time - so my experience could be entirely wrong and unusual) on an evening dress, and placed it so the main curves followed mine when not worn. The dress fabric seemed to hold the boning in place nicely.

  10. Hi Gail! Thanks for the welcome and thank you so much for the link to Sigrid's tutorials. That is exaclty what I have been looking for. What a great resource.

    That Seven Bridges Walk looks like a lot of fun and Sydney looks like a beautiful city. Australia is on the top of my list for places to visit.

  11. Hi Gail - I did the walk too - and got drenched. I started about 10.15 am at Milsons Point Station and by the time I reached Callum Park it was bucketing down. Nevertheless I finished it in great spirits and am looking forward to the next one. Interestingly, like you, I was inspired to think about doing more long distance walks. I am a sewer and have just discovered your blog (through another sewer). - Cat1