2 Faces of Winter: Desolation

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 Following the autumnal fun with Spirit of Autumn, i decided to have a series of seasonal projects – and the next one, naturally was to be Winter.But since I couldn’t make up my mind which part of winter I like more, I have ended up with 2 sub projects; the first one, Desolation,  was inspired by the bleakness of the season – the muted dark colouring, dirt, mud, rain, fog and ice; death and decay – a typical British winter for more of its duration 🙂

I wanted to include some organic bits, just as I did in the Autumn part – but it turned out to be rather tricky! in the end i settled on the lunaria pods ( honesty plant, silver dollar plant) and some twigs.  once that was decided upon, the design was made…

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soon after i started collating bits and pieces that would go together – chiffon, bling etc…

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The corset (pattern – Sew Curvy overbust) was made in white and black sheer, with pods of the honesty plant sandwiched between the layers. The pods symbolize the rebirth – that even in death there is a seed of life hidden within, awaiting awakening once the seasons turn.

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The channels are exterior,  fashioned of a lovely grey tape – I used the same tape to bind the corset.  Boning – usual mixture of flat and spiral steels; some of the steels can be seen between the layers of the sheer – adding a hint of a skeletal deathly character to the corset.

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 Additional decoration is provided by the bling – black, grey and transparent crystals emphasising the hip and bust; two big crystal brooches  provide anchors for strips of chiffons – grey and black, matching the skirts, hanging in the front. They also anchor the black chiffon cape.

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The skirt is on the big side and was a real fun to make – big cotton base then strips of torn chiffon are randomly attached to the base. Not the most comfortable attire to walk in, but looked impressive while stationary 🙂 . About 20 metres of different chiffon were used…

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the base of the skirt, in cotton

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attaching the strips of chiffon, with the usual helper….

The crown is made out of frosted twigs and pearl and bead strings – all fashioned in about an hour.

Finishing the outfit was a bit hurried – originally we were hoping for snow, and since no snow was forecast, I was taking the project easy. and then one Monday evening we had a fog – a proper, dense, milky fog. next morning we were both more or less free, so we decided to shoot the thing in the morning, using the fog as a background.

Alarm was set for 6 – if it was foggy we would get up, get ready ( make up, contact lenses, hair extension etc all take time!). and  go and shoot. But when i woke up at 6, no fog was about. I even got up and went outside – the ground was white with frost, but no fog. back to bed then.

And then, at 8 am, with the sun rise, the frost turned into milk white fog….

Make up etc was done in record time and we were off – I even managed to get the contact lenses in less then 5 min, a huge achievement!

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on the way to the shoot

It was still bitterly cold and wet – and muddy! we decided to use Harold Odell Park again – a lot of interesting places there!

and the results….

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 Very happy with the results –  it was worth doing it with the fog, worth getting cold and getting dirty boots too…

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 Hope you enjoyed  the pictures –  all images by Pitcheresque Imagery

The other face of winter, Polaris, is already done – and will sort out the post on that soon!

and in the meantime, the corset is up for grabs at a discounted price  in our shop!

Corsetry fun – Stitch and Bitch2 -August

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 Well, I did warn you…. it was hardly a fortnight and I was back in Oxford with Julia from Sew Curvy for another stitch and bitch session. if you missed the last one – here it is… Stitch and Bitch JUly

 The day started with a cuppa and the newest bits of gossip – all the latest news, especially those relating to the  Oxford Conference of Corsetry Julia organizes for the end of August – were thoroughly discussed. I brought some more bits and pieces for the Conference Embellishment bar – silk satins, taffetas, brocades and trims, all for the participants to pic and choose and use:-)

 Gossiping continued for another hour or so, i am afraid, but at least we weren’t idle – we packed all the orders for the shop together, and i learnt how to wound spring wire and pack things nicely, the Sew Curvy way.  Naturally, there was some silliness involved – I think I know what to use as a lasso for my Steampunk Amazones collection photo shoot…..

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 Julia also introduced me the the range of leathers from G.H. Leathers – and as it turned out they have a warehouse just around the corner from where I live ( already paid them a visit…)

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 After that work started in earnest. Julia was working on producing a flossing sampler, and I had an experimental corsetry idea. Nowadays everybody is making sheer corsets – a bit weird as in this hot weather the plastic  makes you sweat a lot! still, it is an attractive look, and I wanted to explore the possibilities offered by the sheer nature of the nylon mesh. in short, i came up with the idea of using two layers of sheer and stuffing things in between them, for decoration purposes.

 I came up with a sketch, in which i was using synthetic plastic boning as decorative ‘ribbing’ on the corset.  Julia was a bit skeptical, but I decided to give it a go anyway, I do enjoy a challenge…

 I used Julia’s underbust pattern ( the same I used for the red underbust), but in smaller size – I didn’t want to waste too much sheer!

Below are the stages of how the idea was transformed into a tangible object…

cutting out…

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stitching the channels…

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using my brand new Janome HorizonMC8200 QC!

the non-sheer panels are in black sateen – love it!

Imagethen it was time to join the panels together…

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the backs

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and the fronts…

 and then the most dreaded task – cutting out the synthetic boning

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 at that point it was time to pack the things and finish the work for the day and get to Julia’s – after all, a delicious meal awaited – this time it was a healthy chicken salad…

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with not so healthy G&T in the background…

 The next morning saw us packing the orders again, and with serious work out of the way I was able to  concentrate on my experimental  underbust…

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just the binding and the proper boning to do. and the eyelets…

I finished just before lunch – an ideal time to try to lace ourselves into the thing, never mind it was too small, you always have to have a go…

here’s me:

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then it was Julia’s turn…

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Very happy with the experiment, so the idea will be expanded and i think there will be some more playing with sheer – especially for steampunk market. This one looks a bit sci -fi, indeed we may need to name it Darth corset…

 I had just two hours left before i needed to hit the road – could I make a corset in that time? I did say I enjoyed a challenge….

 In the end, I did not make one in 2 hours, and I blame Julia for it – she suggested that I embroider the panels on my new machine and I simply couldn’t resist it… that’s the state of the corset at 4.30 when we had to leave..

half made

 Still,  all I had to do back home to finish the thing was eyelets and binding, and her’s the finished thing, snapped the same evening. the corset i made in sateen coutil in ‘Moroccan sands’ colour, with exterior castings and a wide busk – all provided by Sew Curvy!

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and the side…

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It was the fastest I ever worked on a corset – and I believe it was only because I was by that time so familiar with the pattern and didn’t need to do mock ups and alternations in it that made such speedy work possible. Also, I found it amazing  that one pattern can produce three different looks – very versatile:-).

 Am looking forward to trying out Julia’s overbust pattern now… 🙂

you can find the beige and the red underbust for sale on etsy, the Darth corset will be offered for sale after the conference:-)

 all the corsetry provisions can be bought from Sew Curvy!