Open post

Four-Gore Underskirt

This pattern is from Truly Victorian TV261-R

It’s a 1885  Four-Gore Underskirt

Make sure if you are working with a 100% Cotton you wash and dry it before you cut it.  This way it won’t shrink at all and you can make it fit you perfectly.  As always cut out your pattern pieces and serge or use a different stitch to hold the edging from unraveling.

For the front piece make to darts and iron to the inside.


Depending on which style you like to do for this skirt it can be with a bustle or not.  You have an Optional Bouffant if you like.  I will show you how to do this but I’m not going to make mine this way.  Just showing you if you like to.



First sew darts into front and sides on the panels of the skirt shown here. Pinning them in place make sure it hang correctly.  Make sure the darts face toward the back.








Sew back to sides and remember to iron your seams open

On the left side, end seam 8 to 9″ from waist and back-stitch.  to form a packet by turning open edge under 1/2″ and top stitch down.

Now you need to either gather back with a baste stitch or make pleats in the back.  (I will show you later)

You will sewn waistband on skirt and leave a 1″ on both sides at the placket flat.



After doing this you will cut 3 tapes approx. 20″ long.  hand stitch tapes to waistband, one at the center back and one at waist side, half way between center back side seam.



bustleYou will pin back to the tapes were indicated on pattern, so that each mark is lifted 6″ up the tape. Adjust pouf to personal preference.  Hand stitch in desired location.  This step is easiest to do while skirt is hanging or on a dress form.  I changed mine to what ever way to make it look more natural.  Use safety pins when doing this so it will stay on the tape better.





Ok now moving on to the way I decided to make my skirt.  It says to pleat the back panel. (I will show you how to in the overskirt directions.




This is the under side of the pleats.






To make sure my pleats will stay uniform and after washing I sewn about two inches on each placket down on the opening side.





After this its time to put the waistband on the skirt leaving an inch on each side.  Moving on to the hem the skirt.




Finish the hem by folding the bottom edge under 1/2″ and again 1″.  Now stitch in place. When I do this I always iron it first to give it a more crisp line.






For me I wanted to make small pleats for the bottom ruffle.  This is very time-consuming but I really like how it looks and its historical correct for this time period.



Sew all the pieces of ruffles sides together to form a one long piece.








Hem the bottom edge by turning under 1/2″ and again 1/2″ and sew down. For the top turn it down 1/2″ down and iron it in place.





Now for the fun stuff.



This is called a perfect pleater. Depending on what with you would like for your pleats it baste on how man tuck per line.  I decided to do ever two.. It give is a bigger pleat.  It takes a little practice but once you figure it out it really easy to do.  To keep your pleats in you can use water and a small amount of vinegar.  It really keep the pleats in.  Before you remove them to sew.  I used some masking tape to hold them in place.





It’s very tricky to baste them in place as they want to move on you, so hold down your tape and watch the underside to keep the folds uniform.






wow finally done it took me two hours but I really like how they will look on the skirt.

Open post

Small Brag

Last weekend I entered my Burgundy and Cream Steampunk outfit at the Nevada State Fair.  Low and behold I got a 1st and a Best In Show.

Wow,   Thank you for all who loved my costume and work.

Steampunk 2015
Steampunk 2015
Open post

Part 3 Victorian Corset



Now its time to sew the bottom of the corset to start putting boning in.






For this corset I did some research and I felt I didn’t have enough boning. I wanted more support for the bust area.

Make sure you measure correctly for the boning. You  don’t want them to be too long as you need to have room for the top bias to cover the edges. Better to be to short then to long.





I used double fold bias tape.  You can make your own if you like. Now I pinned the bias tape on the edges and make sure to line it up correctly with the edges.

You’re going to want to make sure you get the bias tape in the first fold in line with the edge of the sewonbiasinditchmaterial.  It’s about 1/4″ from the edge and try not to hit any boning.

Here you can see I stitched right on the first fold and let me tell you that boning moves on you at times. I broke 2 needles… little bugger.

sewingribbonThis pattern calls for adding a ribbon to the top of the corset.  I wanted to try this; so it will hug my top part better.  Before you sew the bias tape down on the other side, you place the ribbon at the end and I cupped it on both side of the corset and sewn back and forth on both sides of the ribbon. Going through front, corset material and back of the ribbon. I wanted to make sure it wouldn’t ever break.

laceribbionThis is how it looks on the front side after pinning the bias tape down on the other side.  I know you can see the pink ribbon color coming through.  It’s fine for me I will be decorating later and it will bastbiasdownsmwhipsgticheshave embroidery to match.

To make sure I get everything even and placed right. I basted the bias tape down on the inside.  I did it in another color, so it will be easy to see it when I take it out after I sew it with white.

To make sure you don’t see the stitches I sew it by hand with a whip stitch small as possible.  Boy this was a lot of work.  But well worth it, it looks so clean on the front.






Before you start putting in your rivets, make sure you use a ruler to measure each rivets placement and mark it about an inch apart.  Depending on how many rivets you want.  The more you have the better. This way it will distribute the stress on the corset evenly throughout.  You can see I used a pen to place my rivets holes.







I bought a rivet tool kit and let me tell you its worth every penny. They aren’t that much but well worth it.  I have done rivets without it before and its hard and they don’t come out as nice.



This is the tool to make the hole for the rivets they give you some wood to put behind it as it cut the material out.  Couple hits with the hammer.





Look how nice and even this hole is after using this punching tool. You don’t even have to hit the hammer really that hard.  It comes out so nice and clean.







After making the hole you put the rivet with the long inner shank through the hole.  Place the top rivet on it.  It it a couple of time and its set.  What a great tool.





Here is the back all finished riveted.  Now lace it up and you’re ready to try it on.





I had to tie it in the front due to I put this on by myself.  Now its time to decorate it.








I added the white and pink trim by hand.  Next I will be flossing it with embroidery threadcorsetpinktrim

Open post

Part 2 Victorian Corset

Been very busy doing family things every now and then had some time to start back on my corset.

After you set the busk in the first steps now….

Press the seam flat, then press it open.  Turn the right sides out now with the centers front at the edge of the busk.



Now place both of the panels up to match.  When the are close for the centers to touch now place marks (small ones where your going to make your holes with your awl.


Only do one at a time, you want to go slow.  You spent a lot of time on this and you really don’t want to mess up now.studplacement




Make sure not to make your hole to big. Better smaller than to big and work it slowly into the material.






When it all lines up then I pinned the stud busk to make sure it wouldn’t slide and sewn down the side of it to make it sit.









Once I finished this I went back and sewn all the lining pieces together.





Make sure to do the same thing with the slits like you did the front to.







Now it time to sew the two materials together and make a tube which you will be turning rights sides out.







Once you have both right sides facing you need to line up the seam lines with one another. After you do this you will need to stitch in the ditch. This is when you sew both layers top and lining together. You will be sewing in both seams together.

You will need to pin at each edge, at the waist and the rest of the seam. It took a long time to make sure you get both inner seams before you pin.

I found out its better to pin each and every row at once so it doesn’t shift of you.  Go slow and slowly move your pins out why you slow and remove them once you get there.  Be sure not to hit the pin.





Make sure when your stitching in the ditch sew it on the front to get nice lines in the ditch.






Now its time to move on the boning channels. First you want to make the back channels first and measure what the directions tell you.  You make two so the grommets go in between them.

My corset states to use 1/4″ boning channels.  Don’t make them to small or too big.  If to big they can move and twist in the channel when you wear it.




There are all kinds of different ways to measure the boning channel but for me.  I found out by putting it next to the seam and sliding the boning down next to.   I then pinned it in place, so it wouldn’t move.






I then used my zipper foot to move right next to it.  I moved the needle over a bit so it would be closer to the channel.  For me it work great and gave me nice straight lines to.


You can see here how the zipper foot would follow it down the boning and my a nice straight channel.



pinwaisttapefirstAfter completing all your channels it time to add the supporting twill tape for the waistline.  This is very important to support the waist and to prevent stretching at the waistline.






You will need to pin first then repin on the front. You will be sewing down the same line as the boning channel seam.  Be very careful not to slip into the channel.




You don’t need to do every channel maybe 6.  Make sure to sew the beginning and end of the twill tape so its supports the line.






Open post

Victorian Corset

Started my Victorian Bust-Core Corset.  This is what the use to wear in the 1840 -1890’s.  I’m working on this interesting pattern.  I’m truly trying to get the correct silhouette For my historical bustle dress.  I have read a lot of information about this time frame and it’s important to get the correct silhouette underneath your garment so it will look and hold the dress actuality.


First I had to cut all the items of the material.  One is the coutil, one is the lining and the last one is the fashion fabric. Which will be showing on the outside. I made sure I serged each piece before I started sewing them together.  Make sure to number the pieces first.  Its very easy to get them mixed up with one another.









I found out the hard way and once I figured it out I numbers all three material to then sew them in a assembly line.









Then you need to make sure each piece will fit the other piece, the best it can. Take your time and make sure you get it all correct.





completecorsetpanelOnce you have all pieces sewn together this is call a panel now. Now you need to iron the seams open then due to the curves in the corset you’re going to have  to use a pressing ham which will make is so much easier to have it bend but at the same time iron a nice seam.





You can see here that each seam is pressed open but before you can do this; you need to cut small cuts at the edge of the material to give the material some give to the sharpness of each seams. DO NOT CUT TO CLOSE TO THE SEAM.






By doing this it will help with the seam so it won’t pucker.  After cutting each area that pulls on the seam make sure to seam press again and a again to get it just right.






After clipping and ironing down the seams I decided to baste down my side seams down. This will help later when I add the boning to each seam.



setupbuskNext you will add one of the other lining panel to your your main fabric of contil.    First lay it down on the corset and pin it very well eventually  and mark it with a pen or pencil very lightly.

corsetsewmarksoutlinebuskHere you can see my marking where I’m going to have to sew and stop at one line and pick up the foot and needle to put back down on the start of the next hole.

Dont forget to go back and forth with your sewing machine to make each opening that much stronger on the edges.  In this picture you can see where I sewn and stopped for the busk to slide in.




Open post


The other day I got my material in so I hurried and wash it before use. This is a good thing to do especially with cotton, due to it shrinks.  This way once you fit it exactly to your body, it won’t shrink at all.

I started cutting my overlay pattern with all the ruffles.startoverly


I did a overlock from my serger on all the edges.  Looks quite nice.  After I did each piece I sewn the overlay together.








All the ruffles I did to.. it takes time but looks nice.




After doing each piece i had to hem one side of the ruffles.  I decided to iron the hem down first before I sewn it.  It went pretty fast when I did it that way. You should start at the bottom and work your way to the top when you start to sew the ruffles on.  By doing it this way, it will help you to not get the previous ruffle in the way as you sew.



After I gather each ruffle. I made sure the gathers looked right before I sew it down. For doing this I measured each row from the bottom up, and kept them all the same height from one another.measurerows

I wanted the ruffles to be accurate for each row and to look proportioned correctly from another. By doing this, it will make all my ruffles be accurate to each and every row.

It took a lot of time but it does look quite nice now.






It’s finally finish and looking pretty good with the ruffle tiers in place. Now I need to sew each and every row ends to the overlay itself.

This is a really good idea, this will make the material have more of a curve, which will help to support the skirt.  If you would have left it alone, the weight of the skirt would push it down and would make your outer skirt look flat.






You can see here by doing this it give it the material a slight curve to it, which will help support the weight for the skirt.




After making your overlay it needs to be added to the bustle skirt.  This was a chore due to you have your boning already in.


I still made it work, I really didn’t want to sew this by hand.  Once this was on I fitted to my form.  Its kind of heavy it’s pulling on the form.




Open post

Finishing Petticoat with Wire Bustle

For the bustle it’s time to put the boning in.  This was a challenge for me.  I followed the directions but man there has to be a better way.  They tell you to leave an opening to slide it in and then go back and hand sew it.  The first one was a mess. I notice you need to leave a bigger opening and slide it in one side and then slide the other end in… by doing this you will have a bow on the outside of the boning and slide it in carefully without ripping your casting. Then slide it down the channel.









Next you need to sew at each end of the channels some cord.  This is for a collapsible bustle which is quite nice. They are big and this way they won’t take up to much of your closets space.  You can see the ties I used was not cotton it was synthetic so I could burn the ends, this way they wouldn’t fray.







This is what it looks like inside the bustle after you tie them together. Really cool pattern.





Here is the bustle finally done.. I will need to go back andsidebustle determine the length of the hem I will need.  This is a back view and a side view the silhouette is great. Now onto the petticoat.



Open post

Steampunk Belts

I wanted to make some belts for my steampunk outfit for holding items and to look the part.  I’m making one from a pattern (mccalls 6975) The other is a side pouch on my hip and thigh. This one I’m designing and drafting myself.


For the wide belt I cut all the pieces out of this material that looks and feels like suede but isn’t.  Its a vinyl material of some kind.  I bought this fabric along time ago.




I decided for it to be stiffer I would add heavy interfacing on one side of the material. To make it thicker.






I had some issues with this, the material and interfacing would move so much it would move right off or pucker the material and looked horrible. So I tried several different functions and sewing foots that just didn’t work.


I decided to by two new feet for my machine and to see what worked best with this material. I bought a teflon foot and a rolling foot.

The teflon didn’t really work well at all. I was getting quit worried that nothing was going to work.  Finally tired the rolling foot and it worked quite well.  This is for leather and vinyl material. Now I can finally get back to sewing my belts.



First I basted all the interfacing to each of the cut out parts of the belt. Then sewn both of the pieces together.


beltingAfter doing this you can see it pulled way to much at the close corners so I went in and trimmed the corners to let the seams relax more and wouldn’t pucker.



Went to the other piece and did the same thing to that one.  It was better to sew with the interfacing on the down side where the feed dogs could move both fabrics and the same time.

ironseamdownHere I noticed after sewing both pieces together I needed to set the seam. I ironed the seam and when I turned it over to the right side it looked more crisp. With this material it still had a puffiness to it so each piece I decided to on the right side to sew on the edge all the way around it.

Now Im waiting for hardware will post at a later time.


Open post

Mermaid Headdress

First I took some wire and started making a headband to form  the size of my head.  After I did that I took some really small wire to wrap around all of the pieces to hold them on and to make the headdress stronger.  I decided I wanted to make fins to cover up my real ears when I wore this.headdresswrap

Once I finished wrapping all the wire tight around to hold the loose pieces together. I took some foamies and cut strips to wrap around the wire itself.

Just by accident I got the adhesive kind which worked out pretty good, until the next morning. The ends of the foam strips need to be glued down at each end.  After wrapping each one I started hot glue the ends down onto itself. When I was finished it looked like this.


Then I started to cover it with buckram material so it would be able to hold up all the stuff I wanted to decorate it with.

coverfoamI needed to cover up the foam pieces that you were going to see somewhat so I wrapped ribbon around them.






This was very trying at times.  To make it fit I had to cut strips in the material to make it more flexible to the headdress.







I used hot glue to hold the seams together and then added the back piece fit which was going to be my decorating piece.







I made a pattern out of buckram on how I wanted to design it.







When the whole thing was covered in buckram I covered it with white cotton material to cover up the buckram material. I used the hot glue gun to keep this on. a lot faster then sewing it by hand.  For the wire showing on the fins I decided to paint those purple.





To make them look realistic I took the same kind of material from the mermaid fin dress and added it to this ear.  I had to sew it on by hand around the wire.  After that I cut the edges off to the correct shape of fin.









When I finished this is what the looked like






I cut out a pattern of the same body material to the headdress. I glued all those pieces on to cover the white material. Now it was time to start painting shells and picking the layout I was going to do. This is the start of my headdress but have a lot more to go on it.



Finally finished my headdress and this is what it turned out to look like.


Open post

Petticoat with Wire Bustle

Today I worked on my Petticoat with Wire Bustle 1870’s and 1880’s which will support those styles of bustle dresses. This pattern is by Truly Victorian.  TV-101

I’m really excited to work on this pattern as its based on an actual garment as seen in Harper’s Bazaar magazine.  This pattern that I’m sewing will be easy for storage because it folds down flat.

These directions were quite easy to follow.  I bought theses from Truly Victorian.  The have a nice collection to choose from.

First I serge all my edges on all of my pattern pieces before i started sewing my seams.


With each seam I made sure I ironed each and everyone.  I thought I would post a picture of one that wasn’t ironed her below so you can see the difference.




What a big difference when you don’t set the seam.




On the bustle part I pinned bias tape to the upper bustle part.  Trying very hard to give them a straight line as possible.












One completed channel sewn






I have two lines done





Now finished sewing all three channels that go across the bustle.





For this channel it’s sewn at a diagonally part way.  You only sew up and back and leave the top open.





At the top of  channel one I sewn another open channel over the first channel. Be very careful not to sew closed the bottom channel.hoopboning



Here is the boning I cut to the correct length from the pattern instructions. Don’t put these in just yet.  I will be making the





Now moving on to the florence. This you will need to sew each of the pieces together.






Remember to iron the seams down.  I bought this little iron and I just love it.  It’s just made for ironing down seams.  Nice not to have to brag out the big iron all the time.







Now I need to baste the top of the florence to fit it to the front and back bustle. Due to all the material and its weight.  I decided to double pin both directions to keep the gathers in the right about all the way around.









Little by little I would sew slowly and take pins out when you come to them. This really helped me keep my gathers more even all the way around.








This is what it looks like sewn on.  Make sure to take out your basting stitches.  It will look a lot better if you do.









Now the material will fall more even by taking out the extra stitches.









Moving on to the top portion of the bustle to add the waistband.  Before sewing it on you need to baste the upper top to fit your waist size.



Posts navigation

1 2 3 4
Scroll to top