Progression of the cupped corset

So, there has been some progression on the cupped corset.  I have made the pattern and the first toile!  Hoorah hooray!

Firstly I drafted a bodice block using my measurements, with no ease.  I then made the adjustments for a a basic strapless bodice (I will post these adjustments soon) and adjusted the waist for a 5 cm cinch.  I also made sure the of the rib measurement so there is plenty of support for the bust – if its super fitted around the rib, just under the bust, then the bust will sit higher.

I then put in the design lines for the corset and drafted the pattern.  I usually do a 1.5cm seam allowance for corsets, so I can use the seam allowances as a boning channel, this is probably a bit cheaty and for a single layer corset not appropriate but I will do this for the fitting.  However, I forgot to do 1.5cm seam allowance which turned out to be a bit of a pain as I had to add it in later.

corset with cups draft 1

I then sewed up the first toile for fitting and the bra cup itself was soooo small.  So I decided to draft the cup from scratch using Mark Garbarczyk method found on the Foundations Revealed website.

bra cup draft

I unpicked the cup from the first toile and stitched this one in and it had a much better fit.  I made some slight adjustments and added design lines and it came up pretty good I wreckon.

First toile with 2nd cup

I also decided to add length at the top of the corset from the underarm to centre back, and lifted the cradle for the cup 1.5cm’s.  I’m hoping that this will give the bust more support.

toile 2 pattern

I will make another toile to check all these changes before I get carried away.

Now I need to find somewhere that sells heavy duty molded cups that I can fit to the corset (and that will hold me up!).  I have checked the usual places but there was no joy.  So I’ll be looking online.

I will leave you with this gorgeous fabric design I found on Spoonflower by Neryl:

Showgirls design by Neryl, found on Spoonflower

Showgirls design by Neryl, found on Spoonflower

Doesn’t it make you smile!



corset with cups (the new obsession)

Examples of my current dilemma from Versatile Corsets

Overbust with cups? or Underbust with separate bra

Mimosa Over Bust CorsetViolet Under Bust Corset

Versatile Corsets

I have become obsessed with creating a corset with cups that will give support but also create shape.  I would love a corset I can wear under dresses to assist in achieving that nipped in waist and smooth silhouette, not to mention relieve some pressure from my shoulders.  From my research I have discovered the following:

1. The design will need a high back, the lowest it could be is probably at the current bra back level.

2. If I want to wear it under dresses, my best option is for a single layer corset.

Unfortunately my research has left me with more questions than answers so far:

1. do I put in foam cups or bone the cup?

2. do I put in a front busk or not?

3. do I use powernet and a hook and eye closure (which means its not really a corset) or lace up the back?

4. Do I go for a waist cincher and separate bra? – I’ve read that this combo is best for under dresses as it allows your breasts to have ‘natural’ and separate movement to the bodice.

So I’ve got some work to do.  If there is anyone out there reading this that has some input I would much appreciate it. I  thought I’d start with a corset with cups and work from there.  If I make a basic corset block and fit it to me, I can draft  the cups and a bra separately and a waist cincher from the original corset block. I have made corsets in the past using a variation of a pattern I purchased through Farthingales .  BUT, this time I want to draft my own pattern, using a basic bodice block to my measurements without ease.

Then I will adjust the pattern to a corset fit and fit it to me.  I will also draft a bra using the free instructions provided by Mark Garbarczyk through Foundations Revealed.  I’m hoping that the cup drafted for the bra will be able to be inserted into the corset.

So I’m hoping that at the end of this process I will have a garment I can wear under dresses that will be supportive, create shape and dare I say at lease a little comfortable. I guess I need to work out if I want shape wear or a corset.

This will also work well with my sarong dress dreaming.  Oh joy!  I will leave you with this link to Lucy’s Corsetry – a fabulous site, where Corsets are reviewed for fit and structure.


Sarong dress dreaming (which means planning)

For a long time now, I have been dreaming about making a fully corseted strapless sarong style dress.  I have made several corsets, for myself and others, and have made strapless dresses with an internal boned bodice, but not corseted.  So now it is time for me to stop dreaming and combine the two.

I’m going to do this from start to finish and blog about it along the way.   So, self drafted pattern, toile, corset pattern, dress pattern, fitting etc. I can’t think of a better way to record it (and possibly get input).

So I collected some inspirational pics and put them on pinterest, lets see if I can work out how to put them here: nope couldn’t work it out, so I will try this:

collecting ideas for a corseted sarong dress....

Vivien of Holloway

This, of course, is one of the beautiful things that I covet from Vivien of Holloway.  I love the sweep of the sarong and they gathering at the hip.  I also love the wide halter that covers those bits that tend to poke out when you wear a corset just between the underarm and the bust. I call them fijibiters.  I like to call this type of wide halter a ‘fijibiter prohibiter’.  Lets see if it catches on… NEXT!

Malibu Tiki Dress in Green and Lavender with Bolero

Deadly Dames (via pinupgirlclothing)

This is absolutely divine.  The fabric, the hair, the shoes the bolero, the tiki-ness.  I love the simple knot at the side and the detail at the bust.  For a while now I have been thinking about buying this and making or buying some super-duper corset so I can wear it.  I won’t rule that out, but this project will continue and I will show you why:

the fabric! photo 2(1) photo 3(1) photo 4

The Inspiration from Vanuatu!

I found this fabulous fabric when I was holidaying in Vanuatu with my favourites.  It’s 100% cotton, and does not have a fantastic drape – but it spoke to me and it said ‘sarong me!’, so I must oblige.

So using the fabric, the sarong styles above for inspiration and with my own figure in mind I will attempt to design and make a sarong style dress.

Let’s see how we go….


Happy Halloween!



Ok, so I have to admit that this pic was taken last Halloween.  This Halloween involved waiting for trick-or-treaters at home in my comfy pants (eating some of the treats as I waited, I might add).  I decided to stay in because I am going to the Kyneton races and thought two big parties within a 7 day period is more that this little Kat can handle.

Well, on to other things.  I have decided that I simply must get a camera.  Up until now I have been using my phone to take pics and they seem to come up substandard compared to some of the pics I see on other blogs.  So it’s time to step up! When I can afford it that is.  Until then I will have to put up with sub-standard, as per the example below.

I finished the cat lady challenge dress, right in the nick of time.  It is not my proudest work, but the main reason behind it was to just get involved.  Here ’tis:


Vrrooom & Meeoow!

Vrrooom & Meeoow!

Goodluck getting a better look at that picture…

Anyway here is a close up of the bodice.

bodice section of cat dress

bodice section of cat dress

The fabric is from Spoonflower, the lining is a soft cotton and bound around the neck and sleeve.  The pattern is one I developed myself from several others.  It was fun being involved and checking out what other’s have made.  It was especially great to get a comment or two.

Well off to get tea ready.  I have decided what to wear to the races, something I already had in the wardrobe.  But of course, like any dressmaker, I am speedily making a jacket to wear with it.  I JUST CAN’T HELP MYSELF.



wash dishes or sew…. is that the question?

No it’s not, because the answer will always be, sew…… or dream up dreamy sewing dreams.

I’ve been pondering the Spring Racing Carnival coming up in November.  Do I go classic?  Do I go rockabilly?  Do I even go?  Whether I go or not, it’s always fun to pour over suitable fabrics and patterns.  I’ve found a belly load of lovelies through the Tessuti website.  Behold:

 Aloha my lovely!

Aloha my lovely!

Also while avoiding doing the dishes I came across a great pattern making blog- Studio Faro, in Sydney Australia.  I am in Melbourne, but would consider the trip north to do a workshop with them.  For example, I’ve had my greedy little eyes on this vintage wrap top for a little while now… I was intrigued by the patterning.

Advance wrap top

As I whittled away the hours ignoring the dishes, I found Studio Faro and the hard work is all done for me! Ta Da!

Let it be said that I am a pattern making GEEK! I mean I will often take a new pattern to bed to read over like normal people would read books.  It doesn’t guarantee that I will be sewing the said pattern, just enjoying the tech-whiz-bango of it before lights out.  It is my passion, and I am currently fulfilling my dream to learn CAD pattern making.  More about that at a later date.


I have cut out the dress! I haven’t taken any photos, but I promise I will this weekend.

Rejoice cat-ladies!  here is the link to the Flickr Cat Lady Group.


diggin’ through the pattern stash

It’s been a while since I took stock of what patterns I have in my stash, particularly my vintage stash.  So I went panning for gold and found some oldies but goodies, in fact some of my favourites like this one:

fave scoop neck raglan dress

And this one, my favourite shirt dress of all time (which I’ve never made….):

fave shirt dress

Although these two are most delicious, this is my choice for the Cat Lady Challenge:

scoot cat

I found this one in an opp shop a few years ago, along with a couple of others that I nabbed.  They didn’t come in an envelope, I think they may be the mail order type of pattern.  I have a few of those – they are great to find as the outside is just a plain envelope so you don’t know what’s inside (most usually some kind of gem).  It’s like making a precious and exciting discovery – and then you can make it yours! Bwah ha ha!

Any who, I will adjust this one to give me more shape or I might even change my mind.  So very indecisive.

inspiration strikes!

I remembered I purchased this awesome cat-scooter fabric from Spoonflower, ooooo maybe 2 years ago?!?  Its by Cynthia Frennette.  I’m thinking maybe a dress and of course it’s perfect for the Cat Lady Challenge!  I have a few vintage-y patterns in mind which I will post soon.  I will have to adjust them because they are teeny-tiny and I am not (I am just right for me!).  By the way, I’m really digging this linking tool!  Such a newbie…..

by Cynthia Frenette

by Cynthia Frenette