Archive for the ‘waistcoat’ Category

Design to Execution

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

I design almost everything I make, but I don’t consider myself a designer. I am a maker. I design things, yes, but that’s not where it’s at for me. I like making things.

I think this is a good way to work. A mediocre design can be made very palatable by good technical skill, but there’s no design so great that it wouldn’t be ruined by being poorly executed.

Anyway, with all that in mind, I thought it would be interesting to post my initial sketch of an item (which is usually the entirety of the design), and then see how the final item differed.

Here’s a picture of the initial sketch. I turned up the contrast to make it seem gritty and noir-esque.


The first thing I realised was that I had drawn 6 straps, and NO ONE IS THAT TALL.  That got cut down to three.

The second thing that changed, which isn’t really obvious from the sketch, is that the buckles were originally going to be stitched onto the facing, but I decided to try and put them in the dart, instead, to avoid having a raw edge. It would also help support the weight of the buckles. I’m really pleased with how this worked- I think it looks really neat. As a result of that, the straps were extended so that they started in the other dart, rather than being attached to the edge of the right hand facing.

Oh my. I have literally just this minute realised that there was a lapel in the drawing. I did NOT see that. I guess that’s number 3!

The moving of the straps to the dart meant that I had to redesign the buttons- to be honest, even when I was drawing them, I had no intention of putting that many buttons on. Maybe six or seven, but twelve? Nope.

At this point I decided to slightly change the line of the left front piece, so that the buttons could be equally spaced between and above the straps. I don’t know if this counts, because that was a fairly arbitrary line to start with.

The lines under the buckles that fasten the straps coming down from the shoulders were going to be just embroidered. I took those out because I thought they’d spoil the line. Not because I forgot to put them in before I’d stitched the lining in… Not that at all.

I also changed the strap fastening from buckles to buttons for a number of reasons; I have a lot of brass buttons, and far fewer buckles; Buckles are heavy, and in that position, would have sagged; it’s easier and neater to put buttonholes in tape than it is to put in eyelets, especially when you’re out of eyelets; that’s quite enough semicolons.

I’ve also not added the second strap, but I might yet- it was designed to loop around the first, and I can still put more buttons on. I gave myself rather more space in the drawing than I had in actuality, though, so I might leave it as it is.

Anyway, after all that, here’s a picture of the result!

Ta dah!

I’m pretty pleased with it! Workshopping names just now, and I’ll get some nice pictures of it tomorrow, at which point it will be listed! I’ve already sold one, too, so that’s nice!

New Corsets, New Waistcoats, Knitting, Babies, and so on!

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

In between blogposts, I tend to write down any little ideas I have to go toward the next one; maybe things I’m working on, maybe thoughts I’ve had that I can’t fit onto Twitter. Here are a few gems that I’d forgotten about:

You know that scene in the Matrix where Neo flips through his hollowed out book to find a particular illegal computer program? That’s how I feel when I flip through the box I keep my machine needles in.


Gem number two: I was watching Up All Night the other day, and there was a baby in it, and I thought “Babies sure are cute. I wish some of my friends would have a baby so I could knit them something” and then I thought “One of your friends had a baby TWO DAYS AGO. You have had NINE MONTHS to prepare. WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?” Since then, I have been knitting a cute baby jersey, which there’s not much to see of at the moment, but I’ll post some pictures when it’s done. I can’t take credit for the pattern, though.

Those of you who follow me on Twitter or Facebook will know that I’ve recently been collaborating with Jackie Wills on a corset. We’re going to do a proper photoshoot soon with a model friend of mine- Celia Grey. In the meantime, here’s a picture of Esmerelda wearing it:

We’ll be making these made to measure, for around £200 each. When the photoshoot’s been done, I’ll list them on my Etsy store, but in the meantime, if you’d like more information, head over to the contact page on the left there.

I’ve just finished up a waistcoat for a friend of mine. You can take a look at his blog- it’s mostly about gaming and modelling, but he’s also an architect and a handy graphic designer. He’s redesigning my site and graphics in exchange for clothing. He asked for a waistcoat, and I thought this would be a good opportunity to launch a new design- he can have a nice new waistcoat, and model it for me, and I can have a new website, and some pictures!

Modelling the waistcoat in this picture is Esmerelda, my female model, because Dagmar, my male model, is bigger than my friend. I’ll put up some pictures as soon as I see it on him, though! I’m very happy with the design- it’s a super clean line, which would look incredible with the right tie. I’ll be listing it made-to-measure on Etsy when I get some good pictures of it- in the meantime, if you have to have it, drop me a line!

The Harlequin Outfit, Corset Week, and Triathlons (also Oxford commas)

Monday, September 3rd, 2012

Welcome! It’s that time of the week again! You know, the time of the week when I think “Ack, I’ve not updated the blog since last week!”. That time.

So first things, in a nod to traditional logic, first:

The Harlequin Outfit is complete!

This is not news. Not to you hardcore abpg fans who refresh this blog constantly for updates (If that sounds like you, follow me on Twitter instead. It refreshes automatically!), no, YOU know that the outfit was finished last week! What is actually finished are some nice pictures of me WEARING the outfit (although those aren’t technically finished either- some are still being edited), but if you want to BUY the outfit, or its component PARTS, NOW you CAN! Head on over to Etsy, and check out the Waistcoat and the Trousers, all ready to be made up for you! And in the meantime, enjoy this picture:



Now that’s out of the way, it’s corset week. Well, to be honest, if a book were to be written about this week, it would be entitled “Corset Week and Other Projects”, but still. My MIND will be on corsets, and as the picture above shows, that’s probably the only part of me you need to worry about. I’ll be aiming to get two corsets finished; one fairly conventional in its cut, and the other a little more original. The conventional one is going to be black and white, with STARS. Also BUTTONS! I can’t draw it easily, so I’ll just wait to let you see it until it’s in a state resembling readiness.

The other is a ribbon corset. Ribbon corsets be fiddly, yo.

Fiddly but pretty.

I had a bunch of velvet ribbon lying about from a project that didn’t work out, and ages ago I started trying to make it into a corset, but I wasn’t very focused on it. I also didn’t have any busks, so when I had to order some corset bits for the other corset, I figured I’d try and push on with this project, and it’s going pretty well. I’ve only got enough ribbon to do half of it at the mo, so I’ll get that done, and if it looks ok, I’ll buy some more ribbon and get the other half done. I’ll keep you posted- they’ll become a regular item if it works out.

Now, on an entirely seperate note, triathlons. I’ve decided that they sound like fun, so there may be updates as, in my efforts to complete one on a very cheap budget, I attempt to make running suits and so on. Be prepared for lots of lycra!

If you enjoyed this post, head over to and click the Like button. You’ll get all the news and pictures right to your feed, and I’ll feel like I’m popular!



Monday, January 30th, 2012

Until the great server crash of ’10, there were lots of lovely pictures of steampunk stuff that I’ve made on here. Now they are gone, and I am sad. That’s no way to live! Here are some pretty pictures, and a little explanation of what Steampunk means to me.

Steampunk has appealed to me ever since I first found out above it. Far beyond its aesthetic, it is its maker mentality, and love of mechanical beauty that I love.

Imagine the world never discovered silicone, but that our technology somehow continued apace, powered only by steam, springs, levers, and lightning. I added that last one because it sounded nice.

Then imagine people decided to wear awesome waistcoats ALL THE TIME.

Purists will tell you that I am talking about a mish mash of steampunk, clockpunk, raygun gothic, mad science, and any number of other cool sounding things, but I am not in this for the labels. I am in it for the waistcoats.

The people of this imaginary time, then, seem to be trapped permanently in a 1970s colour palette, but good lord do they ever love it. Brown? Yes. Yellow? Yes. Brown WITH yellow? Oh my.

That said, I do not subscribe to the school of thought that it has to be brown to be steampunk. I’ll rock me some blacks, reds, maybe a green or two. Grey is steampunk as hell.

I’ve made a goodish bit of steampunk stuff that you can check out on our Etsy store! Here are some links:

The rather smart waistcoat that you can see in the picture there. Sorry I couldn’t find a better model!

A Bookpouch in which you can put books. You can also put other things in it!

A Belt, for the holding up of trousers. It’s all in the accessories, people!

Here also is a Minikilt that is both cute and awesome. It was hard to get both of those attributes in one place!

Finally, if you have so much money that your trousers are falling down even eith the belt, why not spend some on these rather nice Suspenders? This will lighten your pockets, AND you’ll have additional support for your trousers. They’ll never come down again!


Sunday, July 26th, 2009

Some time ago, and it feels like a lot longer than it was, I discovered steampunk. It looked like fun, and I wanted to get involved, but there wasn’t very much going on outside of the US at the time.

Now, with the Etsy shop open, and with me in a better place for making things, I have decided to make steampunk clothes.

Making steampunk clothes is fun. I am making a waistcoat at the moment. I always get a little bored sewing buttonholes, but then, what is steampunk about buttons? Let’s replace them with some nice brown leather straps.

And wool, for a waistcoat? No, I much prefer canvas and other heavy fabrics.

It’ll be a little while before this waistcoat is ready, because it is going to be fairly heavily embroidered. But here is a little preview:

The embroidery is going to stretch all the way up the right hand side, with the straps and buckles taking up most of the left. I haven’t been this excited about something I have made since I knitted my first jersey!