Posts Tagged ‘circus swing clothing’

Corsets, Waistcoats, etc!

Friday, September 28th, 2012

Here is your thought for the week period until I make another blogpost:

Being a self employed dressmaker is cool and bohemian, but it palls in comparison to being a professional musician because I don’t get to carry an instrument case around.

So.

SO.

I finished the corset! Yes I did. Corsetcorsetcorset. It took a long time. It fought back. I had to redo one particular seam SIX TIMES. To be honest, it’s pretty far from perfect, but it’s DONE.

To qualify the above, I’m not terribly experienced with corsets anyway, and that, coupled with the fact that this was the first iteration of a new design, made for some… fraught moments. In addition, about half way through the first half, I worked out a WAY better way of doing things, but I couldn’t really undo everything I’d done, so I had to keep making the rest in the old way. Rest assured that when I make these to order, I’ll be using the new way. Because New Is Always Better.

Here is a picture. A few things still need adjusting about it, and next time I’ll cut the fly at the front differently. I’ll get it up on Etsy for made to measure sales as soon as I work out a price and get some decent pictures of it.

One of the reasons I was delayed in making the corset was that on Monday evening, I got an enquiry on Etsy about the Harlequin Waistcoat. Due to a wardrobe emergency, could I make one up (my made to measure stuff is made completely from scratch- I draft the pattern from your measurements, cut the fabric accordingly, and put the whole lot together) to be delivered on Thursday? Given that I was at a friend’s on Monday evening, that meant two days to draft, make, and ship it. I do like a challenge! Anyway, I put everything on hold, starting tuesday morning, and got it in the post, next day guaranteed delivery, on Wednesday lunchtime. Mission: Success! So if you’re ever thinking, “Hmmm, I like it, but I doubt he could make it in time…”, I probably CAN make it in time, so try me! Unless I have a vast amount on, I won’t charge extra for a rush order.

I’ll add a little note here on the end: I don’t tend to update this blog that often, but you can keep up with what’s going on by hitting that LIKE button on my facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/abeautifulpalegreen

OR you can follow me on twitter: https://twitter.com/palegreenrob

I post new designs and progress on orders and ideas in those places, so keep an eye on them!

 

Deadlines, patchwork, swimming, site redesign, and corsets

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

What ho! Today, a catchup on what I’ve been doing. My aim now is to update my Facebook and Twitter several times each day with pictures and updates about what I’m working on, and then once or twice a week to have a longer post here pulling everything together.

First things first! As the title suggests, I’d like to talk about deadlines.

I love deadlines.

That may sound odd, but I am sure a lot of you can relate to my position. If someone asks me to make something, and sets me a deadline, that thing will be made by that deadline. No questions. Last Sunday, I was at a market in London, when a friendly fellow asked me to make him a pair of trousers. BUT, he added, he needed them to wear to a party on the next Saturday. That’s six days, including shipping them to London (for those of you outside the UK, it’s small, but it’s not THAT small, and I live about 6 hours away from London by road). No problem! I measured him, drafted them on Tuesday, cut them, and made the fly on Wednesday, leaving myself just the waistband and the hems to do on Thursday, which I did before shipping them special delivery just after lunchtime. They arrived Friday morning, and he had a great, bespoke outfit in under a week.

So when I am set a deadline, I meet that deadline. Questions? No? Good.

The other side of the coin is when people say “Oh, no rush”.

Goddamnit, people! I NEED the rush! If there’s no rush, if it’s a run of the mill product, it’ll take anywhere from a month to in excess of six (SO sorry, customer (you know who you are)). If it’s something I’m excited to make, I’ll get the basics of it done super quick, but then all those little finishing bits will drag on and on and on. So please, if you’re ordering something from me, tell me when you want it by! It can a week’s time, or a year, but let me know!

 

Now, item number two in the list is Patchwork! I do love me some patchwork, and I think it really brightens up some relatively normal designs.

 

Me, in cotton Harlequin trousers

These trousers, for example, are a pretty standard cut. A little higher in the waist, perhaps, and they have only one pocket, but still. Add some patchwork to one leg, and you get nothing but compliments!

Several of my recent designs were inspired by that very black and white diamond patchwork fabric. Those of you who know me well will know that I have a thing for harlequins, and when I saw this fabric, I had to have it. However, it’s quite expensive on the roll, and the shop that I got it from has only the one roll and cannot get any more. Not wanting to rely on no one else buying any, and that already slim roll somehow lasting forever, I decided to figure out how to make it myself, quickly and easily.

To cut a long story short; I did! Mainly thanks to my overlocker. I love my overlocker.

 

NOT SHOWN: Lipstick marks.

If anyone’s interested, I’ll post a tutorial on how to do it. It’s a very quick method that does not involve cutting out hundreds of tiny diamonds which then fray and get lost before you have a chance to painstakingly join them by hand.

 

Logic would tell us that now is the time to talk about swimming, but it’s not! That comes later! I’m going to talk about the upcoming redesign of this site.

When I first got this site, it didn’t have much direction. I made stuff that I thought was cute, and it was! Oh my, was it ever. But now, I have a lot more direction. Recently, it’s been Circus Swing, and further back, Steampunk. So I’m going to have parts of the site redesigned to better reflect this! I’m also going to get rid of the portfolio section, replacing it with some kind of garment retrospective, and I’m going to get rid of the “Home” page, because what on earth do you put there that doesn’t go in another section? The site will work just the same, it’ll just look different. Better, I hope!

Now, by way of an apology for the last paragraph’s dramatic departure into chaos, corsets! I am working on some corset designs. There’s not a whole lot to say here, except that I’ve only ever dabbled with corsetry, and I’m excited to be getting properly into it! Keep an eye on my twitter for excited tweets as it all comes together/despairing, angry tweets as it all falls apart.

 

Finally, swimming. The event I was training for, the 2.2 mile Breakwater Swim (swimming from Plymouth’s Breakwater to the shore) was last Sunday. You can read a bit about it here (that’s me on the right, refraining from doing what the photographer suggested and putting my hand on Pauline’s shoulder, because she was covered in Vaseline). This was before the swim, when we were all excitedly nervous. Anyway, it went off without a hitch, once I was in the water (although I came off my bike on the way there and did the whole thing with cuts all down my right side and a swollen elbow on one side and shoulder on the other). I took longer than I wanted, but 12 weeks ago I couldn’t swim 25m crawl, so I’m still pretty happy. Now it’s time to work on my technique and my speed. I set the bar nice and low for next year!

 

Thanks for sticking with me through all that, folks! That was long. Reward yourselves now! Perhaps a cup of tea, or something from the store?

Waistcoat!

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

I’ve been working on a waistcoat to go with the circus trousers!

This is a rough design (pictures taken with my phone, so they aren’t the best). I started work the other day, paying particular attention to that pocket- I’ve only done a handful of slashed pockets, and this is the first I’ve done at an angle AND over a dart. It was actually quite painless, though, and it looks great!

I was quite careful with the dart positioning on the harlequin side, too, so that it didn’t throw the pattern off too much. I considered using a pleat instead of a dart, since the whole thing will be underlined with a heavier fabric, but I want it to be quite fitted when it’s done; I’m not a fan of the traditional baggy harlequin suit one sees- this outfit is for the hardworking harlequin on the go.

I’ve been delayed because I  need plain black and white cottons to make the back panels, and to line the whole thing with; in the past, I would have just used whatever polycotton I had lying around, but I’ve decided it’s time to reach for a higher quality. I should be able to get hold of some today, and then get the whole thing finished early next week.

UPDATE: It’s finished now! Take a look at the bottom of this post to see it on me!

 

On a different note

While I’ve been much better at updating this blog lately, the real action is on my twitter account, so head over there and follow me to keep up to date!