The second part of my outfit (part one here) is a corset, of sorts.
At least that’s how it started out. However, the whole issue of boning was quite taxing. I had a friend offer to bring me some lamb ribs from her farm. Err, no, I don’t think so. Then there was a whole discussion about going south to Albany where there used to be a whaling station and having a fossick for old whale bones. This had merit as that is what corsets used to have for their structure. Then I thought about the time involved and lost the will to live. Road kill was also mentioned, but when Mark started talking about fashioning me some from pine, I called a halt to the whole debate and now have a corset sans boning.
I wasn’t sure I would be able to get into it without my
lady’s maid husband, but to my delight I managed to wriggle into it and do up the laces. As you can see, it is not laced tightly, I haven’t hung on to the bed post while Mark has a knee in my back to get it firm, but it is ok. Of course, when it’s done up tighter at the back the front sits a bit more snugly.
I used some strong felt for this one. It is quite thick and is completely felted. All the seams are flat felled, except the curved front seams, which are blanket stitched, and the edges are bound with i-cord.
The gold i-cord was dyed using sour-grass flowers, as was the gold wool for the thread used to couch the gold i-cord and for the decorative stitching.
A little trilogy of photos showing the dyeing and the results.
One of my friends wanted some yellow wool to repair a teddy and the yarn on the left is what I dyed for her. I simply put the wool in later. The little knitted piece was put in after I removed the pot from the heat, and it was the residual warmth which dyed the wool, which is a pretty colour.
The red wool was dyed using red-ink sundew bulbs which I harvested from our weekend place as suggested by Nicki (thisismoonlight). I didn’t like doing this much as the plants have to be sacrificed, so I tried to get them from the firebreaks as they would be destroyed by the tractor anyway. The colour obtained on wool is rather glorious though…
There was a lot of hand sewing in this. There are 22 “buttonholes” at the back, all of which had to be blanket stitched through two thicknesses of felt, and then all that i-cord had to be sewn on, and the decorative bits completed.
I have one more item of clothing to blog and then I just need to finish the shoes and bag. My worry is that it’s now warming up and I won’t be able to wear it this year.
22 thoughts on “One Year One Outfit final – part 2”
Wow, that looks terrific. Very designerly! All that work and dyeing, and hand-stitching. I think you may have set a new trend here. It’s very whimsical and quite you. I could do with a felted corset here, now. It’s getting colder in the UK. I love the wool knitted top and trousers underneath. The natural colour is very pretty. I look forward to seeing the shoes and bag. Congrats.
Thanks Trish, it would be perfect for autumn in the UK!
Funky Mama, that is spectacular! I love the use of the sour grass flowers and the sundew bulbs, very inventive. This project really brings out the most creative sides of all the participants, truly a wonderful piece 🙂
Thanks Jenny, I’m already thinking about next year!
I think my favourite part of this top is all the textures you got from the same raw product! The soft felt, the cord and the handstitching just add so much interest to what is already a beautiful piece. Congratulations!
Incredible! You made something so complex, which actually fits, then embellished it beautifully. Love it xx
Wow Sue, this is looking great. Shoes and bag too, this is getting exciting!
Thanks Andrea, the bag is done but the shoes are testing me!
You are amazing and inspiring But I want to see a photo of the corset & woollen panties!!! Thank you for showing me your inspiring room & projects ! Robin xxx
Date: Sun, 13 Sep 2015 10:41:05 +0000 To: email@example.com
Thanks Robin, I did consider woolly knickers but decided against them! x
I’m totally impressed with the deep yellow tone you obtained from sour-grass plant. A little research in the Web showed me that this plant also grows in North America. I’m going to chase that next spring! And bravo for this kind of corset. It really gives a beautiful line to the whole outfit.
Thanks Hélène, I feel like it actually gives me a bit of shape. I can recommend the sour grass flowers. They are also useful as a mordant.
Your outfit is so richly detailed and beautiful! and quite complex in its style. A masterpiece. I almost cannot wait to see it with the shoes too! 🙂
Your corset is fabulous! I think, besides all the thoughts about wearing parts from an animal, eww, that it is probably more comfortable without the boning. I’m don’t know how those poor ladies with the boned corsets ever made it through a day. Maybe they just sat there looking pretty. You felting and dyeing and design and all your hard work putting it together has added up to a unique designer original. Beautiful!
Thank you Linda. I have worn a corset with flexible metal boning and it was surprisingly comfortable.
Well that surprises me! Learn something new everyday!
The stitching on your corset is gorgeous and it looks amazing. Your family has really come to the party with this challenge.
You’ve proven you can have a corset with just the fabric. Those colours you’ve created are very lovely. All that handsewing looks stunning Sue.