Skip to main content

Ora, io ci ho provato a raccogliere documentazione fotografica, ma il pinofono mi ha tradita

ma vi assicuro che lì sopra c'erano *tutti* i treni in orario (erano all'incirca le 14:15 o giù di lì, orario studenti, ma treni non particolarmente pieni)

comunque darò la colpa per la foto ad un gomblotto di #trenò

Stamattina mi sono svegliata e l'angolo della federa del cuscino era così: devo preoccuparmi?

(sì, di fianco al letto ho una matita e un quaderno da schizzi (che non uso quasi mai), ma non un telefono con macchina fotografica. ok, tecnicamente un telefono con macchina fotografica c'era, ma scarico da qualche giorno, come al solito)

This morning I woke up and the corner of my pillowcase was doing this, should I worry?

(yes, I have a pencil and a sketchbook (that I almost never use) close to the bed, but not a phone with a camera. ok, actually I did have a phone with a camera, but its battery had been flat for a few days, as usual)

Content warning: bad kerning, the picture / la foto

È *evidente* che il fatto che il tavolo della sala sia pieno di pezzi di cartone e carta da rilegatoria vuol dire che sto riordinando la scrivania, giusto?

Col metodo lento “farsi una cassettierina in cartonnage per dare un posto a tutte le fialette e piccoli contenitori di inchiostro che al momento sono sparse in modo disordinato sulla scrivania” :D

Lo status attuale è che 3 dei 4 cassetti sono finiti, il quarto è a buon punto, e la struttura in cui metterli è da rifare da capo, dato che sono stata troppo ottimista quando ho progettato le misure e i cassetti non ci stanno :(

Però ho iniziato a mettere un po' di campioni di inchiostro in uno dei cassetti, e quelli sono stati progettati correttamente. Ed inoltre *colori* *tutti¹ i colori*!

¹ in realtà poco più di metà dei colori disponibili per quella linea di inchiostri.

It is *evident* that the fact that the living room table is covered in bits of cardboard and bookbinding paper means that I'm cleaning up my desktop, right?

As in “making a small chest of drawers to store some of the samplers and small containers of ink that I currently have in a mess on the desktop” :D

The current status is that 3 out of 4 drawers are done, one is nearly done, and the structure to put them in needs to be redone from scratch, because my measurements have been way too optimistic and the drawers don't fit :(

But I've started to put some of the ink samplers in one of the drawers, and those are fitting just fine. Also, *all¹* the colours!

¹ actually just above half of the colours available in that line of ink

In compenso, ci sono foto di una delle cose che ho fatto nella settimana anziché cucire il terzo tentativo della custodia.

OTOH, there are pictures of one of the things that I used to postpone the third attempt at the case.

@rag. Gustavino Bevilacqua @Sylke Vicious @Rapita dagli alieni un QR-code generico, certo, ma uno *specifico* per trollare la gente

al massimo come solo testo poteva essere

@rag. Gustavino Bevilacqua @Sylke Vicious @Rapita dagli alieni io però mi aspettavo che quel qrcode portasse ad un ben specifico video su youtube

o almeno qualcosa come

significa che sono vecchia?

Content warning: cartoonish kink

@WelshPixie, Cont Sgrechian this thing :)

(yes, it's not as fancy as the ones for sale, only functionally equivalent)

Prima sezione di cordoncini finita!

Non era la più lunga da cucire, dato che non c'era una cucitura sul fondo, ma era la più grossa, dato che ho usato dei cordoncini più grandi di queli che userò nelle sezioni successive.

Foto di due giorni fa:

first section of cording finished!

it wasn't the longest one because it doesn't have a bottom seam, but it was the biggest because I've used thicker cord than I'm going to use for the next sections.

A picture from two days ago:

Elastic Neck Top Two: MOAR Ruffles

Posted on March 9, 2024
Tags: madeof:atoms, craft:sewing, FreeSoftWear
A woman wearing a white top with a wide neck with ruffles and puffy sleeves that are gathered at the cuff. The top is tucked in the trousers to gather the fullness at the waist.

After making my Elastic Neck TopI knew I wanted to make another one less constrained by the amount of available fabric.

I had a big cut of white cotton voile, I bought some more swimsuit elastic, and I also had a spool of n°100 sewing cotton, but then I postponed the project for a while I was working on other things.

Then FOSDEM 2024 arrived, I was going to remote it, and I was working on my Augusta Stays, but I knew that in the middle of FOSDEM I risked getting to the stage where I needed to leave the computer to try the stays on: not something really compatible with the frenetic pace of a FOSDEM weekend, even one spent at home.

I needed a backup project1, and this was perfect: I already had everything I needed, the pattern and instructions were already on my site (so I didn’t need to take pictures while working), and it was mostly a lot of straight seams, perfect while watching conference videos.

So, on the Friday before FOSDEM I cut all of the pieces, then spent three quarters of FOSDEM on the stays, and when I reached the point where I needed to stop for a fit test I started on the top.

Like the first one, everything was sewn by hand, and one week after I had started everything was assembled, except for the casings for the elastic at the neck and cuffs, which required about 10 km of sewing, and even if it was just a running stitch it made me want to reconsider my lifestyle choices a few times: there was really no reason for me not to do just those seams by machine in a few minutes.

Instead I kept sewing by hand whenever I had time for it, and on the next weekend it was ready. We had a rare day of sun during the weekend, so I wore my thermal underwear, some other layer, a scarf around my neck, and went outside with my SO to have a batch of pictures taken (those in the jeans posts, and others for a post I haven’t written yet. Have I mentioned I have a backlog?).

And then the top went into the wardrobe, and it will come out again when the weather will be a bit warmer. Or maybe it will be used under the Augusta Stays, since I don’t have a 1700 chemise yet, but that requires actually finishing them.

The pattern for this project was already online, of course, but I’ve added a picture of the casing to the relevant section, and everything is as usual #FreeSoftWear.

  1. yes, I could have worked on some knitting WIP, but lately I’m more in a sewing mood.↩︎

Denim Waistcoat

Posted on March 8, 2024
Tags: madeof:atoms, craft:sewing, FreeSoftWear
A woman wearing a single breasted waistcoat with double darts at the waist, two pocket flaps at the waist and one on the left upper breast. It has four jeans buttons.

I had finished sewing my jeans, I had a scant 50 cm of elastic denim left.

Unrelated to that, I had just finished drafting a vest with Valentina, after the Cutters’ Practical Guide to the Cutting of Ladies Garments.

A new pattern requires a (wearable) mockup. 50 cm of leftover fabric require a quick project. The decision didn’t take a lot of time.

As a mockup, I kept things easy: single layer with no lining, some edges finished with a topstitched hem and some with bias tape, and plain tape on the fronts, to give more support to the buttons and buttonholes.

I did add pockets: not real welt ones (too much effort on denim), but simple slits covered by flaps.

a rectangle of pocketing fabric on the wrong side of a denim

piece; there is a slit in the middle that has been finished with topstitching.

To do them I marked the slits, then I cut two rectangles of pocketing fabric that should have been as wide as the slit + 1.5 cm (width of the pocket) + 3 cm (allowances) and twice the sum of as tall as I wanted the pocket to be plus 1 cm (space above the slit) + 1.5 cm (allowances).

Then I put the rectangle on the right side of the denim, aligned so that the top edge was 2.5 cm above the slit, sewed 2 mm from the slit, cut, turned the pocketing to the wrong side, pressed and topstitched 2 mm from the fold to finish the slit.

a piece of pocketing fabric folded in half and sewn on all 3

other sides; it does not lay flat on the right side of the fabric because the finished slit (hidden in the picture) is pulling it.

Then I turned the pocketing back to the right side, folded it in half, sewed the side and top seams with a small allowance, pressed and turned it again to the wrong side, where I sewed the seams again to make a french seam.

And finally, a simple rectangular denim flap was topstitched to the front, covering the slits.

I wasn’t as precise as I should have been and the pockets aren’t exactly the right size, but they will do to see if I got the positions right (I think that the breast one should be a cm or so lower, the waist ones are fine), and of course they are tiny, but that’s to be expected from a waistcoat.

The back of the waistcoat,

The other thing that wasn’t exactly as expected is the back: the pattern splits the bottom part of the back to give it “sufficient spring over the hips”. The book is probably published in 1892, but I had already found when drafting the foundation skirt that its idea of “hips” includes a bit of structure. The “enough steel to carry a book or a cup of tea” kind of structure. I should have expected a lot of spring, and indeed that’s what I got.

To fit the bottom part of the back on the limited amount of fabric I had to piece it, and I suspect that the flat felled seam in the center is helping it sticking out; I don’t think it’s exactly bad, but it is a peculiar look.

Also, I had to cut the back on the fold, rather than having a seam in the middle and the grain on a different angle.

Anyway, my next waistcoat project is going to have a linen-cotton lining and silk fashion fabric, and I’d say that the pattern is good enough that I can do a few small fixes and cut it directly in the lining, using it as a second mockup.

As for the wrinkles, there is quite a bit, but it looks something that will be solved by a bit of lightweight boning in the side seams and in the front; it will be seen in the second mockup and the finished waistcoat.

As for this one, it’s definitely going to get some wear as is, in casual contexts. Except. Well, it’s a denim waistcoat, right? With a very different cut from the “get a denim jacket and rip out the sleeves”, but still a denim waistcoat, right? The kind that you cover in patches, right?

Outline of a sewing machine with teeth and crossed bones below it, and the text “home sewing is killing fashion / and it's illegal”

And I may have screenprinted a “home sewing is killing fashion” patch some time ago, using the SVG from wikimedia commons / the Home Taping is Killing Music page.

And. Maybe I’ll wait until I have finished the real waistcoat. But I suspect that one, and other sewing / costuming patches may happen in the future.

No regrets, as the words on my seam ripper pin say, right? :D

@Poliverso - notizie dal fediverso ah, uops.

Grazie per l'aggiornamento delle istruzioni!

Prova di inserimento di due immagini in un commento, per vedere se invece lì appaiono :)

(stavo per chiedere, ma così ho già la risposta :) )

Vendo macchina da cucire Singer 8280 usata

Chiedo 100 euro trattabili, consegna in zona Varese / Como (se proprio
proprio necessario si può organizzare per zona Milano).

Mi pare che sia stata comprata nei primi anni 2000, il modello era in
vendita e presente sul sito singer fino all'anno scorso.
Ovviamente è ancora presente il manuale originale, completo di istruzioni di
manutenzione base.

Non la uso da qualche anno, ma era perfettamente funzionante e ad una prova
veloce mi pare che lo sia ancora.

Ulteriori dettagli nei commenti

#mastoMercatino @Il Mercatino del Fediverso 💵♻️

Jeans, step two. And three. And four.

Posted on March 7, 2024
Tags: madeof:atoms, FreeSoftWear
A woman wearing a regular pair of slim-cut black denim jeans.

I was working on what looked like a good pattern for a pair of jeans-shaped trousers, and I knew I wasn’t happy with 200-ish g/m² cotton-linen for general use outside of deep summer, but I didn’t have a source for proper denim either (I had been low-key looking for it for a long time).

Then one day I looked at an article I had saved about fabric shops that sell technical fabric and while window-shopping on one I found that they had a decent selection of denim in a decent weight.

I decided it was a sign, and decided to buy the two heaviest denim they had: a 100% cotton, 355 g/m² oneand a 97% cotton, 3% elastane at 385 g/m²1; the latter was a bit of compromise as I shouldn’t really be buying fabric adulterated with the Scourge of Humanity, but it was heavier than the plain one, and I may be having a thing for tightly fitting jeans, so this may be one of the very few woven fabric where I’m not morally opposed to its existence.

And, I’d like to add, I resisted buying any of the very nice wools they also seem to carry, other than just a couple of samples.

Since the shop only sold in 1 meter increments, and I needed about 1.5 meters for each pair of jeans, I decided to buy 3 meters per type, and have enough to make a total of four pair of jeans. A bit more than I strictly needed, maybe, but I was completely out of wearable day-to-day trousers.

a cardboard box with neatly folded black denim, covered in semi-transparent plastic.

The shop sent everything very quickly, the courier took their time (oh, well) but eventually delivered my fabric on a sunny enough day that I could wash it and start as soon as possible on the first pair.

The pattern I did in linen was a bit too fitting, but I was afraid I had widened it a bit too much, so I did the first pair in the 100% cotton denim. Sewing them took me about a week of early mornings and late afternoons, excluding the weekend, and my worries proved false: they were mostly just fine.

The only bit that could have been a bit better is the waistband, which is a tiny bit too wide on the back: it’s designed to be so for comfort, but the next time I should pull the elastic a bit more, so that it stays closer to the body.

The same from the back, showing the applied pockets with a sewn logo.

I wore those jeans daily for the rest of the week, and confirmed that they were indeed comfortable and the pattern was ok, so on the next Monday I started to cut the elastic denim.

I decided to cut and sew two pairs, assembly-line style, using the shaped waistband for one of them and the straight one for the other one.

I started working on them on a Monday, and on that week I had a couple of days when I just couldn’t, plus I completely skipped sewing on the weekend, but on Tuesday the next week one pair was ready and could be worn, and the other one only needed small finishes.

A woman wearing another pair of jeans; the waistband here is shaped to fit rather than having elastic.

And I have to say, I’m really, really happy with the ones with a shaped waistband in elastic denim, as they fit even better than the ones with a straight waistband gathered with elastic. Cutting it requires more fabric, but I think it’s definitely worth it.

But it will be a problem for a later time: right now three pairs of jeans are a good number to keep in rotation, and I hope I won’t have to sew jeans for myself for quite some time.

A plastic bag with mid-sized offcuts of denim; there is a 30 cm ruler on top that is just wider than the bag

I think that the leftovers of plain denim will be used for a skirt or something else, and as for the leftovers of elastic denim, well, there aren’t a lot left, but what else I did with them is the topic for another post.

Thanks to the fact that they are all slightly different, I’ve started to keep track of the times when I wash each pair, and hopefully I will be able to see whether the elastic denim is significantly less durable than the regular, or the added weight compensates for it somewhat. I’m not sure I’ll manage to remember about saving the data until they get worn, but if I do it will be interesting to know.

Oh, and I say I’ve finished working on jeans and everything, but I still haven’t sewn the belt loops to the third pair. And I’m currently wearing them. It’s a sewist tradition, or something. :D

  1. The links are to the shop for Italy; you can copy the “Codice prodotto” and look for it on one of the shop version for other countries (where they apply the right vat etc., but sadly they don’t allow to mix and match those settings and the language).↩︎

@Sini Tuulia and by I don't need anything right now, I mean that I already have a *new toy* to be happy about today

(now, I'm glad that by getting sewing thread and needing some sunlight to see whether it is a good match for the fabric I have I caused what appears to be a week of rain. I'm really glad about the rain. Maybe a bit less about the delay before I can start sewing, but I still have other projects :D )

Jeans, step one

Posted on February 19, 2024
Tags: madeof:atoms, craft:sewing, FreeSoftWear
CW for body size change mentions

A woman wearing a pair of tight jeans.

Just like the corset, I also needed a new pair of jeans.

Back when my body size changed drastically of course my jeans no longer fit. While I was waiting for my size to stabilize I kept wearing them with a somewhat tight belt, but it was ugly and somewhat uncomfortable.

When I had stopped changing a lot I tried to buy new ones in the same model, and found out that I was too thin for the menswear jeans of that shop. I could have gone back to wearing women’s jeans, but I didn’t want to have to deal with the crappy fabric and short pockets, so I basically spent a few years wearing mostly skirts, and oversized jeans when I really needed trousers.

Meanwhile, I had drafted a jeans pattern for my SO, which we had planned to make in technical fabric, but ended up being made in a cotton-wool mystery mix for winter and in linen-cotton for summer, and the technical fabric version was no longer needed (yay for natural fibres!)

It was clear what the solution to my jeans problems would have been, I just had to stop getting distracted by other projects and draft a new pattern using a womanswear block instead of a menswear one.

Which, in January 2024 I finally did, and I believe it took a bit less time than the previous one, even if it had all of the same fiddly pieces.

I already had a cut of the same cotton-linen I had used for my SO, except in black, and used it to make the pair this post is about.

The parametric pattern is of course online, as #FreeSoftWear, at the usual place. This time it was faster, since I didn’t have to write step-by-step instructions, as they are exactly the same as the other pattern.

Same as above, from the back, with the crotch seam pulling a bit. A faint decoration can be seen on the pockets, with the line art version of the logo seen on this blog.

Making also went smoothly, and the result was fitting. Very fitting. A big too fitting, and the standard bum adjustment of the back was just enough for what apparently still qualifies as a big bum, so I adjusted the pattern to be able to add a custom amount of ease in a few places.

But at least I had a pair of jeans-shaped trousers that fit!

Except, at 200 g/m² I can’t say that fabric is the proper weight for a pair of trousers, and I may have looked around online1 for some denim, and, well, it’s 2024, so my no-fabric-buy 2023 has not been broken, right?

Let us just say that there may be other jeans-related posts in the near future.

  1. I had already asked years ago for denim at my local fabric shops, but they don’t have the proper, sturdy, type I was looking for.↩︎

La camicetta è finita.

(ignorate la sciarpa che potrebbe essere stata infilata a coprire la maglietta termica che stavo indossando sotto alla camicetta)

@Diego Roversi si è anche prestato per fare foto alla maggior parte dei jeans, per cui nelle prossime settimane spero di riuscire a finire e pubblicare i post relativi sul blog.

Quanto agli orli delle stays, quali orli delle stays?

The top is finished!

(don't mind the fichu-like scarf which may or may not be there to cover the thermal underwear I was wearing under the top)

And I've also had @Diego Roversi take pictures of most of the jeans, so that in the next couple of weeks or so I can hopefully finish and publish the blog posts for them.

As for binding the stays. we don't talk about binding the stays :D

E quando dicevo catena di montaggio, intendevo questo:

(settimana scorsa avevo scattato la foto, ma l'ho scaricata dalla macchina fotografica solo oggi O:-) )

oh, and when I said assembly-line, this is the kind of things I meant

(I took pictures last week, but only downloaded the pictures from the camera today O:-) )

Macrame Bookbag

Posted on January 31, 2024
Tags: madeof:atoms, craft:macrame
a macrame bag in ~3 mm ecru yarn, with very irregular knots of different types, holding a book with a blue cover. The bottom part has a rigid single layer triangle and a fringe.

In late 2022 I prepared a batch of drawstring backpacks in cotton as reusable wrappers for Christmas gifts; however I didn’t know what cord to use, didn’t want to use paracord, and couldn’t find anything that looked right in the local shops.

With Christmas getting dangerously closer, I visited a craft materials website for unrelated reasons, found out that they sold macrame cords, and panic-bought a few types in the hope that at least one would work for the backpacks.

I got lucky, and my first choice fitted just fine, and I was able to finish the backpacks in time for the holidays.

And then I had a box full of macrame cords in various sizes and types that weren’t the best match for the drawstring in a backpack, and no real use for them.

I don’t think I had ever done macrame, but I have made friendship bracelets in primary school, and a few Friendship Bracelets, But For Real Men So We Call Them Survival Bracelets(TM) more recently, so I didn’t bother reading instructions or tutorials online, I just grabbed the Ashley Book of Knots to refresh myself on the knots used, and decided to make myself a small bag for an A6 book.

I choose one of the thin, ~3 mm cords, Tre Sfere Macramé Barbante, of which there was plenty, so that I could stumble around with no real plan.

A loop of four cords, with a handle made of square knots that keeps it together.

I started by looping 5 m of cord, making iirc 2 rounds of a loop about the right size to go around the book with a bit of ease, then used the ends as filler cords for a handle, wrapped them around the loop and worked square knots all over them to make a handle.

Then I cut the rest of the cord into 40 pieces, each 4 m long, because I had no idea how much I was going to need (spoiler: I successfully got it wrong :D )

I joined the cords to the handle with lark head knots, 20 per side, and then I started knotting without a plan or anything, alternating between hitches and square knots, sometimes close together and sometimes leaving some free cord between them.

And apparently I also completely forgot to take in-progress pictures.

I kept working on this for a few months, knotting a row or two now and then, until the bag was long enough for the book, then I closed the bottom by taking one cord from the front and the corresponding on the back, knotting them together (I don’t remember how) and finally I made a rigid triangle of tight square knots with all of the cords, progressively leaving out a cord from each side, and cutting it in a fringe.

I then measured the remaining cords, and saw that the shortest ones were about a meter long, but the longest ones were up to 3 meters, I could have cut them much shorter at the beginning (and maybe added a couple more cords). The leftovers will be used, in some way.

And then I postponed taking pictures of the finished object for a few months.

The same bag, empty and showing how the sides aren't straight.

Now the result is functional, but I have to admit it is somewhat ugly: not as much for the lack of a pattern (that I think came out quite fine) but because of how irregular the knots are; I’m not confident that the next time I will be happy with their regularity, either, but I hope I will improve, and that’s one important thing.

And the other important thing is: I enjoyed making this, even if I kept interrupting the work, and I think that there may be some other macrame in my future.

Stavo cercando altro (che poi ho trovato), ma mi è tornato tra le mani questo:

sempre utile ricordare che Mazzini e Vetinari sono la stessa persona

Ritratto di un uomo con il volto emaciato che indossa vestiti molto scuri (niente nero per Vetinari)


I was looking for something else (which I then found), but I stumbled on this

periodic reminder that Mazzini and Vetinari are the same person.

portrait of a man dressed in very dark clothing (no true black, for Vetinary) with an hollowed face


@harper the one I've made myself, of course :)

a blocky backpack, almost a parallelepipedal, backpack with a waterproof zipper on the top and sides, and webbing straps on the front and sides and a rigid handle on top. it's black with blue webbing

The fun thing was reading this post just after I had woken up after a dream where I had to describe my backpack, which had been misplaced, and I had a moment of hesitation and then answered “a black invicta”, which is closer to what I had a couple of decades ago .

E ho finito le canaline per le stecche degli #AugustaStays che ho iniziato (ho controllato il vecchio post) a novembre 2022! E la spoletta di filo è bastata! (in realtà nel frattempo ne avevo presa un'altra, dato che penso di usarla anche in altre cuciture, per cui comunque avevo delle alternative).

Dopo aver fatto la foto ho anche finito gli occhielli di un lato del centro dietro, e aggiunto le stecche ai due centro dietro e ai fianchi davanti (ma è tramontato il sole, niente foto fino a domani).

Adesso devo solo finire il resto degli occhielli, e soprattutto cucire tutto quanto. :D

Forse per gennaio 2025 ce la faccio :D se non mi distraggo con qualcos'altro.

#cucito #cucitoStorico #cucitoAMano

Aaaaaaand I've done all of the boning channels on the #AugustaStays I started in (checks for the old post) November 2022! And one spool of thread was enough! (I have another, luckily, as I plan to use the same thread for other seams, but for those I would also have had alternatives)

And since I took the picture I've also finished the eyelets on one of the center back pieces, and added boning to both of those and to the side fronts (but the sun has set, so there will be no more pictures until tomorow).

Now I only need to finish the rest of the eyelets, and most importantly to sew the whole thing :D

Maybe in January 2025 it will be done :D If I don't get distracted.

Possiamo fermarci un attimo per festeggiare il fatto che il filo della bobina sia finito a metà cucitura (ovviamente), ma l'abbia fatto su un'imbastitura non strutturale, in un punto in cui posso anche evitare di cucire la parte che manca? (linea tratteggiata azzurra, dopo la freccia rossa)

#cucito #NonProblemiDiChiCuce

can we please stop for a second to celebrate the way I was out of bobbin thread while doing a non-structural basting seam, and after I had done enough of said seam that the missing bit (blue line in the picture, after the red arrow) didn't really matter?

#sewing #sewingPersonNonProblems

Mini Books

Posted on January 13, 2024
Tags: madeof:atoms, craft:bookbinding
Two coptic bound small books, seen from the top with the pages somewhat open. One has purple and orange triangles on the cover, the other one waves in two shades of greenish blue.

In 2022 I read a post on the fediverse by somebody who mentioned that they had bought on a whim a cute tiny book years ago, and that it had been a companion through hard times. Right now I can’t find the post, but it was pretty aaaaawwww.

Two coptic bound small books, seen from the front. One of the covers is covered in grey paper, the other one is cardboard that has been spray-painted copper.

At the same time, I had discovered Coptic binding, and I wanted to do some exercise to let my hands learn it, but apparently there is a limit to the number of notebooks and sketchbooks a person needs (I’m not 100% sure I actually believe this, but I’ve heard it is a thing).

A coptic bound small book, seen from the front. The cover is made of white cernit, with thin lines painted in gold acrylic to form a sort of B shape.

So I decided to start making minibooks with the intent to give them away: I settled (mostly) on the A8 size, and used a combination of found materials, leftovers from bigger projects and things I had in the Stash. As for paper, I’ve used a variety of the ones I have that are at the very least good enough for non-problematic fountain pen inks.

Two coptic bound small books, seen from the front. The covers are covered in grey paper with a piece of light blue lace on top.

Thanks to the small size, and the way coptic binding works, I’ve been able to play around with the covers, experimenting with different styles beyond the classic bookbinding cloth / paper covered cardboard, including adding lace, covering food box cardboard with gesso and decorating it with acrylic paints, embossing designs by gluing together two layers of cardboard, one of which has holes, making covers completely out of cernit, etc. Some of these I will probably also use in future full-scale projects, but it’s nice to find out what works and what doesn’t on a small scale.

Two coptic bound small books, seen from the front. The covers are covered in grey paper, and they are half-covered by a piece of off-white tulle, cut on a diagonal. One of the two books has a cat eye embossed and painted in gold.

Now, after a year of sporadically making these I have to say that the making went quite well: I enjoyed the making and the creativity in making different covers. The giving away was a bit more problematic, as I didn’t really have a lot of chances to do so, so I believe I still have most of them. In 2024 I’ll try to look for more opportunities (and if you live nearby and want one — or a few — feel free to ask!)

A Corset or Two

Posted on January 7, 2024
Tags: madeof:atoms, craft:sewing, period:victorian, FreeSoftWear
a black coutil midbust corset, from a 3/4 front view, showing the busk closure, a waist tape and external boning channels made of the same twill tape and placed about 1-2 cm from each other at waist level.

CW for body size change mentions

I needed a corset, badly.

Years ago I had a chance to have my measurements taken by a former professional corset maker and then a lesson in how to draft an underbust corset, and that lead to me learning how nice wearing a well-fitted corset feels.

Later I tried to extend that pattern up for a midbust corset, with success.

And then my body changed suddenly, and I was no longer able to wear either of those, and after a while I started missing them.

Since my body was still changing (if no longer drastically so), and I didn’t want to use expensive materials for something that had a risk of not fitting after too little time, I decided to start by making myself a summer lightweight corset in aida cloth and plastic boning (for which I had already bought materials). It fitted, but not as well as the first two ones, and I’ve worn it quite a bit.

I still wanted back the feeling of wearing a comfy, heavy contraption of coutil and steel, however.

After a lot of procrastination I redrafted a new pattern, scrapped everything, tried again, had my measurements taken by a dressmaker [#dressmaker], put them in the draft, cut a first mock-up in cheap cotton, fixed the position of a seam, did a second mock-up in denim [#jeans] from an old pair of jeans, and then cut into the cheap herringbone coutil I was planning to use.

And that’s when I went to see which one of the busks in my stash would work, and realized that I had used a wrong vertical measurement and the front of the corset was way too long for a midbust corset.

a corset busk basted to a mock-up with scraps of fabric between each stud / loop.

Luckily I also had a few longer busks, I basted one to the denim mock up and tried to wear it for a few hours, to see if it was too long to be comfortable. It was just a bit, on the bottom, which could be easily fixed with the Power Tools1.

Except, the more I looked at it the more doing this felt wrong: what I needed most was a midbust corset, not an overbust one, which is what this was starting to be.

I could have trimmed it down, but I knew that I also wanted this corset to be a wearable mockup for the pattern, to refine it and have it available for more corsets. And I still had more than half of the cheap coutil I was using, so I decided to redo the pattern and cut new panels.

And this is where the “or two” comes in: I’m not going to waste the overbust panels: I had been wanting to learn some techniques to make corsets with a fashion fabric layer, rather than just a single layer of coutil, and this looks like an excellent opportunity for that, together with a piece of purple silk that I know I have in the stash. This will happen later, however, first I’m giving priority to the underbust.

Anyway, a second set of panels was cut, all the seam lines marked with tailor tacks, and I started sewing by inserting the busk.

And then realized that the pre-made boning channel tape I had was too narrow for the 10 mm spiral steel I had plenty of. And that the 25 mm twill tape was also too narrow for a double boning channel. On the other hand, the 18 mm twill tape I had used for the waist tape was good for a single channel, so I decided to put a single bone on each seam, and then add another piece of boning in the middle of each panel.

Since I’m making external channels, making them in self fabric would have probably looked better, but I no longer had enough fabric, because of the cutting mishap, and anyway this is going to be a strictly underwear only corset, so it’s not a big deal.

Once the boning channel situation was taken care of, everything else proceeded quite smoothly and I was able to finish the corset during the Christmas break, enlisting again my SO to take care of the flat steel boning while I cut the spiral steels myself with wire cutters.

The same corset straight from the front: the left side is a few mm longer than the right side

I could have been a bit more precise with the binding, as it doesn’t align precisely at the front edge, but then again, it’s underwear, nobody other than me and everybody who reads this post is going to see it and I was in a hurry to see it finished. I will be more careful with the next one.

The same corset from the back, showing cross lacing with bunny ears at the waist and a lacing gap of about 8 cm.

I also think that I haven’t been careful enough when pressing the seams and applying the tape, and I’ve lost about a cm of width per part, so I’m using a lacing gap that is a bit wider than I planned for, but that may change as the corset gets worn, and is still within tolerance.

Also, on the morning after I had finished the corset I woke up and realized that I had forgotten to add garter tabs at the bottom edge. I don’t know whether I will ever use them, but I wanted the option, so maybe I’ll try to add them later on, especially if I can do it without undoing the binding.

The next step would have been flossing, which I proceeded to postpone until I’ve worn the corset for a while: not because there is any reason for it, but because I still don’t know how I want to do it :)

What was left was finishing and uploading the pattern and instructions, that are now on my sewing pattern websiteas #FreeSoftWear, and finally I could post this on the blog.

  1. i.e. by asking my SO to cut and sand it, because I’m lazy and I hate doing that part :D↩︎

This website uses cookies to recognize revisiting and logged in users. You accept the usage of these cookies by continue browsing this website.