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Stabs And Stitches - Blog 
Friday, March 22 2019
1878 Corset

C 1878 coutil cotton corset

I fancied getting back onto the sewing machine this week.  This corset can be found in Jean Hunnisetts' fantastic book Period Costume For Stage And Screen 1800 - 1909.  I made a toile in medium weight calico before attempting the real thing.  On fitting always check the silhouette and seam lines and remember that a corset was originally made to alter your body shape and not the body altering the pattern - only so much can be done if you want to stay comfortable though!!  It looks like its not lying flat around the boobs, this lady is a different shape to me!

My watch points for future reference:

1 Be organised with the pieces, label and be very accurate in marking, cutting and stitching.  Think and think again before you cut.

2 Use as finer machine needle as you dare when sewing the coutil as any seams will have punched holes on the reverse (the top looks nicer than the back of the stitch) and pin and stitch very carefully as it marks badly.

3 On fell seams check the width of the fabric that is trimmed and placed inside the seam as the steels will reveal any untidy trimming and be visible.  

4 Do not be tempted to use cheap eyelets or thread to your peril.  These garments are under alot of pressure!  You can see here where the back of the eyelet has split and one has even dropped off.  (This is not because I banged to hard with the hammer)

5 On the top and bottom hem edges leave at least 5/6 mm of space away from the boning, eg if boning channel is 30cm the boning will be 29 cm.

6 Match seam widths, tape widths and bias binding widths as this makes a more professional finish and narrow bindings look more delicate.

7 When machining always leave the needle down in the fabric when stopping and moving as the fabric is so stiff it jumps and slides underneath the presser foot and the stitching goes wobbly.

8 Check lacing styles and how it is laced.  I am still puzzling this out.  Different people say different things but I think I am sort of there.

Posted by: AT 04:06 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, March 12 2019
Fear

Sketch book drawing in pencil of a view on Harborough rocks

Teachers constantly tell you to use your

'drawing muscle.  Keep using it, it is very useful and fill sketch books full of ideas, use it or loose it, make sure that you exercise it regularly'.

I totally agree.  What they fail to say is how to connect and give that piece of work - what ever you are making soul, presence, sense of purpose, in the moment, meaning, call it what you will.  I believe that you need to be interested in what the subject is, to love it, have some sort of emotion about it, really find it interesting, be attracted on a deeper level, want to meet and say 'hello.'  To learn from the 'thing' and let the 'thing' learn from you.  Connection is really important and learned fear or fear of the collective 'eye' can be crippling along with excessive technique.  Really look at your subject, communicate and feel as you draw and let the pencil reveal all.   Be brave and say hello to your still life and see what it has to say in return.

Posted by: AT 03:33 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, March 01 2019
Its the 1st of March already aaarggh!

A good bit of huge junk at the quarry on Harborough rocks.

Time is going to quickly.  It makes me want to panic just lately because I am really noticing it.  I feel as if I have just stepped onto a travolator on hyper drive or accidentally dropped into a washing machine drum on spin.  My studio has had a bit of a make over with a new woodburner and everything has had a good clean and tidy and have visited the tip.  Why does empty space just fill up with stuff?? I find it pretty fascinating especially when I have not bought or brought it! Perhaps it is like mother nature not liking bare soil and plants grow really quickly if given the  space to protect the nutrients within.  Junk can be mental nutrients to inspire, so is a messy studio is like a good heap of thought manure?  Sweet.  Respect the junk.  Saying that though why does it feel heavenly having space to clear and focus your mind? You can not have one with out the other.  As an artist I think you need both, so does that mean that life fills you up with stuff to clutter your meditations on purpose to give you something valuable to focus on and think about?  Hmmmm interesting.  I'll shut up now.

Posted by: AT 10:20 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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