Tuesday, 15 September 2009


In my previous post I forgot to acknowledge the manufacturer of the pattern I used.

Here goes: it is similar to this one, but this is the real pattern.

That's it.

Friday, 11 September 2009

The final product

Many of you will know that I have been sewing a corset on and off since R&H got married. (That is about 2 years ago - give or take a few days :) ) This is the fabric I used, although the colours are slightly off in the picture, it does show the pattern very nicely.

Finally, after a week of some frustrating experiences, I finished it yesterday.

The pattern called for normal, plastic boning, and being the geek I am, I had to protect the edges of each piece from poking through the layers of the corset, by sewing a protective piece of fabric either end,

trimming off the pieces of fabric and then inserting the boning into the sewn channels. I mixed the plastic boning, which I used for the shorter channels, with steel boning for the long channels - especially the side seam.

Then, I ran out of eyelets (grommets) Grrrrrr! The store that could put them in did not want to sell them to me to put in myself, but only if they were the ones putting them it. Double Grrrrr! So, on the back, you can see that the right side has different eyelets in the few holes at the top, because the supplier did not have other potions. Welcome to Africa!!

I also noticed that this particular pattern does not accommodate for the slight woven edges on the plastic boning when the channels are sewn, so the boning curls. Triple Grrrrr!

The view from the front is still my favourite, because it makes me look good :) Yes, it is me wearing the corset.

What I would do differently:
1. Get a longer busk. (The one in the kit I got two years ago was a standard size, but because i had added 4cm to the length, the busk was even shorter)
2. Make sure I have enough eyelets (!)
3. Iron in the seam allowance on the channels less than is called for in the pattern, so that the boning does not curl
4. Use a different fabric for the lining, since I think it shrank when I ironed in the course of sewing, probably accounting for the narrowness of the channels as well.
5. Perhaps (just perhaps) leave a bigger gap at the back to lace tighter, but I'm not so sure about that one, since I like being able to breathe ;)

Thursday, 3 September 2009


If you have run out of ideas for that office party, why not go to
design*sponge and imitate this cake. Yummy, yummy, yum!

The chair: done and dusted

No pun intended.
The chair is done, finished it last night.

Here is the seat (top and bottom view).


You can see that I'm not a professional upholsterer, but it'll do for my humble abode. It's not greatest work ever done, but it did not cost me anything except four screws and some sanding paper. I even managed to borrow the staple gun from work.

When I think about how much chairs are these days in the shop, to pay less than R10 (about $1 for all the non-South Africans), just simply because people did not want to or know how to fix the chair themselves, I struck a really good deal.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

This, that and the other

After burning my hand twice in the same spot the other day, I decided it was time to finish the quilt I had started about a year ago. Unfortunately I'm not nearly done, because I have to make a second one (I bought too much batting :) - oh the joys of fabric shopping). I also have not found a backing fabric yet and need to do some hinting.

So, in the meantime, to pass the evenings of procrastinating on assignments and wedding dress, I did some DIY:

I had rescued this chair form the trash quite a while ago and on Saturday took it apart, sanded it down, to look like this:

Then re-assembled the chair, like this:

You can see that I decided not to sand right down to the wood. I did this intentionally to give the chair some character and also to avoid having to paint it with another colour, since I wanted to give it an "antique" finish with crackling varnish.

I also did not feel like buying varnish, so, off I went to the Spencer's house and "borrowed" some odour-free, water-soluble varnish N had bought quite a while back. Fantastic stuff. I was stained slightly, but with the finish I did on the back and the legs, it actually looks very antique.
Pictures to follow, once the seat is upholstered.

I know that some of you now will want to find all the odd-jobs at home for me to do, but I have to decline, since I have too much to do already :) Sorry!