|Core of the corset with top layer attached at front.|
Once I had my front and back closures sorted out, I got to try the whole thing on for the first time. And I was immediately unhappy with the straps. I had made the straps widen at the top and I just didn't like the whole neckline at all. I had been planning to drape beads or fabric from the straps across my upper arms, but when I let the straps fall off the shoulder,I decided I liked the off-the-shoulder effect much better than the straps. So then I had to figure out how to make the off-the-shoulder sleeves, and how to attach them to the already completed corset. I had to cut off the existing straps, which was quite scary. After some experimentation, I found a style of sleeve I really liked and went ahead with it. I really needed to add another bone to support the top of the back points, but couldn't figure out how to add a bone without messing up my patches. I found that once I bound the edge of the corset, it was stiff enough to support the sleeves. I'm VERY happy with the effect. The only problem with the sleeves is that I can't raise my arms while wearing this. Which means I have to take the corset off to do or touch up my hairstyle. (Ask me how I realized this...)
Laughing Moon 105 Saloon Girl Pattern. I used a ruffler for the first time, and had to make so many ruffles that I think the ruffler stressed my machine out, so I had to STOP using the ruffler. The skirts use a HUGE amount of fabric even before ruffles, but with the ruffles it's NUTS. I used a thrift store bedsheet for the plain brown skirt and another bedsheet for the red petticoat. The petticoat has ruffles on the inside and the outside, making it very nice and full. I didn't have enough fabric in a Queen sized flat sheet for all the ruffles, so some of them are from a black twin sized sheet I had.
Overall I'm very happy with this outfit. There are small details about the corset I wish were different. It wrinkles more than I would like due to the floating top layer and the clasps. But the effect from a normal distance is fairly spectacular, I think. I really achieved my vision of combining the punk rock attitude of the patches with the victorian style of the corset. The sleeves with the beads are really the perfect finishing touch that adds elegance to the look. This was also meant to be a summer outfit, since all my other outfits include jackets and long skirts. It is quite cool, really. Even with knee high vinyl boots I stayed comfortable and at one point in the dealers room wished I had a shawl for my shoulders (will get on that!)
EDIT: I forgot to mention where I got all the patches. Many of them come from my friend Denise at TaDa Boutique. The rest mostly come from random etsy sellers. The big Airship Octavia one on my boob I printed on my printer. I was sad to see that the Red Fork Empire booth last weekend had some great patches, but it was too late for my corset.