Saturday, March 27, 2010

Making a Bedlah vi

The bra is 90% finished now, so before I completely finish it I'm moving onto the skirt and belt.  The reason I'm not quite finishing the bra is that I may want to change something after I've designed the belt, so it's in my best interests to leave some unfinished ends.  But how I'd change it I do not know!

Anyway, the skirt is a straight skirt with a slightly dipped and flared back hem and slightly raised and definitely split front.  It's white velvet (a teeny bit see-thru much to Manly Jack's disgust!) so I'll need to wear skintone knickers underneath or maybe line it.  I haven't completed the stitching because I'm not entirely sure whether I'll attach the belt to it or have the belt separate. It's a bit more versatile to have a skirt that can be worn alone, but given that I'm putting silver on it, I doubt I'll wear it with much else.  I'm not really a silver girl - gimme gold!!

The belt is shaped, and is constructed fairly lightly because I'm not adding a lot of heavy beading to it.  You'll see the shape below, but what I've done is used a darker grey fabric and layered the sequinned mesh on top.  This is to match the bra, and yes, I'll be adding more silver drape to it!

This shot illustrates the bra front and the skirt and belt - my infamous duct tape dummy! Made with much hilarity by my ever-patient Manly Jack.  He did enjoy the process of layering duct tape and smoothing it across my torso...perhaps a little too much?

Anyway, although it's a bit larger than I am, it works really well when I'm designing 'in the round'.  It means I can adjust fit easily and accommodate my rather sway back and generous hips!

I'm really pleased with the bra, especially now that I've added the front sparkle drape to it.  The belt will have a similar amount of sparklies too, although I'm not yet sure how I'm going to do the drape.  I'd thought the front would be a little wider but when I actually draped it on, if it had been wider I would have looked shorter - and I need no help with that!

You can see the back of the skirt and belt here. 
To construct the belt, I simply draped the fabric around the dummy and pinned it.  Then I drew a line on the fabric to form the shape I wanted, then cut it.  I did pin the fabric to the skirt at side seams, centre back and where the split is slightly to the left in the front. 

Then I unpinned the belt fabric and folded it to make sure it was symmetrical (and by golly it was, I do not know how!), so I cut the first layer out, then a further one to act as the lining, and finally another out of the sequinned fabric to form the top.  Do not cut out sequinned fabric with your GOOD sewing shears - they will be blunted in an instant!  And you'll need to vacuum up all the bits after you've cut that fabric because each time you cut across a sequin the half that's been cut falls off, littering the floor with sparklies.

I then pinned and stitched the belt, leaving one end unstitched and a gap along the bottom big enough to pull the thing through.  In these pictures I haven't yet got around to ironing it, which is my next step - then it will be time to position the silver draping!  Don't hold your breath - it could be a wee while before the silver gets done, but eventually I'll post it on here.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Making a Bedlah v

After a break of a bit longer than I intended, I've started back on this bedlah.
I've now attached the ruched front which will extend into a halter-style strap.  Actually it's not truly ruched, it's more pleated, and this was a bit unintentional - I did originally intend to ruch, but once I started to pleat it I really liked the effect, so it's here to stay. This is one of the joys of sewing - while I might start with an idea, it rarely ends up the way I first envisage! 

To recap, this is a long piece of fabric, attached at the top by turning under a small hem and blind stitching so the stitches don't show.  Then I pleated the fabric into several pleats by pinning it, then ran running stitches through the folded layers working from the back (underside) of the bra and making sure the stitches didn't show through on the front.  I made about four sets of stitching to anchor the pleats in place, making sure the whole piece draped around the shape of the bra.  If you just pin it on without following the curve it will look strange as you bring the gathered/pleated straps up into a halter style.


This photo shows the stitching at the bottom of the ruching.  I haven't completed the straps, so this is just held together with a pin.
A better shot of the under-cup part - if you look closely to the left of the shot, and then again in the middle, you can just spot the rows of stitching that hold the pleats in place.

Completed ruching - I ran about four rows quite close together in the middle, underneath the bling.  BTW the bling thing started life as a ring from one of those costume jewellery stores.  Manly Jack was kind enough to hacksaw the ring part off (and off two other pieces that will end up in a similar way!) so I then stitched it on.  To make it more secure I could put some fabric glue or gem glue on it, but it seems to be OK with two rounds of very tiny stitches looped around the diamante anchors.

I'm now going to add in some more beading and sequins along both the top and the bottom of the ruched area.  This will just define it a bit more and save me from doing too much to the sequinned fabric of the top half of the bra.  I'm not yet sure about adding any dangly bits to the bottom of the bra.  I originally wanted to, but now I'm not so sure.  It always looks great when you shimmy, but I'm just not sure what I want to do.  I have another couple of bling earrings I can hang in the centre which would look quite cool - so stay tuned and see what I end up doing!