Nipping in that waist

If you read my blog on my Ascot Dress you will have seen I’m wearing a corset belt, this is a great free pattern available from Corset Training.its a four piece pattern with details on how to pick your correct size and where to place bones. 

It was a reasonably quick make, seven pieces to stitch together & I choose to do the minimum boning option. Using Coutil and a black cotton fabric to face, the 2 layers were basted together before joining pieces. 


After pressing seam allowance to one side I stitched bias binding over it to produce the bone channels. 


Turning the seam allowance on the end edges I covered with bias for the edge boning channel  & marked the second back channel as shown on the pattern .  Using the same bias to finish the top edge the eyelets were then added before inserting boning. 


The two types of boning I used were from Sew Curvy. The flat steel boning for either side of  eyelets & spiral steel boning for everywhere else. It’s the first time I’ve bought a continuous piece of the spiral so had the fiddly job of cutting to length & adding end pieces. This took a few practices to get right but the tutorial on the website is very clear & helpful. 


All bones inserted the final job was to add binding to bottom edge and lace up! 


This is such a great shape over dresses that I will definitely be making more and as it doesn’t take much fabric will be great to use up some of my smaller pieces 😃

Adding oomph! 

It’s not very often I wear a full skirted dress but when I do I always feel I  need the added oomph of a net petticoat. I wanted one to show under the bottom of my Ascot dress, from my previous post, so the white one in my wardrobe wasn’t going to be right. 

I had a meter of wide black net, plus some lining,  in my box of leftover bits & managed to pick up the perfect purple piece from our local remnant stall. As the elastic for the waist was a piece  that had had a previous life in another piece of clothing this was a very quick & thrifty make. 

I needed the finished length to be approximately 60 cm therefore cut a 20cm deep strip of lining that was the length of my hip measurement plus ease. The black net was cut into strips across the full width of fabric, each strip 40cm depth, with 4 widths of purple net being cut at 20cm depth. 


Joining the narrow edges of the lining to make into a tube I then finished all the edges with an overlocker.  I could say I used the contrast shade for effect but truthfully I was just too lazy to rethread with black for this short job!


With the elastic sewn into a loop fitting the waist this lining was pinned evenly along length, with elastic stretched  it was then attached with a stretch stitch. 


Next the 2 strips of black net were joined together & a narrow black lace added to the bottom edge. The same was done with the purple net but a bias trim was added to the bottom edge of that one. 


Using a long straight stitch a row of stitching was made along upper edge of purple, then  by pulling the thread it was gathered to fit against the black piece. The purple layer was then attached half way down the black section so the hems formed layers. Finally the net section was added to the bottom edge of lining. 


An evenings work, only a couple pounds spent & I got my oomph 😃

Day at the races

Doesn’t seem a year ago that I wrote about my outfit for our first visit to Royal Ascot but we enjoyed the day so much that we decided to go back again for ladies day this year😃

For me it’s just as much about seeing the fashions as anything else. There were some amazing hats & dresses, as well as very smart gents in their suits,  with of course the Queen looking amazing for 90 in her vivid blue coat with an orange hat. 

I opted for colourful again the year with a waxed cotton that I bought very reasonably at Shepherds Bush market a couple months ago. It’s the first time I’ve used this but found it easy to work with & soft once washed. 


 The pattern is from the mid ninties & I’ve had it sat there unused for years! 


It’s a relatively straightforward make, I like the amount of fullness in the skirt without a load of gathers at the waist we don’t really suit me. The only alteration I made was to lower the back neckline into a v shape. 

As the panels run for the full length of the dress I managed to place so that the striped panels ran down the centre of each pattern piece with the extension for the pleat fell on to the sort of symbol design section. I don’t seemed to have taken any construction pics to show but here’s the finished result. 


I choose to wear with a net petticoat & corset belt (both of which I’ll tell you about in a seperate blog)  but I like it on its worn as a cool summer dress too. 

The day finished with a sing song around the bandstand. We had a fantastic day & the weather was kind., think we may need to put this in the diary for every year😃

Sunday Sevens #9

It’s been a busy week at work for me so this week so when I have got out of the salon I’ve been making the most of the sunny weather. 

Monday was my day off so I started the week with a picnic in the park. Just me, a sandwich, the pigeons……


and what seemed like every other person in London who wasn’t at work! 


The garden is starting to look full of colour


I made the most of the evening sun by catching up with this weeks episode of The Sewing Bee on my iPad instead of inside on the TV & finishing some hand sewing in the fresh air.

As my daughters wedding is getting closer we went off to the venue, with all the parents & the bride and groom to be, to have a meal & do a spot of wine tasting. It was a lovely evening & by the time we eventually left it was the middle of the night. I think we decided on the wines but will have to do it all again if not! 


After all that lovely tasting a brisk walk beside the sea was the perfect way to clear our heads the next morning. Not the sunniest of days but very warm & dramatic skys.


To end the week it’s been time to sort out our little caravan so it can find itself some new owners. Sad to see it go as we have had some lovely breaks in it but as we are no longer getting to use it it will be nice to think someone else is getting enjoyment from it. 

Sunday Sevens #8 

Last week I was lucky enough to have a morning out of the salon to style wedding hair at this stunning venue on the edge of Dartmoor. Despite the satnav getting me lost & trying to get me to park in someone’s garden it was a successful morning! 

We have had such a mixture of weather. Usually on my journey to work I can see for miles but this was a clearer section on this morning….the countryside has vanished.

Bank holiday Sunday and the perfect way to spend it at a food & drink festival. Nothing better than a lazy Sunday in the sun, sipping Rum Punch while listening to live music. 

So to recovery from the excesses of Sunday a Bank holiday run was in order. I haven’t run for a couple months so wasn’t sure how I’d do but I did about 5 miles with a spot of walking  mixed in. I think the flat route & lovely views helped.

It’s been a week of family celebrations too. Firstly my parents wedding anniversary ment a meal in a village pub.

Secondly I treated my daughter to a few glasses of fizz by the sea to celebrate her 30th birthday… I still can’t believe she’s 30!

Finally Mt B’s early birthday pressie, Bruce Springsteen at Wembley Stadium. We were so high up but it was a fantastic night 


I’m exhausted just thinking how I’ve fitted everything in! The rest of June is looking hectic too so once again I’m sure it will be a few weeks before my next Sunday Sevens but hopefully I’ll have some sewing to blog in the meantime😃