Sunday 4 January 2015

A Tight Fit

Hello everyone,

    I am here today to show you a Christmas gift I made for my wonderful Mother-in-law Gil....As many of you may know Gil owns a fantastic Dolls House museum in Bavorov in the Czech Republic. It is filled with the beautiful houses that Gil has collected over many many years....

     She always recruits people to help her (as the collection still continues to grow and evolve) and the latest creation of hers is an old fashioned department store for which I made some tiny jewellery last summer. I love making items for the museum and Gil knows this...she also knows that I have great difficulty refusing a challenge. She knows that hearing the merest hint of "Do you think you can?" will set me off trying really hard to make sure that of course I can do that...with bells on!!!

     So when she mentioned on her Christmas wish list that she would like some corsets made and she hinted that she would like me to have a go, I decided to play it cool....."Hmmm....maybe, but I don't know if I have time".....She did say that stamping some images might work and that 2D would be fine....

WHAT?!!!......That would NOT be acceptable...If I am going to make corsets then I am going to make some corsets...anyone can stamp some!!! When I get a challenge I like to jump in totally into the deep end.....and I did...and after quite a few attempts went very wrong, I realised that making corsets would require me to take some time learning HOW to make corsets

       I won't bore you with the how to and how not to....I will just say that perseverance pays. I found some corset patterns online and saved the images. Opened them up in Paint Shop Pro and sized them. I traced them onto paper from the screen and then I had the paper pattern.

I should point out right now I have NEVER made any item of clothing from a pattern and I didn't have a clue how to do it (and the online corset pattern gave no actual instructions, just a completed diagram) After several mishaps, I realised that there is a method to doing it and that some pieces must be joined together before others. Through trial and error I finally found out what I had to do....

This corset design was meant to be glued together (so relieved to be gluing, not sewing!) I was really happy about this as I am not very confident at sewing. But viewing the end result I really wasn't happy with the shape of this corset.......

 It looked pretty enough...I loved the colour and the laced up back (despite the crooked seams)

......and the lace trim and pearl beads certainly added to it...

 The 1/12th scale seemed correct

but I wanted to make a real hourglass corset....

So I found another pattern....and to torture the perfectionist in myself I set another challenge - this time I would sew.....

This corset is made out of 10 pieces of material all sewn together.

Lace was cut to size and glued onto the corset with PVA glue

Tiny pearl beads were added

Tiny strips of lace were glued around the top of the corset. Ivory embroidery thread was glued along the center panel and a bow tied with the thread was glued to the top

You can see the scale of the corset here against a 2p coin

    Much sewing, backache, sore neck, punctured fingers and very blurred eyes later........I finally had two versions of glued and one sewed...And I had fun!!!

Gil loved them...and I believe she wants more. Watch this space!

Thanks so much for being here - Hope you have enjoyed your visit!




  1. Oh my, this is unbelievable, Laura!

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE your miniature corsets. Both of them - but I definitely can see how much more tricky the second one was to create and it looks immaculate and soooo pretty! I am sure your MIL was over the moon with getting these tiny treasures for Christmas! Who wouldn't be!

    Thanks for this wonderful post - it's so inspiring and full of fairytales and wonder!

    Claudia xxx

  2. Good grief Laura, these are amazing! I can't believe how much detail you managed on such a small you own a microscope?? HA! They are beautiful! Love the ivory and the soft green, such vintage shades and the laces and trims are stunning! Well done, bet she loved them! hugs :)

  3. Ooh yes, she does, she does! And do you know - I think we may even have a dressmaker's mannequin in the country! I remembered that Jill brought one back with her. I shall make enquiries....

    Not that you need it... :-)

  4. Beautiful Laura! You have " des doigts de fée " I would say, as I really jumped in a fairytale, I agree with Claudia ! Wonderful shapes and perfect details!

  5. Laura, these are just fabulous! I'm glad to hear you had fun - it looks like hard work to me! You definitely make my New Years Honours list!! That department store will be quite something! Happy New year to you, Chrisx

  6. I cannot even begin to think how you made these teeny tiny corsets!! it's no wonder,a sore neck, punctured fingers,etc. were involved! teehee I love these mini creations and Gil I am sure was super excited to have them! ")

  7. AMAZING, Laura! These are just wonderful itty bitty little corsets!! Your MIL is going to LOVE these and I can't wait to see her feature these in her blog next year :) I love her little museum and visit Cestina's blog to keep up on all of the miniature happenings :) Amazing, Laura!! XOXO-Shari

  8. Oh my word!!! How did you find the patience to make these itty bitty corsets???? They are adorable! I am sure she is gonna want more!!!!

  9. Happy New Year Laura to you all the family.

    MIL Gil must be ecstatic with your creation.

    All I can say is wow and more. My hat goes off to you for accomplishing something that is so professional looking and not ever having used a pattern before. Being a seamstress myself and having a sister who is a tailoress I know exactly all the pitfalls you had to go though especially on your own and with no guidance. A huge bravo and well done. Can'y wait to see more.

    Warm crafty hugs from Shirl x x x

  10. Wow, Laura I'm very impressed about this beautiful 'little' (big) art pieces, really two miniature magic coursets, absolutly wonderful! Hugs, Kerstin


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