Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Hello ..? Is anybody there?

What a month!  I haven't stopped!  Here's a quick rundown...

Did I mention that the day I left my day job, I received my first signed client contract?  A lovely bride who is getting married in July and who wants a full over bust corset, with straps, to be worn under her vintage 1970's wedding dress.  I spent the first week or so of my 'freedom' working on the design for her corset and then making up a toile for her.  In the following weeks, the toile was fitted.  Now I am working on a second toile just to get the shape, fit and style absolutely perfect before I start work on the real thing.
My client has very kindly given me permission to publish these.  Here are the front side and back views of her first toile.
I've also been furiously working on my Corset e-Book which is due for submission to the Publisher in June! Argh!  I have written all the technical bits, and now i'm ploughing ahead with the practical bits.  

For illustrating various techniques in corsetry, I have decided to make up a historical corset from Jill Salen's book, "Corsets".  The reason for this is because by making up a genuine Victorian corset pattern from a book, readers will learn several things, namely:
  • how to scale up a pattern from a historical source or book such as this
  • how to construct a basic two layer Victorian corset from start to finish
  • how to make the corset so that it has a smooth outside and inside
  • how to make and apply external boning chanels
  • how to fortify the corset using steel bones, fabrics and other techniques such as cording
  • how to embellish the finished corset with trim and with decorative embroidery.
Here is a picture of the historical corset from the book that I have chosen to model this work upon:

ALSO going on in the House of Marmalade, is ofcourse my ever growing business, Sew Curvy Corsetry which I have been developing and expanding.  There are just not enough hours in the day!  Most of my work with Sew Curvy over the last month, apart from sending out orders every day, has been involved with getting Custom Corset Patterns up on the site, and finding out how to make and send a decent HTML newsletter to customers who have signed up to receive news, updates and special offers.

Custom patterning was an idea I had a while ago, but drawing all the pictures and diagrams and instructions, ready to be uploaded onto the site, not to mention creating the special measurement form, is what has taken the time.  But it's up there now!  Basically, there are 6 different shapes to choose from, you fill in a form with some key measurements, and I draw a custom corset pattern based on your personal size.  To my knowledge, nobody else in the UK offers this service and it has already proved to be very popular!  I have received orders from as far and wide as California and Saudi Arabia!  Very exciting.  Click over to the Custom Corset Pattern section of my website to investigate further.

My first Sew Curvy Newsletter, "News from the Corset Front", went out mid-April after I had discovered a marvellous programme called MailChimp which lets users customise ready made templates, upload pics and link to social networks all for free!   If you are a small business who would like to start a newsletter feature, then I recommend it, it's brilliant.  If you'd like to sign up for my newsletter, click HERE.

If you managed to click through to the newsletter, you will see that I'm about to upload to the website things for making bras!  This includes patterns, elastics, and findings.  I am busy sourcing some pretty bra fabrics to use for this, along with all sorts of other what have yous to add to the site.

AND as if all that weren't enough to keep a whirling dirvish occupied for every second of every day, there has also been the garden - I am compelled to grow our own veg as some of you will know, and have been doing so with a vengeance - I am trying to keep my other blog updated with progress in the allotment, but have so far, failed miserably. 

There has ofcourse been lots of lovely weather to enjoy and other excitement such as a trip to London with my very best friend in the whole world who lives in Italy, and thankfully, a few bank holidays, so relaxing in secluded spots by the Thames, found on bike rides in the country with Mr Marmalade, hasn't been totally off the agenda, otherwise my head might explode, but hopefully now, i've caught up with everything, and will post a little more regularly than once a month!


Anonymous said...

Wow, you have been busy, glad to hear everything is going so well and your new adventure seems so exciting I'm glad it is all working out for you. Can't wait to read more.

Ms D x

Vanilla Rose said...

"Freedom is slavery", according to the original Big Brother. Obviously, he was wrong and evil, but sometimes that feels a little bit true. Or maybe that's because I'm going through a bit of a George Orwell phase at the moment. Good luck :)

Sew Create It - Jane said...

Wow you have been busy...

Your clients first toile looks fab...if that's the starting point then I'm sure the final piece will be stunning!

dubgirl said...

Good to see you back, you have been very busy, but I'm pleased the business is successful x

Justine/Sewcountrychick said...

I would love to make a corset like that someday. You really made a beautiful one.

sorbetsurprise said...

The black period corset looks really similar to the one Sugar wears in The Crimson Petal and the White, great series and fantastic period clothing.

Lady Cherry said...

What a first commission! Exciting times.

Perdita said...

How exciting! What a buzz! You deserve every success for your ideas and hard work- well done for finding such an amazing USP! :)

Tilda said...

Oooh, fun to see a post here again, I always get so inspired reading your blog. A friend of mine is starting up a sort of 19th century community and I really want to make a corset to go to their annual picnic. Sadly money is super short at the moment, but when I can I'll buy one of your kits :)

Susie said...

Now, the stuff for making bras sounds really exciting, that's something I'd really like to try. I shall keep an eye out!

Billie Jane said...

Blimey! You really are a busy girl. You certainly make me feel like I'm lazy. Lurve the wedding corset - looks like a great fit, what a lucky girl to have found you!