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Jul 12, 2017

Wedding Gown Update, New Sewing Book, and MORE!


Lots to tell, friends!

Remember Christina, one of the brides I'm sewing for this summer?  Well, as you can see up top, I've adjusted the fit and boned her corset muslin, and I must say I think she looks smashing in it.  It still needs a few tweaks, but I'm very happy with how flattering this corset is on her.

I used Simplicity 5006.  The boning is plastic stuff you buy in a roll (already in a casing) at Steinlauf and Stoller in the Garment District.  In the final bodice I'll either use steel boning or stick with this.  It's incredibly easy to use and quite strong.


I already have Susan Khalje's classic Bridal Couture in my sewing library, but I also recommend, for anyone taking on a project like this, a book that can be had very cheaply on Amazon, the Singer Library's Sewing for Special Occasions.  If you can get past the dated styles done up primarily in polyester pastels, you'll find an excellent, comprehensive sewing guide that covers all the basics and then some.




Speaking of books, on Amazon, I found a cheap ($20-ish) copy of a 1931 sewing book entitled Kenmore Complete Simplified Sewing and Designing.  It's a great basic sewing primer and in the last chapter, shows you how to flat-pattern all those late-Twenties/early Thirties Art Deco-inspired designs that were so popular back then.  Very cool addition to my vintage sewing library.





Meanwhile, remember how I once blogged that Wolfforms, the New Jersey company that manufactures Wolf Dress Forms, had gone out of business?  Evidently they're back.  I saw this display (below) on 25th Street (the unofficial mannequin and store display street) last weekend on my way to the Chelsea Flea Market.  Their website confirms it.



Moving right along, in addition to making wedding gowns, I also occasionally undertake more pedestrian sewing projects.  Feast your eyes on the sewing machine cover I made a few days ago for my pink Janome Hello Kitty (from a vintage Seventies bed sheet).  It only took me a year to get to this!


Finally, I passed a fabric store in the Garment District yesterday with this sign in the window.  What, pray tell, are foams?


In my next post, I will share some of the great fabric I picked up at Metro Textiles.  Or, if you're impatient, you can follow me on Instagram where I share information in closer to real time.

Have a great day, everybody!

21 comments:

  1. Wow I feel like twinsies- I have that Kenmore book AND that 70s sheet set got turned into petticoats for the theater I work with :)

    Have fun with the boning! Spiral steel is easy enough to work with but tipping the ends can be a big PITA.

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  2. Hi Peter, can't wait to see what fabrics you picked ... I'm following you on IG.

    Leanna

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  3. Not sure that Wolf is still active in production of forms, although one can still buy a Wolf form. If that was in the window of Bernstein Display (I know the family), they specialize in display forms, not dressmaking ones, so they might not have been trying to indicate they were a source for the dressmaking forms... might not be the full story. Updated website (Wolf) has quite a few typos - I wouldn't trust it.

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  4. Christina is corset-licious! [and you can tell her it's "out there" during her next fitting]

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  5. SeamsterEast aolJuly 12, 2017 at 9:21 PM

    I've read a Mr King who mentions large white tie-wraps from Home Depot and others make excellent corset boning. Tie-wraps also come in stainless steel.

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  6. Foams: for making upholstered cushions? Thin ones, for bra-making? Or is there a bar in the back that sells some sort of new-age foamy cocktail? One wonders.

    I've used doubled-up pieces of plastic milk cartons for light boning, before. Worked fine for a theatrical costume that would only see three-four wearings. Lots of household plastics could do in a pinch for fittings -- round ice cream buckets, or margarine containers, for instance. Anything you can easily cut with your household scissors.

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    Replies
    1. Foams. A guess is "foams" is upholstery foam. There used to be a place on Canal Street which had a wide variety of foams for sale. It closed a couple years ago? Good foam costs money, really good foam can be damned expensive, startlingly so.

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  7. Maybe that's a typo, and they meant "Forms" instead of "foams." Or maybe there is a beer pub in the rear?
    Loads of fun to follow the wedding dress stories!

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  8. Lovely tidbits today, Peter, thankyou. That rigilene boning tends to bend and then stay bent, like when you sit for a while (to eat) it doesn't bounce back. But spiral will (obvs.) but also an easier option is cable ties, from the hardware store - and of course there's always another use for them!

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    1. Thanks for the tips. I'm giong to explore that!

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  9. There are new heavy foam-like stabilizers used in handbag making to give structure to bags, maybe that is what they meant by 'foams.' One is called Soft 'n Stable from a company called By Annie.

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  10. Yes, that corset muslin fits quite nicely! I look forward to reading about your journey making these wedding dresses. I know both will be exquisite!

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  11. Great toile Pete. It looks to me though like you want to adjust the grainline on the side front panels, to eradicate the pulling there. It's a tricky panel always. I agree re rigilene, it is evil stuff that can really hurt someone. Featherlight boning is better - about 6mm wide and solid plastic. Spiral may be ok, I've never had access to it to try though. Did she sit in this? Make sure it functions at all positions. xo

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  12. This is why you are so special. You put a little bow on Christina's corset muslin. Beautiful work. Nice touch.

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  13. This is so much fun to follow. And lucky Christina! Did you take a class in gowns and formalwear at FIT?

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    1. No, but I think they do offer a course in bridal gown design and construction.

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    2. I took a class specific in bridal gowns under Professor Rizzo years ago. It was really a wonderful class and taught me lots.

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  14. Might foams be shapes made to pad out a basic dress form and so customize it?

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  15. Thanks for the heads up re the Kenmore book; I've got one on the way right now!

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