Tag Archives: sewing

How to make a BJD corset….

I’ve always enjoyed making corsets for my dolls. Its such a skill to get them to fit just right and the structure perfect. I love making these miniature works of art and thought I would share the process again.
I’ll have a pattern available for download in my etsy shop soon. https://www.etsy.com/shop/AngelRoseCouture

So, let’s go make a BJD corset!
Fabric can be silk, printed cotton, lightweight brocade. Use a light weight stable type of fabric, although we are going to underline it with interfacing. I use a silk taffeta for lining most of the time, but a stiff organdy can be used also. I used a small floral print cotton with a silk taffeta lining and edging.

Cut all corset pieces from your main fabric choice (self fabric), from the lining and the interfacing (I used a woven fusible interfacing). Iron the interfacing to the wrong side of the self fabric pieces.  All seam allowances are 1/4″ wide unless otherwise noted.

Right side together, pin then stitch the side fronts to the front, side backs to the back, and press seams open. Right sides together stitch the front to backs at side seams. Press seams open.  Hint: ease stitch just inside the seam allowance along the edges of the corset front and clip to stitch for better manipulation around the curved part of the side front.

Prepare lining, following the same instructions omitting the interfacing.

At this time, if you would like to, top stitch any seams and add lace and trimming. You can also top stitch to add boning if you like. I did this for the larger BJD corsets.  I edged stitched all the seams on the lining for a cleaner finish inside. Now with right sides together, stitch the lining to the corset at the back seams. Turn right side out and press. Baste raw edges together.

Cut two strips of fabric on the bias, one inch wide and 2 inches longer than the bottom edge of the corset in either self or lining, or contrasting fabric if you like.   Right sides together, pin strips to the top and bottom edges of the corset, you will have extra extending from the edges. Stitch. trim seam allowance to 1/8″.  Press up.
Turn under 1/4″ on raw edges of the strips and fold over the seam allowance. Slip stitch to corset along seamline to encase seam and give a clean edge to the corset. 
See- nice and clean.  From here mark for eyelets for lacing up in back. I used 3/32″ eyelets for MSD and 1/8″ eyelets for 60 cm BJD. Apply eyelets as desired.

Now you can add any other embellishments as desired. I used silk ribbon the lace up the sides and sewed tiny pearls to the front lace. I also added bows, lace to the bottom edge and a crystal charm. 

Any questions, feel free to email me! Have fun creating!

Lori

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Lacroix Inspired…

I love mixing prints. Either in one item or in a collection. And one of my favorite designers is a master at it. Christian Lacroix mixes the unexpected, adds the details of lace, crystals, beads, extravagance galore and creates the most beautiful pieces imaginable. Granted, his designing isn’t to everyone’s taste, but I think it is so romantic and beautiful. I’m saddened that he no longer has his couture house. His designs are always a source of inspiration for me.

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So I’m trying to use up some of my fabric stash and decided to finally do something with a collection of prints I picked up a while ago. I always had the intention of mixing these together as a little collection, but never knew what to do or how. Sometimes its best to put it away for a while and then when one pulls it out again new inspiration pops up.

Coordinating prints

Coordinating prints

The first idea that comes to mind is Lacroix! Lets do something with inspiration from some of his older collections.

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So I came up with a couple gowns with embellishments inspired by Lacroix.

Applique for gown

Applique for gown

My Lacroix inpired gowns… now available in the Madeleine Rose Couture Boutique

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Mood Fabrics…..

So let’s see-how long have I lived in Southern California?  All of my life, went to school in Los Angeles at FIDM and I have never been to Mood.  Can you believe it? Well, maybe I did once, a long time ago but I didn’t know which store it was at the time when I was shopping for bridal fabric and if it was, it wasn’t nearly as famous as it is now.

Mood Fabrics logo

Mood fabrics So what did I think?  OMG, now I know why I kind of avoided it for as long as I had because one can get into a lot of trouble there.  Granted prices are not inexpensive, but what a glorious selection of fabrics- silks especially, I was definitely in heaven.  And kudos to my hubby who was a trooper through the whole shopping experience. Actually, he found a comfy couch to sit in and just watched me go through the rolls and rolls of fabrics in front of him.  Then he  took a few pics of the store and helped me make some decisions on fabric.

Wall of fabrics

A wall of fabric

I ended up with a beautiful Oscar De La Renta silk chiffon in shades of blue which is my favorite.  I also got a few other pieces, and a ton of white silk habotai for linings.  It seems I was always running out of silk habotai.  As far as the reviews of Mood on Yelp are concerned, we had a wonderful salesperson.  Aimee, who helped cut my fabric and was very entertaining to talk to.  She made my experience there pleasurable despite the apprehension I felt from the reviews about rude salespeople.  I will be making trips to Mood  a few times a year now- I really have no excuse since I really live only an hour away.  I still need to go back and check out the laces!! But at those prices I need to know what I am doing with them.

my selections:

fabrics from moodStay tuned to see what I create out of this!

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Happy Holidays from Madeleine Rose Couture

Les Scintillance de Rouge

A gown designed for the Couture Doll Shops Holiday Happening. I had found this red tulle with swirled ribbons and sequins and though it was pretty but wasn’t sure what to do with it.  So when the holiday happening came up, I thought this would be perfect.  I just happened to have some red silk taffeta that matched perfectly.  I was going to use it for another gown I had planned(but there wasn’t enough fabric).  I love how this turned out- it was a spur of the moment project and most of the time these turn out great.  I even experimented with glittering the mules.

I think I am going to have to try this technique with some more shoes.  I love the result!

Les Scintillance de Rouge (Glittering in Red) resides now in a private collection.

Ah, I was hoping to have it on display here at home for the holidays- but now it’s on to the next project!  And wait till you see what I have in store……..

Till Next Time,

Have a Great Holiday Season!

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Halloween 2011- Creating the Black Swan

The one thing I do each year is create my daughter’s Halloween Costume.  Through the years, she’s been  several princesses-Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty(in blue not pink)- a glamorized devil, a couple of fairies, a fairy witch, a witch, the white rabbit,  a 70’s hippie, last year a Gothic rag doll(very cool- I made  the green yarn wig)


This year she decided to be a Black Swan.  We had seen this pattern from SimplicityThat she fell in love with.  So doing what I do-and researching the costume I started creating her Black Swan.

I guess it was a pretty popular costume because I found so many interesting blogs and images of it.  I found tutorials on making the crown (unfortunately we didn’t have time to make one) tutorials on makeup, and images from the movie.

(and no, she hasn’t seen the movie-just the dance sequence ending. I don’t think it is appropriate for her at this moment)

I started with the pattern and the basic corset.   I wasn’t sure if I was going to follow the pattern with trim ideas or go more for the actual costume design from the movie.

I loved the White Swan costume too.

I pinned different trims on the corset to see what she would like- since it is her costume she needed to have some say in the design.  Here is the trim like the pattern.  We had found a really pretty black with silver thread vine like trim with roses and sequins. A feather boa adorns the top.

Sorry for the poor quality pics.  I had taken them really quick with my iPhone.  The lighting is horrible in my hallway too- plus it doesn’t help that my walls are tan.

I wasn’t completely happy with this look- although Maddie (my daughter) liked it.  I felt we needed something a little more sleek in a way.  Well, let me get the skirt done and try something else.

Ok so that was a job.  The tulle skirt was quite a challenge and working with tulle is NOT the easiest thing in the world to do.  I had added an extra layer too, to make it a little fuller, but had eliminated the boning through the bottom of the lining as the pattern called for.  Maddie and I didn’t like the look the boning had gave it.

We also decided on the feather bust, and I had some very pretty Alencon lace trim from a previous project that I was able to cut and use as applique on the bust.  The pic above has the lace trim pinned as well as the felt panels pinned on that I will apply the feathers to later.

So we both preferred this look that is more like the movie costume.  I hand sewed all the lace on as well as the feather panel.  Now to make the feather sides.  I wanted it to be like wings folded close in the shape of it.  We had found a feather wreath at Joann’s that happened to have the perfect feathers to use.  You just can’t find the right feathers in the craft areas and feather trim was just way too expensive- plus we were short on time and didn’t have time to order online.  Wreath was 50% off along with a 15% off coupon- I think it cost less than $17 for more feathers than I needed.  I probably couldn’t have got the trim or the bags of feathers I needed for that amount.

Maddie stripped the feathers off the wreath form and I started gluing them onto the felt bases.  Starting at the bottom I glued one row trimming the top of the feather off.  Then I let it dry.  I didn’t take pics as I was working on it- wish I would have.   After it was dry I did a second row and so on – I think I ended with 3 or 4 rows.

When they were completely dry, I took some black bias tape and sewed it along the top to cover the raw edges of the top layer of feathers.  After it was completed I had two feather side panels- one right and one left.

They were then hand sewn on the under side of the corset.  But not until after we bedazzled the lace with rhinestones.  As much as I would have loved to use real Swarvoski  crystals- time and money wouldn’t allow it.  Plus this was just a Halloween costume.  So we used various sizes of an AB acrylic rhinestone because it looked less fake than the plain clear rhinestones.  We also mixed some black rhinestones in there too. (again poor picture)

So here she is  modeling it with sample makeup to make sure everything is right.  We had gone to a dance shop and were able to get a pair of pointe shoes on sale, purchased pink tights and trunks as well.  I needed to make a flesh colored under shirt so she could wear the costume to school since her school had a costume dress up.

Here is Maddie dressed in her costume for school.  We did a smoky eye for the makeup- Halloween night we did the Black Swan makeup following a tutorial by Michelle Phan

So here is Maddie Halloween night with Black Swan makeup.  Wish we would have had the time to make the crown also- but we found a very pretty tiara for her to wear instead.

And with her BFF Briannah.  They Trick or Treat together every year.  And totally make out with the candy.  This year 4.5 lbs of it!

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Steampunk Couture

Back in July we were given another and one of the last challenges on Couture Doll Shops.  This one was on the current Steampunk craze.  NOw I love Steampunk, and there are so many different genres of it, I had to decide which way to go.  First thoughts would have been using one of my larger BJD’s to model, but I had just got my new OOAK Numina from Paul Pham and really wanted to use her.

Victorian and historical clothing are one of my favorites to design- funny how I never really paid attention to it when I was younger and going to fashion schools. One always appreciates the past as they get older.  I think I am also much more into fashion in a different way than I was back then too.  I can see the influences past and historical fashion has on current designers- although some of the greats (John Galliano, Christian LaCroix, McQueen) are not showing designs at the moment, two being out of work and the last having passed away.

Anyway, I wanted to Victorian influences as the base of my design.  Stay with the true Steampunk origins.  Lots of research of Steampunk went into finding out what Steampunk really was- so many blogs and websites.  It really is quite interesting.

I decided on a a corset, jacket and short skirt with a bustled back.  I didn’t take too many pics while making it but did take some- so here’s how it went.

Making the Corset

Trying to do something a little different than just a corset so I decided to quilt the fabric like I have in some previous designs:

I used my basic corset pattern drafted a while ago but had to fit it to the Numina body.  Muslin sample:

From the fabric stash (since I am trying to use up the fabric I have on hand) here are the fabric choices for a old Victorian feel

Ivor silk brocade, tan and ivory herringbone twill with just a touch of rose stripe, and a rust colored crossdye silk taffeta.

Quilted taffeta for the corset

First I quilted the taffeta then cut out my adjusted pattern pieces diagonally on the fabric.

Because the quilted taffeta has a stabilizer for the quilting I did not need to interface the body but did interface the lining.

Corset taking shape

corset lining in ivory brocade

Finishing the corset up, the top and bottom are banded with bias cut strips and hand sewn on the back.  Antique brass eyelets for lacing are added and the corset it done!  Now onto the skirt.  My time is starting to run out………

Finished corset with banded edges

Corset back with eyelets and lacing

Assembling the Skirt

The skirt I made out of the ivory brocade, a basic mini skirt, and added a drape like the Victorian fashions, in the taffeta.    The train I drafted by hand,  cut it out in muslin to make sure I had the right shape and sewed it up in the taffeta with the brocade lining it.  This I hand sewed on to the back of the skirt.

Skirt with drape

Train ready to be hand sewn onto skirt

The last part was the bustle and this was a little tricky to figure out.  I din’t want something super large and wanted something light enough that could also be removes.  I also wanted to use lace.  The brocade was just too heavy to do a full bustle out of.   Again I drafted a shape out of paper to test it, cut it out of a nylon tulle and sewed layers of pregathered lace onto it.  Finding the right lace at the right width was a challenge,  I liked how it turned out though

the top was banded, then attached using snaps

From here my time was really short and I made the jacket without pictures.  It was lined in the ivory brocade.

A top hat was also made and I’ll add a tutorial for that later.

Love how the photo shoot turned out.

Steampunk Couture

Steampunk Couture can be viewed and purchased at Madeleine Rose Couture

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Romance is in the Air- Part 2

So I finally am able to post the pics now, and give you a little insight to my thought process on this Romance Challenge from the Couture Doll Shops.  The entries were published in the latest FDQ magazine-Romance edition- as well as a link from Couture Doll Shops to a voting page.  Tomorrow we will find out who won the challenge by popular vote.  So wish me luck!!

When we were given the instructions for this latest challenge, I knew I wanted to use my BJD’s rather than the 16″ fashion dolls.  I needed to represent my Angel Rose shop (located in Couture Court in the Couture Doll Shops).  I have done so many challenges using the fashion dolls that my BJD’s were getting neglected.  I also knew I wanted to do something with historical inspiration, because I think the historical dress is so romantic.

First was going through my books on historical detail and fashion, and finding my fabric.  I had quite a bit of off white silk dupioni that I really needed to start using and white/ivory is very romantic and bridal.  But I didn’t want to do a bridal look per-say.  Also, white and ivory seemed very in-fashion at the moment.  I also knew I wanted to do a corset and a full skirt. 

To top it off, a bonnet made of buckram and millinery wire, covered in the matching silk with a pleated under lining and flowers. (I didn’t get a chance to take many pictures while completing this ensemble-hubby was using my camera quite a bit for his stuff) I was actually sewing this hat during one of my daughters volleyball games hoping to get it finished in time.  I’m always completing at the last minute.

bonnet partly completed

under brim pleating

I did get it completed on time and the pics taken in time for the magazine.

Romance challenge entry White Rose

Along with the photos we needed to submit a paragraph explaining what our Romance depicted.  Here’s my little romance story:

A tortured romantic soul-she wanders aimlessly, not knowing when the eras or time begins or ends, as her fashion shows in a mixture of historical styles.

A ghostlike figure forever searching for the one true love she lost….

each picture had a caption to it

A lone figure wanders aimlessly
She pauses…Does she see her one lost love?
She looks longingly at the apparition of the one she lost
A ghostly figure clad in white says goodbye…

At least it was finished for now.  I needed to move on to another challenge that was presented to us on Couture Doll Shops for another magazine and it was a a big challenge.  So of course that will be a post in the fall.  Wish I could give some sneek peeks because I think it turned out great and there’s a bonus tutorial coming with it but you all will just have to wait…..

When that challenge was finished I was able to move on to finish the last component of this one- a jacket.  Taking inspiration from the Regency era, a ruffled front, pouf sleeve jacket emerged  to be worn over the corset.  Also, new pictures needed to be taken since the other ones were done in haste.

I love how this photo shoot turned out

White Rose will be available on my website Angel Rose

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Urban Geishas

Madeleine Rose Couture

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CDS-The Other Red Carpet Challenge

You can read what the challenge is here

February 22, 2010 The Making of An OOAK Gown
Red Carpet again. Well I guess with the Oscars right around the corner it seems fitting. And Purple. Hmmmm. Guess I’ll have to pull out my purple stash that I don’t even know if I have. Purple is not a color I collect too often. But I do believe I have some; an orchid color silk velvet and vintage pale lavender beaded silk; a deep lavender silk charmeuse I could use with a black lace. I immediately think of Dior’s Spring 2010 RTW collection with the lingerie inspirations.

Dior Spring 2010 RTW

Dior Couture Fall 2009

February 23, 2009 On with the Design!
I start fitting a bodice to a Syb but there is Psyche (Numina Grey) looking at me-“When are you going to do my gown? You know the crossdye orange and ombre mesh?” Yes I know. I’m dying to use this fabric but it is not purple. But, the fabric shop did have it in a purple tone, didn’t they? If I remember correctly. I’m going to have to check that out.

February 24, 2010 Idea Changes
I ran down to the fabric shop after work today and picked up the purple ombre mesh. It has a lot more brown in it than I remembered but I still think it will be pretty. Now to find a coordinating fabric for the bodice.
While I was going through my fabric bolts I ended up finding (buried under some other taffetas) a bright purple crossdye that blends in great with the mesh. I forgot I had this one! Now I will be able to do sister gowns: one in purple and a similar style in the oranges.

Ombre mesh and silk taffeta

February 28, 2010 Fitting the Bodice

I started fitting a bodice to Psyche. For this I am going to use an existing corset pattern I drafted a few years ago on the Tyler bustform.
I sewed up the corset in muslin and tried it on Psyche. It’s a little big in the chest but the waist length is good. I’m going to pin in where it is big and mark it it on the muslin. I also want to change the front seamline a bit, so I am going to mark that as well.

Muslin toile on Psyche, adjustments marked.

Back view. You can see it's a little large


Now I am going to cut along my marks, and take apart the corset where there are seams along the marks as well as cut away the seam allowances.

When I cut a pattern, I always make a couple copies (I have a 4-in-1 copier at home, makes it very convenient for pattern making).
Placing the cut muslin pieces on top of their corresponding paper patterns, you’ll see where to draw new lines.

muslin pieces on top of their paper pieces


From here I true up the seams and and seam allowance. I’m also changing the bottom line from a V to a curved drop waist.

truing up with a french curve


seam allowance added and bottom adjusted


matching the seams and notching

March 2, 2010-Going Straight to the Fabric
From here I would usually make another toile to check fit on the revised pattern, but I have enough fabric to do another if it doesn’t work. Besides,(and I know this sounds a little conceited) but I am pretty confident in my pattern making skills that the fit will be pretty near perfect.
So here it goes…. I’m underlining the pieces in a stiff cotton underlining instead of the usual woven fusible I use.

underlining basted on the taffeta

Here the seams are stitched and pressed open; topstitching is going to be applied for decorative purposes and to hold the boning. I’m using a Sulky rayon embroidery thread and an edge stitch foot to get a precise top stitch. I set the needle position to 1/8″ away from the seam and the edge stitch foot fits neatly into the seam.

edge stitch foot and topstitching

corset with topstitching


See how great the topstitching is? From here, boning will be inserted after the bra cups are sewn in.

Bra sewn in-boning inserted and checking fit. I couldn’t be happier with how it’s turning out. Psyche is too- she can’t wait to strut her stuff on the runway.

checking the fit before lining is sewn in.

March 5, 2010-Starting the Skirt
Tonight I sewed in the lining. I’m dying to get the skirt started though. Drafting out a skirt on tissue, I’ll use this as a guide and stabilizer to sew the ruffles on.

corset almost finished- lining sewn in


tissue skirt pattern with guide lines drawn

I want this skirt to be flowing- not stiff so I found some mauve tulle that will work well for the underskirt the ruffles are sewn to. Plus I’ll be able to see the guide lines rather than having to draw them onto taffeta.

lines drawn for ruffles and tulle base pinned on top


First row of ruffles- I’m using a 5:1 ratio for the ruffles and am starting at the bottom. I managed to get two rows sewn on tonight.

first two rows of ruffles sewn onto tulle underskirt

March 7, 2010-Skirt is Finished
I finished sewing all the ruffles this weekend. Seven rows of tulle confection. I have already attached it to the corset and decided to have the corset lace up the back. It has turned out gorgeous and Psyche is thrilled. Now it’s onto the accessories.

ruffles getting sewn on- skirt is pinned to the corset at this time

March 11, 2010 Finished!
The accessories I decided to make were a silver faux leather clutch and matching crystal heeled sandals-in which shoe making needs to be a another tutorial. So here is the final gown-Passion. Psyche looks so great.
Close up of Passion
Full gown
Crystal heeled shoes

This will be on the CDS (Couture Doll Shop) blog fashion show and for sale on my website Madeleine Rose Couture

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A New Challenge

Now that the CDDC is over, things got a little back to normal. Just a little. I was busy designing and sewing 1920’s style dresses of my daughter’s elementary school play- the Velveteen Rabbit. They turned out cute- I had a lot of fun doing the research.

Aunt Rosemary's dress


My daughter did great in her part as head narrator, and no, she didn’t get to wear one of the dresses, but I had to make vests for her and her 2 co-narrators. (my daughter is the tallest one)

Narrators and Velveteen Rabbit


So now what? Well the CDDC creators have a project- the CDS- Couture Doll Shops- “Welcome to a new concept in couture doll merchandise and services. Couture Doll Shop features high fashion designers as well as other special doll services – all through individual merchants. Here you will find fabulous one of a kind outfits as well as many other items and services in this one convenient location.”

I will have a shop there with Madeleine Rose Couture. I have been busy revamping my website, adding Paypal buttons for shopping ease and streamlined the navigation. I love the new look and feel of it.

So CDS has proposed a challenge to the merchants;A Red Carpet challenge. It won’t be judged (darn! just kidding) but I love a good challenge. I can’t give all the details at the moment(like when all this will take place) but I can share the challenge at the moment. You will all just have to check back with me and the CDS blog to find out more.

The rules:

1. The Challenge
Besides Fashion Week, one of the most important fashion events is a Red Carpet event. Yes, no matter which award is being presented, all eyes are really on the fashions worn at these events! Now is your chance to have many eyes from the doll world on YOUR fashion!! Never underestimate the power of the internet, dahlings! Pull out your best silk, satin, or whatever you think “makes” it on the Red Carpet! You are going to be offering up a NEW item, and you are not going to have a long time to make this item. But you will have as much time as the CDDC designers had for those challenges; it can be done – so no excuses, my pretties!!

2. The Colors
The hot color we’ve seen on the Red Carpet this year, to date, has been purple. And purple is the MAIN theme color for this event. Now don’t go turning up your noses, divas, because there are lots of colors in the purple family – from burgundy to lavender – so there is bound to be one you can adapt to a vision I know is brewing in your delightful design mind! AND, to aid you while still enabling me to line up this collection by color, I’m also going to allow you the use of luscious creams and/or blacks to be used as an auxiliary color. Auxiliary means either/or cream or black; and that either color cannot overpower the base color! Any questions, please email me, because I do NOT want anyone disqualified. Remember, this is for fun and to help us open our shops with a bang!

3. Styling the outfit
ALSO, for this event your model will be untraditionally traditional. I already know each of you has an untraditional style, but I would like you to create the traditional long gown – your models are NOT going to a cocktail party. Let your presentation represent YOU……..but just in a loooooooooooooong version!

There is to be NO JUDGING of your outfit of any kind!! So no inside views, AND if you are an OOAK artist, you may present your item as such – non-removable fashion is the norm in the OOAK venue. If you just sell furniture, trot out a piece; and the same thing goes for shoes, wigs or jewelry. From toddler to high fashion and anything in between – every effort will be made to put YOU, our shop owner, in the spotlight on this particular runway!!

4. What You May Submit
Each of you will see your doll actually “come down the runway” thanks to the magic of our photography specialist; Larraine. She will truly work her magic to put these designs in just the right setting! That is why we have specific guidelines, and pictures that do not meet the criteria will be returned to you, and no one really wants that to happen – so please listen up!!!

Pose your doll or your item to sell it! Use props you feel appropriate ON the doll. I say ON because
props must be shown on the doll or item itself – it cannot be sitting off to the side for us to
properly spotlight it.

You must photograph your doll or item in front of a prop-less, plain (one neutral color)
background!

So am I up for it? You Bet!!

Stay tuned for more……..

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