What a week. Great start to November.
In addition to selling some old patterns and revealing the book project, this week has also been really good for actual corsetmaking. Many samples finished and posted, others finished and listed for sale, progress on orders, and I used a chunk of extra time over the past two days to get cracking on more of the 2017 selection.
It’s been a rollercoaster though! First, my beloved twin-needle decided to play up. Or rather, I’d consented to trying something for a client that ended up being to the detriment of my favourite attachment. Some pliers and bashing and such later, and I got it working again, though not identically to before. So it’s just as well I don’t have, for example, a pile of bespoke Birds Wings to do as the sizing would now come out different on everything! But I’m making it work for what I need it for.
Then I needed to colour match some thread to silk in real life (it’s a ridiculous shade of chartreuse) so decided to pop to the House of Fraser haberdashery… Only to discover that the concession had closed two weeks ago! Pressed on to John Lewis and got it sorted, thank goodness. No time for little hiccups like that really.
So in the end I got four of the “year off” pieces sewn and seamed. They come together swiftly once you’ve the time to sit down and focus on them.
And I’ve got so much energy back now that we’re in the final push before the end of studio lease, that I feel like we could fit in more! I may be pitching for too much, but I’m going to try to fit a couple more in. Today a friend visited and I was showing her the fabric swatches and explaining about how I’d always wanted to do one of (nearly) every colour and set them out like a rainbow of couture corsetry. Alas, that won’t quite happen this year or next. But there are two thrusts to my year off corsetry plans.
1) couture corsets for sale, perhaps one per month.
2) a separate collection, made for my own pleasure, that I might like to turn into a broader project (eg: a calendar, exhibition, book, photography project, or something similar).
Both sides are exciting and I currently have quite different aesthetics in mind for each. The former are, I think, going to be classically colourful and dramatic. I’m thinking bold colours and symmetric black lace, things that I haven’t had much chance to do over the past few years. Then the latter will be my more typically Sparklewren aesthetic. Muted colours, intricate detail, assorted textures. I’m imagining the first set as butterflies and the second as moths.
Things will likely change as they emerge, of course, but this is the vision I’ve had in mind for the past few months. My boat as a chrysalid for colour, pattern, and intricacy to emerge from. And thus the corsets that we are prepping in readiness need to fit those briefs. But I just wish there were more of them! The moths, in particular. I see them lined up, a pale colour fade of soft, indistinct, tones. We have six lined up (three stitched these past two days), in Ivory, Caribou, Wishbone, Nuthatch, Mouse and Truffle. But oh, how I’d love to include others in English Rose, Scottish Isle, Biscotti and maybe Cocoa. Lovely John has said he will buy me one colour as a birthday gift, which is very kind of him, so I’m excited for that.
Back to it again tomorrow. No doubt still deeply wishing that I had all the colours to play with. I don’t need to produce a zillion corsets during 2017, the point is to create just a few that have been very carefully considered. But ah, wouldn’t it be nice to have a truly huge pile of unembellished pieces to choose from…? Chrysalid daydreams.