1st March 2012: Finished corset pic shows - front and back of finished corset as it was seen at Midlands Expo.. ..I say finished but there are things which I spotted need tweeking and there is time now to go over improving, so I will probably work on it a little more..
23rd February 2012: in stage progress This is another work in progress pic -
progress reached by 16th feb, two days before show!
20th February 2012: making kittys progress pic of the largest size kittys for the costume. The shapes are cut out of plastic card and then covered with sticky back holographic silver foil. Diamantes for the kittys were self stick. Whiskers are actually small lengths of solder glued on with Evo. (but I noticed after the first wearing the glue is not holding onto the foil very well.. so I will go back and fix them more securely.
19th February 2012: making mirror details progress pic making the mirror details (see earlier journal pic).
So, the raw mirror circles needed plastic bases making. I researched ..and discovered you could buy Hello Kitty keyrings and the fob was this little round mirror in black plastic casing. But I needed 5 for the costume and they were like 5.99 each. So thats why I made them instead.. First cut 2 circles out of black plastic card and cut the centre out of one to make a ring shape. Then glue the ring shape onto the cicle backing and file/sand the edges smooth. Then glued the mirror into the hole, and finally glue a bit of chain on the back for a fixing onto the corset. So the cost of making these 5 mirror details was like £2 materials..instead of £30plus
17th February 2012: making Kittys pic shows Hello Kittys being made.. I managed to scale up the various Kittys using the photo program and a bit of maths. The shapes are then carbon copied onto black plastic card which has been covered in masking tape. Then cut them out with scissors. Now in the process of glueing on the chainlink and diamantes. Its taking a lot of time!
15th February 2012: stud belts and bling going on pic shows back of corset, current state.
The belt strips and gold chain link are going on now.
This is a glimpse to show how it is coming along. :)
15th February 2012: cutting up the pyramid stud belts The three row silver stud belt - needs to be a two row belt around the waist and there are various offcuts of single stud strips placed around the corst. Similar story with the pink stud belts. All I could find were three row belts. Im guessing the original costume was made by cutting up three row belts.
I managed to cut them with the craft knife and scissors. The cut edges were all like grey leather so I went over every cut edge with acrylic black paint. Looks a lot neater. :)
15th February 2012: altered belt Finished extended studs.
15th February 2012: altering belt pic shows making new holes so studs can be extended up the belt.
I know I am being really picky about detail..but if its there I have to do it! This is the belt which runs up the back, and I need the studs to be closer to the buckle on the shoulder. So I took some studs off some belt offcuts and moved them to this new position.
13th February 2012: Second test fit pic shows - current state,
Corset after the adjustments. Perfect! Now it fits me like I wanted. Happy bunny again ^_^
Ordered proper corset lace (those in pic are just boot laces to test.)
Great, finally I can start adding all the detail, just need to add some pillows first, inside the front for ma bewbage. Then blingify. :P
12th February 2012: one step back pic shows - unpicking the back panels..see below
First test fit of the finished base corset - Somehow it has grown bigger!! What the??.. Ok Im not gonna be thrown by this, there must be an explanation.. somehow the corset has gained width. A LOT! I can do up the lace panels completely closed and it still feels loose.
After puzzling over this I think the error must be coming in when I copy the pattern onto the fabric..I have been drawing around the tracing paper templates - this must be enlarging the pattern pieces by maybe a couple of mm all around, and because the chalk marker is also quite thick. Ordinarily this small amount shouldnt matter that much, except with a corset there are lots of panels and hence seams..with a couple mm added at every seam it is all adding up to make a significant difference. Plus the Satin fabric seems to have a noticable amount of stretch to it, unlike the rough wihich has abs none.
..Decided I could not live with the corset fitting loose. So I have taken it apart at the back and removed an inch from the two back panel seams. A lot of carefull unpicking and editing. But I think it will be worth it. Anywho its all done and back together now.. Second Test fitting tommorrow...
10th February 2012: new sewing machine parts Today I went to see if I could get an adjustable seam edge guide for my machine. I didnt exactly come home with what I intended. ^^ The woman in the shop said a 'walking foot' attachment had a seam guide built in. Never heard of it. ..what is a walking foot? So she explained it pulls the top of the fabric at the same time that the bottom feed pulls on the bottom of the fabric. Official name 'Even Feed Foot'. Especially good for when sewing through lots of layers of fabric, it prevents puckering. ..or when sewing fabric which sticks slightly to the normal presser foot, like pvc ..or sewing other problem stuff like lycra - Say what!! So yeah I bought this attachment even though it was like 37 quid. Fortunately my wife has not killed me ^_^ Anyway..this attachment does come with a built in seam guide - looks like a bent piece of chrome bar. Hmm, it might work ok, but wasnt what I had in mind...
THEN I dicovered that my sewing machine actually has a small hole to the right of the presser foot plate. I tried a few spare bolts and found one which fits exactly - from an electrical socket cover. So I made up my own seam edge guide out of a piece of thick perspex. I added a wing nut onto the bolt which clamps the guide in the position I want. Test driven - it works! :)
9th February 2012: eyelets Im so pleased with my eyelets, had to upload this latest pic. Prym eyelets Rule! ^_^
So, you can see the main corset panels are all sewed together now. The back lace panels have been really tricky..unpicked ummm at least 3 times I think. :S ..The original allowances I gave myself were too finely cut and so some of the raw edges were not being trapped by the turned over seams. Also the self facing came up too short and their seams would have fallen along the path of the eyelet holes - Had to replace the self facing strips with new wider ones.
On the plus side I have developed some speed by using the backwards a few stitches then forwards to start and end seams on the machine - no more tieing off all the loose ends, just snip them off. (Downside is if you have to unpick a seam like this - it is a Lot harder!)
One last note: hole puch pliers for the eyelets Failed badly!.. just really hurt my hands, so much pressure and it still didnt cut holes through the fabric. So I gave up on them. Instead I heated up a piece of thin metal rod and pushed it through. It actually melted neat holes and sealed from fraying at the same time. DONT try this mehtod if you are not an adult tho - get supervision..heating metal rods is dangerous! I can do it cuz I am an adult and adults can do stuff like this. :P
6th February 2012: Drawing out pattern Pic shows - drawing out the pattern onto the black Satin fabric. My pattern pieces flip over to provide both left and right halves.
I have also cut the fabric shapes out now so finally I can start putting this thing together. Need to get my ass into gear as time is running out fast, like it always does. Still, what I havent put up yet are all the bits I have been buying for the detailing.. beads, chain, diamantes, stud belts etc. Hope I have bought enough quantities. Trying to keep the journal in some sort of order, so I will put the detail making all together.. after the basic corset is complete.
26th January 2012: new back layout Pic shows how things are looking at the back now. I re-worked the back panel so now has two symetrical lacing panels. Looks much neater.. and like a corset! Happy again. ^^
Also you can see I had a practice at applying the boning, seen down the edges of the lacing panel. The casings are actually sewn onto the inside of the corset, but the two lines of stitching showing on the outside can make it appear they are on the outside. I did some step drawings to remind myself how the casings go together onto the corset. (wrong side, right side etc) Following how the manufactured pink corset was put together. You have to be quite carefull sewing the stitches close to the edge of the casing. But yeah I feel I have bone casings sorted now. :)
Also I fitted some cheap eyelets so I could test wear properly and used two xtra long laces tied together for now. Real corset lacing ordered.
I think its time to bite the bullet and start cutting the satin fabric..
25th January 2012: Fastener problems The hook and eye fastener idea is not working. Just test wearing of the rough is causing the fastener edges to pucker. They do not lie flat and neat anymore. And this is without the laces pulling on them yet. Not happy about this! I really want the corset to look neat. So I have decided to ditch the hook eye fastener idea. Instead I will go with the standard corset design. ie slacken the laces to get into it.
I found if the modesty panel is wide enough I can wriggle into the corset without a fastener. Laces can be adjusted after it is slipped on.
This also makes it easier to fix the stud belts on later. :)
22nd January 2012: comandeering corset parts I remebered I had bought this pink corset (really cheap) ages ago. So I have been taking it apart carefully - reverse engineering - to see how they are put together and also I can use some of the parts..like the boning inserts for the lacing strips at the back, and the front busk parts - which turn out to be steel. Niiice. Ill have to pull the brass clasps off though cuz I am not having it opening. Just using to stiffen up the front.
Im surprised to find that the lacing boning on the pink corset was attached via seperate little casings just sewed tightly along the panel edges. ..I thought the construction was going to be a lot more complicated than that. Oh well. Suits me. So this is how I will fit the boning into my corset too.
21st January 2012: small mirror details found Found these today in The Works (who would have guessed!?) Really pleased to have stumbled across these cuz I have been scouring eBy for small round mirrors and not much luck other than key ring fobs, which would have been more expensive. So here in the pic I spotted at least four on the corset. I just need to mount them onto something which can dangle on the corset. :)
1st January 2012: work stops - to make a 50s style dress! Had a lil break over Christmas as I said I would make a dress for Mrs P for her Christmas pressie. She wanted a retro 50's style pencil dress. We went up to the market together to pick out the fabric. ..Red duchess satin. Using my usual costume making format - I started by drawing and making up a rough cotton pattern on her then cut the dress fabric following the rough ...Oh my gosh the finished dress looks 50s Fabulous! Shame I cant stick it up here and show you guys (cuz its not really a costume). Im so pleased how it came out and of course Mrs P is Very happy cuz she has a tailor made dress of dreams. ^_^
And now ..I shall resume on my corset.
2nd December 2011: finished corset rough My finished corset rough. As you can see it really earns its name. ^^ Yes the seam allowances are on the outside..I just find it easier to work this way during this stage.
You can see from the back view I am factoring in how the corset looks on Katy - ie the lacing panel is very extended at the top and close together at the bottom making a kind of V. When the bright pink details are added to the back of my costume Im sure this feature will be noticed so I wanted to have the same V shape going on mine. Although the modesty panel will actually be made parallell..so when I sell this baby on it has a better chance of fitting different sizes. Incidentally I was having a discussion about why the corset seems so ill fitting at the back on Katy..and my guess is that the corset, being a couture garment made for the launch of MAC Hello Kitty, wasnt made with Katy in mind. It is actually fairly small in the bust. One thing Katy is not..is small in the bust hence the lacing is extended at the top to make room for Katys ample bewbs. Katy we love you. ^^
Also you can see where I have placed the hook and eye strip. This will be hidden behind the two row strip of pink studded belt. Working out these end panels for the lacing holes to go has been the hardest. Thinking about strength of the seams..folding over to make the casings for the end boning with the holes in..fixing the hook and eye tape..and fixng the modesty panel..all with turnovers so no raw edges are showing. Theres a lot going on.
Corsetiers...I salute you. ^_^
1st December 2011: corset progress Spent hours on the corset rough. Cutting the fabric pieces and slowly covering the paper pattern on the dress form. The boning detail is the hardest part -trying to match up where they appear on the real one to where my seams are. Conclusion..I think this will be easier if I just sew the corset together to get the basic shape and then make boning casings seperately and sew them on top afterwards.
24th November 2011: paper pattern back back view of the rough paper pattern.
pic on left is Katy wearing the corset at the Brits - good view of the back - for ref. Im guessing the corset has an expansion panel between the lacing strips?..or she could be wearing something underneath the corset?
I think I have the basic shape pretty much laid down. Next step is to transfer the shape into fabric..
24th November 2011: paper pattern front Making my rough paper pattern using wall lining paper..and sticky brown parcel paper.
Pic on left is Katy for ref. There are two Hello Kitty bum bags fixed at the sides - makes the hips look a lot wider. I hope it has the same effect on me - badly lacking in the hip dept!!
So I think I have the basic shape pretty much laid down. Next step is to transfer the shape into fabric..
22nd November 2011: Corset beginning Research done, loads of ref pics all around so I dont have to guess at detail. I wondered about using a cheap corset for a quick base and just adding the embelishments. But nothing on eby matches the shape..this corset design is really quite different from whats availble. It is a lot longer in the body..14 eyelets compared to the 8 on my burlesque corset. The lower portion extends quite far below the waistline, the lower front hemline is shaped like a waist coat, and the back tapers down to a V. Also The bust line peaks up to the centre. All of this means..I have decided to try making the corset right from scratch! Let the pattern drafting begin...
Wyrdsister - 24th November 2011
Cute! You're gonna rock that one too ;)
Saffron - 24th November 2011
Woow amazing! I couldn't think of two better things combined; Katy Perry and Hello Kitty sparkles! You're going to rock this :)
JustPeachy - 24th November 2011
You are going to look amazing! The corset is adorable :D
Ranma1-2 - 24th November 2011
Thanks for your confidence guys. :)
Wyrdsister - 1st December 2011
I'd do that also, get the corset together first, than add the boning! I didn't like making my corset, butt the headaches paid off :p
Ranma1-2 - 1st December 2011
Thanks hunni ^_^ sometimes I get too penickity and forget I am making a cosplay costume not working for Tussaurds! :D
One thing I notice with proper corsetry, they dont seem to use side seams like most other garments, instead the side panels span across. Oh well, maybe no one will notice or care if my corset has side seams. I will just make sure to not run the boning strips down them.
seawaterwitch - 9th January 2012
WOW!!! Awesome!!! You can do it :) *hugs* Can't wait to see your pictures wearing this beautiful corset ^__~
Anime_Angel - 20th January 2012
you sure are a fan of Katy Perry arnt you, I hope to see you at the expo, I'll be Fate from Nanoha^_^
Anime_Angel - 21st January 2012
Yeah Ichigi-chan had her costume ready before me since she used it for a convention before this Expo coming lol she also wants me to use it for the cosplay ball in Kitacon aswell lol
you know, with all these Katy Perry costumes you do, I'm surprised you havn't got round to doing the california girls one lol
Ranma1-2 - 21st January 2012
Yep..there are soooo many Katy costumes to choose from. ^^
Kacela - 21st January 2012
Gorgeous! I cannot wait to see this, it looks amazing! Good luck =D
alienqueen - 22nd January 2012
Impressive how you've put the corset together, I love this corset, I'm a bit of a punk fan, love studs and chains! I look forward to seeing how you put it together! xxx
alienqueen - making a corset hasnt been easy esp as I am guessing at things as I go and learning bits wherever I can. The basic rough (yellow fabric) looks better now after a bit of tweeking so I am about to start cutting the Black Satin fabric and putting the proper costume corset together. Oh and I have got the silver pyramid stud belt and three pink stud belts too. This might be my closest costume yet. Im looking forward to doing all those embelishments. :)
Anonymous - 26th January 2012
I tell you what, The way this is looking I am suprised your not a professional corset maker, This is looking amazing and cant wait to see it finished!
Ranma1-2 - 27th January 2012
Its going well atm so I dont think you will have to wait too long to see it finished. Plus it needs to be ready by 18 Feb for Midlands Expo. :)
MissAriel - 1st February 2012
I cant wait to see this one! ^_^
Ranma1-2 - 2nd February 2012
Miss Ariel - I'm doing my best. ^_^
Time is ticking away. I have a load of chain and diamantes and stuff ordered, hopefully it will arrive tommorow. Just tweeked the rough corset pattern a last time and now transferred the pattern onto tracing paper. So tommoroww I can start cutting out the satin. Ive got a feeling the proper costume corset is going to go together so quickly now that all the fitting and editing has been done on the rough. Its like all in the prep work!
MissAriel - 15th February 2012
ooo progress is looking great! :D
Anonymous - 15th February 2012
looks bloody awesome so far!!!
DuskatNight - 15th February 2012
That corset looks amazing! Keep up the amazing work.
Ranma1-2 - 16th February 2012
Thanks guys. :)
Lots more detail added tonight. All belt strips are fixed on now and some of the various chain. Tomm I should start making the diamante kitty faces and large broach jewels.
Hope I get everything finished in time for Expo! Wish me luck.
alienqueen - 17th February 2012
Wow! this is getting more impressive by the minute what day you doing this at expo? id love a photo with you :D xxx
Ranma1-2 - 17th February 2012
Thanks ^^ struggling with all the tiny diamante detailing atm..I dont think there is enough time left do them all properly so gonna have to just get the costume looking right from a distance..so I can do the Midlands Expo masquerade performance on Sat. If you dont see me till late in the day you should catch me in the masquerade queue backstage or after the show is finished. :)
now glue glue glue! ^^
JustPeachy - 17th February 2012
This is looking awesome :D I can't wait to see the finished piece!
alienqueen - 17th February 2012
oh you're doing this for midlands not london :(
Ranma1-2 - 17th February 2012
Kawaii_princess - Ha ha lets hope it IS finished. ^_^
alienqueen - yep Midlands Expo ..tommorrow! 8I But I will def wear it again. A lot of work has gone into it. :)
alytheluvly - 18th February 2012
oh wow! loving the corset!!! :D
Anonymous - 18th February 2012
Steve!!! Saw you today Congrats on the win very well deserved I loved your stage performance oh and I WANT THAT CORSET <3
Wyrdsister - 18th February 2012
Yeeeeeeeeeeessssssssss! So glad you placed, you looked awesome and that corset...Amazing!
HarryKurt - 19th February 2012
Gorgeous work on this one! :)
MissAriel - 19th February 2012
Hello :) Didnt get a chance to say hello at the expo but thought your Performance was great! well deserving of the win :)
Ranma1-2 - 19th February 2012
alytheluvly - corset is now blingtastic! :P I will get some pics of the finished thing up soon.
MizukeUchiha - Thanks ^^ Really pleased how it turned out and how the performance went too. I will defo wear this costume again then the corset might be up for sale ;)
Wyrdsister - Thanks hun. Sooooo lovely to see you and Paul again, and lots of hugs. ^^ I was actually stunned to get Best costume, thats my first for the costume itself. :D
themrmaster - Thank you. Was a lot of work to make, cuz I tried to keep costs down so I made the details from parts instead of buying ready made broaches etc.
MissAriel - Hiiiii. Yes sorry I didnt get to meet you too. Thanks for saying that. ^^ Im really glad people were joining in and enjoying the performance. Maybe I will meet you at the next Expo. :)
NatalieNoodles - 19th February 2012
This was amazing!
I saw you in the masq, it was a lot of fun and your performance made everyone smile and sing! 8D
After looking at your journal... O_O woah I didn't know you made practically everything, lol! Awesome work! :D
Ranma1-2 - 20th February 2012
Thanks Natalie ^_^ glad you enjoyed the performance.
Yeah lots of work to make this and since I ran out of time near the end I didnt keep up all the journal entries..so I will go add the other wip pics now that Expo is over. :)
Anonymous - 20th February 2012
Corset.up.for.sale!! *dies* lol No I really hope you wear it again, probably suits you more than it would suit me haha!
Freyarule - 20th February 2012
Ffff Steve you amaze me every time! Can't wait to see finished pics of the corset, well done on the placing! Wish I'd been there to see it :(
Ranma1-2 - 20th February 2012
MizukeUchiha - poss might wear it for LFCC..unless I get something else finished, since Katys cos is not rly film or comic related. and ..I think it would look better containing some Real bewbs actually! so you gots me there. :P
Freyalrule - Thank you babes. ^_^ ..Looks like today is not good for taking pics tho, the clouds are so dull and grey! I need light..I want sunshiiiiine. :S
Anonymous - 20th February 2012
Hahaha woop :) but still it definitely looks amazing on you, especially with how good your stage performances are as well
Minxie - 21st February 2012
You were unbelievable at Midlands! <3 I love how the costume suits you so well :)
Ranma1-2 - 22nd February 2012
Aww thank you Minxie. ^_^ It was so nice meeting you.
Relion - 22nd February 2012
So nice meeting you again! I love Hello Kitty, so naturally I loved this, haha. (:
Anonymous - 22nd February 2012
absolutely fantastic outfit, hun
Ranma1-2 - 22nd February 2012
Thanks guys. This is all I have atm, waiting for more pics to come in..
Misa - 22nd February 2012
hyyyyy I cam leave a comment now lol yh as soon as I got back I had a look at the site and it llooks pretty cool like you :) and im so happy that you won as well you go girl lol it was nice meeting you IO hope we get to meet up and hang out and stuff your costume was on piont as well :)
Amy-Lou - 23rd February 2012
The finished costume is fantastic! I've really enjoyed following your progress too :)
Ranma1-2 - 23rd February 2012
Thanks Amy-Lou. :) I'm waiting for more pics, Pouncy hasnt uploaded his yet - there should be some good ones in there cuz he was right at the front of the stage, and also he took some posed shots right at the end of Expo too.
Sephirayne - 23rd February 2012
Excellent job on the costume and congrats on the award.
Ichigo-Chan - 24th February 2012
I briefly saw your performance at Midlands (tall people were standing in front of me, so didn't get a good view) and your Katy Perry cosplays are always amazingly done aswell as your performance being well synch with the music, no wonder you won best performance. Well done!
Ranma1-2 - 25th February 2012
Aww thank you Ichigo-chan. :) I really enjoyed it all. Its a lot of work in one costume but somehow it becomes a labour of love. I just hope I get to wear it again sometime..cant make Kitacon this year unfortunately so I dont know when.
alytheluvly - 26th February 2012
LOVE the corset! you look fantastic! :D
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