Monday, December 5, 2011

Pre planning....Customer sheets!

Since I'm not able to launch into any sewing work at the moment, my best alternative seems to be pre planning. As I have a number of orders coming up in the new year I thought it would help to do a little organising (just of the 'paper work' variety). Anyway I've started making a few basic customer sheets, complete with inspiration pics and my own style drawings for future reference.  I've only completed the one so far, which is for 'Ruby Ruin' a regular of mine (it's also of course the first order requiring completion).

Actually I'm thinking these could also become handy customer info pages to be shared with the client........though a few more details would be on the final copy -  including required time line, price, detailed measurements and corset materials.  Anyway starting basic:-

 (What burlesque performer is not inspired by the lovely Dita and her gorgeous costumes?)

Mmmmm reasonably content - I think I'll have ago at doing the same for Nikki's Wedding order :)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Baby Update:-

We have a beautiful healthy baby girl who is super cute, which = totally smitten!!

*She's nearly 3 weeks we have been busy getting into the swing of things and finding a nice rhythm by which we can all live contentedly :)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Taking a hiatus and a note about 2011

The reason a hiatus is required.....
It's just about time to have my baby so I am well round with puffy hobbit feet and all those wonderful symptoms experienced by women the world over (some how that doesn't make it any more enjoyable and I'm seriously over having friken indigestion). Anyway it's only a matter of days and I will be meeting the little tyke who's been hanging around in my womb - my partners so excited he can barely contain himself, and I have 2 siblings here experiencing the same excitement. With the big gap in age (they're 9 & 11) I can see that they will both be really great helpers, particularly my daughter who has a very homely nurturing nature (such a gorgeous wee Taurus she is).

A note about 2011
Really it's been a crazy year all around (earthquakes, pregnancy, multiple relocating and all the stuff in between), the opportunity for growth has been so extreme, my goodness big learning curbs were definitely the order of the day! Oh yes 2011 may just take the top position as one of the most unforgettable years of my life thus far!! That said I can honestly say I feel more at home and comfortable in my relationships then I have in my entire life, without all the hardships and opportunities that came my way I doubt I could have learnt to be as conscious of it as I am now.
I feel blessed by the amazing support I have from my friends and family, they're really all the magic and richness anyone could seek!!

*As I am writing this my children are dancing around like flaying Leprechauns playing the Harmonica and Ukulele - the dog is whining loudly in horror LOL and this is it - my wonderful amazing wayward life!

Sampling - Dragon Scale Maille

Since we've had another big relocate (explains my absence) back home to Christchurch, and I'm close to the end of my pregnancy I have had to settle for small creative projects as opposed to big sewing orders or indepth I've taken to 'sampling', it's  a  great way of keeping my creative mind active and my hands busy :)

I've been doing embroidery/flossing samples for a while (I'll do a post about that latter), but more recently I've taken to playing with dragon scale maille, trying various techniques and figuring out how to acheive the effects I want.

Tradition Chain Maille Weave

Crochet & Scales

5 Petal Flower


*The earrings are sort of the beginning of my DIY Christmas gifts (excuse the blurry shot).

Friday, September 9, 2011

Plaid Basic 'Curvy' Corset

Remember how I was  planning another version of the 'Steampunk' Set in tartan/plaid?  If not check the original post here:-

Anyway I ended up using my Basic 'Curvy' pattern (now that it's been perfected).........but of course once it actually came together I found I wanted to make a few changes. The main being I wasn't as partial to the 'Ox Blood' leather with it as I thought I would be, so I ended up going black instead.......


I have cut out the 'Octo' Collar as well, though  I have yet to make it  up plus I'm also thinking about doing a skirt (I have a complete vision in my head so why not - it also means once I get back to Christchurch I can plan a photo shoot for the entire set) :)

*On another note I'm starting to think about next year.......I've been looking through my many sketch books, thinking about the piles of original designs I have that would be amazing to actually manifest (I would really like an opportunity to do more creative work). So I'm thinking a complete collection, with a Fashion Show or Exhibition the very least the satisfaction of starting work on some of my dream projects - it's a long list after all so it definitely time to get a start on :)

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Vogue Italia - September Issue 2011

Now onto the exciting news........Forge Fashion was contacted by  Stylist Elin Svahn (Karl Templer's Assistant) looking for a collar for a photoshoot/editorial inspired by the notorious Ethel Granger.
The shoot was for the September Issue of  Vogue Italia:-

Cover Vogue Italia September 2011
Photographer: Steven Meisel
Model: Stella Tennant

As currently seen on the front page of the Vogue Italia Wepage:-
Click pic above to see photos and video of the shoot

Collar By Forge Fashion

Forge Fashion Credit

Editorial 'The Discipline of Fashion'
Photographer: Steven Meisel
Fashion Editor: Karl Templer
Model: Stella Tennant

My collar appears in the editorials full spread (details and pics above click to enlarge), you can't see it overly well because Stella Tennant is planking across 2 pages as you can see....but hey my names credited on the page so there you go -Forge Fashion is definitely in Vogue! Very amused and excited!!

PVC Lace Corset & Collar Set

Here's some more recently completed work:-

-3 Layer Construction(strength layer included)
-Combination of 16 Flat & Spiral Steel Bones
-Contrast Lace Overlay
-Heavy Duty Hook & Eyes
-Satin Binding
-2 Piece Metal Eyelets in Silver
-Appropriate Length Black Lacing

Both the Corset & Collar are available in my ETSY Store:-

Friday, August 26, 2011

Basic 'Curvy' Cameo Corset

I have a huge love of Cameos, you  may have guessed if you've looked through my work......I've used them all over the place, cuffs, collars, hats & corsets of course!!lol.....

YAY- Eyecandy!! Here's my recent handy work featuring a cameo:-

Click pic to goto ETSY Sale

Click pic to goto ETSY Sale

So the adaption of my 'Basic Curvy' cut corset was a success (remember how I ended up with a demi bust on my first sample instead of full overbust), so I have made a few different sizes in this style. The first (above) a size 20" with stunning detailing & a wonderful cameo, another in tarten, size 24" which I'll be sure to post soon.

And just because it fits so perfectly check out this recent ETSY Treasury featuring this corset:-

I am always busy trying to do something (like most of us are) - right now it's trying to finish up various odds and ends, from things laying around half finished from eons ago, to more recently prepared ultimately means I can put it all up for sale in my ETSY shop for the period while I'm not taking orders. *Lets just say with another move planned (back across the Islands) and a new baby arriving I have to be on the ball where possible!


I love Tumblr (I have already faved hundreds of images, talk about daily visual fix), so I have made an inspiration blog featuring some of those faved images and the occassional promotion of my own work. It's more a visual storage space with references and images that inspire & interest me with odd comments as opposed to an actual blog.

So feel free if your on Tumblr to add me if you want to see the corsets, costumes and fashions that tickles my fancy :D.......


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Leather 'Underworld' Replica Tutorial...

I get a lot of request for Leather 'Underworld' Corsets particularly around this time of year (pre Halloween/convention time), so I tend to take on a couple of orders for it each year. I  really enjoy doing a little replica work  from time to time (not only is it a good skill to have as a costume maker, but with anything that I have to repeat again and again there is the potential for improvement in my work).

*Please note this tutorial is for somebody who has previous corset making experience and understanding (as I will not be going into detailed corset making techniques).*

Anyway onto the making of my most recent version of this well loved replica. I tend to prefer recycled leather for this project as the corset needs a little bit of a worn look. I start by drawing out the design which is seen on the corsets front panel  (kinda looks like a Celtic Knot), then I transfer it on to pattern paper, I have found this the easiest for the purpose,plus it's easy enough to nip off a commercial pattern you may already have laying around . Once on the pattern paper the design is then cut in half - this is because I will be doing the embroidery onto the two central font panels separately.

So begins the rather slow process of machine stitching the design on (of course there are other more simple methods, but this how I do it) with the pattern paper laying over the leather I stitch right through both the paper (leaving enough room for the seam), the leather and  the canvas following the outline of the design. After I have completed this I rip the paper away leaving the outline on leather as seen in the picture above on the left (you might like tweezers to get the little bits that get stuck).

Next the two center front panels are stitched together carefully matching the the design so it is perfectly mirrored on each side (well as close to matching as possible would be more accurate).

Now for the fun part (lol) you need good machine control for this, the alternative is to turn the wheel of your machine by hand. The internal areas of the design need to be filled in, I do this by stitching continuous lines back and forth. You may also have noticed I am using a Teflon foot (I can't recommend this enough) leather has the same 'slip properties' as PVC and if you insist on using a normal foot it will become very difficult (even if you have a walking foot - at this stage you really need to use a Teflon).

Time to make loads of strapping (cut, fold, sew), you need two sizes of clips also known as parachute clips. X6 smaller for both sides on the waist and x2 larger for one side on the hips. It's best to thread the strapping right through the clips so the clip can't be opened, since the are only for decoration.

Now it's time to start adding the other panels (add central bone channel before joining). Remember one side has the hip strapping, so it needs to be lined up and sewn into the seam. The top stitching for the bone channels is best done with a zipper foot (those buckles can get right in the way, so depending on your supplies it can be easier to thread the clips on afterward).

The following panel has the smaller clips, x3 on each side (it's the same process again for both sides).

Once you get around the back it's time to get the ends of the strapping closed off DO NOT JUST LAY FLAT AND SEW INTO THE SEAMS it's important that you use a dress makers doll, mannequin or even a pillow to create a body shape, so you can rest the strapping around the actual shape desired to find the correct  placement (once something is moved from flat to concave or convex your required ease will change, particularly with overlaying pieces).

Once the lining it added it's time for binding (this is where you would well love a walking foot).

Bones are cut and finished to size so they can be inserted.

Then it's finishing up the binding and eyelets.

My Finished Order:-

With the matching boned cuffs:-

EDIT 29/04/2012
Because of popular demand I am offering 2x Custom Made Replicas, or 'Underworld' Selene Corset Sets via my ETY Store for anyone who's interested:-

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Lisa Black Project - Nokia Gaming

I don't get to take credit for this one, it's more of a collaboration of sorts. You may remember an earlier post mentioning work I was doing for Lisa Black (the taxidermy artist), well the results of that are now up on line. The Campaign was for Nokia, sort of a tribute to the hands of gaming. Take a look:-

Hooded Character 

 Satyr Character 

Lisa had me make 3 character costumes for this project (x1 of them, which is my favorite has yet to be seen so I'll leave that one out for now).

The Satyr Character from my end just before it was sent away......

 And you can see here how Lisa adds her own special brand of clever, bringing the character to life:-

With the final results:-

And the Hooded Character.....

You can see Lisa's additions and the final results here:-

 **All in all is was a lovely experience working under Lisa's Creative Direction and I'm very proud  to have been involved. I also think Lisa is one very talented lady and am glad she trusted in my abilities enough to bring me on board for this project :)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Posture Collar

Thought I'd share pictures of my recently completed PVC & Lace Posture Collar, made to match one of the corsets for the photo shoot I mentioned in the previous post (everything is coming along nicely by the way).

Working it through......

I'm busy working on orders again (a few to catch up on before I can start the next batch), plus trying to get other projects finished up and ready for my next photo shoot. So there should be plenty of posting over the next few weeks as various items come to completion *(as long as I can keep up with the busy)  :)

Recent Customer Order:-
This order was a bit on the tricky side, my customer has recently given birth to twins, so of course her body is not quiet the standard shape or size I'm use to dealing with. But since a corset is just the thing for extra curves, offering support and withdrawing inches it definitely deserved the challenge.

Initially  my customer wanted the  'Basic Curvy' style which though very shapely, is unfortunately not suited to waist sizes exceeding 28- 30", it is designed as a cheaper light option containing minimal panels and bone placement (more suited to S - M standard sizes).  Being that I had purchased the King and Company pattern not long before, and it offered more bone placement  I decided to use that as my base. With the adaptions added and a mock up made (some tinkering done at this point) I was  able to move ahead with my usual process.

And the results:-

It was an after thought but thought I should add a pic on the dolly - it really needs figure to show the shape :)

Thursday, June 23, 2011


You'll have to click the picture to see the Sookie 'LOL' love :)

Hahahaa....I'm not sure where this came from but it made me laugh so I had to repost it. I'm nearly finished the eighth book in the Sookie Stackhouse series (keeping myself topped up between seasons you might say), and I am finding them thoroughly enjoyable - very different to the TV series though......guess I'll be ordering more books very soon, but in the mean time Season 4 - hooray!