Sample Sale and New Products

At the end of the week I shall be releasing my much anticipated Corset Covers. At the same time I shall be running a Sample Sale of all of the pieces I have made for Laura After Midnight either as a way to figure out the Pattern, as an example to Photograph or pieces I have made for films.

  

Samples included a few Waistcoats- one of which has an amazing lining which legend has it was printed for the Rolling Stones in the 70s’!- a Steel Boned Victorian Bustle, a fantastic Fan Laced Victorian inspired Jacket (both from the below left Costume), a beautiful White Cotton Lawn Shirt and Petticoat and more. I’d love for them all to find homes!

costume waistcoat

Sizes are varied- some pieces will be able to be re-sized for an extra fee- some are a little rough and ready and others are gorgeous. I’m hoping to sell as much ex-stock as possible to make way for my new line of Vintage inspired Dresses, Corsets and other new designs.

I have an ulterior motive… money raised from this Sample Sale will go towards developing more Patterns. I have so many ideas! I want to release more Corset Patterns, as well as more underwear Patterns like Bustles and Corset Covers, and even start developing my own designs influenced by the Victorian era and my love of Costuming.

I will also be releasing new Spats Designs and the Spats Pattern and Kit in a few weeks time, Corsets, a new range of Vintage Party Dresses will première this Sunday and I shall be starting to print my own Fabric, so September promises to be a great month!

Throughout this time you can use Discount Code STEAMPUNK15 for 15% off of your order.

Happy stitching!

Wordless Wednesday

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This, quite frankly, stunning Corset is by V Couture. I seriously recommend checking out their website for some jaw dropping inspiration and stunning Corsetry.

Don’t forget to join in with Corset Month on FacebookTwitter (#corsetsessions) and Pinterest!

Happy stitching.

Spats n Hats… not just for Chaps!

Okay, okay… I just did that title ‘cos it rhymed!

I have a fabuloso new offer in my Etsy shop:

spats n hats deal

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Choose from any listed pair of Spats and a Mini Top Hat Kit to complete your look this season!!

SPATS:

Maybe try a Pinstripe? Or a Rootin’ tootin’ Old West Victorian Blood Red Silk pair?! Or the dandy Pirate Print? Whichever style you decide upon these ankle high Spats fit to the floor, and curve gracefully towards the button fasteners. The top of these Spats has been designed to fold down to create different shapes whether you are wearing boots, heels or shoes! A great addition to a Costumed night out, or a smart finish to any outfit.

Hand made and hand finished by Laura After Midnight the finished ankle measurement is 30cm/12”. All pairs of Spats to come out of Midnight Heights are delivered wrapped in acid free tissue paper. Simply convo your choice when purchasing.

MINI TOP HAT KIT:

Laura After Midnight’s Unique Mini Top Hat Kit is available in many stunning Silks and Cottons both plain and patterned. Included in each Kit is a decoration pack with Satin Ribbon, Lace, feathers, Vintage Buttons and many other details to decorate with.Each pack includes all fabric needed to create your very own Mini Top Hat with pins, needles, pattern sheet and full instruction booklet and decoration pack to inspire.The very first of its kind and stuffed full of wonderful little illustrations, this excellent little kit guides you through every step of properly constructing a Mini Top Hat using basic Millinery techniques that have both been taught and picked up over many years of Costume Making here at Midnight Heights! With added insights into stitch terminology and hints and tips any one who can hand sew can make this little darling hat, or learn to refine their technique. The pattern included is re-usable so with one quick trip to the haberdashery store you could make more for your friends, to give as gifts, add the finishing touch to a wedding party or just for you! All you need is a pair of sharp scissors, and thread to match. Finished height is 8cm/3″.Simply convo your choice when purchasing. If you do not see the colour Spats or Hats your heart desires please convo me! Midnight Heights is stuffed to the gunnels with delicious fabrics to please everyone innermost fantasies!

Visit my Etsy store now to purchase!!!

Midnight Makes

So, what have I been up to over the past week or so?

Well, apart from an awesome weekend away with nearly ALL of my family, lounging about in the sun, barbecuing, eating cake, loosing kites and watching movies projected on to the side of my Brothers humongous van (he’s Wagtail Joinery!), I have had a slightly magical week!

famfestProof! Can you guess the movie?! We are all gathered round with a fire pit, in deck chairs!

The camping trip left me with a bad back, which only lasted for a couple days but along with the heat left me pretty exhausted to be honest. Then I had a stomach bug- which I am totally blaming the weather for! I am not a happy sun bunny, I am a misty moisty cold weather kinda gal!

In between my whining about the heat however; I have had some inspiration strike! Look at my new Alice in Wonderland themed Mini Top Hat, Mini Top Hat Kit and Fascinator Kit!!

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I have a confession… this gorgeous bundle of loveliness is about to be packaged up and sent off for a teeny tiny featurette (mini squeal of excitement!), but more on that later. The Mini Top Hat and Fascinator Kit’s will be available on my Etsy store soon (let me know if you’re dying to get your hands on one and I can ship sooner!).

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The Mini Top Hat features Alice in Wonderland playing cards, feathers and a ”In This Style 10/6” card, with Black Lace, Velvet Ribbon and Vintage Buttons… I am loving this Kit!! The Fascinator Kit is more Alice themed, and I channelled the traditional image of Alice with a little sweetness, Pale Blue Paper and Moire style Silk, flowers and Vintage Buttons… I have also tucked a few Cream Feathers in this Kit for a little something extra!

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And oh my gosh, I had so much fun making this little hat! I started it in the heat of the noon-day sun whilst camping and I think it has turned out wonderfully! I am making up a Gold Silk and Gold Lace one in a similar style as I type this, and a couple of the oft requested Mini Tricorn Hats so expect more pic’s soon!

I have also been receiving regular reports of my first ever magazine shoot squee!! I made up a costume about two weeks ago and I can’t share anything until it is published but I am desperate to share, the photos are truly, magnificently stunning and I became quite emotional looking at a piece I had created here at Midnight Heights looking suddenly so stunning!

So, along with commissions, the ever present orders for Spats and the above, magazine and featurette loveliness, this week has been quite delightful on the creativity front!

I do hope your week has been as lovely,

Happy stitching!

Birthday sparkles!!

It is my birthday today!!

My gorgeous Fella has made Laura After Midnight all official & purchased my domain name… so now Laura After Midnight is a ‘dot com’!! I feel a little bit grown up!!

In other news, I have added a Custom Spats listing to my Etsy store… this means anyone can purchase any spats they like by buying this option & messaging me with their requests. How fancy is that?! I shall be adding more as necessary so remember to check back with my Etsy store… click the picture for the link!

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With that I am off to make a lovely cup of Earl Grey tea & eat far too much cake!

Happy stitching!!

Lots more to discover!

I have added the last few days worth of work on to Etsy, & I have to say that despite Midnight Heights looking like a fabric bomb has hit it I am very pleased!

I have finally worked out my Bloomers pattern & have made them up in Black with striped detailing and White with black detailing. I’ve done a little bit of research & I think they have just the right amount of design over functionality. I have tried to keep them simple whilst retaining a fun ‘costume’ feel & I think I have succeeded. I have still to make the knee length and ‘Bloomie’ version- little knickers but with bloomer fun retained!

Black Cotton Bloomers with Black & White Striped covered buttons & Binding detail. Click here to buy.

White Cotton Bloomers with Black Lace and Black covered button details. Click here to buy. Alternatively buy a set of two for a reduced price here.

I think they’re rather lovely! Look out for more new products over the next few days…

Happy stitching!

Strictly (Victorian) Ballroom!

I have just finished the Victorian Ball Gown commission, in a flurry of last minute details as always! We changed a few things from the original illustration, mainly due to time constraints however; I love the final garment!

The skirt, the pattern for which was from Truly Victorian– which my client had already purchased otherwise I would have been drafting one from The Cut of Women’s Clothes by Norah Waugh- went together like a dream! It took about two hours to cut out because it has about six meters of fabric in it which I would caution anyone making something like this about… you need space! It sewed up in only a couple of hours though which is amazing to me as I am used to taking a lot longer to not only figure out what the pattern is asking me to do (historical & ‘hand made’ patterns not always having the clearest of instructions), but also to maneuver that amount of fabric through my sewing machine! Thank the stars for industrial machines!!


The corset was drafted from a pattern I already had made up from Corsets and Crinolines by Norah Waugh. This book was a revelation to me, & I use it constantly for both reference & drafting corsets of all styles. If you haven’t come across it already here is the blurb from the jacket:

Corsets & Crinolines is a study of the changing shapes of women’s dress & how these were produced, how simple laced bodices became corsets of cane, whale-bone & steel, while padding at shoulders & hips gave way to the structures of farthingales, hoops & bustles. Added are contemporary tailors & dressmakers accounts, illustrations, index, a glossary of terms & materials, appendices on the repair & manufacture of corsets and crinolines.

Obviously some changes have to be made when drafting from the book to fit both the modern body & different body shapes & sizes however; once done nothing compares to the 1880’s corset I use from this book. The pattern is below, & I simplify it slightly for the modern form making the curves a little less severe, straightening the front top line out & shortening it slightly so as not to dig in to the wearers hips. My client didn’t want a busk, which was the biggest change from the original  & makes the curves less obvious. The fit was perfect, & the graceful curves of the corset really accentuated her curves.

We layered the fabrics for the corset, to create an interesting texture & look. Using Coutil, of course, for the base fabric, a modern crinkle Taffeta overlayed with an interesting ‘watered’ look Net. Obviously this made the sewing up more difficult but I am more than happy with the results.

Some hints when making a multi-layered corset: baste the layers together by hand once they are cut out, & write the piece name in white fabric pencil on the back at the top of each piece- I do this with every corset because the pieces are incredibly easy to confuse & I hate, just hate, to unpick things!

Probably most of the work was done in decoration & finishing details. We added lace sections to the bottom edge of the corset, for a more decorate flossing detail, a net ruffle to the top & strings of beads. To the skirt we added a bias cut band of black velvet & meters of lace trim, instead of the original, more complicated design along the hem. I think this look is simply stunning, & I shall definitely be using it again!!

It really was a truly satisfying commission, & I now have a few more booked for the following months which is a dream. I look forward to sharing them with you.

Happy stitching!

Developing a ‘Brand’…

I am unsure of whether Laura After Midnight can be classed as a brand yet however; I am aware of the fact that I need to keep things like packaging cohesive so as to present a great looking product to customers & to reduce costs when sending  items… I would simply adore to package pieces with Vintage ribbons, a Vintage postcard label & boxed beautifully but of course I have to simplify this because I am in the early stages of making a business viable.

So, early on I decided to keep my packaging simple, whilst harking back to how they did things back in the day: brown paper & string! Of course this idea has evolved because I happen to adore brown paper with black & I currently use these two colours when packaging hats & garments for shipping.

 

You may remember in a post a few weeks ago I was thrilled to receive some Vintage patterns from a student. When sifting through the collection I noticed a few were damaged, or had missing bits so I decided to recycle & reuse & put them in the packaging pile as the aged tissue had turned a beautiful shade of brown. I find I much prefer this look to the other!

Combining the look with silver star stickers- wrapping with string was impossible around a Mini Top Hat- as most of the products I am selling are made in the darkest depths of the night remember, I think I am finally developing a ‘branded look’ I am happy with.

 

In both instances I have tried the reverse colour way, & whilst I love the predominantly black colour way I think the pattern paper on the outside is fun, quirky & more interesting to look at.

What will I do when the patterns run out. . . ?!

Happy stitching!