PDF Flash Sale

Because of new EU VAT Regulations (boy, am I tired of typing that, and so fed up with the situation), I will have to stop selling PDF Patterns through Etsy as of Midnight on December 31st 2014. This may seem to be a knee jerk reaction to the whole Vat Mess situation however; millions of small businesses are being effected by the (ridiculous, unfair and plain stupid) change- over 3.3 million in the UK alone- and this is a precautionary step to protect myself until we can figure out what the next step it… because all sources of help within HMRC are giving conflicting, incorrect or confusing advice and no-one seems to understand how we can comply, why indeed as a Small Business/Micro Business we should comply or what the next step might be.

Just to give you an overview, from 1st January 2015 if I sell a Digital File to another EU Country I have to pay VAT there. However there are 28 countries in the EU with 75 different VAT rates… so I have to register to pay VAT in every EU Country… and often I don’t know where my Customer is. I’m going to leave it there as I tend to start angry typing and become incoherent if I add more!!

I will still be offering Patterns as a hard copy however; the new regulations will include all products by the end of the year. The best explanation of the new regulations I have found is here, please read it if you are a small business as I was convinced the 80k threshold would protect me and it doesn’t. More interesting articles can be found here and here loosely explaining the situation and a very helpful Facebook Group has been set up here.

So, why not just sell to the US? As 80% of my business is with you guys- thanks by the way!- this is a viable solution. But wait… there’s a little piece of law which says I shouldn’t discriminate against selling to a certain Country without cause. I think this is cause not to sell to the EU, expecially when historically I don’t much however; there’s another really, huge, big issue with this. I sell on Etsy, who aren’t going to help me to distinguish between Countries so I can’t do this and keep this side of my business afloat. Great.

So, we’re left with several options… just sell Hard Copy Patterns with a complimentary PDF, just sell Hard Copy, or find another platform to sell on so I can distinguish between Countries so I can only sell outside of the EU which looks like it might be a more permanent solution for the size of my business.


Any hoo, because of this ”VAT Mess” I’m having a Flash Sale on all PDF Patterns…

Mini Top Hat PDF Sewing Pattern Victorian Edwardian Steampunk DIY Craft Kit Eventide Corset PDF Sewing Pattern Victorian Edwardian Steampunk DIY Craft Kit

Mini Top Hat PDF (above, left) £3.25      Eventide Corset PDF (above, right) £4.25

Dusken Spats PDF Sewing Pattern Victorian Edwardian Steampunk DIY Craft Kit

**NEW** Dusken Spats PDF (above) £4.25

Costume Sewing Patterns Selection Pack inc. Victorian Corset, Steampunk Burlesque Mini Top Hat and Steampunk Spats

All three PDF Patterns (above) £10

How’s about that then? They’ll only be available for the next two days… eek!! Click the images to buy 🙂

Happy stitching

Corset Month Week VI: Finishing Part I

It’s all about finishing this week, having tackled sewing the Boning Channels, we will be Binding, Cutting and Tipping Boning and inserting Eyelets in to our almost finished Eventide Corset!

I have chosen to sew my Eventide in the simplest method, with the Boning Channels on top (The Eventide Method). After this is accomplished, you will next need to sew the Boning Channels for the Back. If you have your Eventide Corset Book, you will have noticed these need to lie 1.5cm from the Edge Stitching at the Centre Back, then 1cm from this line of Stitching and then 1.5cm from this line of Stitching.

Again, you can use a measuring tape to mark your seam allowance guides on the sewing machine as you did for inserting the Busk. Click on the below to enlarge.

eyelet channels for blog post

Next, you will need to continue neatening the top of your Corset, which you will have started doing when Fitting. Lay each side on top of each other, and pin as illustrated.

bind5 bind6 bind7

Stretch the Corset Top or Bottom out as flat as possible (above, centre), then cut down the sides following the adjustments you made when Fitting. Both sides should match as closely as possible (above, right).


This is also a great time to start considering any adornment you may like for your Eventide!

Now that your Corset has been cleaned up- what a difference it makes!- you will need to bind the Top before we Cut and Insert the Boning. Of course you can create your own by cutting strips of Bias Cut matching or contrast Fabric (below, left), sewing them together (below, centre) and then attaching them- with Right Sides Together- to the Top of the Corset however; there are a myriad of ready made Bias Bindings out there too.

Each strip of Self Made Bias Binding should be 4.5cm wide, and as long as you can make them (if you need to join, see the below, centre illustration). When sewing on to the Top of the Corset, you have 1cm Seam Allowance. Leave about 3cm extra Bias Binding at the beginning and end of the seam (below, right).

bind9 bind10 bind11

When the Top Bias Binding is attached, you are ready to Cut and Tip the Boning.


Draw a little diagram of the Corset (if you are using the Eventide Pattern, this will be in your booklet), then measure from the Bottom of the Bias Binding to the Bottom of the Corset (below, left). Take 2cm away from this measurement and make a note of it (below, centre). Gather up your Steel Boning, a permanent marker and Tin Snips.

bone1 bone2 bone3

Measure along the Steel Boning, draw a line where you will need to cut and write the Measurement of the Steel in permanent Marker (below, left). I like to make a note of all of the Steels I need to cut and cross them off as I do them (below, centre). This helps me not to cut too many, or one of the wrong size.

Once all of the Steels have been cut to length, cut 24 1cm lengths of Shrink Tubing. Pop a piece of Shrink Tubing on the end of the Steel, and heat with a Heat Gun or Hair-dryer until is shrinks and snugly wraps around the end of the Steel. Each piece should just cover the end of the Steel so that the sharp edge is completely protected (below, right).

bone4 bone5 bone6

Slip each Steel Bone into the relevant Casing and push until it is up against the Bound edge and about 2cm away from the raw edge of the Corset.

bone7 bone8

Sew the Bias Binding on to the Bottom of the Corset in the same fashion as you did the Top (above, right).

bone10 bone11 bone12

Iron the top of the Bias Binding over by 1cm (above, left). Pleat the excess Bias Binding neatly (above, centre), and fold in. Fold the Bias Binding over again so that the edge of the Bias Binding lies along the Stitching (above, right and below). Pin.


As you can see from the below, front view, it is obvious why Self Made Bias Binding is so wonderful! When you have pinned all four Seams, you will need to hand stitch on the inside using a Slip Stitch.


And that’s it! Just the Eyelets and Modesty Panel and your beautiful Eventide Corset will be complete! Join me later this week for this, and a couple of very interesting Interviews!

Don’t forget to share you Corsets on Facebook or Twitter, If you have just joined us, check out what Corset Month is all about here.

Happy stitching!


Get your Eventide Corset Pattern, PDF Eventide Pattern or Eventide Corset Kit while you can to join in the Sew-a-Long starting on the 21st… go on! It’s going to be amazing!!

Available now on my Etsy store…

corset pattern listing KIT 1

The Eventide Corset Pattern and Kit… £42 +P&P

Includes multi-size, graded re-usable Eventide Corset Pattern, Instruction Book with recommended Equipment and Suppliers, and full instructions to make the Corset up including re-sizing the Pattern to  fit you perfectly. Also included are Coutil, Steel Boning, Busk and Tipping. Only a limited number are available!

3 corset pattern listing

 The Eventide Corset Pattern… £12 +P&P

The graded, multi size and re-usable Eventide Pattern and Instruction Book… all wrapped up and ready to go with a bow on top!

corset pattern listing pdf 7

PDF Eventide Corset Pattern… £8

If you can’t wait to start!


The Little Book of Corset Tips… £2.50 +P&P

Notes, hints and tips from the Instruction Book,  this is an informative little tome! It contains the Supplier and Equipment information, notes of adapting Corset Patterns and more. It’s so cute, how could you resist?

Snap all of these up from my Etsy store and use Coupon Code CORSET15 for 15% off until 21st April.

Happy stitching!

Yay, my First Pattern Release!!!

It’s happening Monday folks, it really is! The Eventide Corset Pattern from Laura After Midnight is going to be released on Monday. . . eeeeekk!!! I’m seriously jumping over the moon with delight and excitement!

Available as a Hard Copy Pattern, instant PDF Download Pattern or as a Kit including Coutil, Steel Boning and Busk I am releasing this Monday 14th , with the Sew-a-Long to start on the 21st.

I know it’s been a little bit more of a wait than anticipated however; I also have some amazing, fabulous, splendid news!!! I have managed to persuade a production company to  make a series of films to release alongside the Sew-a-Long. Entitled The Corset Sessions, they’ll highlight the trickier aspects of Corsetry, and provide a glimpse into the Professional side of making a Corset. There are hints about working quickly, production and construction so they’re unmissable quite frankly!

corset pattern imageLooks amazing, right?!

Take a look at the revised schedule here. See you Monday!!

 Happy stitching!


I have reduced the price of ALL my Mini Top Hat Kits on Etsy!! I need to clear some space for Winter stock, so grab yourself a bargain now!!

pink hat 2 red 2 red vin 2 tweed 1# white 2 white wed 1

All of these beauties, and more!, available on the Laura After Midnight Etsy store right now!

They make excellent Christmas presents for someone who is learning to sew, or sews but would maybe like a little challenge, or would like to perfect their hand sewing skills. The pattern can be used again and again- so brilliant if you are planning a wedding or event- and they are just so gosh darn delightful! I have displayed the ones I have made on stands about my workroom, and they look so pretty!

I’m planning all sorts of new ones for the Winter, so these need a home soon! If you see a couple you like, make me an offer via Etsy… I’m sure I could offer group discount too!

When you buy anything from Laura After Midnight you get a little email gift (£2.00 off when you spend £10.00), as well as a little something sent in the package too! How sweet is that?!

Happy stitching!

Some stunning new Mini Top Hats.

New things have been listed (finally!) in the Laura After Midnight Etsy store, hooray!! I feel as if I am a whirlwind of activity at the moment, and had actually given myself today off. What do I find myself up to? Writing a new Zine, and excitedly photographing things for Etsy then listing! Oh well, I’ll sleep when I’m dead and all that!

Gold Hat 1 Gold Hat 4 Gold Hat 2

In the spare time that I do have, I’ve been hand embellishing some Mini Top Hats I made a while back with all sorts of lace, spangles and adornments I have found in my stash, and I do have to say that I am mighty impressed with the results! I bought a Vintage Embroidery book a while back which was all about the results Chain Stitch can give you if you layer it up.  As you can see I have used it to make Flowers and mixed it in with Spangles for a very effective and highly embellished look.

Cream Hat 3 Cream Hat 5

Above are just two, there are more in the shop! Because my line of Spats have proven so very, very popular, I have been working towards make a new and slightly more colorful range. What do you think? I adore the Pirate Spats soo much!!

Red Spats 1 Ship Spats 2

Stripe Spats 1 White Spats 1

In other news: I am on target for my 2nd Zine! Eek!

I am furiously commanding Photoshop to do my bidding as we speak, scanning in illustrations and generally having a high old time. This one is actually going to be given away as a free little extra with any Zines I sell and is all about the Vintage Sewing Books I use, and find most helpful. As I think every Seamstress (or Seamster!!) should own a couple and I have hand illustrated the covers and written a small review for a teeny tiny yellow Zine.

Right, time for tea me thinks…

Happy stitching!

Wordless Wednesday

From La Belle Epoque: Edwardian Fashion 1900-1914, the ‘Beautiful Era’ of Edwardian fashion currently running at Peterborough Museum until 6th May 2013.

Happy stitching!

Notions: The Language of Patterns.

No doubt the sketch of the design on the front of the envelope will catch your eye first.

From McCall’s Sewing in Colour

McCALLS Understanding Patterns 1   McCALLS Understanding Patterns 2

A beginning seamstress may feel Einstein’s theories are as easy to understand as the intricacies of a first pattern. Here is a place where first steps should be taken slowly […] &, whether you are a beginner or an experienced home-sewer, every pattern should be carefully studied before you lay out your pattern & start to cut.

A pattern […], not only gives complete instructions for constructing the garment, but also suggests the proper fabrics to use & provides basic information on preparing fabric, adjusting the pattern, cutting, marking & sewing techniques.

No doubt the sketch of the design on the front of the envelope will catch your eye first. On the back of the pattern envelope there is quite a bit of information to digest. Beginners may wish to avoid certain design features such as gussets, long button front closings, complicated collars & intricate darting. These features may not be clearly shown in the sketch, but will be noted in the description. Use this information to judge whether the construction of the garment is within your level of skill.

From McCall’s Sewing in Colour

Other useful information detailed on the Pattern Envelope is a section on Suggested Fabrics. Here the manufacturer has listed what fabrics would best suit the pattern such as light weight cottons for dresses & shirts or heavier weight fabrics for jackets. It is incredibly important to follow these guidelines as they will have taken into account things like the drape &  fall of the fabric to best suit the design & silhouette of the pattern. If you do decide to use a different fabric you may create a silhouette which is entirely different from the one intended.

Once you have decided upon your size using the measurements you have taken, you can use the Yardage Chart to buy the right amount of fabric for your design. By reading down the column from your size, & across from the widths of fabric listed, the exact yardage/meter-age needed is listed. I always tend to buy a little more to be on the safe side. This enables me to make things a little longer if needed. When interfacings or linings are required the amounts will also be listed according to your size.

There will also be a section for Notions. A strange word, I’ll grant you! Notions covers any Buttons, Hook & Eyes, Zipper, Ribbons or Ties, & any other items you may need to complete your design.

You will save time by buying everything at one time, & it’s easier to match colour of thread, zipper, buttons & trims if they are all purchased at once. Be sure to buy all the notions listed. It’s frustrating to have to interrupt  a sewing session just to run out & pick up a forgotten item

From McCall’s Sewing in Colour

Don’t you just love these Vintage sewing books for their pithy & helpful yet slightly rude advise? Brilliant, & so very much more to come!!

Also, check out our publication Understanding Vintage and Modern Patterns, available now on Etsy!

Happy stitching!

Look what I’ve just bought!

I’m so excited!!

Vintage Sewing Book 1930's Underwear and Lingerie Ebook Parts 1 and 2 Huge How To

I’m planning some new courses & one of the ones I am desperate to run is a Vintage Lingerie course however; a lot of what I have learnt, & indeed a lot of my techniques, have been built up over so many years I have been worried that my teaching style for this would be a little chaotic & not very informative. In trawling Etsy this morning looking for pattern inspiration for this and a couple Vintage 40’s & 50’s Dress courses I found the above which is from a 1930’s book entitled Underwear & Lingerie. 

Apparently it is a huge how to of the time, & I am almost swooning with excitement! Don’t you just adore ‘a’?

I have also purchased a pattern for a 1950’s Pin-Up Bra (which is very similar to ‘a’ above), because I simply couldn’t resist!

I am also in the process off a rethink of my Corsetry course & just might whip up a 1950’s Satin Waspie & a cheeky little Ribbon Corset, for the students who don’t want the challenge of a complete corset, or maybe want to make something slightly more unusual…

Happy stitching!

New Fascinator Kits!

I have been hard at work here snuggled up at Midnight Heights, whilst the blizzards blow & the world turns to white.

There are a couple new listings in my Etsy store however; the long anticipated Fascinator Kits have finally been designed, illustrated & put into production. The first batch have turned out delightfully retro & super colourful, & I couldn’t be happier about that!

I am also running a Facebook/Twitter competition so if you fancy giving one a twirl share this & in return for some feedback on the making up process, & a couple photos I’ll send you one for free…

Fan of Fascinators 1

Because these are samples I have used all sorts of scraps & Up-Cycled snippets of fabric! All these have been used for various projects in the past but I think they have found their home in these Kits, don’t you?!

  Fascinator Construction 11. Fascinator Construction 22. Fascinator Construction 33.

Step 1: The instruction Booklet, Pattern sheet, Veil & Binding… Step 2: Add the Bow, Button and Vintage Lace embellishment… Step 3: Add in the Ribbon & it’s on to the exciting part! Choosing the fabric combinations!!

Fascinator Construction 4

The finished Fascinator Kit. Each pack includes a top fabric, lining Fabric (up to the maker which one you choose), Stiffener & an Instruction Booklet which takes you through the process of making the Fascinator & also has illustrations on how to make things like a Birdcage Veil, Rosette & other decorations. Also included are various Decorations however; you are more than encouraged to have a snoop about your local haberdashers & add to these!

Retailing at £10, they’re a snip! Also available as a Party option, I can theme them or even host your party for you! What do you think?

Happy stitching!