A week in the life of a Costume Maker!

The last week has been incredibly hectic, with not one but three huge Costumes being made in the Studio. The first was another for Celebrity Cruises who wanted the Evil Enchantress Costume I made up earlier this year in Blue…

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The Collar was again constructed by hand using layers of Crin, Net, Calico and Blue Lycra (the base fabric of the Costume) with the addition of those fab Laser Cut Butterflies.

Each Butterfly is individually sewn on, which as you can imagine take quite a while. Indeed, I had someone just on Butterfly duty!

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Front, side and back of the final Costume. The Skirt is separate for ease and a Quick Change. I’m not sure, but I think I like the version better than the Black one!

In total this Costume took about 100 hours and three people to create however; we only had three days so you can imagine how quick we were stitching!

The second order was two Georgian Dresses for a Media Ball. Again, a little bit of a rush job but with myself and my trusty seamstress assistants we just about managed it.

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One was a delicate and flouncy affair, with Silk Ribbons, gorgeous Linen Toile du Juoy Underskirt, delicate silken Pinked and Scalloped Ruffle and Satin Bows.

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The second was a darkly Gothic creation made from lovely, heavy striped Velvet with a dark Purple line which inspired the dark Purple Silken Pinked and Pleated Ruffle with Black Satin Bows and Black Lace detailing across the Bodice and Front of the Skirt.

With over 10 meters of Boning in each Bodice, over 20 meters of trim in each and taking about 80 hours to create these were managed in a 2 and a half day period as a last minute order. We stitched until the last possible moment, but these fair ladies made it to the Ball!

After a few days off to look after my Husband who has just had an operation I shall be back at the Sewing Machine on my next order… but also at the drawing board for a huge Costume Design Commission I will be building in the new year, eek!

Happy stitching!

Corset Kit & Pattern News

I thought I would just post a quick update on Corset Month, and the Corset Kit/Pattern… pre-orders are being taken (simply email me at laura@lauraaftermidnight.com to add you name to the list) however; I have run in to some last minute technical issues. These shouldn’t effect the start of Corset Month but I shall probably have to reorganize the running order slightly to accommodate for people ordering the Kits and Patterns so that there is time for them to reach everyone before the start of Corset Month.

So, what’s been happening?

Well, I have been working. A lot! And it turns out releasing a Pattern is kind on an insane task, but hey- I’m nearly at the end of it now! I have learnt so much, mainly that if you want something done well… you’ve guessed it… do it yourself!! I had initially tried to have the Patterns I wish to release digitised professionally however, and I am not entirely sure why, no companies were that willing to help, assist or work with me. Maybe because I was ‘small fry’? This little thing has meant months of research and planning going out the window, and that I had to learn how to draft in Illustrator. Not ideal as this also meant everything has taken quite literally months longer that I had anticipated! But hey, now I can draft in illustrator… not brilliantly and with many, many swear words and cups of tea, but I can!

So having mastered this side of things, we were on to the printing and ‘PDF-ing’ of the Patterns. Again, so many little issues to iron out. It turns out that- only being able to print A4 at home (the other Pattern I am designing needs to be A3)- that this section needed to be done at my local copy shop. And they’re soo rude!! I have found a new copy shop, willing to scan and print for a much more reasonable price and we are inching towards our goal line.

With a selection of processes- and I am sure none of them are conventional!- I am now able to draft Patterns, digitize and clean them up/test, print and convert them to PDF. Boy, has it ever been a learning curve!!

As I said, we’re nearly there and only a week late. Which I am counting as a win!! To be honest, I’m so proud of myself and wonderfully amazed that I will have released a Pattern in the next week. It’s just that everyone has to be a little patient for a little while longer, and I thank you so much for that.

As a little bonus, and as part of the Sew-a-Long I shall be posting a Waspie ‘hack’ so the Corset Patter you buy from me will actually be able to be adapted and changed into two wonderful pieces. I shall also be running a competition for the PDF (as I have just reached over 700 followers on Facebook yay!!), so definitely watch this space!!

The Corset Kits I am producing are limited in number for the first run but there are a few left if you would like to put your name down. I’ll be shipping next week, and they’ll be on sale as wells as the Hard Copy with Instruction Book, and the PDF Download. The Sew-a-Long will start on the 14th April with a HUGE post on suppliers so if you wanted to join in you can grab your equipment in time for the Sew-a-Long. This information is also included in each Instruction Book. The Sew-a-Long proper will start a week later with inserting the Busk.

Phew, I’m off to Devon for a couple days to try to decompress (stress dreams are oh so fun!), and meet Fellas Ozzie family. Hope you all have a lovely weekend!

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!

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!