Smooth Black Corset

I made a corset!!! I MADE A CORSET! I cant believe I did it and I think I have a new thing to sew in the winters besides coats.

I’ve been thinking about making a corset for forever. So many reasons that triggered my corset making:

  1. I hurt my back recently. It hurt to breath and I could barely sit up without pain. Work was very busy so i did not want to just stay at home. I decided to put on a store bought corset to go to work – it really helped me manage the pain and heal faster. But the store-bought corset shows off the breast too much and I was uncomfortable wearing something too sexy for work. I wanted an underbust that doesnt curve below the breasts that I can wear under my clothing.
  2. I’ve ordered a hand-made corset for my wedding years ago. It fit horribly above the waist – so I wanted to try to alter it to an under-bust – this requires me to get tools for corset making.
  3. I’ve been watching StarTrek – Voyager. I have a huge woman-crush on Seven of Nine. I thought her figure is un-real and amazing in the show – turned out the actress wears a corset and breast mounds for the show.
  4. CationDesign’s corset got me interested in sewing one a while ago, but I didnt really find any corset patterns that appealed to me
  5. Petit main Sauvage’s recent corset is so awesome, and finally put me on a roll. She linked to corsettraining, where i saw some amazing corset patterns.

So I set out to do the project that seriously requires so much ordering of tools and parts. I must say though – I am addicted. Seriously addicted. Good thing that I ordered bulk on most items – I can easily make another!

These are the stuff I had to gather for the corset:

  • blue silk – stash
  • black rayon satin – stash (oh this is seriously the must luxurious satin ever!)
  • white steel boning – $11 from (10yd)
  • spiral steel boning – $12 from (10yd)
  • boning tips – $4.5 from (36 pieces) [though I end up using pipe sealing tape instead – had it in my garage and cheaper and easier to deal with]
  • corset lacing – $5.2 from
  • size 0 grommets – $12 from ebay
  • grommet tools – $9.1 from amazon
  • bolt cutter (to cut boning – it looks a lot easier comparing to what they sell for corset specifically) – $13.5 from amazon
  • twill tape – $15 from ebay (100yd)
  • grosgrain ribbon – $16 from etsy (20 yds)
  • Angel Underbus Pattern – $12.75  from Scarlett/

Total: about $130 after shipping, excluding fabric, and I didnt even bother with a busk or coutil! This is probably the most expensive starter project. I now understand why people buy kits. Luckily, there are enough left overs of everything to bring my average cost down a little. It really makes me wonder about material cost of all the corset makers on etsy and their cost of labor – $200-$400 a corset just seems too cheap at this point!

While I am extreme thrilled with how the corset turned out and had been wearing it throughout thanksgiving weekend, there are some things I would change:

  1. I didnt read the instruction on how to measure hip size properly and had cut out a size 12 pattern. The hip of this is actually too big for me – according to instruction i should have measured above my hips, which is a bit smaller). It doesnt show in the dress, but when I wear pants I do notice that the corset is not flushed with my natural hipline, even when its closed all the way in the back. I could take out about 3 inches total and still close the back. I cant decide if I should do a size 10 or just take out a few inches from the side hip seam – any suggestions?
  2. I got lazy and did not want to deal with a busk. I should have put in some boning in the front to flatten the tummy area. I am slightly tempted to take out my seam ripper to add some boning in the front

The combination of 1 & 2 makes a little blob around tummy area which i dislike – hope to get rid of it in the next version. However, the fact that the corset is a little too big + that I didnt do a busk closure – means that I didnt have to have a super long lace to be able to get out of the corset. I made the grommet spacing around 1.5 inches – longer than suggested, in order to be able to lace up quickly. Its actually not too annoying to get in and out of this corset at all.

I am just in love with those hip gores. I probably didnt choose the easiest pattern to sew my very first corset. There are some curves to deal with around the gore. But I fell in love with the pattern and could not resist. By the way, I found another maker Emerald Erin who made a really cute version as well!

I now have two more corset in the plans – the cupid corset and the free corset belt from Scarlett / again. Her designs really appeals to me. Now that I have most of the supplies, I think sewing one would go much faster! I cannot wait!

Matching outfits

Finally, this is my third matching outfit I have with little K, and the only one where I managed to get a photo of us wearing them together :)

Didnt bother getting detailed shots because they are pretty standard shirt (for me) and shirtdress (for little K). She loves stripes and matching dress with me. I debated on whether to do a dress for lil A – but decided that she wont appreciate the matching at this age yet.

For those who celebrates, hope you had a good thanksgiving holiday! Mine was good except for little K dealing with a cold/flu :( and yes i still dragged her out for a photo with fresh air for an excuse, she’s such a good model!


Eye popping mask 2.0

WARNING: heart-melting adorableness ahead.

I needed a one-eye mask to be Leela from futurama for Haloween, and figured I’d like to add another one to my awesome eyemask design from last time. Hubby and little A played around with my masks one nice Saturday morning. Adorableness ensues.


Yaiks! you look scary!


Wait, whats that on my head?


Well…. maybe you and i… are not so different…


OOOOOH You ARE my daddy!!


This is great news all around!


errr whats happening, I cant see!


This is better


And yes, mommy is supposed to feature the eyemask on the left, but totally got caught up with my cuteness!

Oversized Cardigan

I encountered a really nice 50% cotton knit material at Hancock this fall. Promptly bought it and serged up a cardigan I’ve been wanting for a long time. The inspiration is here, but i dont think I correctly captured the essence of the design, so I have to try again in the future.

I probably need to make this a little less oversized – and narrower for the front panels and sleeves. But I still really love this sweater  – very comfy and versatile! So many outfits to be had.

Extra bonus photos: I went to San Diego for a work trip with some awesome coworkers. They modeled the sweater for me as well!

Who wore it the best? They look pretty cute in the sweater to be honest, I was almost tempted to give it away. I also managed to convince one of them to start sewing on the trip. I think I seriously need to become a sewing machine distributor on the side!

Knitting/Sewing related Children’s Book – series two

We had been going to the library a lot lately to get new books to read for little K. My local library also have a nicely stocked sewing/knitting/crafting book section – so I’ve been looking through those books for patterns I want to make up. Unfortunately I haven’t found any book patterns I love yet.

But we did run into this book in her section:


Isnt it adorable? Another crafting related book  – and it focuses on knitting! little K love reading it with us. The mommy in their has a crafting room just like most of us here :)

I also got this book as suggested by Becky:

It was a very peaceful read – I love it! make me want to quilt more :) perhaps when i am a grandma!


My other reader Lety had suggested two other sewing related books – I cant wait to get them and read them as well! :)

Brother Sewing Machine Woes

Remember a while back my main sewing machine (a Brother Embroidery machine) had some problems? Well, I have a quick update – and maybe polling for some more suggestions here. The machine got worse and worse – a larger percentage of the time when I turn it on – it would not go forward normally. So I took the machine to a brother certified sewing machine repair place.

The owner Dave is a nice guy who seems to know his stuff. He said it was because of calibration issues with the feeddog – which makes a lot of sense. He fixed  (I guess – re-calibrated) it – things seems to work great in store when I tried it out. But when I took it home it stopped working well again. It does sew forward about 50% of the time when I turn it on, but it would not sew patterns that require feeddog to go back and forth at all – which is a problem for sewing knit materials. I took it back to Dave – but a funny thing happened – the issue would not reproduce in store. But I took it home and after a few days it went back to its old ways :(

Does anyone have any suggestions? I think the Dave guy at the store would probably take it back and take a look – but I havent had time to bring the machine back (its kinda far) and I’d like to see if there are anything I can do myself.

Random story there – I actually took both my Brother Embroidery machine and my Grasshopper for them to take a look . Dave said the Grasshopper probably just need some cleaning to get the gunk inside out for it to run smoothly again – which is great. Then he mentioned that he knows a guy who would probably be interested in buying the grasshopper if I want to get rid of it. He mentioned the name and it was so familiar. After some querying it turned out to be the same dude who sold me the hand crank sewing machine!  I am a little tickled by the convergence of vintage sewing machine hobbyists :)

Meow Scarf!

My best friend K and I have been friends for more than 15 years, and among many things we share, we share a love for cats! I remember once back in my innocent days, I’d seen a sweater/shirt with a kitty on it that says “bad kitty”. I bought two – one to ship to her and one for myself because it also happened to be in her favorite color- maroon. I had no idea what kind of sexual connotation “bad kitty” had! well, I believe we both wore it proudly, even after I met my husband who told me the meaning of words on numerous shirts I had (ah, the days before my fashion/culture enlightenment!).

Anyhow, fast forward to two years ago. I was in my second pregnancy and honest, not quite in the mood to sew for myself.  I knew that one day I would be stuck on the couch not wanting to move much. So I arranged some un-selfish knitting. I’ve always wanted to make a kitty scarf for K in her favorite color. So when i found this pattern, I was delighted – it seems fun but not too kiddish, and would allow me to learn double knitting and possibly knit more custom scarf in the future!

(I love the picture of my kitty with this scarf!!!)

It was quite fun to knit the head and tail part of the scarf, but omg, that bodice is drearily long and boring. So it took me quite a while to finish this scarf (little A is over a year old!!). At the end – i think i would have rather knitted a whole sweater for her than a double knitted scarf. oh well, next time!!

Hope this keep you silly and warm K!

I wonder if this can count as “put a cat on it” sew-along from CationDesign. its not sewing, but perhaps, close enough? :)


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