The sound of an Australian summer is the constant song of the cidada, so what better insect to commemorate? For me the sound heralds the beginning of summer, of days off school, and terrorising my Mum with little cicada shells stuck on my shirt! I sourced a beautiful example, Pauropsalta, and the design was instant!
I could see all the wonderful textures in leather. Oh my ... I needed to experiment with a neck corset, materials I have never used before, and a skill set which, quite franky, I do not possess. It is 3.22am right now. My lovely hubby and I have just come up from our backyard, scrambling to finish and submit. Why? I'll tell you why.... Leather. The feel, the smell, the texture. She is a beast. I love her spirit and her spite. I want to do this again, and again. I'm hooked! I hope you enjoy the pics as much as I have enjoyed pushing myself beyond my limits...
It's like the old joke. How do you make rabbit stew? First you catch your rabbit... In this case, that applies to a vintage Singer 31K47 walking foot machine. This leather was so heavy, I knew a regular machine would never make it. This machine, built in 1954, needed a full refurbishment and that took time before I could start stitching.
Patterns, appliqué, belting, edging, skiving, swearing, all-nighters, drama -- sign me up!
I learned what to do, I learned what NOT to do. I took many photos of every stage with a full plan to write a blog BUT... here's the thing... when you are learning on the go, every step takes twice as long. To assess, to stitch, to critique, to unpick (yes you can as long as you restitch "in the tracks"), fret, cry, cut new panels. My allocated two weeks of work took four, not counting patterns and prep. It is 30 minutes before deadline now, so that's as much as I can give you.
Thanks to Trevor, for taking photos at 2.30 am and feeding me for the last week. For not nagging and being a total support for this crazy endeavour that, at times, felt overwhelming. You rock, man! Sylvia at Birdsalls Leather, thank you for all your help, and Dom from next door who lent me his you-beaut light for emergency photo shoot! Thank you Domenika, for being so patient when I cancelled at short notice 'cos Leather ...
More details about the project are available on my blog.
What was it like to compete this year? What would you say to someone who is on the fence about entering next year?
TOTALLY AWESOME. Fantastic support. I have made a total of four corsets so far and never anything like this. I felt buoyed along and never alone. Just do it. Let it hurt... it feels good!!