Sunday 27 October 2013

Underneth it all

I don’t know what it’s like in your part of the world, but here fall is coming to its spectacular, grand, multi-coloured crescendo. Along with the chilling air, for some weird reason I start dreaming about lingerie… Anyone else do that? Seems a bit strange, but on the other hand, when it’s too hot outside, I have zero inclination to wear polyester (and most lingerie is polyester, even WKD so-called “silk”-pieces are made of artificial silk) or craving for tight shapewear. But during fall… oh, I dream of tap-pants, slips, stockings, elegant dressing-gowns…

In the name of honesty, this post is long overdue. I shot the pictures in my old apartment, before summer *blushes*  For some reason, spring also brings out this craving for fancy lingerie! Not too warm, not too cold outside and boom!, I’m dreaming of girdles =) 

And isn't it just perfect that a while ago, I had a shopping spree on lingerie! A couple of happy coincidences (and me being a bit slow to blog about purchases) and I now have a whole new set to show you =) On the dress-dummy, though, too shy to take pictures while wearing it...

First, I had an amazing luck months of stalking Tradera/swedish Ebay payed off and I won the auction for this vintage ruby slip.

Love the lace bodice and cutlines in the back!

Second, I splurged on What Katie Did goodies =) Initially I ordered the Hollywood dressing robe, and both the Glamour and the Cabaret girdle. I wanted to see how they felt on, as I only tried on the Glamour girdle in London, not realizing there was a similar one in the Cabaret collection.

It was a total no-brainer, I kept the Cabaret girdle. WKD lingerie is proportioned for a standard figure regarding waist-hip ratio, and my hips are wider than standard. The Glamour girdle was really uncomfortably tight around the hips, digging in at the front thighs and reducing leg-movement. I wanted to be able to blues dance in it, so limited leg-movement was a no-no.

The Cabaret was much comfier! I could even do legsweeps in it. It has boning down the front, and while I didn't find the "flattening" effect to be more than the one the Glamour girdle had, it does help control the tummy. And the boning is surpisingly comfortable when I'm sitting down! Not comfy as a pair of sweats, of course, but better than a corset, or the Glamour Merry Widow.

So why is the Cabaret girdle stretchier than the Glamour? This puzzled me, they're the same size, the same brand, the website gives the same measurments for them. But... the Cabaret girdle has a single layer powermesh in the big panels, while the Glamour has a double layer, cut out in different directions, so the stretch is reduced significally. So if you're considering a girdle from WKD, and like me you have a larger than standard difference waist-hip, then I'd recommend the Cabaret.

Cabaret girdle and bra

I sent the Glamour girdle back to WKD, who by the way has en excellent return service and ships any exchanges free. All my orders and questions were handled super-fast, and I couldn't be happier with the customer service! (my own personal opinion, I'm in no way what so ever affiliated with the company). In exchange I asked for a Cabaret bra (I'd tried it out in London) and now I have a set! Yay! Hmm, might have to send for the panties eventually... ;)

I also exchanged the Hollywood robe for a smaller size. I figured "It's a dressing robe - it should be comfy roomy! I'll order one size larger than all my other stuff, then it will also match my waist measurment." I'm not sure why, but it seems like all WKD fits so that I should go down one size in comparising to what they recommend as waist measurment. This was true for this one as well - in the larger size the front wrap ended up all wrong, so the piping peeked out 10 cm beneth the waist-tie. I'm quite happy with this smaller size, though! On the question if I couldn't make it myself with a better fit and a smaller cost (in real silk, instead of synthetic) the answer is of course I could. And judging by my sewing list it would be done about the same time this will be worn out. Sometimes I find it worth to focus on the ready in ReadyToWear =)

The slip and the robe goes beautifully together! Also, you can see the how the robe ties on the inside, to keep the left side skirt from drooping.

The good part of this post being so miserably late is that I've road-tested the cabaret girdle! It' behaved really well during blues dancing, swing dancing and even dining out.
That's all from the lingerie-front! =)

Love, Erika

Thursday 17 October 2013

Bobbin lace!

I’ve taken up bobbin lace weaving again! While this is a hobby I love, my last class finished when I was at a very tricky starting point (the pace of the classes is individual, so the bad timing was totally my own fault). So I figured I’d wait until next semester, I anyway had lots of stuff I wanted to sew. Then there was too few participants… for four semesters in a row! (and there’s 2 semesters/year in this school). I could have removed the new, tricky pattern and just worked on a pattern I knew, but I got out of the habit… 

Oh, and btw, did you notice I now know the correct term for this craft?! In Swedish it’s called “knyppling”, but apparently the English term is “bobbin lace”, since it’s made from wrapping yarn/thread around a “bobbin” and then moving the bobbins around (no resemblance what so ever to a bobbin that goes into a sewing machine). They look like this:

In Swedish we just call it a “stick”. Not very inventive… ; ) However, these can look very different depending on where in the world you’re weaving. Just take a look at this video, which will also give you an idea of how the lace is made:

Wish I had that speed and control over the bobbins! Maybe if I practice very hard for the next 40 years or so... =)

I’ve also seen this type of lace refered to as “pillow lace”, since it’s woven on a pillow. Personally I think it gets a bit confusing as the pillow used is called “a lace pillow”.
“So, what’s your hobby?” “I make pillow lace on a lace pillow.” Really??? =)

Anyway, this is a fun, meditative craft. No sudden progress, no smash and dash-glamour, certainly no “I’ll just make a shortcut here, no-one will know” cause here anyone looking at the finished lace will know. Sure, small mistakes can be hidden from an amateurs eyes, but there’s no covering up big mistakes or turning misguided shortcuts into design features. Then what’s the thrill? It’s seeing the lace take shape, inch by slow inch. It’s crossing, twisting, crossing, twisting, place a needle, and do the whole thing all over. Relaxed, calm and focused.

When I sew I have music on, I like chatting with people, my mind tend to wander to all sorts of interesting topics and daydreams. Hemming and the like is best done in front of the TV. But for weaving lace I need total silence. No talking, no music. No daydreaming of sewing a blouse to attach the finished lace to. I usually make a cup of tea, I usually don’t finish it. It stands half-full, forgotten as I’m lost in total concentration of moving the bobbins over the pillow. Why on earth haven’t I’ve done this in TWO YEARS?! Well, the class has finally started, I’m back on track and this time I’ll keep the skill alive.

For a little bit of fun, here’s a video from the 40s about Swedish laceweaving. It’s a lot of panorama over landscapes and so on, and if that’s not your cup of tea, I’d suggest skipping ahed to 2.20 and then 8.2o in the video.

Here, you’ll also see another geographic style-difference: the hand-placement. In some of the videos I found they hold the bobbins very differently from how I was taught (using thumbs). The way they handle the bobbins in this old clip is how I've been taught.

Anyone else who’s weaving bobbin lace?
Love, Erika