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Fleur du Mal - Burlesque Artist

Random musings, inspirations, and creations from the Bad Flower of British burlesque
Apr 17 '14
This is the completed first stage of the last major component of the blue costume. Once this is done, only smaller, less important items remain (which I will do, to add detail and extra touches to the outfit, but the overall costume will be stage ready without those). I’m adding a large, poofy, mermaid section to the bottom of the blue dress. It’ll essentially look like a big white tutu or petticoat, which is attached to the bottom of the dress and adds extra length, volume and drama! I’ve started by using white nylon netting, to give lots of volume. Firstly, I cut a piece of ribbon to the length of the dress hem, and sewed together overlapping ends to create a ring. Then I cut pieces of netting. The pieces are roughly half a metre long, which is just over the length between the dress hem and the floor when worn, and two metres wide, roughly four times the length of half of the dress hem. I gathered each piece along one of the longer sides, and then stitched the gathered side along half of the ribbon. The pieces are placed so that when all the layers are in place, the ribbon can be folded over to sandwich all the fabric together. Two pieces are placed end to end, to create one continuous layer with a four metre hem. The fact that the gathered hem is four times the length of the dress hem, coupled with the inherent stiffness of the fabric, creates a huge amount of volume. This only increased as I added layers. Currently, we’re at three layers of net. I also staggered where the gaps between the pieces are, to create the illusion of wholeness, and so there won’t be a massive gap where the ends of the fabric are!

This is the completed first stage of the last major component of the blue costume. Once this is done, only smaller, less important items remain (which I will do, to add detail and extra touches to the outfit, but the overall costume will be stage ready without those). I’m adding a large, poofy, mermaid section to the bottom of the blue dress. It’ll essentially look like a big white tutu or petticoat, which is attached to the bottom of the dress and adds extra length, volume and drama! I’ve started by using white nylon netting, to give lots of volume. Firstly, I cut a piece of ribbon to the length of the dress hem, and sewed together overlapping ends to create a ring. Then I cut pieces of netting. The pieces are roughly half a metre long, which is just over the length between the dress hem and the floor when worn, and two metres wide, roughly four times the length of half of the dress hem. I gathered each piece along one of the longer sides, and then stitched the gathered side along half of the ribbon. The pieces are placed so that when all the layers are in place, the ribbon can be folded over to sandwich all the fabric together. Two pieces are placed end to end, to create one continuous layer with a four metre hem. The fact that the gathered hem is four times the length of the dress hem, coupled with the inherent stiffness of the fabric, creates a huge amount of volume. This only increased as I added layers. Currently, we’re at three layers of net. I also staggered where the gaps between the pieces are, to create the illusion of wholeness, and so there won’t be a massive gap where the ends of the fabric are!

Apr 14 '14
I’ve just finished customising the panel skirt. The rhinestoning and beading work is on the white satin panel at the front of the waistband only. I used exactly the same freehanding techniques I used on the gloves and bra cups to create the lily designs in 3mm sapphire, light sapphire and crystal stones. Next I used 4mm light sapphire bicones and seed beads to create the beaded swags, in exactly the same way as I did on the bra, echoing the pattern on the g string. Then I edged the satin panel with the blue and crystal stones, as always, and filled in the space with 5mm crystals, concentrated at the top centre and radiating outwards towards the edges. The final detail was simply to add a little interest to the unusual scalloped edges on the blue chiffon panels by putting three light sapphire stones on each semicircle. These will sparkle as the fabric moves under stage lights

I’ve just finished customising the panel skirt. The rhinestoning and beading work is on the white satin panel at the front of the waistband only. I used exactly the same freehanding techniques I used on the gloves and bra cups to create the lily designs in 3mm sapphire, light sapphire and crystal stones. Next I used 4mm light sapphire bicones and seed beads to create the beaded swags, in exactly the same way as I did on the bra, echoing the pattern on the g string. Then I edged the satin panel with the blue and crystal stones, as always, and filled in the space with 5mm crystals, concentrated at the top centre and radiating outwards towards the edges. The final detail was simply to add a little interest to the unusual scalloped edges on the blue chiffon panels by putting three light sapphire stones on each semicircle. These will sparkle as the fabric moves under stage lights

Apr 12 '14

crisscrossstitch:

cross-my-heart-stitch:

Friends,
I need your help!
I have this really awful hoop stain and I’m so terrified of it.

What do?

Also, I’m sorry, but yes, I cheated on the backstitching if the cables

Hoop stains are a huge pain. I always start with dish soap and warm water. Don’t be afraid to scrub fairly hard since it’s not on the stitches. Nine times out of ten that will get hose stubborn hoop stains out for me. If not then you could try vinegar or laundry soap. As a last resort I use OxyClean stain remover, diluted with water.

It looks great though! :)

This advice could not have come up on my feed at a better time!  I have just finished a large piece with a horrible hoop stain, and was very worried about how I was going to get rid of it.  So thanks!

Apr 8 '14
I’ve been working on this for a while now and just finished it. It’s a classic bump & grind style panel skirt. It’s basically a belt with hanging panels which swish and move beautifully as the dancer moves their hips. I made this one completely from scratch, from royal blue chiffon and white satin for the front of the belt. I used a tutorial given to me by a seamstress who specialises in burlesque, and did the whole thing by hand, from pattern drafting to construction. However, I seem to have neglected to add in enough of an allowance for fastening at the sides, and so the belt is a little too small. It should work, but it may take a little practising to get it right during striptease. But the construction itseld has worked nicely. Embellishment begins tomorrow!

I’ve been working on this for a while now and just finished it. It’s a classic bump & grind style panel skirt. It’s basically a belt with hanging panels which swish and move beautifully as the dancer moves their hips. I made this one completely from scratch, from royal blue chiffon and white satin for the front of the belt. I used a tutorial given to me by a seamstress who specialises in burlesque, and did the whole thing by hand, from pattern drafting to construction. However, I seem to have neglected to add in enough of an allowance for fastening at the sides, and so the belt is a little too small. It should work, but it may take a little practising to get it right during striptease. But the construction itseld has worked nicely. Embellishment begins tomorrow!

Apr 8 '14
So I’ve had a ridiculously late night costuming session (insomnia + illness + creativity burst = productivity) and managed to finish off these little garters. I started them before I altered the black and gold playsuit but then put them to one side. They were really simple to make. First of all I cut two lengths of wide white satin ribbon, long enough to fit around the fullest part of my thighs. I created the same lily pattern as on the pasties, using the three colours of 3mm rhinestones, measuring so the lilies would be in the middle of the ribbons once they were wrapped, allowing for an overlapped seam at the inside of each leg. I finished the lilies with the same beaded dangles as on the pasties and bra cups, using light sapphire seed beads and bicones again.
To make the actual garter pieces, I cut the lace tops from an old and laddered pair of white stockings. I placed them one at a time onto my thighs, at the point I would want to wear them, and pinned the ribbons into place. I stitched the ribbons to the lace garters whilst they were still on my leg, so as to allow for the correct amount of stretch. The combination of elastic in the lace tops and non-stretch in the ribbon is what keeps the garters in place. Once they were stitched I finished with a scattering of 4mm crystals. I originally wanted to use an edging of alternating 4 and 5mm crystals, as on the pasties and quarter bra, to cover the seam between lace and ribbon. However, the seam is the part which will be under most stress when being stretched, which would lead to the most shedding of stones. So a scatter seemed more practical. Also, I usually use 5mm stones for background scatter on this costume, but I decided to go for the slightly smaller ones this time. This is purely because I thought that size looked better given the shape and size of the space involved. I don’t think the difference detracts from the look, and I’m quite proud of how the overall pieces have turned out

So I’ve had a ridiculously late night costuming session (insomnia + illness + creativity burst = productivity) and managed to finish off these little garters. I started them before I altered the black and gold playsuit but then put them to one side. They were really simple to make. First of all I cut two lengths of wide white satin ribbon, long enough to fit around the fullest part of my thighs. I created the same lily pattern as on the pasties, using the three colours of 3mm rhinestones, measuring so the lilies would be in the middle of the ribbons once they were wrapped, allowing for an overlapped seam at the inside of each leg. I finished the lilies with the same beaded dangles as on the pasties and bra cups, using light sapphire seed beads and bicones again.
To make the actual garter pieces, I cut the lace tops from an old and laddered pair of white stockings. I placed them one at a time onto my thighs, at the point I would want to wear them, and pinned the ribbons into place. I stitched the ribbons to the lace garters whilst they were still on my leg, so as to allow for the correct amount of stretch. The combination of elastic in the lace tops and non-stretch in the ribbon is what keeps the garters in place. Once they were stitched I finished with a scattering of 4mm crystals. I originally wanted to use an edging of alternating 4 and 5mm crystals, as on the pasties and quarter bra, to cover the seam between lace and ribbon. However, the seam is the part which will be under most stress when being stretched, which would lead to the most shedding of stones. So a scatter seemed more practical. Also, I usually use 5mm stones for background scatter on this costume, but I decided to go for the slightly smaller ones this time. This is purely because I thought that size looked better given the shape and size of the space involved. I don’t think the difference detracts from the look, and I’m quite proud of how the overall pieces have turned out

Mar 27 '14
Had a quick practise of hair and make up for my new stage look to tonight. I’m going in a sort of 20s-esque direction, especially with the Alliance. So this is my first go at fingerwaves. They’ve not stayed as crisp as I’d like, and I think the kiss curls need a stronger styling product to stay in place, but this is why we practise. The make up is dramatic, combining a black smoky eye with dark red glossy lips (I am living for Sleek cosmetics at the moment, their lip palettes and contouring kits are to die for), but my contouring hasn’t come out as sculpted as I’d like. I’m hoping better lighting and a cleaner mirror will show detail better in the future. The only other detail to mention is the lack of false eyelashes. A look this dramatic needs falsies, but upon application tonight I discovered that my brand new tube of glue appears to be completely empty. So when I stopped raging about that I just used some lengthening mascara and hoped for the best

Had a quick practise of hair and make up for my new stage look to tonight. I’m going in a sort of 20s-esque direction, especially with the Alliance. So this is my first go at fingerwaves. They’ve not stayed as crisp as I’d like, and I think the kiss curls need a stronger styling product to stay in place, but this is why we practise. The make up is dramatic, combining a black smoky eye with dark red glossy lips (I am living for Sleek cosmetics at the moment, their lip palettes and contouring kits are to die for), but my contouring hasn’t come out as sculpted as I’d like. I’m hoping better lighting and a cleaner mirror will show detail better in the future. The only other detail to mention is the lack of false eyelashes. A look this dramatic needs falsies, but upon application tonight I discovered that my brand new tube of glue appears to be completely empty. So when I stopped raging about that I just used some lengthening mascara and hoped for the best

Mar 15 '14
I took a break from my blue costuming to do this little beauty last night.  This is a playsuit I bought from eBay, perfect for the new direction Simon and I are going in with the Alliance.  It’s black with floral patterns printed in a gold colour. The first thing I did was to shorten the legs, as it came down nearly to the knees and made me look frumpy and shapeless.  So I just took up the hems and now it’s a flirty length (that’s a bit cheeky at the back, but we can deal with that) which is much more flattering.  Then I simply used some 4mm gold rhinestuds and 3mm black rhinestones, strategically placed within the patterns to add a little sparkle.  I’ve paired it with a simple gold chain belt to cinch in the waist a little, and this big black and gold beaded necklace.  I’m not sure if the necklace is too much, but I quite like the overall look

I took a break from my blue costuming to do this little beauty last night.  This is a playsuit I bought from eBay, perfect for the new direction Simon and I are going in with the Alliance.  It’s black with floral patterns printed in a gold colour. The first thing I did was to shorten the legs, as it came down nearly to the knees and made me look frumpy and shapeless.  So I just took up the hems and now it’s a flirty length (that’s a bit cheeky at the back, but we can deal with that) which is much more flattering.  Then I simply used some 4mm gold rhinestuds and 3mm black rhinestones, strategically placed within the patterns to add a little sparkle.  I’ve paired it with a simple gold chain belt to cinch in the waist a little, and this big black and gold beaded necklace.  I’m not sure if the necklace is too much, but I quite like the overall look

Mar 8 '14

I’ve finally finished this corset! Running out of 5mm crystals, having to wait for a delivery, and last minute gigs have all meant that this piece has languished half-finished for a couple of weeks. But now it’s done, and I’m super proud of it!

The base piece was a corset which I used to use in my winter act ‘Snowflake Striptease’. I was never particularly happy with this act and have been cannibalising bit of the costume for other projects for a while. Certain pieces were wonderful (my first ever large themed customisation project was for this act, and I made a beautiful bra, g-string, bustle and shoes combo with crystal snowflakes), but others were substandard. This corset was made for me by another performer who was practising her construction skills. It’s beautifully made, and fits me perfectly on the underbust and hips, but you can see it doesn’t cinch much. She accidentally made it a 24” waist rather than a 22”. Since I typically wear a 22” or 20”, it feels quite loose, and doesn’t give me as small a waist as I’m used to. But, it still gives the look and feel of a corset, and the looseness means I can dance easily in it, and my movements stay fluid. Practicality has won out over aesthetics.

I never actually embellished the corset for ‘Snowflake’. I was labouring under the misapprehension that ‘less is more’, and so kept its plain white satin untouched, thinking it would contrast nicely with my crystalled snowflakes elsewhere. Which means now I had a nice plain base to work on! First of all I used the silver and blue lurex ribbon I had used on the dress, and sewed it down the boning channels, along the seams. I was considering using a double line on each channel, to hide stitching, but I didn’t like the effect and stuck with single. I knew I wanted to use this ribbon again in the costume, and the corset is the perfect piece on which to tie together the outer and under layers by using the embellishmments of both. Ribbons in place, I used the three colours and sizes of stones to create the usual colour changing lines along the top and bottom binding edges, mirroring the pattern on the two sides so that when the corset is fastened the darker blue is at the front, and tge colour flows through light blue on each side to crystal at the back. Finally I used 5mm crystals on each panel, starting with tightly packed lines at the edges and gradually spreading them further apart as I worked towards the middle (copying the pattern on the g-string). Since I’ve worn this corset so often it’s very much broken in, so the bones have a defined bend in the middle. This means that when I put on the embellished corset the stones won’t shed as the fabric pulls. But the sparse placement of stones around the area that cinches certainly helps this

Mar 3 '14

Anonymous asked:

I was going through the sewing tag and saw the bra you recently finished, it's amazing! You are incredibly talented!

Why thank you!  I’m very proud of how that one turned out.  I wasn’t sure how it was going to work.  So it was lovely to receive these encouraging words :-)

Mar 2 '14
Another less than ideal picture I’m afraid. But here’s the special detail of this piece. Can we say detachable cups?? To make these, I found an old strapless bra which was one cup size larger than the quarter cup silk bra. I just happened to have one of these in my lingerie drawer, and it just happened to be white. Now that’s what I call luck! I carefully trimmed the cups from the underwire (the discarded band again goes into my sewing box - instant cupless bra!) and bound the edges. The cups were perfect for this project, being made from a moulded (unpadded) foam which kept its shape throughout, covered in a white microfibre fabric which is one of my favourite materials for rhinestoning - hot glue bonds to it almost instantly. I sewed the edges of the foam cups with a blanket stitch, and then used small stitches to catch the microfibre to the inside edge of the cups and create a clean hem. Then I sewed clear plastic popper fasteners along the bottom edge of each cup and in corresponding positions along the silk quarter cup bra, near the underwire. This allows the cups to be attached and detached at will.

With the functional sewing done, it was time to decorate! I used the same 3mm stones in sapphire, light sapphire and crystal to create two lily patterns on each cup. Again, I freehanded these (resulting in a misalignment that my perfectionism can’t quite handle) following the same pattern as on the g-string and gloves. I then used a line of sapphire stones to create the stems, aiming to create the illusion of them joining up with the colour changing lines along the silk bra’s underwires and straps. Next I used the light sapphire bicone and seed beads to create tassels, following the same pattern of two shorter and one longer length as on the pasties, and sewed them onto the cups with one group of three per flower, using the same positioning as on the g-string. Finally I gave each cup a background sprinkling of 5mm crystals, just as I did on the gloves. I’m incredibly proud of how this piece has turned out. I think it’s a real testament to my costuming skills!

Another less than ideal picture I’m afraid. But here’s the special detail of this piece. Can we say detachable cups?? To make these, I found an old strapless bra which was one cup size larger than the quarter cup silk bra. I just happened to have one of these in my lingerie drawer, and it just happened to be white. Now that’s what I call luck! I carefully trimmed the cups from the underwire (the discarded band again goes into my sewing box - instant cupless bra!) and bound the edges. The cups were perfect for this project, being made from a moulded (unpadded) foam which kept its shape throughout, covered in a white microfibre fabric which is one of my favourite materials for rhinestoning - hot glue bonds to it almost instantly. I sewed the edges of the foam cups with a blanket stitch, and then used small stitches to catch the microfibre to the inside edge of the cups and create a clean hem. Then I sewed clear plastic popper fasteners along the bottom edge of each cup and in corresponding positions along the silk quarter cup bra, near the underwire. This allows the cups to be attached and detached at will.

With the functional sewing done, it was time to decorate! I used the same 3mm stones in sapphire, light sapphire and crystal to create two lily patterns on each cup. Again, I freehanded these (resulting in a misalignment that my perfectionism can’t quite handle) following the same pattern as on the g-string and gloves. I then used a line of sapphire stones to create the stems, aiming to create the illusion of them joining up with the colour changing lines along the silk bra’s underwires and straps. Next I used the light sapphire bicone and seed beads to create tassels, following the same pattern of two shorter and one longer length as on the pasties, and sewed them onto the cups with one group of three per flower, using the same positioning as on the g-string. Finally I gave each cup a background sprinkling of 5mm crystals, just as I did on the gloves. I’m incredibly proud of how this piece has turned out. I think it’s a real testament to my costuming skills!