Jaimelyn | Custom Everyday Corset + Flirty Summer Skirt | Chicago, Illinois

Jaimelyn's Custom Everyday Corset

Today we have another corset project to show you. Jaimelyn wanted a serious corset to accentuate her curves. No frills, no fuss, just lots of function. So this one is very different from the last one we showed you. Here’s how:

Everyday Corsets are still SEXY.

Jaimelyn’s corset has a lot more bones. This provides a much greater degree of shaping and cinching. It also takes considerably more time and requires more specific fitting, which is why most commercially made or ready-to-wear corsets don’t have too many bones.

More bones = More pattern pieces = More time

All four layers of this corset are made from 100% cotton, while Cory’s has an embroidered silk on the outside layer. The main reason for this is to save money, although cotton is nice and cozy for more frequent wear. The other advantage is that it’s smooth, so unlike a textured fabric, it won’t show under whatever garment she wants to wear it with. We think it’s important to make corsets (and clothing, in general) from natural fibers – that’s cotton, silk, linen, and some rayons – because they breathe easily and are much nicer to work with. You may recall we ended up purchasing silk instead of using the polyester provided for Maria’s wedding shrug for these same reasons. (Uh, and this is another thing ready-to-wear corsets often do differently. There’s a lot of polyester happening out there. Do yourself a favor and run away from those, because an ill-fitting corset that gets stickier the longer you wear it is not so pleasant. Those are the garments that have given corsets a bad reputation as instruments of torture. In that case? Yeah, they pretty much are.)

She can tighten the laces herself - yay!

While both corsets lace in the back, Jaimelyn’s has something that Cory’s doesn’t – a busk. This is what you see on the front of many corsets, and it allows the wearer to put it on herself. (Cory’s, which does not have a busk, requires a second person to help her get in and out.) A busk is basically two metal strips – one with little knobs and one with holes they fit into – which bring the halves together at the front. Jaimelyn can loosen the laces in the back, close the busk, and then tighten the laces herself.

Closeup on the Busk

In addition to the corset, Jaimelyn was also pining for a skirt she’d somehow lost and desperately wanted to replace. She showed us some pictures of what she was looking for, and I sewed up this airy little number for her. This is another cotton garment – it’s made from an embroidered cotton gauze and lined with super-comfy jersey.

Skirt! WIth pockets!

I added my own touch – pockets! In case you’re somehow unaware, I am a pockets girl. I hate carrying purses, and the number one reason I rarely wear a skirt or dress is because I need my pockets! I NEED THEM!! So I add them whenever I can. Including on stuff for other people. I recently made myself a dress with pockets, and it is so awesome. I am plotting to make many, many more. And some skirts. And then I will suddenly be girly and you will wonder what happened to me… speaking of which, where was I? Oh yes: I found some great wooden buttons to keep those pockets closed, too! Which I think were put on after the picture was taken, and so you can’t see them… sorry.

As long as we’re imagining what the finished project looks like… here’s my thought on styling this skirt for fall. Personally, I’d love to see Jaimelyn wear these pieces together, with a bold-colored jacket (leather?) and coordinating knee-high boots. I think that look would be killer.

Restaurant Review: Chalkboard

Let’s make this one a mostly wordless post, shall we? I’ll caption the photos so you know what we’re eating, but you don’t really need much description. (Please don’t take this as a sign that I’m about to become a regular Wordless Wednesday kind of girl. Cause I probably won’t.)

In short? The service was outstanding and the food was amazing. We will definitely be back to Chalkboard soon. Possibly for their Fried Chicken & All-You-Can-Drink Champagne Wednesday night special. Want to join us?

I attempt to make my hair look nice by drying it in pin curls. Result? It lies even flatter than when I do nothing. I redeem myself somewhat by wearing a shirt that Julia loves, putting on a skirt (no pockets! Oh, the sacrifices I make…), and going so far as to apply lip gloss.

Julia looks super cute in this skirt she literally made in the three hours before we walked out the door for dinner. She laments not having enough time to add… pockets. Which means it’s a night of purse-carrying for both of us. Well, one of us (me) – because we are good at sharing. Or, as we call it, “Will you carry the purse? I don’t want to.”

Private Dining. It’s what happens when you make your Friday night reservation at an old lady time like 5:30pm. Yep.
Finally using the toasting glasses we planned to use at our wedding. They are really, really nice. Also – heavy.
And? The bubbly was quite good, amazing since we generally find champagne to be too bitter for our tastes. [It was Pierre Delize blanc de blancs, if you’re wondering. We’re told it can be purchased locally at Lush. UPDATE: I was thrilled to discover it is also carried by our neighborhood grocery store, Devon Market (on Devon, just east of Clark St. in Rogers Park) – and for a very reasonable $9.99!]

Chicken Liver Pate, with Toasted Brioche and an assortment of complimentary flavors – white beans, onions, mustard, radish, olives.

Watermelon Salad with grapes, crème fraîche, and some kind of little flowers.

Seared Scallops with vanilla sauce and olives.

Duck breast with Tzatziki sauce and fries.

Hangar steak with white beans and pesto.

(who happen to be eating chocolate chip cookie dough eggroll with chocolate ice cream.)