Beloved Emcee and costume goddess Cora Vette, owner of Denver’s one stop burlesque shop VaVa Vette, gives us the lowdown on how to create your own custom shrug.
I love corsets. I live for them. I love to make them. I love what they do for my figure. I do NOT love what happens to my armpits when I wear them. If you are a curvy gal, you know what I am talking about. So, I started making these shrugs to add some volume to the top of my outfits to balance the bottom. I always wear short circle skirts (usually made of vinyl) and I love what these shrugs do for the top of my corseted outfits. They are pretty and pretty easy to make if you have basic sewing skills.
This month’s DIY will show you how to make these pretty corset toppers.
1) Start with a 10 inch wide (or larger or smaller based on personal preference) length of fabric. I like to use tulle because you can cut it cleanly and not worry about hemming the fabric as it will not unravel. For this shrug, I was using a glitter covered tulle that I chose to trim with bias tape. You do not need to do this step, but, I find that the finished product looks nicer. I used 2 layers of tulle around 10 inches wide by around 8 feet long. The length can be anything you like. When you gather it, more fabric will be fuller, less fabric will create a more subtle effect. It is really up to personal preference.
2) Place the layers on top of each other and sew a gathering stitch where you want to place the fold. For this shrug, I put the gathering stitch about 4 inches to one side and 6 inches for the other so one side would drape nicely and the other side would form the collar. A gathering stitch is 2 long stitches side by side. I set my machine on 4 which is the longest stitch. Make to long straight seams side by side and then pull the bobbin thread (the underside) to gather the tulle.
3) For me, gathering the shrug to 1 yard (36 inches) works well and is enough for the shrug to make it across my neck and shoulders and around to the back a little bit. Experiment and see what length is perfect for you.
4) After gathering, lay the shrug flat and pin a ribbon (or bias tape) over the stitches and sew on both the top and the bottom of the ribbon. This secures the gathering stitches in place and creates a pretty finish to your shrug, and no, that is not a glass of wine in the background. Ok, yes it is, it was late.
5) Put it on! Here is what the finished product looks like on a dress form.
A shrug can be made out of many different materials. Let your creativity run wild! For more, check out VaVaVette’s website at www.vavavette.com. Happy sewing!
xoxo Cora Vette