Thursday, May 27, 2010

Another order complete!

I recently completed the two hoods I was working on for a beautiful model with her own commercial bondage modeling site. Her order includes the sleepsack and armbinder I recently blogged about.

I try to take high quality pictures of all my work before sending it out, as it is the only thing I have left when a project is complete. It also helps when future clients want something similar - I can pull images from the archives to show them what their projects might look like.

The first hood I made for her is an open-face style in a stretchy black patent. This should really conform nicely to her face, and accent her eyes. This is genuine leather, but with patent leather there is a coated material bonded to the surface. It almost looks like latex, and is really stretchy. I can't wait to see her in this... Hood number two is in a soft, thin black lamb. This makes for a sensual hood, not too heavy - so you can see your slave's features through the leather. Extremely sexy... It's also for advanced players only, since it has only nose openings... An intense experience. Next up is the armbinder... It was also custom made to her measurements. She is one of those talented girls who can touch elbows behind her back, so this monoglove is made to accomodate her unique talent.

And last but not least, the custom sleepsack. This beauty is made of a full-grain medium-heavy leather with a soft hand and a sexy, shiny black surface. It is made to her exact measurements, and has internal sleeves and a full-length rear zipper with 3 pulls.
I was a little nervous about this piece as it has no lacing. Usually the laces allow adjustment of the sizing, which be a good thing. Lacing also allows you to vary the tightness depending on the type of session you are doing. Leather does have some natural stretch, and over time lacing allows you to compensate and keep the fit tight. She requested a streamlined, fitted look with a zipper only, and I wanted to give her what she wants. I am really keeping my fingers crossed that it will fit her like a glove. With permission, I hope to share images of her in the gear in a future blog post.
That's it for now, folks. Thanks for visiting! I'm off to the post office...

eGarbs ad from Skin Two

A while back I mentioned a company called eGarbs based in England as a fetish inspiration. They made some of the most incredible and imaginative leather bondage gear I had ever seen, and to this day I can't think of anyone doing this sort of really off-the wall total enclosure gear. I came across this old ad, which I think ran in an issue of Skin Two some time in the 80s or 90s. I love the balled up fists at the end of the sleeves on the crawling suit. And the leg pockets on the squatting figure above are very similar to the ones on my f-suit design. I don't know if the suits in this ad were ever realized in real life, but don't you hope some lucky kinkster has one of each in their closet?

Since the ad is kind of hard to read, I'll transcribe:
A collaboration between Repas & E-Garbs presents
Sensory Deprivation
(a scene in three parts)
Available now
for mental health
& spiritural needs
Truncation Suit £ 2,250
Clairvoyant Suit £ 2,800
Doggy Suit £ 1,900
(suits can be altered for customers alliances)
Enquire within to
9 (unreadable) St Brighton
(unreadable) Europe
01273 748887

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Making a sleepsack - Part 3

Welcome to the final steps of our make a sleepsack tutorial. To wrap things up, we'll be sewing in the zipper, a full-length tongue, and the internal sleeves.

I start with #5 YKK zipper chain, which comes by the yard, and allows us to make the zipper any length we want. I can also put as many pulls as we want. This will come in handy later...
I use masking tape to hold the zipper in place for the initial run through the sewing machine. If anyone has a better method on this, please feel free to share. I am always open to suggestions.

I try and position the zipper chain so it just nestles against the edge of the turned leather edge.
I really want to make sure the zipper doesn't move while sewing, and the sack at this stage is a bit unwieldy to get through the sewing machine.
At this point we want the zipper to extend beyond the edge of our seam. I'll explain why later.
Here is the first stitch in progress:
Now here's the really fun part (and the reason I'm open to alternative methods): picking the tape out afterwards. It's a pain in the ass!
Once the tape is removed, it's time to put the zipper pulls on the chain. On this sack I want to be able to open it anywhere along the length of the zipper so I'm using 3 pulls. This is one reason I like to leave extra at the end of the zipper because some times the chain gets torn up a bit when getting the pulls on.
Three hours later: (kidding!)
Now for the tough part. Because the sack with the zipper up is a closed tube we have to sew with the zipper open to attach the other half of the zipper. I need to make sure the zipper doesn't get out of alignment or it may create puckering when the zip is closed. We definitely don't want that.
My solution is to use a lot of clips...

And here we have the other half of the zipper sewn into place:
Fortunately things are lining up just fine. Here is a closeup of the collar, with the extra zipper extending beyond the end.
We're almost there... It's looking great.
A closeup of the front of the collar:
Before we trim the zipper to length we need to secure the ends to make sure the zipper doesn't slip right off the chain when the zip is pulled closed. To do this I use a very heavy waxed thread to put a few stitches through the zipper chain to act a a stopper.
You can't see it very well because it is black on black, but here is the zipper end with the stopper stitches in place. I've also trimmed the zipper chain and fused the ends with a match to keep it from unraveling.
Next up: the zipper tongue. This is another feature that adds a nice touch, and keeps tender skin from being caught in the zipper. I need about 58 inches of leather, in a 2-inch wide strip. I can piece it together using the remnants of the original hide.
I use my 4 foot straightedge to lay out the strip widths, then cut out with scissors.
Here's the finished strip laid alongside the sleepsack. I'd say I have enough to make the distance.
I just do a simple overlap and straight stitch to connect the 2 parts to get the length I need.
I use masking tape again here to hold the tongue in place for sewing.
Here's a peek inside showing the tongue in position and ready for sewing.
I press down pretty firmly along the length of the tongue, as I don't want it to move once I start sewing. One of the big challenges at this stage is wrestling with the bulk of the sleepsack as you feed it though the machine.
Now we're on to the last part of the project: the internal sleeves. I start out by marking four and a half inches down from the shoulder seam which is where I want the internal sleeve to begin.
The sleeve piece is centered on the side seam at both the top and bottom. Once again, masking tape is used to hold the pieces in place while sewing. You can see through the tape, which comes in handy as I follow the edge of the sleeve piece as a guide.
And here's the sleeve after being sewn-in:
Closeup detail of the stitching around the hand pocket. Now it's time to peel off the tape, and repeat for the other side.
And there you have it, our sleepsack is complete!
This piece as well as the armbinder project I just completed are for the dark-haired beauty at I really hope she likes her items, and hope to show you some pictures of her tied up in them in a future post. Thanks for letting me share your project, LT!
Thank you for following along with me, and hopefully this blog inspires some of you out there to make something dark, shiny and beautiful.
Until next time, take care...

Making a Sleepsack - Part 2

The next stage of our sleepsack is the construction of the foot pocket. We begin with our 3 pieces, one that forms the bottom of the foot, and two that wrap around creating the rear, sides and front. Kind of looks like burning man at this point:
We want to clip and sew the rear seam first:
Glue and flatten the seam.
Now for the fun part. Attaching straight pieces to curved pieces is always a little tricky, and the stretchiness of leather also makes precision alignment difficult.

I start by aligning the rear seam with the center mark on the back of the foot base.
I attach the bulldog clips all the way around carefully checking position as I go. This is one case where having the same seam allowance on the curved and straight piece really helps. If they are the same then as long as you align the edge you are aligned at the seam. Once your are happy with the positioning of the clips, sew away. I didn't take a picture of it, but at this point I topstitch the front of the foot pocket seam as well. If you tried to do it before it would never align properly.
Next we'll glue the seam allowances. I usually glue both going up (instead of one up, one down) because cutting all the darts to make the lower seam allowance to lay flat would A. take a while and B. leave a messy result. By pushing both seam allowances up and topstitching you get a nice smooth surface on the inside of the foot pocket.

And here's a shot of the outside:

Next, we'll move on to the shoulders. The shoulder dart roughly aligns with the side seam, so I begin there and clip the rest in place.
This is after sewing, with the clips removed. Can you see how the shoulders are cut a little long? This is so I have room to adjust before sewing the collar in place. I would rather have a little extra here than not enough.

Here is the foot pocket clipped in place and ready for sewing:
Foot pocket clipped: top view. Once aligned and clipped into place, it is just a matter of sewing along the line, carefully removing clips as you go.
At this stage I'm almost ready to set the collar. You can see I have trimmed the shoulder panels back to match up with the front and back panels a little better, and have drawn a new guideline. Before I can attach the collar, though, I need to glue and flatten the seam allowances for the shoulder.
Here's the shoulder glued up:
And I also tackle the foot pocket...
OK, I'm ready to sew the collar in place. I begin in the middle and work my way towards the sides. Here's another situation where I have extra room built into the pattern (in this case in the rear panels) to give myself material to make adjustments to the fit between two pieces.
You can see in this photo the back panels extend beyond the collar.
I make a mark on the side I will be sewing from to indicate where the end of the collar is - as I don't want to sew past this point.
Once the collar is sewn in, I make adjustments to the rear seam so that they align perfectly with the collar.
Now I'll glue and flatten the seam allowances and the top edge of the collar. More gluing - yay!
This concludes part two - we'll be finishing up next time with the zipper, tongue and internal sleeves.