Closet Hoarder

by thevelvetletter

A few weeks ago I posted a picture of a piece of gold brocade on Facebook and asked other people what they thought I could make from it and what fabric gems they might have lurking in their cupboards. I really enjoyed peoples’ responses so I thought I share a few more pics, and tell the stories of where they came from.Image

This is the pic I put up on FB, which used to be a rather boxy woman’s jacket. I unpicked it some time ago and the pieces have been keeping my shelf warm for ages because I couldn’t decide what to do with them – there isn’t a vast amount of fabric but I think I could get a corset out of it. Maybe some tabbed stays with cream lace at the neck?

I also kept the heavy yellow satin facings of the jacket, which made wonderful covered suspenders for another project I’m working on.


This red velvet also used to be a jacket – this time a 3/4 60s swing coat that I attempted to alter many years ago and made a complete dogs breakfast of. The mangled remains were shoved in a bag and out of sight, until a few months ago when I unpicked the whole thing and washed it to get rid of the strange disintegrating interfacing that had been used in the original construction.

One of the things I like about corsets is that they don’t use a vast amount of fabric, so I can conceivably re-purpose old clothes if the fabric is pleasing. I now have a whole new reason to frequent vintage shops… or ‘junque’ shops, as my mom calls them;)

I think the red velvet would make a lovely over-bust corset, very long and curvy in the hip. Voluptuous and simple. Simply voluptuous? Words are such fun…


Next on my list of items to be re-interpreted is this lovely satin gown. The embroidery is still in good condition, very lush and delicate, but the satin fabric the gown is made from is decaying badly in several places. Too worn to wear, and even hanging it on a wall as decoration isn’t ideal as the shoulders will give way eventually.

I’m not quite sure how to use this piece, as I’m worried that if I cut to close to the embroidery the satin stitch will unravel, but if I don’t cut close it will look messy and half-baked. Any suggestions welcome.


Another favorite fabric is this violet velvet from my grandmother, who is also a hoarder of fabric. Feels like cotton. My gran more or less taught me to sew – letting me loose on her scrap bag and sewing machine when I went to stay.

I have two pieces of this, both about 70 cm x 40 cm, one of which has a bleach mark on it. I don’t think there is enough for even an under-bust corset, so I was thinking of a kind of cincher (a dear friend of mine calls it a ‘clincher’). Half way between a corset and an obi belt.


This last one is not actually in my collection – it is part of what has turned into a collaboration with a client. We used this lace, and a whole lot of Swarovski crystals, on a soft ‘mushroom’ coloured silk duchess satin. The corset is still being blinged out, but I’ll put up some pics asap – a whole posts worth;)