Friday Tip

Dear Constant Reader,

Happy Friday! Here’s your tip!

Use the same attachment method on all your detachable panel skirts.

If all your belts and panels have compatible snaps (or whatever else you use), you can mix and match your belts and panels, extending your costume wardrobe! I like to use the snap tape you can see in the photo and use the same size snaps for every costume. That particular belt has the burgundy sheer circular panels and rectangular black lace panels for two very different looks.

We also use this trick in our troupe costumes. We have a bunch of different sized performers, so we have belts of different sizes so that the panels can be swapped around. The snaps are sometimes set higher or lower on the belt to accommodate performers of different heights too.

M2Like this tip? There are lots more in Miss Mina Murray’s Little Book of Better Burlesque.

These writings and other creative projects are supported by my Patrons. Thank you so much! To become a Patron, go to my Patreon page.

Advertisements
Published in: on 11 January 2019 at 12:28 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags:

Friday Tip

Dear Constant Reader,

Happy Friday! Here’s your tip!

No ironing board? Use a folded towel.

A towel with give just a bit of padding and protect whatever surface you’re using from the heat and steam.

M2Like this tip? There are lots more in Miss Mina Murray’s Little Book of Better Burlesque.

These writings and other creative projects are supported by my Patrons. Thank you so much! To become a Patron, go to my Patreon page.

Published in: on 21 December 2018 at 2:41 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags:

Latest Book Update

Dear Constant Reader,

We’ve got about 30 hours and $100 to go to make the third (and I’m assuming final) stretch goal!

Thank you to everyone who has pre-ordered a copy of Miss Mina Murray’s Little Book of Burlesque Costuming, Vol. 1: The Foundations! If you haven’t yet, now’s the time!

I’m very excited and incredibly nervous. We’ve got a hard deadline to have the books by BurlyCon and there’s still much to do. I shouldn’t even be writing to you!

M2These writings and other creative projects are supported by my Patrons. Thank you so much! To become a Patron, go to my Patreon page.

Published in: on 22 October 2018 at 12:45 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags:

Friday Tip

Dear Constant Reader,

Just a quick book update before your tip!


Miss Mina Murray’s Little Book of Burlesque Costuming, Vol. 1: The Foundations is close to the third stretch goal with 4 days remaining! If we get another $150 in pledges, everybody gets a lovely and useful bookmark!

And now for your tip! Here’s another one from my new book, illustrated by Devastasia.
For maximum movement, place fringe on your bra at the apex of the cup.

If you put the fringe at the top edge, it will split like a curtain at the fullest part of your breast. If you put it on the bottom edge, it won’t move as much when you shimmy.

M2Like this tip? There are lots more in Miss Mina Murray’s Little Book of Better Burlesque.

These writings and other creative projects are supported by my Patrons. Thank you so much! To become a Patron, go to my Patreon page.

Published in: on 19 October 2018 at 3:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

Friday Tip

Dear Constant Reader,

Happy Friday! This week’s tip comes from my new book, Miss Mina Murray’s Little Book of Burlesque Costuming, Vol. 1: The Foundations, now available for pre-order on Kickstarter.

Removable linings make laundering garments a snap.

If you’ve got a garment that you can’t wash because of the material or the decoration, add a lining that you can remove and clean. Just cut a second lining out of some comfortable cloth — I like cotton. Turn the raw edges under and zigzag stitch them.

Now attach it to the inside of your garment. When I first tried this I basted the lining in place, picked out the stitches, and resewed it after washing, but that got old real fast. Now I just add a snap at each corner of the garment and lining.

When the lining is soiled, remove and wash. When it’s dry, snap it back in. When it gets too worn to keep wearing, toss it and make a new one.

I use this most often on intimate garments like g-strings or in the cups of bras. You can also do a partial lining in larger garments where you just want to target a particularly grimy area, like the neckline or underarms of a gown.

Illustration by Stacey B. Rizoli (aka Devastasia), proprietress of Red Queen Crafts. You’ll see more of her charming clear illustrations in the Little Book of Burlesque Costuming.

M2Like this tip? There are lots more in Miss Mina Murray’s Little Book of Better Burlesque.

These writings and other creative projects are supported by my Patrons. Thank you so much! To become a Patron, go to my Patreon page.

Published in: on 12 October 2018 at 12:54 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

New Book

Dear Constant Reader,

I am delighted to announce…

Miss Mina Murray’s Little Book of Burlesque Costuming, vol 1: The Foundations is available for pre-order on Kickstarter!

As with my previous book, our funding goal is very modest and it’s only open for a short time. We’ve got some great stretch goals! Last time they were being hit almost faster than I could come up with them. Let’s make that happen again!

I’ve really excited that this book is finally seeing the light of day. As far as I know this is one of the first, if not *the* first book, entirely about how to make burlesque costumes. The Foundations covers pasties, g-strings, panties, and bras. I’ve got several more volumes planned! How to make all your favorite burlesque costume pieces plus tips and tricks!

I’m hoping, if all goes well, that I’ll have the book ready for BurlyCon. That’s a very short deadline! I’m confident that it will absolutely be ready in time for your favorite winter gift-giving holiday

M2These writings and other creative projects are supported by my Patrons. Thank you so much! To become a Patron, go to my Patreon page.

Published in: on 10 October 2018 at 10:22 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags:

Sewing in July

Dear Constant Reader,

At the end of June, I decided July would be a sewing month and I was going to work on using up my stash. How did I do? Well… not so great.

July was terribly hot and it was frequently stifling in my atelier, so I didn’t get as much done as I had hoped. I only made 3 garments, all lingerie.

First was a vintage-style net bra, which I made from some black netting embellished with gold that I had recycled from a skirt I made ages ago and never wore. No photos of this one yet. Maybe you’ll see it in my new book, hopefully coming out soon. You’ll definitely learn how to make one!

Then I made a bra top and French knickers from And Sew to Bed: 20 Vintage-Inspired Projects for the Boudoir. I used some luxurious black silk and some fun red buttons from my stash for these. I think I had to buy the right width elastic for the button loops on the bra, but everything else I had already. Artsy shot by Scratch.

The bra only turned out okay. I didn’t make a muslin first, so it was in progress that I realized the back band was going to be too long and shortened it. After the whole thing was finished, the cups didn’t fit well, so I made some hasty darts, which I don’t love and that tightened up the back band as well, so there’s a gap now. Lesson learned. Anything involving boobs really should get a test fit, but I was feeling lazy.

The French kickers (aka tap pants), however, are lovely. They’re cute and comfortable and I love the little red buttons on the side. They should have been much quicker, but I was a total perfectionist here. The waist and leg openings are bound with bias tape and even though the tape is turned to the inside, I just couldn’t bear to use commercial cotton-poly tape. Instead, I made bias tape from the silk. Making your own bias tape isn’t hard with the right tool — a widget that you pull the bias strip through and iron as it comes out with the edges folded under. My problem was that I couldn’t cut a nice, neat bias strip to run through my widget because the silk was so slippery. Scratch, because he’s clever this way, got me a yard-long, inch-wide piece of flat steel and painted one side with grip paint. It held the devilish fabric in place and gave me a nice edge against which to draw a chalk line for cutting.

The big win the whole month has that I can finally make buttonholes on my sewing machine. I have an amazing 1958 Singer Slant-O-Matic 403 Special that does everything I need — except buttonholes.

I mean I could make buttonholes, but it involved a lot of fuss, constantly changing the needle positions and the stitch width and they never seemed to come out evenly. I often resorted to making buttonholes by hand and once to hiring Vixens Ahoy to take care of the many, many buttonholes on a blouse I made.

A friend tipped me off that Singer made a buttonhole attachment back in the ’50s and I easily acquired one on eBay and it sat in a drawer for a long time. Now I had to learn to use it. It’s really clever! There are little cog-wheel templates that move the needle in the shape of whatever buttonhole you want. And the set I bought not only had all the original parts and the instructions, but extra templates and even a sample strip the previous owner had made of all the sizes. I’ll admit my buttonholes weren’t perfectly positioned, but they looked great and work just like they are supposed to. My next goal is to learn to use all the other sewing machine feet and attachments that I’ve never tried, like the ruffler.

Not a great month in terms of churning out stuff and winnowing down my stash, but I do have some really decadent French knickers. I still have some of that black silk and I want to make a camisole to go with them instead of the less-than-lovely bra top. More importantly I have some new tools and new skills.

M2These writings and other creative projects are supported by my Patrons. Thank you so much! To become a Patron, go to my Patreon page.

Published in: on 15 August 2018 at 7:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags:

Upcoming

Dear Constant Reader,

July was a quiet month, but things heat up in August.

On Saturday The Boston BeauTease will be making a rare appearance in Brattleboro, VT with our new show, This Guy Walks Into a Bra…. We’ll be performing striptease, magic, and singing as usual, but we’ll also be adding in some old-fashioned burlesque comedy sketches. We’ve been describing it as “modern women and vintage comedy” and we’ve been having a lot of fun with it. You’ll see all your favorite BeauTeasers plus our apprentices stripping *and* talking.

Next I’m off to the Winnipeg International Burlesque Festival!

I’ll be performing Friday night and teaching “Who’s Who in Classic Burlesque” Saturday afternoon!

If you’re not going to be in Winnipeg on Saturday the 18th, why don’t you join the rest of the BeauTease for The Bananaz Variety Hour at the Deacon Giles Speakeasy Lab in Salem? There will be bananas, singing, dancing, comedy, magic, bananas, and more. (Due to my well-known hatred of bananas, I’ve been forced to flee the country.)

 

 

 

I hinted about something fabulous that I was given at our last show. This picture is just a tiny taste of the glorious ensemble. I may blog about it someday, but for now you can see pictures of the whole thing and read all about it at my Patreon page if you are a Patron, of course (and why aren’t you?).

B.A.B.E. will be back in session in September after our summer break! Devastasia will be teaching Introduction to Burlesque and I will be showing the intermediate students fabulous things to do with a boa. In October, I’ll be teaching a bewitching choreography that’s perfect for Halloween.

I’m sure there will be more to come!

M2These writings and other creative projects are supported by my Patrons. Thank you so much! To become a Patron, go to my Patreon page.

Published in: on 31 July 2018 at 4:08 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags:

Friday Tip

Dear Constant Reader,

Happy Friday! It’s the last Friday in July and here’s your sewing tip:

Avoid sewing when you’re tired.

I know it’s tempting to work late just to get the darn thing done, but when you’re tired is exactly when sleeves get sewn inside out and gussets are inserted upside down. You’ll spend more time fixing your mistakes that you would have gained by sewing while your concentration is drifting from weariness. Do I speak from experience? Oh yes.

The rule of thumb I was taught is not to start a sewing project after 10pm. This of course only works if you keep a schedule in which 10pm is getting late…. By all means, if you’re fresh and alert at 2 am, sew away! If you get fuzzy, step away from the fabric, get some rest, and pick it up again when you’re refreshed.

M2Like this tip? There are lots more in Miss Mina Murray’s Little Book of Better Burlesque.

These writings and other creative projects are supported by my Patrons. Thank you so much! To become a Patron, go to my Patreon page.

Published in: on 27 July 2018 at 3:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

Friday Tip

Dear Constant Reader,

Happy Friday! Here’s your sewing tip!

Avoid sewing over pins.

I know it seems like it’ll be faster if you sew first and remove the pins later, but you risk hitting one of the with the needle. This can nick or bend your needle or, worst of all, cause it to break and perhaps fling a tiny shard of sharp metal at your face. (you are wearing your safety goggles, right?). It’s especially tempting if you’re one of those people, like me, who inserts the pins perpendicular to the seam line.

If the fabric is so slithery or bulky or otherwise badly behaved that removing the pins as you go makes things go awry, consider hand basting with the pins in place and then removing them as you sew on the machine. It’ll be extra secure!

M2Like this tip? There are lots more in Miss Mina Murray’s Little Book of Better Burlesque.

These writings and other creative projects are supported by my Patrons. Thank you so much! To become a Patron, go to my Patreon page.

Published in: on 20 July 2018 at 2:49 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,