Monday, 9 April 2012

A long overdue corset post

Remember the corset I mentioned way back in August? Don't worry I'd almost forgotten about too, but as the corset is visiting me (the 'hem' was a tad too long in the front so I'm taking it up a bit) I thought I'd take the opportunity to take pictures and add a few details about the making of ... 

I drafted the pattern basing it loosely on the Elizabethan pattern generator which can be found online here http://www.elizabethancostume.net/corsets/pattern.html, Simplicity 5726 corset pattern  and some brill drafting instructions I found somewhere zonks ago, alas the link is lost but I will see if I can relocate it at.

After drafting I made a mock-up to see what the fit was like and if the pattern needed tweaking, cause it always, always does and this was no exception, maybe that's just my drafting skills. Luckily I didn't need to modify it too much, it was only really the front seam that needed taking in a bit from so that was pretty quick to do. Did I mention that I was in a hurry whilst doing this one? It had to be ready for last summer's goth fest in Tampere. I ended up finishing the hem an hour before we left hence it ended being too long and J's sewing machine did not like me at all!

The construction was surprsingly straight forward (well the bits I did at home). I suspect for once all the basting paid off, I can't do straight boning cases without basting. Also not having a fashion layer to add bulk makes a world of difference. I must confess I have made a few corsets (with varying results) in the past so I knew that you should sew all the seams in the same directions (probably not a bad piece of advice for other projects as well) so it won't pucker quite so much. And I have a grommet setter which really helps. I've hammered the grommets for a few projects and trust me that was not fun.

                                      The inside and the boning cases



I used the unbeatable combo wire cutters and metre bones for first time. Twas a bit of challenge cutting the damn things but at least they're all the right length which is the main thing. I finished off the bones by smoothing them over with my very street cred B&D metal files. I didn't dip the ends as I couldn't find anything to dip them in, which I know is bad, but if someone can recommend something (preferably available in Finland) I'm happy to open the seams and finish the bones.

                           Who needs a nail file when you can have a metal file ...



The corset is single layer underbust made out of black herringbone coutil which gives it a nice barely there stripey effect. It has a busk closure in the front and lacing at the back. I used black twill tape for the bone casing. I didn't add waist tape as the corset is not meant for tight-lacing. I had some silver grommets left over from a previous project so I used them for the lacing as they matched the busk nicely. The lacing is just boring and black, my friend (who's corset it is) and I toyed with the idea of coloured lacing, but we decided we can change that later if need be.

                                    The finished corset





I'm pretty pleased with the finished result, especially now that the front hem is the correct length. There are a few seams that could be neater, but it's getting there. And more importantly my friend J likes it; she's worn it out a few times and apparently people have been complementary about the corset.

Ta-ra for now. There might be something relating to a dress in  the next post ...

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