Now let's make a corset - Part 2!

Finally finished.  It took longer than I expected as I tried not to rush with so many new techniques and rather thick layers of fabric.  Any way here is the result.


Pretty amazing, even though I say so myself.  I am so glad I decided to go for a decorative fabric for the outer shell.  There were some very pretty silk dupion fabrics in John Lewis but at £28 a metre I decided to try this burgundy crushed shimmer for my first project.  Less than half price I would still get the full corset making experience.

As this was the first corset I had made I attached boning to the seams only but the class takes you through the process of attaching  additional casings for a more structured corset.  The kit contains enough for the additional casings which is why it was so heavy.


You  need to line the decorative fabric with a woven fusible.  I used the same weft-insertion as used in the class as I had some over from a previous project.  You can get this from the English Couture Company.  I apply the fusible to the meterage and then cut in one.

The coutil and decorative fabric are cut separately.  You soon get an idea of the thickness of the layers you will be sewing.  The seams are sewn wrong sides together so that it is smooth next to the skin.  The fabric does move around so you do need to make sure that all the layers line up.  


The next stage is to apply the front facings into which the busk is inserted,  At this point I moved up from a size 14 to size 16 needle as there is a lot of fabric to topstitch close to the edge without a walking foot as this would have made seeing the edge more difficult.  I did use an adjustable edge foot  as a guide.

The stud side is inserted first then the hook side.  Yes, in the correct place.  Then I needed a rest.

The back facings are done next so that the eyelets can be inserted.  The eyelets can be done with a hand tool but the pliers are so much easier.  At this point I asked for some brute strength help to check firmly in place.  After the very scary bit you get the very exciting bit.  You need to try on to check the fit before applying the channels.  Don't forget to pop the boning in either side of the eyelets while you do this.  I had some minor tweaks to the bust area but starting to take shape.  

Once the fit is right you need to make the channels from strips of the lined fabric cut on the vertical grain.  Glad I  chose not to add any extra casings as the bias tape maker does get hot and then they have to be stitched to the seams right on the edge.  The front shaped seam is the most problematic so I just took my time and then had a rest.

Finally you cut the top and bottom bindings on the bias of the lined fabric. The top is done first, the bones inserted and the bottom to finish.  I added a modesty panel to the back  which is all carefully explained in the class.



Obviously need the right colour laces but job done.  Give myself a pat on the back - again.

Now let's make a corset - Part 1!

This is just so exciting.  I am a big fan of Craftsy and their deals have taken me off in so many directions.  It all began with the Beverly Johnson "Sewing Bras: Construction and Fit". This is a must if you are considering bra making.  I soon had the rest of her courses, taking in some formal tailoring, pattern drafting with Suzy Furrer along the way, all interspersed with embroidery classes and whatever came on offer that took my fancy.  At this point I should say that I finish all projects I start but some start dates are put back as something new grabs my attention.  So this is my latest "I have got to try this" 



Sewing Corsets - Essential Techniques

Alison Smith



Although there is a supplies and resources list I watched the class most of the way through to be double sure.  Besides the fabric and metalware for the corset itself I had most of the tools required except for the 12mm bias tape maker.  As the class uses Alison's Zara pattern I thought that would be the best place to start.  I have found that you get so much more from the class if you use the pattern being demonstrated.  The pattern is available at Sew Wardrobe, Alison's website, where they also offer a kit, available in three colours, to get you started.  I went for the black as at first I wasn't going to use any decorative fabric and thought this would be the best choice.  

Rather than trace I just cut out the size I needed and I will print out again for another size.  With a small number of pages and some close together lines this is so much quicker than tracing.  

All the pattern pieces cut in a stiff calico and labelled including marking top.

All the pattern pieces cut in a stiff calico and labelled including marking top.

I stitched all the seams including centre front.  If you use Swedish tracing paper you can just sew your pattern pieces together.  I do need to try this.

So now you need some help to try on and check the fit at the back!

So now you need some help to try on and check the fit at the back!

The fit was fine for me but, if necessary, Alison takes you through a full bust adjustment (FBA).  Now can't wait for the kit to arrive.