Saturday, December 15, 2012

Fixing the Quick and Dirty Steampunk Corselet

In October (you can see previous post) I made a Steampunk costume in five days.  This included using a terrible Simplicity pattern to make a corselet that was a complete and utter headache.  The pattern itself was super easy, but scaled horribly.  I cut it out several sizes too small -- correlating with my desired cinched waist size and the mock up was way too big.  Even after I cut down the pattern a great deal I could cinch the darn thing all the way closed with room to go.

I also didn't have on hand an appropriate closure or the really cool metal closures I found on Ebay.  As I'm short waisted and wanted an antiqued gold busk I had to order one from a Canadian seller on Etsy because I couldn't find a short enough one anywhere else.  Price and shipping were excellent. I also didn't have any coutil and although I lined the pleather with heavy cotton duct fabric there is still give....I'm going to break down and buy some coutil yardage and put it away for when I get suddenly inspired to sew.

I ripped apart the front of the corset where I used hooks and eyes, and then took out about three inches of front material.  I inserted the busk, then added the heavy closures which are cosmetic only.  Much happier with the whole project.

The "quick and dirty" much too large, horrible front corselet.
The cut down version.  Note where the front bones are compared to the picture above.  I could have used this a bit smaller but there was not really anywhere easy to remove additional fabric without deconstructing the whole thing.  Unfortunately I didn't have coutil so there is a bit of stretch with the pleather which could have been avoided with the coutil as a backing.
Here you see a busk in the wrapper and the other busk partially inserted into the corselet.  The side with the nibs still needs to be folded over and sewn.  An awl is really helpful when putting together corsets.  I bought mine at HomeDepot for just a few bucks.
Here is the corselet before I put on the decorative hardware.  You can see there is quite a difference between the front bones in this version and the previous.  I don't care how big your hooks and eyes are there is nothing like having a proper busk closure to hold you in and allow for significant lacing.  If you have never put one in, don't stress, it is actually much easier than you thing.  I was originally quite intimidated before I inserted my first busk of this type.

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