Monday, May 13, 2013

Part III: Self - Education in Corset Making or "I think I always do things the hard way."


I will add a number of photos and thoughts soon but I thought I'd share a couple photos.  What a long way around to a great fit!

This was the original finished corset which obviously did horrible things to my bust.  I was able to fix it by adding another gusset, but that was a lot of work and even then (now that I've worn the corset with a costume) it still flattens the bustline more than I would like.

Here is the added gusset.  There was so much hand work that I do not think I would do a project like this quite this way again.
My fingers were so sore going through all the material and my thimble wouldn't stay on that I wrapped my finger with duct tape!  It worked wonders.

I did so much hand sewing that I snapped the fine needle in half!  Ug.

My final thoughts is next time -- get a pattern!  Also coutil, you really must have the fabric to do this well.  And finally make sure you build leeway into the sizing.  I seem to have lost some winter weight and I can lace the waist (not bust ) all the way closed now.  I should have cut the corset waist down even smaller.  I get a great reduction but I could have gone smaller!!  Having a corset fitted just for you makes the BIGGEST difference in the world.  Wore it for the first time for several hours and had no pain or discomfort, it was amazing!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Part II: Self - Education in Corset Making or "I think I always do things the hard way."

Well it has been an interesting journey.  I am beginning to better understand this type of corset construction.  The project is a hot mess but since no one will see it and eventually I will use it to pattern a "pretty" one I'm not worried about it.

Just to recap:
- Started with a super super cheap (think cost of the busk) plastic boned, metal busk corset that was several sizes too big (it was like wearing a macaroni tube).
- Partially deconstructed it and added gussets.
- Added stashed spiral boning by sewing in channels behind with bias tape I already had.

Where we were:

Then I boned the corset but I was able to close it down all the way knowing I could get at least 1.5" - 2 smaller when I tight lace:
So then I cut down the back.  I did this but taking about three inches off the back then using my grommet tool to add new grommets down the back.  I was able to reduce another 1.5 inches down but i now can tight lace it closed in the middle with room to go.  I can't cut down any more in the back so when I redo this I will have to take all that into consideration.  But there is another problem...
...the bust is just too 18th century (flattening).  Even with the gussets I still need some relief up top.  It looks best when I undo the top two hooks on the busk. I can live like this and have a high bust or I can add two more small gussets after the fact.  I'm not sure right at this moment what to do but I have to start sewing dresses soon and I need this done.  I am somewhat disappointing that I didn't make the back a bit smaller as I would have liked to have gone down another inch or more.

The really great thing is that I can now see that a well fitted corset can reduce and be significantly more comfortable that trying to do the same thing in a corset that isn't cut for your body or is the wrong size.