Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Sewing Projects Part Two: Corset Adventures

I've always wanted to try making my own corset. I'm not a huge corset person, but I like them, and enjoy wearing them. I figured, I'm a good seamstress, I should be able to do this.

Well, I can. But it wasn't easy! And while I am very pleased with the results, I probably won't be making another one any time soon.

Terrible picture, but it shows the corset well enough.
I started by drafting a pattern to fit my torso. I'm not shaped in a way that is very conducive to corsets, I found out. My ribcage is the same size as my waist, but my hips are, um, generous. This produced a rather flared corset. I didn't want to deal with cups on the first attempt, so I went with an underbust style.

Here's the prototype made out of scrap fabric, marked with my adjustments in red Sharpie. I basically put together a mock-up, tried it on, and marked where it needed to be taken in, where the bones should lay, and so on.

The inner layer is a nice heavy cotton twill, the next best thing to real corset coutil (which I didn't get because it's very expensive).This was before I put the outer layer on, which is a wide-rib cotton pique with roses woven in. There are twenty-six steel bones: four flat bones in the back (surrounding the gromments), two flat bones in the front next to the busk, and twenty coiled steel bones in the body.

Aaaand the finished corset! The grommets were fun--I sat on the concrete outside my apartment with a hammer. I'm sure my neighbors think I'm a weirdo after that... For now, it's laced with plain black ribbon, but I want to replace it with something stronger eventually. The whole thing is very sturdy, edged with black satin ribbon. I broke six needles getting the boning in place, but the end result was well worth it.

Part three is coming up next, featuring a Steampunk coordinate and an up-cycled Comic-Con bag.

1 comment:

  1. I worked 10 hours straight to make a corset once, it was a really fun project. I like your comment about your neighbors. Don't worry, you are not alone. I'm sure everyone in my dorm thought I was nuts!