Blue Floral Corset – Finished Pictures…

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In all honesty this corset has been more or less finished for the last couple of months but I messed up the bias binding on one side of it and had to re-do that, something that I kept putting off. When you spend so much time on one garment, it seems such a shame not to try to finish it off as best you can. And, I also needed to order some lovely blue ribbon for the ties at the back. The ratty looking laces I use for fitting, simply won’t do :-).

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Overall I’m really pleased with it. This is my first overbust corset and the first time I’ve constructed a corset from 3 layers. I love love the result of all that hard work I did on the pattern matching however there are quite a few bits I would change: I don’t like the shape round the bust and it definitely needs to be longer and give me more coverage! The thing is in the back of my mind I knew that the shape wasn’t quite right and didn’t do anything about it. Also, even though I made the pattern to accommodate my length, it isn’t enough, I feel like the corset is too short and therefore the bust cups are too low, hence I’m a bit too over-exposed there…

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Also next time, I would like to add length to the bottom as well so that it comes down to my hips – I think this would suit my figure better as I am particularly apple-shaped and my tummy protrudes quite a bit. You can see it more from the side, the overexposed boobs and whilst the corset nips me in at the waist it pushes it all out to the front. Maybe it would be different with a longer corset?

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Lastly – it is so difficult putting on a corset by yourself and trying to get the laces to go equally down the side and the floating panel in place! I definitely don’t think it fits me as well as when I first drafted it, which is definitely a lesson in making things up quickly after you’ve drafted the pattern before you have any further weight fluctuations!! Perhaps the fitting problems will go away if I lose 2 inches? 🙂

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Next time, I also think that I will make the back panel wider. I followed the basic directions in Julia Bremble’s book: Corset Making for Beginners to Intermediates but it seems a bit narrow to me. The book though, if anyone is interested, is a fantastic resource and I would thoroughly recommend it.


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Outer Fabric: Soft Floral Printed Coutil

Inner: White Cotton Herringbone Coutil

Lining: Blue Cotton Twill

The Roses Corset…

I finished this corset a couple of weeks ago just before I went on holiday but ran out of time to blog about it. I am extremely happy with how it turned out. Here’s the reminder: Floral printed cotton, £2 from the remnants bin at Fabrics Galore. Lining is a silk/cotton blend. Both layers are interfacing with slightly different weights of fusible interfacing. Boning is rigilene sew-in boning and finished off with turquoise satin bias binding. The pattern is Simplicity 5006.
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Here’s a shot of the inside:
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The back of the corset features hook and eye tape.

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This is the only shot of me wearing the corset and the bias binding was still unfinished at this point. I’ve not had a chance to wear and photograph it properly as when I finished it, I immediately lent it out to Morley college for a student exhibition they have going on at the moment. As I’ve been on holiday I haven’t had a chance to see if it has been exhibited, so fingers crossed! 20130304-135721.jpg

20th Century Corsetry Part 2…

I feel like introducing this post as “Hello, my name is Freya and I am obsessed with corsets…” rather like in some sort of Alcoholics Anonymous meeting because I seem to only every post about corsets these days! Well, I suppose that would be like saying I had some sort of problem. And since when is sewing a problem? NEVER!!

Anyway, it’s sunday evening and I am having the sunday evening blues – I have just spent a fantastic weekend with such lovely, inspiring ladies that share the same interest in making corsets as me and it is now all over. Back to reality and the 9 to 5 job in the morning. But to recap: here’s what I did this weekend – I did another toile this time with boning and adjusted the fit. Here’s me looking pretty happy about it:

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And from the side on. You probably can’t see it here but my bust looks a little bit ‘Madonna-esque’ and by ‘Madonna-esque’, I mean pointy boobs as in the 1980s cone bras…. Don’t worry, it got sorted! Phew!  Because I really don’t want to be sued for having somebody’s eye out with my pointy boobs…

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And from the back – so  we all sewed in the modesty panel at the CB and fitted it but it wasn’t till right at the end that I said to my teacher, so as I’m putting hooks and eyes in, why I have fitted panel 7 like that, I don’t have a CB seam. What can I say? I certainly have my dizzy moments! Anyway you live and you learn.

So, one way to sort that out is to split the panel and add that half to the next panel, making that one large panel. But of course, I never make things easy for myself. I had already cut out my pattern before I mentioned it and I have a minimal amount of fabric left to play with. So my only option is to split this back panel and then add seam allowance to that, so I will have two extra panels in the back compared to the original design. Well, I’ll just chalk that up to experience and call it a design modification shall I?

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And the winning fabric combination for my corset is this lovely fabric remnant that I got from a remnants bin. I am very happy with how it’s looking at the moment! Seriously I cannot wait to finish it, tomorrow at work is going to be hard when I am daydreaming about this…

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20th Century Corsetry

When you come from somewhere that looks like this:-

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(Bonus points if you can spot my cat in this picture – cheeky little thing :-))

And you wake up to a place that looks like this:-

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It sometimes a good thing to remind myself of the reasons that I am very lucky to live in London. One reason is the opportunities that I have to go to places like Morley College which I wouldn’t have if I was back home. Morley college is based in Lambeth North and is an adult education college which offers a massive amount of courses and has a really strong fashion department.

So off I took myself to Morley college at the weekend and completed week 1 of 2 (Saturday and Sunday) of 20th Century Corsetry. I’m really interested in this course because a) I’m obsessed with corsets – did I really need to state the obvious here?? b) I want to learn everything about corsets c) I want to learn more about fitting d) I really want to learn how to make ‘under’ corsets that fit under dresses and give structure to strapless dresses and dresses made from delicate fabrics – in my mind’s eyes, I am determined to still complete Vogue V1174 which to this day has remained a rather irritating UFO…

I was lucky enough to be fitted by our class tutor – who by the way is absolutely amazing! I have learnt so much from her already. I just want to keep doing more and more courses and I would if I didn’t have to pay my bills or need food survive too!

Anyway back to the pattern – We’re using a Simplicity pattern which is relatively easy and straightforward to alter for a large class of students. Simplicity 5006 in case you are wondering. This is my first toile and as the tutor fitted my corset, I am very happy with the fit! We then had to turn to our neighbours and fit their corsets which was great practice.

I should apologise now if you’re not keen on seeing me standing in a corset toile with my underwear on, but hey this is a sewing blog after all and we’re assessing fit!! I’m just glad I had a good bra on that day considering how much I bang on about lingerie 🙂

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The basic alteration to this pattern for me is adding 2 cm in length near the waist point. This is based on measuring my actual arm pit to waist and waist to bust apex then comparing the measurements on the pattern pieces. Considering I am 5’10” – a 2cm addition to me feels a bit minimal but it seems to be enough. However the pattern includes a 1.5cm seam allowance at the top and bottom, so I will probably have to add that on when I do toile number 2.

I have also added in a little bit more at the side of the bust to prevent the dreaded ‘side boob’.

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The other thing you might notice is that my bra straps are tightened up to the max, the clasp at the back is on its smallest and the straps are even pinned at the top to lift my bust as much as I want it to look in the final corset. Interesting fact that my teacher told us was a lot of bras have straps that are too long.

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Plan is for this weekend coming to make our corsets in our actual fabric. So there is lots to do this week and this weekend! I love a good project though, it just makes my heart sing 🙂 Seriously, I can be so cheesy sometimes…

Thoughts on potential fabrics? I’m going to try to use something from my abundant stash and these are my current choices:-

1. A light cotton/silk mix voile bought from ditto fabrics last year

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2.  A striped oranges and pinks natural silk (gifted from grandmother)

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3. A rather cheeky cotton remnant for £2 from Fabrics Galore

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3. Another sale item, this time I think it was from Sew Curvy or Vena Cava – Can’t remember. An orangeish satin backed coutil. It’s definitely more orange in natural light. So much so that I am often wondering how I could dye this to a more blush/ballet pink colour. (However as I am half Dutch, the thought of wearing anything brightly orange does not phase me in the slightest!)

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5. Or for something completely different and a bit retro – A Cath Kidston piece I was given as a present – brushed cotton flannel. Although I wonder if I really would wear something like this as it really isn’t my style. So perhaps not a good choice.

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At the moment I am leaning between number 1 and 4 the most but as always, I appreciate everyone’s opinions!

Blue Floral Corset…

I apologise in advance for the rubbish phone photos… And as I live in England, during the Winter months, natural sunlight is virtually non existent 🙂 Ok, ok, I might be exaggerating just a little bit…

I got home yesterday to find that I had no phone and no internet connection – I’m still not sure how that happened but what did happen was that instead of sitting down and watching TV, I decided to sit down and do some sewing. And this is what happened:

Remember this corset? I did some corsetry pattern cutting lessons early last year and made my first toile back then. Then of course life got in the way and didn’t get round to making another toile until later in the summer. Finally I’ve started making it up. Cutting out the pattern has been a pain and I have tried to match up the pattern but as you can see the curved pieces plus fabric choice are a nightmare!

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It’s taken me about five hours (over two nights) so far to sew only four panels together 🙂 I got the busk completely wrong! And then I had forgotten how precise you have to be with corsetry! So naturally, I’ve ripped a few seams out already. But eventually, I decided to do things properly and baste my boning channels in. I can’t believe I am actually doing things properly for once! I think this might be my new year’s resolution for 2013. My seams are looking straighter already!

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I’ve been using these new pins (Merchant & Mills Entomology pins) I picked up from Liberty the other day. They’re not new to the blogosphere but I thought I’d quickly mention them. (Of course they were a pound more expensive in Liberty than they are online, so don’t buy them instore but alas I was impatient….) They’re pretty strange thin little pins and I keep stabbing myself in the fingers with them! But they don’t seem to make me bleed like big pins would. Weird but true :-). I’m using them on my corset at the moment and they have left no little pin holes behind, so i’ll be interested to see what they’re like with silk…

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I know this is nothing to do with sewing but I do love Ryan Gosling memes and this one is a good one 🙂 as it’s January and all!

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(Sorry, I have no idea where this image came from,

it was on somebody’s facebook page, but if you do know, i’d be glad to credit it to the right person!)

A Corset for Kate…

Who wants to see a corset? Hands up in the air please everyone!

This is the second toile of the corset I am making for my friend Kate. Ignore the minor wrinkling at the bottom of the corset, the temporary boning I popped into the corset isn’t long enough. I’m pretty happy with the alterations I made with the corset – Look no side boobage/overspill!

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I took off a couple more inches off the waist and we now have a lovely even gap down the back of the corset. Next step: Making up the final version!

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