I finally finished my corset! It’s not perfect but I’m quite proud of the result. The corset has black satin binding, handstitched lace on the front, and black round cord lacing. I’ve also added a back modesty panel using Electra Design’s technique.
Here’s what I’ve done since the last corset posting, using techniques described in Julia Bremble’s Corset Making e-book:
I cut the continuous spiral steel bones using wire cutter. This turned out to be much easier than I thought. The spiral shape allowed me to only cut the outer wire on both sides. Then I attached the U-shaped end caps using pliers.
Since I have shortened my underbust, I had to cut the flat steel bones as well. I bought additional flat bones as the Sew Curvy kit only had 4. Cutting this flat steel bones is much more difficult than the spiral steel ones. I had to try several times before they snapped. The exposed cut part was then filed to make it rounder, then wrapped in plumber’s tape. I also wrapped the tip of spiral steel bones in plumber’s tape to keep the end caps in place. All the bones are cut 2.5 cm shorter than their channels.
Before inserting the bones to the channels. I bind the lower part of the corset in black satin binding. I didn’t use the white binding from Sew Curvy kit because I want the corset to have more contrast. The binding was attached by machine first, then turned and handstitched to the other side. I also handstitched piece of lace to the front of the corset. Then I inserted all the bones in place and finished binding the top part.
Initially I used black ribbon for the lacing, but it was too slippery and couldn’t hold the knot. I couldn’t find black lacing similar to the one from the Sew Curvy kit but I found this round cord lacing. Unfortunately it was only 3 m so my ties was a bit short. It is actually used for making children’s lunch bag, the craft stores have lots of these right now because next month is the beginning of education year in Japan.
I put on my corset and tied the laces, carefully keeping a straight gap in the back. It was uncomfortable as expected, but surprisingly not as uncomfortable as I’ve thought. It just felt like a very tight hug. In fact I wore it for about 4 hours after that with no problem. When I took it off, I kinda miss the feeling of being held. I wore it again the next day for 4 hours and I happily noticed that it did help easing my back pain.
I don’t think I will wear this corset for going out though. The corset really makes good posture and accentuate all the curves (maybe too much!), but it also makes my boobs looks too prominent. Besides I don’t have a lot of clothing that can conceal the corset. I guess I will only wear this corset at home to help my back pain (usually before that time of the month).
I have really enjoyed the process of making this corset immensely and keep looking for a reason to make another corset one day. But I realize that it is not something that I would wear a lot so maybe I won’t make another. While making the corset, I learned a lot of techniques and also how to be more patient with my project. Not everything has to be finished in one afternoon! I also love love love looking at my corset, caressing it, and love how I feel when wearing it. This project also refreshes my sewing mood, you can see that I’ve made a lot of other things this month!
Pattern is Laughing Moon 113 from Sew Curvy kit.
My journey in corset making continues! I’ve taken in the corset seams and shaped the waist a bit to hopefully give it a more hourglass shape. And after postponing for sometime, I finally got the courage to cut into my precious broche coutil.
The instruction is for single layer underbust, but I decided to use the technique from Corset Making e-book and made it double layered. Fortunately the Sew Curvy kit contained 0.5 m coutil fabric, which is exactly enough for a double layered underbust in my size. In this technique, each layered of panel is sandwiched between the next panel so the raw allowance is hidden inside. Each layer of the next panel is then turned and pressed, then the seam is topstitch twice to make the boning channel. It is similar to how I construct the seams for these bras.
However, I forgot to insert my waist stay tape before constructing! A waist stay is a strong piece of ribbon or tape, placed upon the waistline on the inside of the corset. It strengthens and stabilises the waist area so that the corset does without straining the fabric. As the type of seams that I chose is quite impossible to alter, I just resigned to the fate that my corset won’t have waist stay tape in it.
Time for inserting the eyelet for lacing holes. The first two holes took me half an hour to make because I had no idea how to keep the holes open without cutting into it. I pierced my thumb in the process and the first thing I thought was, ‘Nooo don’t let the blood ruin the fabric!’ Anyway I’m happy to say that the fabric is not ruined and also that I finally found my way for inserting the eyelet.
First, I made a hole with an awl, then widened the hole using a round chopstitck. Then I inserted the top part of the eyelet to the hole, you can see that the hole is still covered with some threads on the other side.
Using the tip of my awl, I nudged the threads gently to the side of the inserted top part. It is important that no threads are being cut here, the hole will shrink back and hold the eyelet tighter. After making sure that the hole is clear, I put the washer part to the back of eyelet and press it down. It will click a bit when you put it the right way. I put the whole thing into the plastic holder, again making sure that everything is in the right place. Then I hammered them down for good!
Here you can see the fruit of my labor and my poor thumb. I’m quite happy with this result because frankly I was starting to worry that making all those eyelets would take forever.
Another thing that I learned was choosing white for my first project is not really wise. Although I’ve tried to be careful, the corset has started to show some discoloration with all the handling that it have gone through. Maybe I can wash it later. How do you wash a corset?
I’m very happy with my progress though! I’ve learned a lot of things, my stitchings are quite neat with no needles harmed in the process. I forgot the waist stay tape but I can live with it, my thumb was injured but no blood stain on my precious white coutil. Next I will start cutting my spiral steel bones before inserting them to the boning channel. More things to learn!
I finally had a chance to start on my corset! I started by comparing the Laughing Moon Underbust corset pattern with the pattern from the Japanese corset book. The Japanese corset pattern is very simple with only four pieces: front, side front, side back, and center back; while the LM pattern has six pieces with four of them are side pieces. I think it means that the LM pattern has more room for body curves, so I decided to go with the Laughing Moon. I’ll keep the Japanese corset book for ideas and inspiration though as the pictures are so pretty.
The instructions for this pattern is quite clear and I didn’t have much trouble constructing my muslin. I also referred to Corset Making e-book by Julia Bremble from Sew Curvy. I bought the book as downloads from Vive Books though, Sew Curvy only has the CD version.
As my size is between 8 and 12, I cut the muslin in size 12 so I can take them in later if needed. The muslin didn’t have proper eyelet for lacing yet, they are just holes made with an awl. I installed the front busk quite properly though, as an exercise for the real thing. The spiral steel bones in Laughing Moon kit came as a roll that needed to be cut first, fortunately I have several spiral steel boning that I bought a long time ago for my unfinished bombshell dress (-_-;) so I used them for my muslin.
Here’s the corset muslin on my body! From my corset newbie point of view, I think it looks quite alright. A corset is supposed to have a two-inch gap at center back, mine is about 1.5 inch. Maybe I should take it in a bit. I’m still not sure, will do more research. The fit under the bust is a bit too high so I drew a new line that will be transferred to the pattern later.
You can also see the asymmetry because of my scoliosis. The right side of my waist has more ‘nip’ than the left side. I’m not sure if it means that I need to make each side of the corset differently. As for the comfort factor, surprisingly it is not as uncomfortable as I thought. I can walk and sit without feeling uncomfortable. In fact I kinda miss it when I had to take it off. Of course I’ve only worn it for a short time only so we will have to see again later.
So far I’m quite happy with the muslin and can’t wait to start on the real thing! But I want to be really careful and not rushing this project, I don’t think I will make too many corset for myself!