Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Corsetry for Lingerie sewing month


Seeing as July is Lingerie sewing month for the Sewcialists, it seems like a good time to write a post about a corset.  Now, technically speaking, I didn't make this specially for this month's theme, but I really wanted to include it.

So, here it is:

This is a Victorian underbust corset.  That means you can wear your normal bra, and wear the corset as well.  But, it's more substantial than a waspie or waist cincher which would be shorter and just cover the waist area.  

There is quite a lot of construction in a corset.  Just take a look at the ones they made on the last series of the GBSB!  I made this purely because I love corsets and the shape of them and wanted a new sewing challenge!

I made a very individual pattern, based on my own body shape and measurements.  It sounds a bit odd, but you can do this easily by wearing an old t-shirt and moulding it to your shape with tape with the help of your other half or a friend. You can then mark on your measurements, cut yourself out of it, and there you go, you have a corset pattern which you can trace onto pattern paper, add your seam allowances, and off you go!

This one is made from white duchess satin and lined with an acetate lining.  There are 10 separate sections and each is separated by a boning casing containing plastic boning.  (You can also use steel bones if you can lay your hands on them, although this was not easy at the time).

This corset has a busk front opening.  This is a special piece of kit that you sew into the front of the corset on either side so that you can clip the front together.  This is a shorter one for a smaller corset.  For a full length corset you can buy longer busks.

The back is laced with ribbon laces which are threaded through steel eyelets.  I attached these with special eyelet pliers (Prym) as they enclose the fabric edge and the holes won't fray.

To finish off, I bias bound the top and bottom with white satin bias binding and then hand-sewed some lace trim onto either side of the front sections and sewed in one of  my labels.

You can buy great corset supplies from Vena Cava Design in the UK.  

I have made several corsets over the years.  There will be more to come!  Have you made one?

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