I’ve been busy working on the corded corset the past couple weeks, and am taking a breather to post the WIP photos here. If you follow me on facebook, instagram, or twitter, you can see images like these as I make progress on my projects.
It’s pretty close to being finished. There are just a couple hiccups that need addressing so it fits comfortably.
What you are looking at here is I made a basting stitch in white thread at seam allowance depth, and then turned the seam allowance under and stitched it down.
After prepping all the panels I spent some time cutting things out, like the lining, busk pocket, and fabric strips to cover the seams. Then I started assembling the panels.
I zig-zag stitched the panels edge to edge, with cotton ribbon backing for reinforcement. I used contrast stitching so I could easily see what I was doing, and it will be covered later.
Here the body panels have been assembled and I’m adding the waist tape.
I also assembled the lining, but did not take a photo, before stopping to go get a 3/8″ bias tape maker for creating the strips to cover the seams.
In this photo all the seams are covered and the lining is attached on the body of the corset. I can’t say the same for the stomacher yet.
By getting it this far when I did, I was able to take the corset with me to an SCA event and attach the lacing rings by hand over the weekend.
When I took this photo I was almost done attaching the lacing rings to the corset. Only three and a half rings out of 26 were left. Then the basting stitches (the white stitches) could be removed. I used an up-down buttonhole stitch in black buttonhole thread.
These are detail photos of attaching the bias binding around the armholes, showing the difference in final product when you use couture techniques. Initially I tried to do it entirely on the machine (bottom photo), but it turned out terrible on the inside and I barely caught the fold over in places. I’m not in practice enough to be able to fudge it, so after that I whip stitched the binding in place on the inside so I was certain it would turn out nice. It’s basically a basting stitch since I also top stitched after to create an aesthetic consistent with the seam binding, but done in such a way I don’t have too remove it after. If the whip stitch was the only finishing on the binding I would have made the stitches much smaller.
As of this photo I had finished attaching the bias binding around both armholes and the top edge of the corset, and I started in on the binding around the tabs.
Here I am hand basting the gores in place so I can stitch them accurately. The lining on the gores is folded to the front with the raw edge trimmed to where it will be hidden under the body of the corset. The three gores still unattached are stacked on the corset for the photo. Every time I turn around I am finding another unanticipated step that involves hand stitching.
As of this photo, the only external detail remaining is to finish the binding on the top of the stomacher.
I got far enough along to be able to try it on before taking this photo, and unfortunately it does need a little bit of steel boning to prevent buckling at the waist. I’m also far enough in that it will have to be added by hand. So, more handwork. Still, it will give me an opportunity to try something else I’ve been curious about, and we’ll see if I can’t make the boning removable for washing.
Inglorious bathroom selfie! The blue painter’s tape shows where I need to place the flat steel boning so it will be straight down the side of my body (no twisting). You can see the buckling, which isn’t any worse than one would expect from a faux corset, but is horribly uncomfortable since this corset is tight lacing. I also need to move the anchor points that hold the top of the stomacher tight to my chest to correct the gaping at my bust.
I do think I know what I did wrong that caused the buckling. I started this corset (including cutting it all out) last summer, and I am pretty sure I didn’t cut the pieces on the correct grain. I think they are all grain vertical to the piece shape, which puts them more and more on the bias the closer to the front you get…. It’s a siilly mistake, but it does illustrate the absolute importance of placing grain correctly for the line of pressure along the body. Had I done that, I don’t think it would need boning at all, because the wrinkling is actually bias stretch on steroids. Without the full cording I don’t think it would be wearable. The line of the tape is what the strength layer grain should be on the side panel, but instead I think it is even with the lines of cording.
All in all, I’d say that I’m happy with how it’s looking, and I’m sure I will wear it quite a bit, but there are a lot of things I would do differently, so at some point down the road I want to revisit this concept and make it even better.