Monday, 1 September 2014

1884 corset - Construction

The two previous corsets I have made so far have both been single layer corsets with boning channels pre-bought and made from coutil respectively. And I have got to tell you that I loathe sewing them to the inside of the corset. So for this project I had decided to make a double layer corset. I had read about the so called welt/folded seam- method and was very keen on trying it since it seemed to be quite forgiving when it comes to fluctuations in the width of the seam allowances. However, I could not quite figure out how to combine this technique with the bust gores that are supposed to be inserted into seams. The issue kept me awake for a few nights. In the end, after cutting out the pieces, I decided to sew the first three panels of both the outer and lining layer together separately and apply the double layer method as described by Linda Sparks in her Basics of Corset Building. Once the panels were sewn together I inserted the busk, aligned the shell and lining layers and then put in the bust gussets (one layer only).

Seam allowances pinned down, gore outline traced. Ready for insertion.

Bust gore top stitched into place 

The first three panels joined separately, aligned on top of each other (not a perfect match I have to say) and boning channels stiched.
Once that was out of the way the following panels were added to the corset using the welt seam method and this worked like a charm. Fast, easy and neat. Before I knew it the sewing part was over and it was time for eyelets. and boning

All assembled!
Though, before cutting boning I put the corset on to adjust the top and bottom edges
Edges trimmed and outlined.
For boning I mostly used spiral steels and placed them according to the original pattern. Flat steels were used in the back. The edges were then bound with self-made bias binding and every single bone was then flossed top and bottom. My fingers really hurt after that! 

Flossing 13 bones per half top and bottom = 52 triangles

I knew that the flossing around the top edge would be covered by the lace so I did not spent as much time on that. For the same reason the binding is sewn down by machine here while it is hand sewn along the bottom.
After that the only thing left was to add some embellishment in the form of black lace along the top edge.

Boned, bound, flossed and the lace pinned on.
Proper photos of the finished piece will have to wait until the next post though!

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