Monday, August 10, 2015

Finishing the Corset Shell

I am plodding along at a semi-consistent pace with this corset. I keep telling myself that I need this in two months PLUS EVERYTHING THAT GOES OVER IT, but for some reason I don't feel that panicky must-get-this-done-NOW feeling I used to get when I had a lot to do before an event. Good I guess? But it's not helping increase my productivity. Alas.

Here's where I am now. I have the back sewn to the front, the back edges finished and most of the boning channels sewn. I have the cording channels sewn and corded on the front but not on the back. 

After sewing the front corset I stitched in the boning channels and then the cording channels. This was frustrating. For some reason it was impossible to get the cording channels on both sides symmetrical. I had to end up ripping out the many little seams on one side and resewing all the cording channels after measuring the ones on the other side. I hated that, I felt like I had wasted so much time! At last however the deed was accomplished and I ended up with this: 

The back was really simple to do. I pressed under the back hip gusset opening seam allowances and pinned the gusset on, just like the front:

The hip gusset sewn in.

Next was to sew the back corset pieces to the front. You can sew this seam by doing a flat felled seam but I like to do it the way I show here, since it saves on time and looks very tidy. First, take your back lining piece and lay it down, right side up: 

Then lay the front piece, right side up, on top of the lining piece, matching side seam. 

Then lay the corset back right side DOWN, on top of the corset front, matching side seams:

So you are left with 3 layers, all matched at the side seam. Pin this seam: 

Sew it: 

Trim it: 

Then fold the back corset and back corset lining out. This completely covers the seam. Press well. 

To finish the back edges, turn the seam allowances in towards each other and press and pin: 

Both sides pinned: 

Stitch very close to the fold. I then sewed a channel for a bone right along the edge. This will support the eyelets. 

To finish the hip gusset, press under the seam allowance on the back lining and pin into place, covering the seam allowance of the gusset and slip stitch into place, the same as the front gussets.  

After this, the depressing thing happened that I ran out of thread. Darn! I won't be able to get to the store til tomorrow or the next day to buy more, so I decided to while away the afternoon by inserting the cording in the front. To do so, I used a pointy upholstery needle big enough to thread my cording through (the peaches n' cream variety). Work the upholstery needle through the channel:
All of my channels ended where crossed by another seam, so I had the pointy end of the needle emerge just before the end of the channel, on the lining side of the corset. 
The little holes left by the needle close up very well when steamed!

Pull the needle through.

Clip off close to the end. Leave a little bit of the tuft hanging out. When you stretch the fabric over the cording channel ever so slightly, the tuft will pop back into the hole. 

And here is the first side of the corset corded. I still will need to sew and cord the back cording channels when I get more thread. 

I really like the texture and visual interest the cording adds. I just hope it all works - one never knows with a corset, until its all done and tried on! As of now I have both front sides corded. I may start working the eyelets soon. Generally corsets of this era use metal grommets but I don't have a good grommet setter and find eyelets much much easier to work than setting rommets and just as sturdy. 

Here are my little helpers! One was just falling asleep as the other was waking up. I thought I'd have some time when both were sleeping but it seems fate did not agree. ;)


1 comment:

Thank you for your lovely thoughts!