I lost the will to blog in December/January, but that doesn't mean I was sitting around with idle hands!
Another project which I began last year was this corset. It is actually my very first self drawn corset pattern which has WORKED! It's taken a lorralorra experimentation to get to this stage, poring over old corset patterns in complicated books along with extensive interwebular research, much headscratching, and a good deal of practical trial and error.
First of all, a corset should fit so that you don't get any 'bagging' of skin over the top edge - ie: "4 boob syndrome"! The centre back edges - where the laces are - should be parallell, not bowed in or out at any place, or v-shaped in any direction - all or any of these things are signs of a badly fitting corset. Therefore, the corset pattern must be made with all of these things in consideration.
This here is the smoothest 'finish' I have ever achieved in my corsetry!
A corset can reduce the waist immediately anywhere between 2-4 inches in one go depending on one's 'squidge' factor and obviously, this affects how the body behaves at either edge of the corset - the squidged waist has to go somewhere - usually upwards - which will exaggerate the 4 boob syndrome. If the hips are more than 10" bigger than the natural waist measurement, then you are very lucky the corset has to be made with hip gussets in order to avoid a ruched and stretched appearance over the hips - this is a good thing as it gives a tremendous hourglass shape. I, unfortunately, do not need gussets :(
The front of this corset doesn't quite pull in flat enough over the tummy for my liking - I am not sure how to remedy this - more boning or different lines? This is next on the drawing board! For more shape the corset needs many more bones - I am not really very pleased with the curve factor here, although it has pulled my waist in very comfortably, by 4 inches - I feel there should be a little more definition!
Fabricwise, I used a medium weight gingham fabric, flatlined* to some stiff canvass, and then lined with polycotton. The boning channels over each seam, and at the centre of the front and back panels, run between the outer fabric, and the lining. The gingham was a little too fine to use without further stiffening, despite the canvas backing that I reinforced it with - it moved about alot when I was sewing the busk fastener which annoyed me terribly but I managed somehow to avoid puckering.
I am however, really pleased with the finished item, not only because of the perfect fit, but because of the casual look (looks lovely with jeans!). Therefore, if I used this type of fabric again, I would have to bond it to canvas or coutil with bondaweb before sewing the peices together and lining.
*flatlining: sewing each pattern piece of outer fabric to a stiffer fabric pattern piece, and then treating the two as one piece.
Edit from the future: NEVER steam your corset peices during construction.... this corset suffered from having smaller lining pieces than the fashion pieces because I steamed everything but the lining fabric shrunk. Grr!