Finally found some time to carry on with this project; a pink corset with suspenders built in…
I started making this pink corset a few months ago, then it got put to one side and I forgot about it. I found it again while doing my ‘Autumn clean’ of the sewing room yesterday. It was under a pile of fabric as you might expect!
So this corset is actually a double tester project as I’m trying out both built-in suspender attachments and a single layer corset. That’s right no lining layer! But why? Well up until a few years ago I was adamant you needed to line your corset and line it with coutil which is a special stiff, tightly woven corsetry fabric specifically designed for making corsets that can be used for corset training the waist. I still believe this largely and if you plan to corset train then you want a coutil lined corset. However, I purchased some antique Victorian/Edwardian corsets a few years back to study and was shocked to find they were single layered! These very fine single layered garments were used by ladies of the era to tight-lace day in and day out. So for a long time now I’ve wanted to make a serious corset training corset in single layer. So this is upholstery fabric by Laura Ashley which I picked up on a London market stall, no coutil, no waist tape, no lining. Very exciting!
I’ve already sewn one side of pieces together minus the center front and center back which will need lining on account of the busk and eyelets. Today I sewed the other side together. Above you can see all the pieces, this is a seven piece corset pattern, the end pieces have been pushed to the sides in the photo and the ones in the middle were all sewn together. I double stitched each seam with two different stitch lengths then pressed each seam open then toward the back.
I then stitched a beige cotton bone casing over the raw seam allowances on the inside to finish the seams off nicely, hiding the raw edges. You can see the inside in the image below.
I now have two sides like this, next step will be to insert the busk; for which I will need to use two layers and the same for the eyelets. If you were to add a waist tape to strengthen the waist for corset training, then a floating waist tape could be attached front and back with the eyelets and busk.
I ordered some pretty Victorian lace from EBay recently and today it all turned up in the post. It’s very fine but I’m hoping it’ll hold up as detailing on a corset I’m planning to make. There’s something really nice about authentic Victorian lace, whether it’s the quality of the craftsmanship or just ye olde worlde smell, I’m not sure but I may have over done it for one corset design! I just couldn’t resist adding this big floral design.
The other pieces are a little more substantial with these trailing flowers looking like they’ll make the perfect eye catching detailing for either the bottom or top edging of a corset.
I’m planning to make a corset in a light or nude shade and then just play with the placing before the binding goes on, see what looks most visually appealing. I may sew the outer panels together and leave the busk insertion till last incase I want to attach lace along the front closure. Then I can include the edge with the outer fabric and hand sew the rest in place on the mannequin so I get the stretch and shaping right. I may try a few of these smaller flowers first as I’m actually new to lace application, although I’ve talked the method through with other corset makers. Time to apply all that gleaned corsetry knowledge!
So it’s all sewn together now, the corset pattern looks pretty good shape wise, but I’ll have to wait till later to try it on as I have a fair bit to do today and I need to find my lacing tape so I can give it a proper try on.
Handy hint – get some lacing tape for your mock-ups – it comes as a strip of sturdy cotton tape (sometimes petersham) with eyelets pre-set. When you make a corset mock up sew it on the back to allow you to lace the whole thing up and try the fit properly. It only takes two quick lines of stitching to attach, then afterward rip it off to use on the next mock up! So you only need ever buy 1 meter! Cut it in half and when you sew onto your mock ups don’t trim it, just leave the extra length hanging at the bottom. This ensures it will always be long enough for all your mock ups.
Anyway, here are the photos of the mock-up all sewn together and some pics of how I pin and sew the pattern pieces. I’ll update you when I’ve tried it on and if I alter the corset pattern, then again when I start to make a corset from it.
First four pattern pieces sewn together
Corset Pattern done! – Bust area
Corset Pattern done! – Two bottom edge options
OK so I’m sewing these together later but I thought I’d put up some pictures of the corset pattern pieces before I do so you can see them properly. This is what I’ve got up to so far and as you can see it’s a seven piece corset pattern, so 14 pieces in total. This is going to be a nice sturdy corset training pattern. I’ve been meaning to design something nice and shapely but comfortable to wear underneath my cloths on a daily basis. I’m terribly inconsistent when it comes to corset training and haven’t really bothered for a while now. It’s an overbust design but when I get the mockup on I’ll draw in an underbust line.
I’m using coutil for this mock up incase you’re wondering what fabric it is, but only because I bought some that turned out to be of a nasty quality not fit to make a corset from but couldn’t be bothered to send it back!
Foxy Little Corset Belt
So it’s finished, I’ve taken photos and here it is in my Etsy shop on sale to raise money for the recording equipment to film more instructional videos. Click the listing pic to visit this foxy little corset in my Etsy shop or scroll down for more pictures.
Click for bigger pics!