Issue 2: You’ve Gotta Roll With It,
You’ve Gotta Take Your Time
Issue 2 and the first thing you’ll have noticed if you read issue 1 back in December is that I’ve decided to make the Mini Mag bimonthly. This allows me time for all the crazy stuff that happens that I just can’t plan for. In the last few weeks for example, the Corset Training website has been cleaned several times and moved to new hosting to remove spam and bugs that broke through my, er, not overly strong security. It wasn’t as bad as using ‘password’ for the password but it wasn’t far off. Anyway apologies to anyone who couldn’t access the corsettraining.net blog recently! Life is what happens when we make other plans, as they say.
So what’s in this issue you ask, what are we rolling with? Well, roll pinning. Which is the tutorial at the end of this issue. If you’ve heard of it or tried it and you still feel like you’re somewhat in the dark, all will be illuminated! It’s the first of a two-parter and covers roll pinning for external bone casing. Next issue we’ll look at internal.
In the sewing room I’ve been making my butterfly corset, so named because it has butterflies in the print. Very imaginative I know. Coincidentally it’s also butterfly shaped when you open it out on account of the deep V shaped top edge. It has some exciting curvy features and there are lots of pictures.
There’s also a corset seasoning log for you to save and print, which will make breaking in your new corsets hassle free. As well as beginners information on how to start the process.
Plus my favorite bra maker Emerald Erin will be making my Vixen Cincher as part of a Valentines underwear set this month. To celebrate there will be a discount on the pattern! Plus she has a bra making kit giveaway that includes some beautiful red lace.
And lastly, speaking of discounts, from now on each Thread Over Heels issue will have a 15% discount code in, valid for the month it’s published! So grab February’s below along with all the other corsety content!
Much love and squeezy corset hugs for this month of romance,
Each newsletter will come with a 15% off coupon valid within the month the newsletter is published! Use it on all my products as a big thank you for reading! Use FEBTHREADS for 15% off my Printable Sewing Patterns & Corsetry Course!
IN THE SEWING ROOM
My butterfly corset is finally finished, I’ve been working on this one since Christmas and it was something of an experimental design; I’ve been asked for plus sized and curvy corsets so I wanted to create a super curvy corset with a more prominent hip spring. I have no hips so it’s gone really well and should look even curvier once I make it into a standard pattern. Let me know if you’re interested in me making up a printable pattern for this?Besides being curvy at the hips I wanted to create a design that curved under the tummy – my pet hate is having the bottom of a corset jut out at the bottom of the stomach and I’ve noticed it more and more as I’ve gotten older and rounder at the front. If you’ve had kids you’ll know what I mean!
So there’s a slight rounding to the tummy on this one and as you can see it’s done the trick, the whole thing scoops under. And hopefully you’ll agree it looks womanly without looking too round.This is also the corset I was making when I took the photos for the roll pinning tutorial below, which is a must if you’re treating your outer and lining fabric as one piece rather than making your corset in what I consider to be the standard way; where the outer and lining fabric are ‘floating’ i.e only attached to each other at the busk and laces. Treating the two layers as one means sewing them both together at each seam, but if you construct them flat on a table and then put them on a three-dimensional torso you’ll notice you get more wrinkle issues. However, if you want external bone casing the single layer method is the way to go.
I wanted external casing for this one as I didn’t have enough fabric to properly pattern match more than the front three panels. The external casing breaks up the pattern enough to get away with it, plus it’s quite striking. Even without pattern matching, I needed to add a different fabric for panel 4, which I decided to try a double layer of corsetry net for. I didn’t roll pin it properly and you can see the difference in the side view above and the image below. It’s very unforgiving! I think I would probably have gotten away with one layer of net.
The patterned fabric is a quilting weight material with a light woven interfacing ironed on. Despite the interfacing it was still quite wrinkly (thin equals more wrinkles) and you can see some little wrinkles caused by me roll pinning on a mannequin that wasn’t as curvy as this design. If you’ve not got a mannequin I’ll show you a better alternative in the tutorial below.
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VALENTINE’S MAKE WITH EMERALD ERIN
Emerald Erin will be making her first underwear set including a corset this month to celebrate Valentine’s, frills and the joy that is matching corset and undies sets. Back in October, Erin made up a couple of my printable corset patterns as part of her ‘Corset October’. For this set she’s going with the Vixen Cincher which I’m super excited to see with its matching bra and panties!
EmeraldErin.blogspot.co.uk where the Valentines festivities have already begun with a giveaway for this red lace bra kit! <To celebrate there will be an offer on the Vixen pattern that you’ll be able to find on Erin’s blog when her corset set make goes up. So keep an eye on
Some of Erin’s previous makes.
CORSET SEASONING LOG FOR YOU TO PRINT
I’m often asked about corset seasoning, which is the process of breaking in your corset slowly so it molds to your body. This prevents seam ripping and allows your body to get comfortable in the corset before you wear it for prolonged periods of time. Timing varies depending on who you talk to but 2 weeks (or 30 hours if you’re not seasoning every day) of wearing at around a 2 inch waist reduction (from your normal waist size) for a few hours a day before slowly increasing the wear time and reduction is generally accepted as the norm.
If you’re a regular corset wearer or you make corsets for tight-lacers then you’ll find the below log for corset seasoning very useful. There’s a ‘corset name/ID’ space so you can give your corset a nickname if you happen to be seasoning more than one corset at a time, a ‘date’ section so you can record the date and/or time of each seasoning session and suggested hours for each session which can be written over if your time in the corset varies.
Save the image and print it whenever you need to season a corset, feel free to share and post wherever you like as it’s a completely free resource!
If you need further advice and guidance on seasoning, I suggest checking out Lucy’s Corset Seasoning Mini Series. But for some immediate advice on how to start –
Put your corset on and pull the laces so it becomes snug, like a gentle hug. Stretch and wriggle about so it feels like it’s sitting in the right position on your body. Check the busk and lacing gap are straight and that both sit in the center of the body, before pulling the laces tighter so it feels like a strong hug – you should still be able to breathe freely and feel comfortable. Spend 30 minutes moving about until the corset starts to feel looser and tighten again in the same way. Continue to wear for up to 2 hours, tightening every half hour or so only if your corset starts to feel loose (it won’t actually loosen but as your body gets used to the restriction you’ll start to feel like you’ve got excess wriggle room and can comfortably tighten it a bit more). Stick to a 2 inch reduction or below and listen to your body, if you start to feel uncomfortable loosen your laces or take it off. After a few weeks you can slowly move up from 2 hours to 12 or more, going up by no more than an hour each day.
HOW TO ROLL PIN CORSET PANELS FOR EXTERNAL BONE CASING
Roll pinning is important for getting a smooth finish once the corset is pulled around the contours of the body. If you’re sandwiching multiple layers of fabric together and treating them as one, you’re going to need to roll pin if you don’t want wrinkles. If you don’t create an even tension between the fabric layers you’ll either get tension wrinkles where the fabric is pulled too tightly over the layer below, or wrinkles from excess fabric bunching up on top of a taught bottom layer.
Roll pinning is actually done in two different directions on the body/mannequin – up and down to follow the curves from hip to waist to bust but also around the body, so as well as curving in at the waist/out at the hips etc, each panel is slightly bowed outwards.
In addition, the seam allowance is also roll pinned as sewing a seam and then pressing the seam allowances open, for example, creates a sharp bend in the fabric where it is pressed and thus a need for extra fabric on the outside layer of that bend.
People roll pin over various things; tailor’s hams, their leg, cushions, large tins even! But to mimic the shape of the body the very best thing is the body itself, in it’s corseted shape. Not that you should lay the wearer down and ask them to slowly rotate for the next few hours! No, by body I mean the mannequin. But corseted mannequins are hard to come by so here’s the perfect solution, the corseted pillow!
If you already own a few corsets, you can just pick out the one that’s closest to the shape of the one you’re making. If it’s your first (well done for trying roll pinning straight off the batt!) or if you’re making a very different shaped corset, then use your mock up. Don’t tell me you didn’t make one, I will scowl at you and tut loudly before sending you off to make one. You should have made a mockup and boned at least half of it. Add bones to the other half (you’ll use them in the final corset so you’ll need them anyway), then put the mockup round a pillow and pin it together if you haven’t basted on some lacing panels at the back. Pull it about so it’s a good shape – roughly symmetrical and squashed slightly in the middle, and as we’re wider at the sides than front to back, oval rather than round. Once you’re happy with the shape you can begin.
Take each panel in turn and place it on the part of the mannequin that correlates to the area of the body it will sit against. Line up the waist and make sure your fabric layers are also lined up on top of each other. Now stroke the panel from the waist line outwards, making sure the fabric is flat against the mannequin. Now starting at the waist, pin the panel down as shown above. Just angle the top of the pin outwards slightly and push it into the mannequin along the seam line, stroke and pin outwards from the waist.
Your panel should be perfectly smooth against the contours of the mannequin. Now we’re going to roll the seams and stitch the fabric layers together.
As shown above, fold the seam allowance over in the direction it will be pressed (remember this is for external bone casing, we’ll cover internal in the next issue). Fold it flat along the seam line, take a needle and thread, and push the needle in and back out from above as close to the seam line as possible without being on top of the fold. Make sure you only go through the seam allowance and don’t end up sewing the panel and seam allowance together.
Now the panel is ready to be sewn. If you try to bend it the wrong way at the waist you’ll notice the inner fabric buckles (above) whereas holding it the correct way round (below), you can see the fabric layers sit smoothly. Your seam allowance may wrinkle up like mine here from the seam rolling.
So what do you do with the busk and eyelet panels? Well the front of the corset is usually completely flat, even on this design with a slightly rounded tummy, I just inserted the busk flat then rolled the seam on a flat surface. I did stroke the fabric out from the waist line while on the flat surface just to make sure the outer fabric was taught there, to avoid any little waist wrinkles.
For the back; sew the back seam, turn the seam right sides out and lay on the mannequin. Stroke from the waist up and down the torso, then instead of being able to stitch the seam allowance you’ll need to stitch through the whole thing near the edge. I like to go from the waist, stroking as I stitch outward to the end, then return to the waist and stroke/stitch outward to the other end. You can then turn/sew the seam allowance on the other side of the panel in the normal way.
I’ll cover roll pinning for internal bone casing in the next issue but for anyone who wants some further reading on the subject, there’s a great free article on Foundations Revealed called Roll Pinning Techniques that covers more theory and handling tricky fabrics.
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