Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Adventures in corset making

The past couple of months have not been good for me sewing-wise. I lost count of the number of patterns I got out to make, only for them to go straight back in the drawer. I started a dress, which turned into a skirt, which went in the bin along with a pair of trousers. I wandered around the fabric shop for inspiration and left completely underwhelmed. Three times.

Then things started looking up when Stuart bought me a corset kit from Sew Curvy! I chose the Silverado corset and got some extra fabric so I could use the stuff that came with the kit as a trial run. I made a quick muslin to make sure there was nothing drastically wrong with the fit then dived into my first go. I thought it was a good idea to do it this way since I have never made anything like it before and by doing the first one properly at best I would come away with a decent enough corset and at worst I'd have an idea of what to do differently fit- and sewing-wise next time.

This was a project I have been waiting years to do so I wanted to make sure I took my time and did it right. I have a tendency when I start sewing to wqant to get it done, which leads to rushing and cutting corners (I'm really impatient) so I decided to to one bit a day and only when Faith was at school so I could focus. It worked really well, although I was dying to get 'just a little bit' done each night. I resisted though and it turned out surpringly well.

The Sew Curvy busk tutorial got me through the busk insertion and I made a cover for it as suggested, partly for wear and partly so I could have a go at putting one in before doing the real thing. The stitching is a bit wonky on one side and it overlaps a bit but I'm pretty impressed with it. I was paranoid about breaking a needle by hitting the busk so I hand cranked the needle all the way round.

I tried using a tailors awl to make the holes for the eyelets but ended up punching the holes out because I couldn't get the eyelets through the holes made with the awl - I had poorly fingers to prove how hard I tried!

Everything else was pretty straight forward, I just took it in half an inch at each side seam before sewing the lining and coutil togetherr, although for the next I think I'll re-trace the smaller size and use the bigger gores - I have enough of the coutil that came with the kit to make another trial run. These will be the most expensive muslins I will have made but it's going to be worth it! If anyone knows anything about corset making and fit, any advice is very welcome.

I feel a bit silly making relatively expensive (compared to what I normally make) garments knowing that they will rarely, if ever, get worn, but I think that is partly why I've enjoyed making it so much. There are clothes that have been on my mind for longer than I car to admit (corsets being one of them) that I haven't made because fabric is an expensive thing to waste of somethi that I know isn't really my style or the I don't need - one of e unfortunate side effects of becoming more financially responsible!

But making this corset was quite freeing - who says I have to make things with a purpose? I'm going to make sure I do more 'for the hell of it' sewing from now on, I think this was the push I needed to start.