Introduction: My First Corset - Victorian Style!
The corset is a beautiful thing, the ultimate show of femininity (well in my opinion at least!). So for quite a while I have wanted to make one, and here is my first attempt. I used Vogue 8325, with a couple of changes. For instance, instead of using plastic boning, I used steel spiral wire boning. Instead of normal hooks and eyes, I used chunky corset hook and eye tape. And I also changed the size of the eyelets, so I could use a specific lacing bone. I had a couple of problems along the way- I cut the boning a bit to long (though I did exactly as the pattern said!) and it started to pop thorough the seams a bit. So I used bias binding to hide the problem!
But apart from that I think it has turned out quite well for a first attemptâ¦And its fits like a dream!I used a blue/white classic brocade, which I think looks a bit victorian... to mix it up a bit, as the brocade is double sided and the colours of the pattern are reversed, I used different sides of the fabric for different pannels. Its quite suble, but you can just about tell that some roses are blue, and some are white.
Ive put some pics up here of construction and the final product..
Anyways, let me know what you guys think.
Step 1: Pattern Cutting
As I said in the intro I used an altered version of Vogue 8325. I just followed the instructions as enclosed, and you end up with two sides that look like this. However, you can see a bit here that I have used the different sides of the brocade on alternate pannels of the corset to give an interesting effect.
Step 2: Bones and Lining
The pattern said to use rubbishy platic boning, butI wanted to go the whole hog and use steel bones! I bought this continuous spiral wire boning from http://www.venacavadesign.co.uk/, which you do have to cut your self to the same length of your seams, minus 2-3cm. Then you use end caps which are purchased seperately and applied with pliers. The easiest way of doing this is to use a big hammer and a sharp chisel to cut the boning. I wuld recommend doing this on a house brick or something, and to wear eye protection ( the wires do tend to ping of in all directions!)
After this, to apply the bones to the lining you need some cotton covering tape. This can be sewn through at the edges,and stops you getting jabbed by the bones.
Step 3: Sewing Lining to Main Fabric, Hooks and Eyes, Lacing Bone/eyelets.
Jsut a note about sewing the lining and the main fabric together. THe pattern says to cut the bones shorted than the seams by 2cm. However I would recommend shortening the bones by about 3cm, as when I sewed the lining and main fabric together and truned it wout the right way, I discovered the bones were pusheng through the seam. THis wasnt a big deal, but it made the seams look messy and bumpy. So to get round this, I added bias binding I made using a funky gadget by prym, so I could get a good colour match.This made it all look more tidy.
After this, I sewed in the chunky corset hooks and eyes, concealing the white tape they were attached to in to the seam at the front- between the main fabric and the lining. The fact these were on a tape, meant that the spacing is perfect- and makes it look more professional.
THe pattern also didnt use a lacing bone- which is quite fundamental if you wnat perfect spacing for your eyelets. I used 4mm eyelets with a special set of eyelet vario pliers and a set of 25cm lacing bones, again from Vena carva design. the 4mm eyelets fit snugly in the bones. Fisrt I laid the bones flat on the brocade surface, and marked the holes with a pencil all the way down. Then using the piercing tool on the piers I made holes at each dot, through the brocade and lining fabric. Then I inserted the lacing bone between the brocade and the lining, and matched up the bone holes with the holes in the fabric.Then I applied the eyelets. After the eyelets were applied, I sewed round the bone using a zipper foot, just to make sure it would budge when lacing it up! To add definition to the edge, on the back i inserted another normal spiral bone next to the lacing bone. THis was then finished with a white cord to complement the other colour in the brocade. Voila- one corset.
Step 4: Wearing!
Finished, one can wear a corset anytime- they can be so easily dressed up or down. And the possibilities with different fabrics and finishes are endless, giving different looks! As I said, this corset I think looks quite casualand slighly victorian with the blue shimmer in the brocade.