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Topic: A Corset I'd be Happy With if it Fit  (Read 6244 times)
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« on: April 07, 2011 07:09:10 PM »

I've finally gotten a corset done that I actually like.. Well, except for the small problem that it's, er, too small.  Cry The mockup fit.  I think the problem is a combination of factors:  I only did a 1-layer mockup (although it's nearly impossible to *adjust* a two-layer mockup, and what's the point of a mockup for fitting if you can't alter it?   I've really gotta figure out a better corset-mockup method.)  Then of course I'm still using cable ties as boning, and cable ties are significantly thicker than real corset boning, and with a heavily boned bodice, the boning sorta causes "shrinking" since the fabric doesn't lay totally flat.  And I was hoping for waist reduction, but didn't learn until after I'd already started that ease should be added to the top to allow for displacing from the waist.  So to get it on at all leaves a lacing gap of at least 4", and I still have muffin top problems.  But I figured I'd go ahead and finish it, it was at least good technique practice even if I'm unlikely to wear this one much.  (Unless maybe I lose weight.. Hey, I can dream, right?)
And then I went maybe a tad overboard with the flossing, mainly just because since I can't really wear it, I didn't want to stop working on it.  Usually I judge a project "finished" when I can wear it. 
I drafted it from the instructions in the free article on Foundations Revealed.  The mockup fit wonderfully, I'm pretty sure the cable-tie boning was a big part of the fit problem. 
I've altered the pattern a bit, and am working on a version in denim that's just in a mockup stage now.. and getting a bit distracted with practicing gores. 

« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2011 08:33:57 PM »

It's so pretty! I have the pattern all drafted too, but how did you decide where to put the boning channels? Is there a page that I didn't read or something?

Either ways, congrats! It looks great, and I can't really tell about the sizing thing. I can't wait to see your other corset!
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2011 10:30:42 PM »

Ooh pretty! I've made a regency corset but haven't had the gumption to make a full sized-fully boned one. I'm glad to know about the cable ties though, because I was planning on using those. Out of curiosity, did you embroider it before or after you put it together?

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« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2011 10:38:34 PM »

Wow it looks great! If you hadn't said that its too small I would have never known. The embroidery is beautiful.
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2011 01:19:14 AM »

This is so pretty and elegant! What great craftsmanship, really! Oh, and I don't think a 4"gap is so big of a problem, many corsets  fit that way. A little modesty panel or top underneath and no problems. Smiley
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2011 03:49:12 AM »

You have excellent sewing skills (jealous)..I love the front closure, and I say if you can breathe in it, it fits!
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2011 06:39:26 AM »

It's so pretty! I have the pattern all drafted too, but how did you decide where to put the boning channels? Is there a page that I didn't read or something?

Either ways, congrats! It looks great, and I can't really tell about the sizing thing. I can't wait to see your other corset!

I don't know how correct it is, but I've been using this olive green pinstriped Vera Wang canvas for the strength layer and for most of my mockups (It was $1/yard from FabricMart awhile ago) so when I add boning channels that aren't right up against seams, I follow the pinstripes.  I've learned that it's a much better idea to stitch the boning angles from the outside rather than from the inside, so I just basted a running stitch along pinstripes that I wanted to use as guides.  I actually did a rather ridiculous amount of hand-basting for this one..  wrinkles in the fashion fabric layer drive me nuts.  I'm definitely going to experiment with fusing the fashion fabric to a strength layer to keep them together, but I'm unsure of how that'll hold up.  My last corset I tried to flatline the pieces together, but then of course each successive layer in is a tad smaller, especially once you consider pressing the seam allowances.. so that makes me hesitant about just fusing them together. 

Here's a closeup of the basting; the red is a temporary pad-stitching (which I actually only did on the second side.. Wink it didn't occur to me until then) and the blue is the running stitch that followed a pinstripe on the inside.  Hopefully when I eventually graduate to coutil, I'll be able to follow the herringbone in a similar way.  I'm sure there are other boning schemes, but it didn't seem like it could be outright wrong to follow the grainline.  Depending on the corset, I guess.  I haven't worked with spiral steels yet, which I'd need for any not-completely-straight boning. 

Sydney Eileen also has a tutorial on vertical boning channel alignment: http://sidneyeileen.com/tutorials/sewing/corset-making/boning-channel/

« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2011 06:54:10 AM »

Out of curiosity, did you embroider it before or after you put it together?
It's not really embroidery, it's flossing.  The distinction being that flossing is functional, it holds the top and bottom of the bones securely in place.. and so quite impossible to do before it's together, since you have to go through all the layers and then right in around the bone. 
(The stars obviously aren't boning, but since I couldn't really wear it, I was putting off declaring it finished.  So I decided some stars here and there would help keep the layers in place and be kinda pretty..  and be one more thing to do.   Grin )
Sydney Eileen has a tutorial on doing the flossing: http://sidneyeileen.com/tutorials/sewing/corset-detailing/flossing/   (I've relied a lot on her tutorials, they're really good!)
I also did some in-progress closeups as I did the tops of the flowers to show exactly what I did: http://maggiedoll.com/flossing-flowers  Well, almost exactly what I did, cause they weren't all exactly identical..  but the general process. 

« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2011 09:43:51 AM »

The embroidery on this piece is beautiful!

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« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2011 12:07:51 PM »

It's really lovely! I love the flossing you did on it, and it looks great from the front. I'm sure the gap in the back isn't as bad as you think it is. If nothing else, it was good practice, right?

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« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2011 11:05:24 PM »

I absolutely love the shinyness of the fabric you used. Even if you think you overdid the flossing it looks great with it! Congrats.

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« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2011 07:10:43 AM »

It's really lovely! I love the flossing you did on it, and it looks great from the front. I'm sure the gap in the back isn't as bad as you think it is. If nothing else, it was good practice, right?
I just checked, the modesty panel is actually 6.5" wide, and I have some trouble getting it closed just that much!  I'd drafted it hoping to get decent waist reduction, but I'd started it before reading Cathy Hay's "pint glass to hour glass" post on the corsetmakers livejournal group (http://community.livejournal.com/corsetmakers/1924914.html,) so it hadn't occurred to me to account for displacement.  The muffin top effect is pretty bad.  (I haven't gotten up the nerve to post there yet, but I do read it obsessively!)

I'm not sure why it hadn't occurred to me that boning it heavily would cause that accordion effect that makes it smaller.  I guess most of the experts use real boning, so it isn't as much of an issue.  Comparing the cable ties to other boning, they're quite significantly thicker than anything else I have.  I'd kinda figured that they couldn't be thicker than spiral steels because somehow I imagined that spiral steels would have to have more thickness to them then they do.. but then my spiral steel arrived yesterday and even that is significantly thinner than the cable ties.  But I'd imagine that with the possible exception of the lightweight flat steel, it'd be at least a bit of an issue.  I wonder if there's any way of getting a ballpark estimate on how much of an effect on size the boning will have, I'm not really sure how I should account for it in planning. I've never heard of any kind of formula to account for a ballpark figure on how much the accordion effect around bones will decrease the total circumference. 
From what I've been reading, just the type of boning can have a pretty big impact on fit, especially between flat steels and spirals.  I've been assuming that cable ties would behave more like flats, but I might be wrong in that.  The hardest thing about corsets is that everything is repeated so many times around the outside, tiny differences multiply.

I'm still using practice materials, so really nothing besides the busk was particularly expensive, I've had some lucky fabric finds.  I would be able to call it much better practice if I knew how to prevent the same thing from happening next time, though! (Anyone have any ideas?) This is the first one I've managed that doesn't have any significant wrinkles when I put it on; that was the exciting part. 

« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2011 12:42:33 PM »

Maggiedoll c'mon and post all the pics you've got. Even if the spillage is as bad as you say someone might have a really good idea for fixing it. Your corset is so pretty and fresh; you deserve to wear it. Also definitely post to the corset group. You just know that everyone there has seen/done this at some point.
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2011 04:15:39 PM »

I'm taking pictures in front of the mirror, it's a minor miracle that I can even get them from the front!

I know that to get significant waist reduction, I need to add ease around the top, since when you reduce the waist the mass has to go somewhere..  but I don't think there's any way to add to this one, short of cutting slits and adding gores.   Even not fitting, I like it too much to risk it!  Maybe once I have some more experience I'll try. 

The thing I'm not sure how to do is account for how the boning affects the final size, before putting the corset together.  I don't want to just add ease without having a better idea of how much and where.  And it would change with any different type of boning.  I'm not quite sure why it doesn't seem to be mentioned anywhere.. or maybe it is and I've missed it.   I guess it wouldn't happen if I were using separate bone casing.. but I haven't done that yet either. 

The last couple days I've been waylaid by attempts to find clear definitions on the difference between a gusset and a gore.  Hrm, why doesn't craftster have a laughing emoticon?

« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2011 04:59:15 AM »

Maggiedoll > I feel you pain ! I have made 2 corsets before... one was a nightmare to make it fit ! I had to start again many times  Cry I had the opposite problem : my fabric tended to stretch and the corset happened to be too big. Yeah that's a lit bit of hope : the fabric of the corset can stretch a little bit after you have worn it. Is there any chance it will end up the right size ?  Kiss

Looking forward to read your attempts to solve this Smiley

« Reply #15 on: August 13, 2011 04:35:18 AM »

That flossing is beautiful! What an elegant corset. I hope you managed to fix the fit issues in the pattern for your next one! I wore my corsets even though they have numerous issues, and it was still great fun. One day I hope to make a corset as elegant as this.
« Reply #16 on: August 18, 2011 05:52:26 PM »

Wow! Absolutely beautiful and such technical skill! Its a shame it doesn't fit properly but it's still something to be stupendously proud of! I love the flossing. I want to try flossing on my next corset.

« Reply #17 on: August 19, 2011 10:25:09 AM »

so much work in this!! beautiful xx

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