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I'm Declaring the Ivory Corset Done!

I'm Declaring it DoneI'm Declaring it DoneIvory Corset InsideIvory Corset Inside
I know, it doesn't really look different than the last one or the one before that. Or the one before that. After finishing the flowers and the blue top flossing for the boning channels, I felt like it needed something else. So I added little stars in blue and silver, and silver running stitches along the sides of the busk.
The inside doesn't look particularly polished, but it actually is lined, but the lining is Vera Wang canvas rather than something white. And the flossing is of course goes all the way through to the lining. I believe that's how it's supposed to be done, but it does look unpolished that way. Perhaps I just need to work on making the underside of the flossing look decent. Or do less flossing. The pinstripes on that canvas also make straight lines a great deal easier.
I've kept going and going with the flossing because since it's really way too small, especially around the top, I don't know what makes it done. Maybe it's not a completed project at all, but besides the size problem, I rather like it. It's not perfect, but it does look fairly decent, and the general technique is definitely an improvement on my previous corsets. It's a learning experience! Flat fabric, almost no wrinkling.. just way too small!

And So It Continues (or, The Never-Ending Tale of the Ivory Corset)

Ivory Corset -- Getting Even Closer!Ivory Corset -- Getting Even Closer!
..The corset goes ever on and on..

I've finished everything for this corset that I expected to do-- the top and bottom of each bone and of both sides of the busk are flossed, and I've made a modesty panel, although it still needs some improvement. I used a floating modesty panel with grommets at the top, but other than that, it's only attached midway down by a loop of fabric, so at the very least, it needs a few more grommets. I also think that the busk flossing needs more. Definitely a flower on top off the "grass," at least.. it looks unfinished as it is. And I'm still thinking I'd like some flossing along the boning channels, probably a blue star-like design.
And then of course there's the problem of the fact that it doesn't quite fit. Well, it does in that I can wear it, so if that means it fits, then it fits. But it is too small, and the strips of lacing warp a bit, probably because the gap in the back is bigger than it really should be. And I can't tighten it without getting a really bad muffin-top effect. Next one *definitely* gets ease added at least to the top-- I seem to displace more upward than downward. Woah, that might even give the illusion that I actually have a chest!

On a related note, I just learned from Gloria's Blog entry that "muffin top" has been added to the Oxford English Dictionary.

Construction Completed!

Ivory Corset ConstructedIvory Corset ConstructedOkay, I haven't done the binding or flossing or anything, and I think I"m going to trim it down on the sides a bit.. but the actual construction part of my ivory corset is now completed! ...and it seems to fit! A few wrinkles, but not too many.. I've still got quite a bit of work to go before it's actually finished, and the gap in the back is wide enough and the lacing thin enough that I"ll definitely have to make a modesty panel for it.. but the construction itself--done! It's not perfect, but it is distinctly better than my previous corsets!

More Progress on my Ivory Corset

Ivory Corset -- More ProgressIvory Corset -- More ProgressSo, I'll babble some more about my ivory corset. I've gotten the construction on the right side finished (I think) and am now working on the left side. (That's right and left sides of my body.. looking at the sides from the front, like in the photo, it's reversed.)
It's turning out significantly smaller than my mockup. Some of that may be due to the fact that my mockup was only one layer, but I don't think that accounts for all of the difference. I'll go through and finish construction and check the fit, and then I'll decide if it's a final version or just another mockup.
I decided to try holding the layers together with something that I guess can only be described as a cross between pad-stitching and hand-basting. I'm not sure if there's a more accurate way to describe it.. I'm basically using more-or-less pad-stitching technique to hold everything in place and in shape while I sew the boning channels, then I'll remove it. The blue line of hand-stitching I used as a guide for the straight grain. The innermost layer is the striped Vera Wang canvas, so since I can't see that while doing the stitching from the outside, and stitching from the inside tends to be unpredictable, I decided to hand-sew a guide line.
I've had to re-fix my walking foot several more times, and I'm really wanting a real walking foot machine with needle feed. I've been doing some research on walking foot machines, and I'm getting somewhat confused as to what exactly I'd need. They're generally made for sewing canvas and leather, and while canvas accounts for a great deal of my corsets, there's also the silk layer to worry about. I haven't had much luck googling on what the best type of machine is for corset-making; I don't believe they make any specifically intended for the task, and I'm sure that if they did, they'd probably be crazy expensive. Somehow I doubt I'd be able to find a meant-for-corset-making machine on craigslist!

Self-Drafted Corset Mockup

Self-Drafted Corset MockupSelf-Drafted Corset Mockup Self-Drafted Corset Mockup FrontSelf-Drafted Corset Mockup Front Self-Drafted Corset Mockup BackSelf-Drafted Corset Mockup Back Corset Mockup On Me: Alright, fine.  Here's one of the mockup on me, taken in front of the mirror.. As I've already said, it's not as thick or as heavily boned as the finally version will be, but the fit is quite good!Corset Mockup On Me: Alright, fine. Here's one of the mockup on me, taken in front of the mirror.. As I've already said, it's not as thick or as heavily boned as the finally version will be, but the fit really isn't bad! Well, I finished a mockup of my self-drafted corset. Not a wearable mockup, just a pattern test; busks are too expensive for mockups to stay together permanently. I trimmed the busk and lacing bits off of the front and back pieces of the last mockup, so I have straight busk and lacing strips I can sew into place on mockups so I can check fit without having to go through all the inserting of the busk and hammering of eyelets and everything. It also makes it easier to do single-layer mockups which lets me actually (gasp) make adjustments, which is more or less impossible to do once you've sewn together a two-layer corset. I boned it along most of the seam allowances, and then added strips of canvas to the inside to create boning channels. (on a final two-layers-of-canvas version, I'd have just sewn the layers together to create the boning channels) It seems to have turned out the way I wanted it to. The fit is pretty good, everything seems right. The single layer version probably has a bit more give than the final two-layer corset will, but that's really not the end of the world, it's meant to have a lacing gap anyways. I've already cut out two layers of canvas for the final version. I haven't completely decided on the outer fabric yet. I'm thinking that I'll use the red silk from FabricMart. I have some ivory dupioni that's a possibility, but I don't want to have to do the extra layer in between the outside and the canvas, and the darker canvas would show through under the light dupioni. I suppose that might not be too obvious, especially as I *do* tend to wear corsets as undergarments.. and a red corset would show through an awful lot of tops. But I got the red silk for the purpose of making a corset anyways, and I still think it could be beautiful. And of course dark colors don't show dirt as much, which is a serious consideration given that corsets aren't exactly easy to wash! So.. I'm still thinking red silk for this one. I think.

Self-Drafted Corset Mockups

Corset Mockup: The mockup of my newest pattern.  It's still using the front and back pieces from the last version, since I'd already inserted the busk and put in the grommets.  This one extends down lower onto the hips and doesn't come up as high in the front.  It also seems to be a much better fit, although I still have to test it with it's own front and back pieces.  It's only one layer currently.  I realized after the last one that the two-layer corset was pretty impossible to adjust.. so now, one layer mockups it is.Corset Mockup: The mockup of my newest pattern. It's still using the front and back pieces from the last version, since I'd already inserted the busk and put in the grommets. This one extends down lower onto the hips and doesn't come up as high in the front. It also seems to be a much better fit, although I still have to test it with it's own front and back pieces. It's only one layer currently. I realized after the last one that the two-layer corset was pretty impossible to adjust.. so now, one layer mockups it is.
Pieces of the Last Version: The pieces of the last corset, minus front and back, of course.  It was much too flared at the hips.  And being silly and making it two layers, I couldn't adjust it at all.  Oops.Pieces of the Last Version: The pieces of the last corset, minus front and back, of course. It was much too flared at the hips. And being silly and making it two layers, I couldn't adjust it at all. Oops.I've been working on drafting a proper corset pattern according to the instructions on Foundations Revealed. I've had some trouble with the location of my waist-- the fact that my actual waist isn't the narrowest part of my torso gets confusing. So anyway, with the first one I ended up having to lower the waist a bit, and the flair to the hips ended up way too dramatic. The second one seems to be better, although of course I haven't fully tested it yet. The Vera Wang canvas holds up pretty well. There's some fraying around the edges, but not too much considering how much I've been abusing it; mostly it's just the pieces I've been reusing that have any fraying. The threads that are fraying don't pull away too badly either, which is useful.

One little gripe: while a corset certainly does make useful armor against tickling (much to Kris's frustration,) it's also armor against being able to scratch my back!

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