No doubt you all are raring to go today! Having started to stitch up our Eventide Corset, today we will be making up some re-usable eyelet strips and fitting the Eventide corset… yes, today you’ll see it on you!!
Firstly, you will need to iron the Back of your Corset panels under 3cm. Turn and pin as illustrated, then iron. Once you have a crisp edge on each panel, pin both panels together and, using a long stitch on your Sewing Machine top stitch them together on the very edge of the panel.
To fit your Corset you will need to make up a removable eyelet strip, which is especially useful if you are intending to make more than one Eventide. It is also an excellent trial run for inserting eyelets.
Cut two 10cmx25cm strips of Coutil. Fold the first over in half so it is 5cm wide. Draw a line 2cm in from the folded edge then, 2cm from the top of the strip, make a mark on the line. Mark at 3cm intervals along the length of the strip. Repeat this process for the other side of the strip.
Using your eyelet punch, punch holes where the marks are then, using your eyelet setting kit or die, insert eyelets in every hole. The Eyelet Kit, Punch or Setter you have bought should have come with full instructions, and I would recommend reading them carefully before attempting this but making up these eyelet strips is an excellent way to practice this technique.
When the eyelet strips are complete, line the folded edge of the strip up with the folded edge of the Back of the Corset, and at an equal distance from the top and the bottom. Stitch as illustrated.
Lace up, put on and fit to your body, pinning and making a note of any alterations to be made… … is the Front too long? Does it cup correctly around the Bust? Would you like the Neckline a different shape?
It is possible to fit a Corset to oneself however; it isn’t always the easiest way to fit. If you have a friend, or someone who can help you at this stage it is advisable.
When lacing up your Corset to fit, it is important to lace until it starts to feel tight. Do not be tempted to tighten it too much or too quickly. If laced too tight, each seam will wrinkle and distort and you will be unable to see accurately where to reduce the seam or shape the Bust etc. Remember the Boning is not yet in the Corset, which is why it can wrinkle in this fashion.
If you are alone, this Video from Wilde Hunt Corsetry pretty much explains how to do this yourself:
As you are laced in to the Corset, stand with your hands on your hips, bent forward slightly at the Waist and with one foot in front of another. This will help the person lacing you to pull on the lacing without you toppling over! Lace until it starts to feel tight, at this point there should be an 8-10cm gap at the back. Once laced, stand in front of a mirror to judge where you need to reduce- or enlarge!- the shape of the Corset.
Whilst you may have adapted the Eventide Pattern to your shape, this is an opportunity to further shape the Corset to fit your body exceptionally. The most common places to reduce are at the bust (Front and Side Front panels), the Front and Back Hips (Side Front, Side and Side Back panels) and re-shaping the Bottom Front- so you are able to sit!- or Neck Line.
If there is no gap at the Centre Back you will need to reduce the size of the entire Corset by 8-10cm. this gap is incredibly important as, when you are lacing and wearing the Corset properly, you will easily reduce your Waist up to 10cm.
After being laced in to the Corset, Pin the Centre Front closed as illustrated (below left). Next, look at the Corset on your Body, and Pin in where is needs to be fitted a little closer.
You can also take this opportunity to decide on what Neck Line you would like, and trim the Corset down both at the Neck Line and Hip line to be more flattering and comfortable.
When you have worked your way around the Corset and pinned in any adjustments needed, take it off and lay it flat. To make an adjustment, you will first need to remove the Eyelet Strip from the Back of the Corset, and unpick your Top Stitching. This will enable you to get in to each and every seam to adjust any and all you need to.
Measure each adjustment and make a note of it. You may find it easier to make a little diagram of the Corset to make notes on as this can get a little confusing. Both the Eventide Corset Pattern and The Little Book of Corset Tips come with this.
Divide each of the measurements in half, then measure in from the original seam and make a mark at this point with Tailors Chalk (below left). Using the Patternmaster or a Ruler, draw a line from this mark in to the Waist Line (which you will be able to see from your snip!). Match any curves as best you can (below right).
Pin and stitch along this line, and your adjustment is complete!
You will need to repeat for the other Panels of the Front of the Corset, and for all the Coutil Panels which means effectively, you do the same adjustment four times.
You can choose to cut away the excess fabric to 1.5cm however; I always reattach the Eyelet Strips and re-fit to check before doing this.
The adjustments managed on my Eventide Corset… …
Fitting is the most long winded process but if time and care is taken over this, your Eventide will fit perfectly, and its job as a Corset will be more easily achieved. More details about adjusting the Corset to fit can be found in The Little Book of Corset Notes, and the Eventide Pattern Instruction Book.
Well, I think that’s about all for today and should keep you all busy!