Week 2: Cutting the Eventide Corset out

Now, after a week of taking it easy it’s time to get stitching your Eventide Corset!

After having made any adaptations to fit on the Pattern, you’ll need to cut out the Fabric. Diagrams and more information can be found in the Eventide Instruction Book however; here are a couple of hints… … and dire warnings!

cut1 cut2

After having traced off, adapted and cut out the Pattern, pin to the Fabric remembering to measure the Grain Line. Fold the Coutil in half, Selvedge to Selvedge and Right Sides Together (so you are pinning to the back of your Fabric), and lay it on a flat surface.

It is incredibly important that each piece of the Pattern is cut out ON GRAIN. The Grain runs parallel to the Selvedge, which is the woven, finished edge of the Fabric. Cross Grain, or Bias, runs at a 45 degree angle to the straight Grain. Corsets must be cut out DIRECTLY ON THE STRAIGHT GRAIN to ensure the Waist Line in particular maintains the strength provided by the Straight Grain. Cutting the pieces of the Corset even slightly ‘off grain’ will mean it will twist uncomfortably as you wear it.

cut3 cut4

Now, dire warnings aside!, after you have pinned each Pattern piece you will need to draw on your Seam Allowance… which is 1.5cm.

To do this, use a Tape Measure to measure out 1.5cm from the Pattern piece, and mark with some Tailors Chalk or a Fabric Pencil in a contrast colour. As you can see, Tailors Chalk is available in a variety of colours and it is useful to have a selection. Continue around each Pattern piece, measuring out and making a mark every few centimetres or so. Use a ruler or Patternmaster to connect the dots.

cut5 cut6 cut7

Cut each piece out, and before you un-pin it, make a little snip no more then 1cm deep at the Waist Line. This is called a notch and will assist you in sewing the Corset up. It is another important little detail!

Repeat for the Coutil.

cutting diagram

You may have noticed that each piece looks similar to the next, and you can choose to cut out some paper markers to Pin on to each piece. To do this simply write what the piece is on a little scrap of paper and pin to the piece BUT pin to the piece as you would WEAR it. To do this, lay the pieces out upside down so the top is closest to you.

And that’s it!

Don’t forget, the Eventide Corset Pattern is available in a number of options including Instant Download here, and you can join in with Corset Month on FacebookTwitter (#corsetsessions) and Pinterest!

Happy stitching!

Notions: Preparing to Sew with Difficult Fabric

For this weeks’ Notions, I thought I would discuss something which, whilst being relevant to Corsetry, is also good basic knowledge for using unusual fabrics for all types of projects.

There comes a time when we all would like to use something a little more adventurous! Preparing the Fabric well is half the task of sewing Lace, or Sequinned Fabric.

Lace Overlays

When using Lace for Corsets, you will need to consider the pattern of the Lace- is it large or small and do you need to take this into consideration when placing the Pattern Pieces? You will need to re-trace off your Corset Pattern (from your adapted Pattern) and add in Seam Allowance before cutting out. This will ensure you do not have to draw the Seam Allowance on to the Lace which can be difficult for a number of reasons- the Lace will move about and can stretch out of shape, it will also be delicate and should not be overly handled.

After tracing the Paper Pattern off, pin the Paper Pattern on and cut out as you would Fabric. If the lace is very delicate, you may wish to use Pattern Weights instead of Pins to ensure you do not damage the Lace. I do not worry about being overly accurate- as long as the Lace is cut out within 1cm of the edge of the Paper Pattern and all Waist Notches are marked you will be fine.

Once all Lace sections are cut out, lay the Fabric pieces of the Corset out, then lay the Lace sections on top. Double check your Waist Notches are all in line throughout the Corset pieces, and that you have a left and a right of each piece.

sequin 1sequin 2

Pin the layers together, pin carefully so as to not damage the Lace.

Tack each section together as illustrated. Use a contrast Tacking Thread, and try to keep within the 1.5cm Seam Allowance so you will not have to remove it. If, when the Corset is sewn up, you can see the Tacking Stitches, the contrast thread will help you to see where to remove them.

Once the pieces are tacked, you can trim back any excess Lace to the edge of the Fabric.

sequin 3 sequin 4

Alternatively, and you may wish to Sew a couple Corsets having tacked them before trying this method!- you can pin the sections together as illustrated. Pin along the Seam Allowance as shown, and keep the Pins in until they are stitched up. Of course, whilst this method is quicker there are some obvious drawbacks! If you have to adjust the Corset or unpick it for any reason, these pieces will become separated and need to be pinned again, it will take a little more experience to be able to control the layers of fabric with just pins holding them together… you also use a lot of pins!!

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This is a technique I often use when manufacturing multiple Corsets.

Sequinned and Beaded Fabrics

Sewing with Sequinned and Beaded fabrics has another set of rules. Because you are unable to Sew over Beads or heavier weight Sequins, you will need to remove them from the Seam Allowance.

It is easiest to trace off the Pattern, and add the Seam Allowance as for working with Lace Fabrics before pinning in the Pattern and cutting out.

Using a Tape Measure, measure in 1.5cm (which is the Seam Allowance for the Eventide Corset Pattern) and mark with a line of Pins as illustrated.

beaded 1 beaded 2

With a contrast Thread, tack along the line of Pins.

beaded 3 beaded 4

When you have tacked a line of stitching 1.5cm in, you will need to remove all of the Beads and Sequins from the Seam Allowance. And yes, this takes ages!! I keep the Beads and Sequins I remove, in case I need to add a couple in again. The stitching which holds on the Beads or Sequins is actually a chain so sometimes a couple of centimetres can unravel when it is cut, and will need to be carefully sewn back down, or added in by hand.

I will insert the Busk by hand if I am making a Corset from Beaded Fabric so as to not disturb the pattern of the Beading at the front of the Corset.

Pattern Matching and using Patterned Fabrics

This tip for Pattern Matching Fabrics is enormously helpful however; if you are using a Patterned Fabric you may wish to select the sections you wish to use, or even Pattern Match the Front Panels so that the Pattern runs across them. This isn’t too difficult BUT please do try to remember to cut out a LEFT and a RIGHT of each Panel!! For this you will need to flip the Pattern Piece over.

pattern matchAs illustrated above, I have chosen which piece of the Pattern I would like to run down the front of the Corset. Folding the Pattern Piece back along the Centre Front line, I have matched it so that- when the Corset is sewn together- the Cyclist will pedal across the Bust!

Remember to fold the Pattern Back along the Centre Front line, then match on the Fabric. As you Pin the Pattern Piece on to the Fabric you can un-fold it and pin it down.

Matching along the Centre Front line is incredibly important because- and you’ll see this from the Instruction Book– the Fabric beyond the Centre Front is used as a Seam Allowance when inserting the Busk, so any pattern will be lost.

By the way, this awesome Fabric is available from Spoonflower, and I may just have to snap up a bit!

Don’t forget, the Eventide Corset Pattern is available in a number of options including Instant Download here, and you can join in with Corset Month on FacebookTwitter (#corsetsessions) and Pinterest!

Happy stitching!

Week 1: Recommended Tools and Equipment…

… to help you make the Eventide Corset, and for Corsetry in general, these Tools and pieces of Equipment come highly recommended.The full list of supplies, with recommended Suppliers etc comes in the Instruction Book with the Eventide Pattern or can be found in The Little Book of Corset Tips.

recommended tools and eqt for corsetry

Later, I shall be discussing how to adjust and alter the Pattern to fit! Don’t forget to join in with Corset Month on Facebook, Twitter (#corsetsessions) and Pinterest!

Happy stitching!

Corset Month: create bespoke Corsetry with Laura After Midnight

corset month button

Welcoming the biggest Laura After Midnight Sewing Pattern and Kit release to date, which has taken months of prep and sampling to be happy with. The Eventide Corset Pattern is here!!

The Eventide Pattern has a re-usable, graded Pattern for a Victorian inspired Over Bust Corset, with an Instruction Book which covers every aspect of making up the Corset including supplies and suppliers list, adapting the pattern to fit, marking and cutting out the fabric, inserting the Busk, notes on fitting, sewing up and inserting Boning and finishing. You can choose to buy a Hard Copy Pattern, Instant Download PDF or a Kit which includes Coutil, Busk, Boning and Heat Shrink Tubing for Tipping.

corset 1 pattern logo   corset 2 pattern logo   corset 3 pattern logo

Click the links to buy!

I know it’s been a little bit more of a wait than anticipated however; I also have some great news!!! I’ve managed to persuade a production company to  make a series of films to release alongside the Sew-a-Long. Entitled The Corset Sessions, they’ll highlight the trickier aspects of Corsetry, and provide a glimpse into the Professional side of making a Corset. There are hints about working quickly, production and construction so they’re unmissable quite frankly!

As with all of the Laura After Midnight Sewing Kits, the above is available as a PDF Instant Download- if you simply can’t wait or, like me, already have a stash of supplies and fabric and maybe a little more experience! If this is your first foray in to the world of Corsetry, you can also buy the full Corset Kit which includes the above Supplies. All you will need to do to start sewing is buy your front fabric, eyelets and binding then thread your machine and make a lovely cup of tea!

To coincide with this release I will be hosting a Sew-a-Long, which will take you through every stage of creating your very own custom made corset which will start on the 21st of April.

The Sew-a-Long will look like this… …

Week 1

Starting slowly- so everyone has time to gather supplies and get them selves in order!- this week will cover Supplies, Tools and Equipment, and details about Printing and Assembling the Pattern. I’ll be sharing where I like to shop, and wholesale my supplies from as well as talking about Measuring for Size and Adjusting the Eventide Pattern to Fit, handling fabrics and preparing to make up your Corset.

Week 2

Tutorials will cover Cutting out, Marking and Preparing to sew your Corset and Inserting the Busk. The ever popular Notions series will be Corset centred and talk about Corset Making Resources.

Week 3

Tutorials will cover Sewing Up the Eventide Corset, fitting the Corset with removable Eyelet Channels and alterations. Get your Seam Rippers ready! This week I shall also be sharing some notes on reproducing Historical Corsets, and hosting an Interview from Steampunk Family.

Week 4

Week 3 will see Tutorials on how to sew the Boning Channels. As there are several different methods to choose from this will be an interesting week, the Notions post will cover this in more depth, as will the Sewing Zine which comes with the Kit. Another Book Review and notes on 50s, retro and Vintage style Corsets, with a Notions all about the different ways in which you can lace a corset should make this a lively discussion week.

Week 5

Hurrah, we’ll be almost finished, and Tutorials will cover… finishing in Part I and Part II! I shall also be discussing adding details like corset toppers and Historical details like flossing. All of which will probably make this the prettiest week! With a final interview and give away we’ll all be off somewhere splendid to order complicated frivolous Cocktails and show case our gorgeous new Corsets before we know it!

So, what do you think? I am wildly excited, as Corsetry is a wonderfully fancy thing to be able to accomplish and I am so looking forward to sharing how with you. After the success of Pattern Month I am also looking forward to seeing what you all make, or take away from it too!

Happy stitching!

Announcing… …

corset month button

 

Corset Month!!

On the 17th February (fingers seriously crossed!!), I shall be releasing my Corset Kit!!

This is the biggest Sewing Pattern and Kit release to date. The Corset Kit will have a re-usable graded Pattern for a Victorian inspired Over Bust Corset, with an Instruction Zine which will cover every aspect of making up the Corset including tracing off the pattern, marking and cutting out the fabric, inserting the Busk, sewing up and inserting Boning and finishing. The Kit will also include an Equipment Supplies list, notes on fitting, alterations and lacing.

As with all of the Laura After Midnight Sewing Kits, the above will also be available as a PDF Instant Download- if you simply can’t wait or, like me, already have a stash of supplies and fabric!

If this is your first foray in to the world of Corsetry, you will also be able to buy the full Corset Kit which will include all Supplies including Boning, Busk, Coutil and Eyelets. All you will need to do to start sewing is buy your front fabric, thread your machine and make a lovely cup of tea!

To coincide with this release we will be hosting a Sew-a-Long, which will take you through every stage of creating your very own custom made corset which will start on the 10th of March.

The release of the Pattern and Kit is timed so that you will be able to order your copy of the Pattern and Instructions or Kit, and gather all supplies needed before joining in the Sew-a-Long.

The Sew-a-Long will look like this… …

Week 1      10th March

Tutorials will cover Measuring for Size, Tracing off and Cutting out, Pattern Alterations, Marking and Preparing to sew your Corset. There will also be the beginning if a short series of Book Reviews. The ever popular Notions series will be Corset centred with this weeks instructing on how to piece Lace. To finish the week I am hoping to host another series of Interviews and Give Aways… watch this space!!

Week 2      17th

Tutorials will cover Inserting the Busk, and stating to sew the Boning Channels. As there are several different methods to choose from this will be an interesting week, and the Notions post will cover this in more depth. This week I shall also be sharing some notes on reproducing Historical Corsets, and hopefully hosting another Interview.

Week 3      24th

Tutorials will cover Making up the Lacing, Fitting and Adjustments before starting to put the finishing touches to your Corset. Another Book Review and notes on 50s, retro and Vintage style Corsets, with a Notions all about the different ways in which you can lace a corset should make this a lively discussion week.

Week 4      31st

Hurrah, we’ll be almost finished, and Tutorials will cover… finishing! I shall also be discussing adding details like feathers, sequins, corset toppers and Historical details like flossing. All of which will probably make this the prettiest week! With a final interview and give away we’ll all be off to somewhere splendid to order complicated frivolous Cocktails and show case our gorgeous new Corsets before we know it!

So, what do you think? I am wildly excited, as Corsetry is a wonderfully fancy thing to be able to accomplish and I am so looking forward to sharing how with you. After the success of Pattern Month I am also looking forward to seeing what you all make, or take away from it too!

Happy stitching!

Wordless Wednesday

From La Belle Epoque: Edwardian Fashion 1900-1914, the ‘Beautiful Era’ of Edwardian fashion currently running at Peterborough Museum until 6th May 2013.

Happy stitching!

Some interesting things to peruse. . .

Some of the following blogs I have only recently discovered, others I have been following for years. All of them do what they do incredibly well & I have come to use them as reliable resources when designing for film & theatre over the past few years.

Bridges on the Body

Bridges on the Body

This is a wonderful blog full or humour and insight. Challenged to make every pattern in Norah Waughs Corsets &  Crinolines, & no stranger to these patterns myself having made most in the book,  I’d say she is doing a good job so far. There are construction notes, cleaning notes, tutorials from a range of sources & some very good close up images of these corsets being put together.Well worth a look if you are attempting any of these patterns yourself as the book itself gives little or no guidance in to construction techniques.

 The Ornamented Being

A great resource for all things fashion history in the world. Using museum, personal, film & book resources Ornamented Being posts relentlessly about fashion, fabric, jewellery & her passion leaps from the screen. If I am seeking inspiration, this is where I head! Find her also at The Mended Soul her ‘virtual atelier’.

Past A La Mode: A Historical Fashion Site

A recent discovery in my never ending hunt for good fashion plates, this blog has many. Past A La Mode posts on any period in history with an emphasis on Victorian to 1940s & there really are some gorgeous illustrations and fashion plates/photographic plates included.

maedermade

Maeder Made

Documenting an exhibition from Edward Maeder in residence as a ‘pop up phenomenon’ in Mt. Airy, USA. I would encourage a look as most of his work re-creating historical costumes, is constructed from paper using his vast knowledge as museum curator, artist and ‘needleman’.

Please click on the pictures, or site names, for links to the original sites. I think you will agree they are a treasure trove of delights!

Happy stitching!