Notes from the Atelier

I guess you all may have noticed that I have just signed the lease for a new Studio (cue squee of excitement!) however; I can’t move in until Monday… which is literally killing me!

I have spent the day wondering about Midnight Heights trying to decide what to take, how to pack and obsessively adding  items to my Ikea shopping list! I finally settled on a mini project for the day- to make some things for Midnight Atelier!

I will have four Sewing Machines set up permanently, and therefore four stools. All of which need a little cushion to make them comfortable… what do you think?

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There are actually two of the first one, I loved the fabric so much! I shall be tying them on to the stools and can’t wait to see them in action! I love that they’re all different, which means I have used fabric from my stash that I love and they will be easy to add to!

If you’d like to make on, the pattern and instructions are here.

I have also re-covered my Ironing Board, rather snappily if I say so myself!

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I have the Merchant and Mills Book, and I used it for the inspiration behind both this and my new Tailors Ham! Yes, I made a Tailors Ham and it’s glorious!!

The instructions were super easy, but it took a full hour to carefully stuff the thing with sawdust using a wooden spoon. It was worth it though, as I now am the proud owner of a super useful item of Sewing equipment. Made from Vintage French Linen and Raw Silk, it has already been useful for pinning curved Corset Seams.

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And finally, this is my first Wholesale order, all ready to be shipped to Vena Cava! So pretty…

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Happy stitching!

Week IV: Sewing Corset Boning Channels

After the high excitement, and creativity of yesterdays Guest Blog Post from Steampunk Family, I will be talking today about Sewing Corset Boning Channels.

If you are a dedicated follower of Corset Month, so far you will have cut and adapted the Pattern, Inserted the Busk, Sewn Up and Fitted the Eventide Corset and we are now very close to finishing!

I have three different ways of sewing a Boning Channel into a Corset. My choice will be based on the look of the Corset, whether I am sewing up a Historically Accurate Corset, or would like a Period look, wear-ability and the speed I need to make the Corset as some of these methods are very time consuming.

I would highly recommend doing as I have done, and cutting a Front and a Side Front piece from spare Coutil and Outer Fabric to have a little bit of a practice on.

The Eventide Method

I’d like to first show you the method which is in the Eventide Corset instruction book, and a method which is the easiest way to sew the Corset up, with Boning Channels.

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Having inserted the Busk, you will begin to Pin, with right sides together, each fabric Corset Panel to the next until they are in a line. Once pinned, you can sew them together with your Seam Allowance (1.5cm, above left).

Sew all of the Outer Fabric Panels in this fashion, and then the Coutil. You should now have all of the Panels for the Front and Back of the Corset- with Wrong Sides Together-  in a line running away from the Busk (above right)

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The next part is a little tricky, and will require strong fingers! You will have noticed that each Seam is now curved, and not laying flat. As best you can, and pulling away from the Busk will help, smooth the Panels out so that the Seam of the Front Fabric is laying directly on top of the Coutil. Pin in place (above left).

This may require some fiddling on your part however; if the Coutil seams at the Back are a little mis-aligned this isn’t too much of a worry (unless it is more than .5cm). If you are finding vast discrepancies, and nothing seems to be lining up you may need to check you have used the correct Seam Allowance on every Seam.

Apart of lining the Seams up, you will need to make sure no Seam is pleated or in any other way distorted. They should lie flat. Pin at a right angle as illustrated so you can keep the Seam pinned for as long as possible when sewing.

Next, you will need to measure your Boning and the Presser Foot on your Sewing Machine. Roll your Needle in to the Machine, place a Measuring Tape up against it and lower the Presser Foot. Make a note of the measurement from the Needle to the edge of the Presser Foot. Measure your Boning.

As you can see, my Presser Foot measures approximately 6mm, and my Boning is 1cm. This means that, when I sew either side of the Seams on my Corset it will be stitched 12mm apart- the perfect distance as it allows for any slight wobble when sewing, and for sliding the Boning in when it is tipped.

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You may need to attach your Zipper Foot to sew a narrower Seam however; as you can see your next task is to Sew either side of the Seams you have just Pinned.

You will need to remove the Pins as you get to them- this makes the stitching neater as your Needle can snag, or your Presser Foot wobble when a Pin is reached. Click on the images to enlarge.

And voilà, Boning Channels!

After sewing the first, I check the Boning fits snugly, but with a little movement and then continue with the rest.

The Internal Method

I used to create Bespoke Corsetry for a London Lingerie shop in Covent Garden, and one super fun day the owner and I ripped apart a very cheap Satin sample Corset because we simply could not fathom how they had hidden the seams… and this was our answer!

This method need to be sewn after any and all fittings as you are unable to get back in to each seam once sewn and unpicking is a nightmare!

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Starting with the Front and Side Front Panels for both the Outer Fabric and the Coutil, after you have inserted the Busk lay out as above (click to enlarge), with the Outer Fabric and Coutil Front Panels Right Sides Together, and the Side Front Coutil Right Side up on the bottom and the Side Front Outer Fabric Panel on top, Right Side Down.

Pin, matching your Waist Line Snip first, and being careful to match all edges.

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Sew with your Seam Allowance (1.5cm, above left).

Remove the Pins then, as close to the edge as you dare, Sew another line of stitching at least 12mm away from the first line (above right).

If you have purchased wider Boning you will need to adjust your Seam Allowance accordingly, and make sure these two lines of Stitching are separated by the width of your Boning plus a couple of milimeters.

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Cut a length of Boning, and push in to your Seam carefully (above left) as it is not yet tipped, and the steel can rip the fabric. If it is too tight, or gets stuck, you will need to unpick and attempt the Seam again.

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 Smooth the Side Front of the Fabric and Coutil out, and admire your perfectly hidden seam!

Check every Boning Channel as you sew, as you can now see- if you have not sewn it correctly there can be an awful lot of unpicking to do if you suddenly cannot fir the Boning in, or have (oh the horror!!), forgotten to sew the second line of stitching.

The Bound Method

This is easily the most complicated, and time consuming method of creating a Boning Channel however; when executed properly can look stunning!

Insert the Busk as usual. If you are making your own Bias Binding, you will be able to make it the correct width. If you are using pre-made Bias Binding (which is recommended the first time you do this method), you may need to cut it down slightly.

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Un-fold one side of the Bias Binding and place the Boning on top (above left), from the edge of the Boning measure out your Seam Allowance (1.5cm) and see if the Bias Binding needs to be trimmed down. In my case, as you can see, the Bias Binding needs to be trimmed down .5mm.

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Once the Bias Binding is the correct width, Pin the side you trimmed down- Right Sides Together- on the Front Fabric Panel (above left). Pin the Side Front Panel, with Right Side Down, on top (above right).

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Place the Coutil Front and Side Front with Right Sides Together, then slide underneath the Fabric (above left).

Sew the Seam, and remove all Pins (above right).

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Smooth out the Front and Back, which will leave the Bias Binding flapping! The Back however; should be laying flat as for the Internal Boning Method.

Next, smoothing out the back and the front, Pin the Binding down as illustrated (below). As the seam is now curved, you will need to do this carefully and use of a Tailors Ham is advised.

You will need to ensure that the back is smooth, with no puckers or pleats, as well as the front at the same time as smoothing the Bias Binding out evenly. Remember the Bias Binding needs to stay the same width all of the way down the seam, and be wide enough to fit the Boning.

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Once pinned (above centre), you can attach your Zipper Foot to the Sewing Machine and Top Stitch along the Bias Binding (above right).

Remember that, whilst this can be unpicked if you wobble a little, the Bias Binding will look rougher for it so try to stitch as neatly as possible, and with care.

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 And there we have it. A Satin Bias Bound Boning Channel. I have executed this in Black on Cream so you can see what I am doing however; your stitching will match the Bias Binding (unless you are a complete sadomasochist!), and any slight inconsistencies would not show as obviously.

Well, I do hope you have a go at all of the different ways to stitch a Boning Channel! As you can see they all have their merits.

Don’t forget, if this is the first you are seeing of Corset Month, check out what this is all about here, and buy your Eventide Corset Pattern here.

Happy stitching!

Week III: Reproducing Historical Corsets

So, I have designed The Eventide Corset to be a ‘gate-way’ Corset Pattern, to introduce easily the magnificent world of Corsetry! If you have not made a Corset before, or want a challenging Sewing project then the Eventide is a wonderful choice however; I am sure you- like me!- have been lusting after the glorious Historical Corsets I have been sharing on my Wordless Wednesday posts.

It is more than possible to use the Eventide to start your journey in creating wonderful Historical and Historically inspired Corsets, indeed The Eventide is actually taken from an 1880s Corset but has been adapted both for the modern figure and ease of use. A great many of the processes don’t change all that much… the finishing does a lot though!

    

A small selection of Corset Books from my collection. Click on the image to read more/buy. 

You will need to have, or gain, a good grasp of basic Pattern Cutting principles, and the first book I would suggest you invest in is Corsets and Crinolines, by Norah Waugh.

It has an amazing selection of Historical Corset Patterns, taken from extant examples from the beginning of the 16th Century right up to the 20s. I have made many of the Corset Patterns up and they do need to be adjusted for today’s figure, wasp-waisted almost doesn’t cover it!

The Victorian Corsets in particular have the most amazing seaming, as well as details like Cording and Flossing. Extant examples of similar Corsets can be found in many Museums, as well as online using resources from Museums like the V&A and The Met.

    

Images from Corsets and Crinolines, by Norah Waugh.

As you can see, there are a few Corset Pattern and Construction Books out there. I have all of the above (and more, I’m addicted!) in my collection and these are the ones I would recommend. Waisted Efforts contains a lot of construction details and techniques whilst The Little Corset Book contains very simple to make Patterns, with a little construction advice, and was the inspiration behind The Little Book of Corset Tips. Jill Salen’s Corsets has Vintage and extant Corset Patterns with details on their original construction and The Basics of Corset Building is a How To Guide.

Almost all of these books will require you to Grade or Scale up the Patterns yourself. They all inform you on how to do this, and more information on this subject can be found here.

I shall be illustrating different methods of making Boning Channels in future posts however; one of the best on-line resources for Corsetry Construction is Foundations Revealed. I highly recommend them if you would like to research or read further in this area.

Whilst many of the techniques of Construction may be familiar, many too will be new. One of these will be Flossing- the decorative stitching at the top and bottom of a Boning Channel. By no means limited to Historical Corsets as it is an excellent way to reinforce and protect the fabric from the Steel Bone rubbing through and creating a hole.

Corset embroidery detail, 1895, Symington Collection, Leicestershire County Council. Black flossing on scarlet longline corset. Victorian Corset Detail by Verdaera.deviantart.com on @deviantART

Some examples of Corset Flossing from Pinterest, click the images for more details. 

As you can see, it can become incredibly decorative!

Cording, which you can see in the above right image, can be used to flexibly support areas of the Corset Boning may not be able to. It’s a simple technique however; I wouldn’t advise it without an exceptionally good domestic Sewing Machine or an Industrial Machine as it is a lot for the machine to sew over. Cording will give support whilst still allowing the wearer to bend and move, which is why is was used historically in predominantly in lower class Corsets.

A lot of this information can be found on-line in the pages of Farthingales, Foundations Revealed, and more. This article on alternative Boning was also a great read.

Well, I’m off to take some pictures of all my wonderful Boning Channels for you luck peeps- there’s so many ways to make a Boning Channel!- and to brush up on my Flossing skills.

Have a lovely afternoon and happy stitching!

Notes from the Atelier

I recently noticed that I don’t really talk a lot about what I do, sew and create on a day-to-day basis. Well, readers that is all about to change!!

Welcome to the first ‘Notes from the Atelier’, a brief update of all things Midnight-y and just what shenanigans I have been getting up to in the week!

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This week I have been sewing up Spat orders for Etsy, working on my soon to be released Spats Pattern, sewing up a whole host of Eventide Corsets which will be on sale at the end of Corset Month, and stitching up a couple things for me to wear- which is always a little bit of a shock as I never seem to have time to do this really! I lament this fact almost on a daily basis… I teach so many people each week to make wonderful items of clothing and yet never make myself anything!!

Aah, the trials and tribulations of a professional seamstress and occasional Costumier!

Spats have been super dooper popular this week, and I have finally started work on a new range. I am calling them Drainpipe Spats as they do not have the graceful curved turn down of my original Spats. I think they look a little more Victorian because of this, and I can’t seem to stop myself putting rows of Buttons down them… no matter the pain of that many Button Holes!

Here’s a sneaky peekie of the Eventide Corsets! As well as these awesome fabrics (I’m so in love with the below left!), I am working on a beautiful Sinful Red Satin Waspie as well as a Black and White Stripe Satin Corset to die for! I love each and every one, and can’t wait to share them with you all!

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If you fancy making up your own Eventide, check out the Kit here.

I have also just received my very first piece of Shop display equipment! A lovely dress form, she’s so pretty! But she needs a name so watch out for a little competition coming soon. In other news, The Eventide Corset will soon be stocked at Vena Cava Design, which I am over the moon about! They’re a company I have ordered Corsetry equipment from for years, and I am super proud that they have chosen to stock me.

So, all in all, it has been quite an exciting week at Midnight Atelier. Long may it continue… I’m off to write this weeks series of posts for Corset Month. It’s all about boning, yay!!

Happy stitching!

Week III: Sewing the Eventide Corset up

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Today I will be starting to actually sew the Eventide Corset up! Yay!! There’s so many little preparation tasks in Corsetry that actually sitting down and stitching can be a long time coming!

A few notes first, on the order of Sewing. What I have designed the Eventide to be is an excellent easy Corset to stitch up, whether you are a beginner, want a quick make or just want to explore a different part of sewing. Because of this, the Eventide is sewn together in a very specific way- the Seams are stitched, then fitted and then adjusted as needed and finally the Boning Channels are sewn either side of the Seams. Normally, the corset would be tacked together temporarily at this stage, fitted and then sewn together properly with internal Boning Channels. This is still possible with the Eventide pattern however; you will need to decide how you would like to stitch the Corset together at this stage. If you are unsure and this is your first Corset, I would recommend sticking with the Eventide method for your first try, and then attempting something a little flashier on your next Corset. If you would like to keep all options open, simply at this stage sew the Fabric and Coutil panels together as illustrated, fit and then decide later!

It is popular assumption, amongst my classes, that inserting the Busk is the most difficult task when assembling a Corset. Whilst this needs precision however; I think that it is in fact the Seaming which can be more troublesome as you are stitching together many different curves, whilst maintaining a Seam Allowance and trying not to stitch anything which shouldn’t be!

Once this is done, you can begin the Fitting process, which is exciting and tends to make students rush this bit… please do not be tempted! If rushed, you may have to unpick and if using a Silk, Lace or more delicate fabric you stand to damage it.  The seaming needs to be precise and rushing can cause less than smooth lines to be stitched which, when the Corset is worn, will pull and stretch the Fabric in an unsightly way.

So, further dire warnings aside, let’s start stitching!

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To sew the Corset together using the Eventide method, you will need to lay all of the panels out in front of you, with the Front panels in the middle. They need to be Wrong Sides Together as illustrated (below left).

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Remember those Waist Line snips I was talking about last week? This is where you will need them, and if you forgot, snip them now!

With Right Sides Together, match the Waist Line snips of the Front and Side Front panels of the Fabric (above, Centre). Pin at this point, then continue to Pin up and down the seam as illustrated. Smooth out as you Pin and concentrate on matching the edge of the Fabric. To do this you will need to Pin every few centimetres (above right).

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Sew, with a 1.5cm Seam Allowance, along the pinned seam. Remember to reverse stitch at the beginning and end. Slow as you come to the Waist Line, as it is more curved and you may need to stop and start as you sew.

Continue by matching the Side Front and Side panels, then Side and Side Back and stitching all with a 1.5cm Seam Allowance until all panels are sewn in a line.

Repeat for the Coutil panels and then the other side of the Corset. You will notice (above right) that the Corset will very quickly start to take shape and begin to curve.

Of course, if you have the ability, or are wanting to sew quickly, pinning all of the Seams for the Fabric and Coutil for both sides, and then sewing them is an awful lot quicker than pinning and sewing individually. In fact, I do not pin at all! This increases my speed and efficiency and this technique is something I will be covering in more depth in my Video Series The Corset Sessions.

The Boning Channels will be sewn once the entire Corset has been stitched together, and fitted. Using the Eventide method, you are still able to get back in to the Corset seams whilst not unpicking anything which isn’t extremely necessary however; this will all be explained in further posts next week and I think that’s enough for today, lets all grab a cup of tea, step back and admire our handiwork, and have a little rest before making up out eyelet strips and preparing to Fit the Eventide Corset tomorrow!

Happy stitching!

Week 2: Inserting the Busk

So, today we’ll be seeing how to insert a Busk in to our Eventide Corsets! I love this bit of Corsetry, it’s when the Corset starts to look, well… like a Corset! It is also the first time we will be sewing with metal, which whilst not difficult, has it’s own set of rules.

The most important thing to remember is that your Sewing Machine is perfectly capable of sewing over the metal however; the Needle is not! I have clipped the edge of the Busk or Boning many times and the Needle not only breaks, it can fracture into small pieces which is not fun! It with damage the Fabric and invariable flies towards your face…

Firstly, you will need to select the Right hand Fabric and Coutil sections AS YOU WOULD WEAR THEM. To do this, lay the Fabric out, upside down as illustrated. With Right Sides Together, lay the Coutil on top then put the Left hand side to one side.

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On the Coutil side, draw a line 3cm away from the edge. As you can see from the Pattern, this is the Centre Front Line. If you have a Patternmaster this will be super easy as you can line up the 3cm line and simply draw down as illustrated.

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Place the Busk against this line, equidistant from the top and bottom, then draw either side of the Hooks. The two Hooks together go at the Bottom of the Busk, and the Busk should be laying as illustrated- with the Hooks against the Centre Front line.

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After you have marked either side of the Hooks, Pin the layers together. On the Sewing Machine, sew in between the gaps (as shown below, far left with a pink dotted line) remembering to reverse stitch at the beginning and end of each little seam. Try not to stitch too far in to the gaps or the Busk Hooks will not fit through.

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Don’t also forget that you can unpick at any moment if you are unhappy with the stitching.

Once happy, iron the Seam as follows… Iron the Seam out on the wrong side (below left), then wrap the Front around to the back so that on the Coutil side you can see a little of the Front fabric (below right) but none of the Coutil on the Right side.

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Push the Busks Hooks through the holes, then push the Busk up against the Seam and hold firmly in place whilst pinning. The Busk needs to be hard up against the edge so that, when sewn, it is not baggy. A baggy Busk simply wont do!

Push the Pin in, then scrape the Pin along the back of the Coutil until you can feel the edge of the Busk, then pin through. Pinning like this will make sure the Pins hold the Busk in place nice and tightly.

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When pinned, measure in from the edge of the Busk as as illustrated then, on the Sewing Machine, raise the Presser Foot and roll the Needle into the Machine. Place the measuring tape against the Needle, and use a Pencil to mark the Seam Allowance needed to stitch alongside the Busk.

Doing this makes sure that, above and below the Busk, you are able to sew in a neat line that is the same distance from the edge for the whole length. Marking with a Pencil means that you will be able to rub it off, alternatively you can use Washi Tape.

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When you have you Seam Allowance marked, stitch along the side of the Busk from top to bottom. You will need to attach your Zipper Foot to do this. Because the Busk starts and finishes 5 or 6cm after the start or before the end your Seam Allowance mark will come in handy to guide you in a straight line to sew next to the Busk.

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Voila! One beautifully inserted Busk!!

How easy was that? Join me tomorrow as I continue Corset Month with how to insert the Left side of the Busk.

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 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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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: Adjusting the Eventide Corset Pattern to Fit

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Detailed instructions are given in the Eventide Corset Instruction Book however; I’d like to expand them a little with this Re-sizing Patterns to Fit post.

Although I am obviously doing this for the Eventide Corset Pattern, the basic principles apply when adjusting all Patterns to Fit your figure. I will admit that this technique will only get you so far, and would like to stress that a Fitting it always a good idea (unless you have a decade of experience like me!). A fitting will iron out all of the teeny tiny details and make any garment look oodles better however; the first step is to alter your Pattern to get a better approximation of your body than we currently have.

Firstly, take accurate measurements of your Bust, Waist and Hips and make a note of them. Reduce the measurements according to the instructions (roughly 10cm, but this is explained in greater detail in the Instruction Book), and make a note of this also.

With the reduced set of measurements, decide which Size is closest to yours. For example, the reduced measurements I am going to be working with are Bust 114cm, Waist 89cm and Hips 122cm which are closest to a Medium Size of the Eventide Corset Pattern. 

Once decided, cut or trace off the Size you wish to make (tracing off ensures you can re-use the Pattern, or have it to refer to if you make any mistakes).

Now the Maths bit… and yes, I heard you groan!

You will need to decide how much you need to add or take away from the Pattern to make it fit you, and in which areas. To do this you will need to subtract the Corset Pattern measurements from yours, then divide them in half. For example… my Bust measurement is 114cm which is 7cm larger than the Pattern Divided in half this is 3.5cm, which is what I need to add in to the Pattern to make it fit.

Repeat for the Waist and Hip measurements. I now know at this point that I need to add in 3.5cm to the Bust, 3cm to the Waist and 5cm to the Hips. You may be asking why we are further complicating things by dividing everything in half… this is because we will be working from the Pattern which is only half of you!

After all this Maths, you will need to start altering the Pattern. Again, there are complete instructions in the Eventide Corset Book however, this should explain things further.

Firstly, I lay all of the Pattern Pieces out in a line, with the Waist Line running parallel. I find this helps me visualize a little better what I am doing. Then, I make a note of where I would like to do the adjustments:adjust 1Normally, I would steer clear of adjusting the Front and Side Front Panels however, as I am making this Corset for a curvier Woman, I’d like to add in a little more room. They are also the narrowest Panels and I’d like to even this out a little for this Corset. As you can see I have made note to add in the required amount to the Bust, Waist and Hips. 

Make these adjustments as follows… …

adjust 2I have zoned the adjustments where possible, in this instance  both the Front and Side Front Panels are having 1cm added in to them. For this adjustment I can simply cut up the “Enlarge or Reduce” line, move the pieces 1cm away from each other then Sellotape on to some Pattern Paper in this position. 

For the Side, Side Back and Back Panels, I only need to adjust a portion so I will cut up the same line BUT leave a little bit un-cut at the end (Yellow Circles), as a pivot point. I can then move each side of each Panel away from each other as before but leave the Bust or Hips unaffected. Again, I shall Sellotape this adjustment on to a new piece of Pattern Paper.

As you may have noticed, I needed to adjust the Waist +3.5cm and I have only managed 3cm so far. This is not a real issue as- where the Green Crosses are- a slight adjustment has been made and as you can see each side has been moved a fraction because of this so I am happy that this is enough.

Obviously, when reducing the Corset the same techniques can be used but in reverse.

Adjustments to Corset Patterns are a funny business. Unlike when adjusting standard Patterns, the end product will alter the shape of you. If you find that you cannot manage to quite make an adjustment perfect do not stress yourself!! Smaller adjustments can be managed in the Fitting stage, simply make a note and have a cuppa.

Don’t forget that you can view the schedule for Corset Month here, grab your very own swanky copy of the Eventide Pattern here (PDFs are only £8!!), or grab some inspiration for your Corsetry with Corset Month on Pinterest.

Tomorrow, I shall be talking about handling fabric like Lace and Sequined Fabrics and cutting out your Corset! Eek!!

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!