Madonna Boobs!!

Quite often, Midnight Costume Services will be asked to create ‘runs’ of Costuming for various Production Companies, Theatre Productions and the like. Earlier this year we worked with Costume World to create multiple Madonna Cone Corsets. All identical, but in different sizes, from glittery sequin fabric ans stretch velvet. If I say so myself, they looked pretty spectacular!

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Specifications from the Production Company included a zip front, no lacing, matching pants and for them to be as stretchy as possible! We were’nt told what they were for (so obviously Beyonce’s backing singers… right?!) but they all had to match but be made in various sizes.

I created the Patterns- cone boobs are pretty awkward, and we had a phase where they were super wonky and pointed in different directions!- then graded them to make the different sizes. We made a toile that got okay-ed by the production company, then got to stitching!

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The cups were created with layers of Calico, Coutil, Wadding, Sequin and Lining, then sewn all about in a spiral. I wanted to make sure they retained their shape but- because we didn’t know what the Performers were going to do (we don’t want no-one stabbing Beyonce in the eye now, do we?)- I also wanted to make sure they were crushable.

Like I say, I was super happy with the result. My team and I created something I think Madge would be proud of!

Happy stitching!

 

A little of what’s been happening…

Well, ever since Laura After Midnight changed and adapted to become Midnight Costume Services and I returned to my roots Designing and Making Costumes for Stage and Screen we have been run off our feet! My little team is gradually growing and I just got back off of my first Holiday in years to Paris… but more on that delicious adventure later!

Since Christmas we have been building Costumes for a Holiday Park including mini versions of over 15 West End and Film Musicals, dream job, right?! We were also commissioned to make 8 matching Madonna Cone Bra Corsets for some Dancers, worked on an awesome Victorian BBC TV Show and completed more work for Celebrity Cruises on three more Cruise Shows and that’s not everything… phew ‘eckers!

I’m going to be sharing more over the coming weeks as I slowly get back in to this blogging lark- it’s been nose to the grindstone a bit, with 12 hour days, 7 days a week and I do hope you can understand why I haven’t been sharing the love on here so much recently- but I thought I would start with the Anna and Elsa Costumes I shipped this Thursday… because they are a treat!!

We used the Yaya Han Corset as previously talked about for the base for all three Frozen Dresses because we knew it fitted the performers really well. It also gives a great foundation to be built upon. All skirts and Cloaks were then hand drafted to measure. The most work went into the Elsa Snowflake Dress, which took three of us about 4 days to build so I thought I’d share the process…

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The Corset for the Elsa Snowflake Dress has been made from 4 layers of fabric to build up the look I wanted. In the animation it’s actually illustrated as if it’s layers of square sequins however; anything like that that I tried to replicate was either too expensive (budget for this dress was about £100) or just didn’t move enough on stage and looked ‘clunky’ so the decision was made to emphasis the Snowflake aspect, which I think really worked.

About 200 Snowflakes were hot knifed from the Crystal Organza to use on the Silver Glitter Body Suit, the Corset and the Cloak.

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Once I started sewing the Corset together I had to get it on the mannequin almost immediately to see how it looked! It’s not often I get this excited as there’s a lot of prep that goes in to a Costume so I normally have a good idea of how it’s going to look… but this was different! The layers of Organza and Satin looked amazing once they were sewn! I also started to play around with the placement of the Snowflakes at the neckline. Super exciting!!

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Once the Corset was sewn properly, the Snowflakes were attached, and then Hot Stoned with Diamante Hot Stones, which really made the whole thing shimmer.

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The neckline of the Silver Glitter Body Suit was also strewn with Snowflakes and then Hot Stones, as you can see from the far left and 2nd left pictures above the Diamante Hot Stones really make the whole thing sparkle.

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The final costume was gorgeous however; because of the tight deadline we don’t have too many pictures. We shall hopefully be rectifying this soon, as we hope to soon see the costumes in action.

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As you can probably tell, I have tried to simplify the design of these Costumes. This is due in part to budget and time constraints however; it is also because I believe there is a risk in over embellishing Disney Costumes. Often the simpler they are, the more like the cartoon they look.

Above is Elsa’s 1st Dress, which has been colour blocked with the design hand painted to the front of the Corset. The thing I’m most pleased about? The Cloak!!

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And last, but not least, Anna. I love the simplicity of this dress. Love it! I think the green stripes of the Skirt work wonderfully, and in person the hand painting on the Black Velvet Corset kinda glows, it’s a shame it’s not showing up so well in the photos.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this glimpse into my fairy-tale world!

Happy stitching!

Adventures in Showgirl Corsets.

Using commercial patterns in Costuming feels like cheating, I don’t know why, but it does! However; ever since Yaya Han released her Corset Pattern I have been dying for an excuse to use it… which I know is super weird as I am not only a pattern drafter and cutter, I have my very own Corset Pattern for sale!

M7339, Misses' Overbust or Underbust Corsets by Yaya Han M7339, Misses' Overbust or Underbust Corsets by Yaya Han

I guess sometimes I just want to join in with the cool kids, the those CosPlayers are some pretty damn cool kids! Any hoo, I needed to make three Showgirl Costumes and, because this Pattern has a range of Cup sizes I thought it would be perfect, and save me the time of drafting my own. Win!

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These bad boys needed to be spangly, so after much hunting I finally decided upon this gorgeous (and very hard to locate!) Gold Sequin and Pink Sequin fabrics. Each had to be backed with matching Silk Habotai to ensure the sequins reflected as much as possible, and they were both lined with Coutil. They are fully boned with Steel Boning and have a quick rigged,open ended zip at the back because of quick changes.

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Offset with some gorgeous Indian Beaded Trim (eye wateringly expensive and used sparingly because no more could be ordered if there was a mistake as it takes about three weeks to arrive!), in the ‘V’ of the cleavage they shimmer gloriously in the studio, and look amazing on stage.

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Matching shorts were also made- in the Gold here, but also in Pink- as they are used in several different styles of dance including the Can-Can.

I think I did Yaya Han proud, and I am super impressed with her Pattern. I didn’t really use the instructions because we made these up a little differently that they would be for personal use. Here each panel is made and neatened separately in case of alterations, the cups are kept in alterable separate pieces and all of this makes the insides look a little messy as you can see all of the Overlocked channels. They aren’t laced, as the performers had a quick change, instead they zip up which in real life looks a little clunky but can’t really be seen from the stage when they’re performing.

All in all I’m really happy, and they fit great.

If you are thinking about sewing your own Corset this Pattern can be found here, and the Eventide Corset Pattern from Laura After Midnight can be found here. A full Sew-Along for the Eventide can be found here, and discusses many of the techniques used to make these up.

Happy stitching!

Top 5 posts of 2014!

Well readers, it’s been an interesting year! These are the posts published in 2014 which have been viewed time and again… thank you!

Whilst that’s self explanatory, I’d also like to say that the Pattern Free A-Line Skirt Tutorial and Pattern Month Tutorials beat these posts by a Country mile (but were published in 2013, so don’t count) however; this has made me so happy because I shall be concentrating on Pattern Cutting, Drafting and Making Up in the near future as I start to design and sell more Patterns.

I am so excited about this. I’ve got a new computer, new workroom and new passion and drive after a very hard end of the year which had left me questioning pretty much everything. But more of this later… on with the show!

1.

Simple Sewing: How to Make a Patchwork Cushion

cushion43This is a fantastic make for any young or new Sewers out there, and you end up with a pretty fantastic Cushion at the end of the make too… and who doesn’t like a Patchwork Cushion?! You can make this with a couple of Fat Quarters and some backing fabric too so it’s pretty cheap. I love Patchwork for instilling straight lines and perfectly sewn seam allowances, I’m such a dreadful old bore of a teacher!

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See the original Tutorial here.

2.

Corset Month

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Following on from the release of my very first Sewing Pattern- the Eventide Corset Pattern- this March I did a Sew-a-Long for the next month with hints and tips to sew up your very own Eventide! With such a fantastic reception (and despite the evil new VAT regulations)  I shall be releasing more Patterns in 2015, all of which will have a slightly Victorian/Edwardian or unusual flavour. I can’ wait!

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See the first article here which has links to all of the posts.

3.

5 Tips for Product Photography

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Covering tips on Backdrops, placing your Products, Framing, Lighting and Editing Software it’s no wonder this tutorial is so popular! It’s part of an occasional series and was recently followed by 5 Tips for Craft Fairs.

See the original article here.

4.

Notions: Concealed Zips

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The first entry from the Notions Series, which is (or is supposed to be!) a weekly photo tutorial on a specific technique. Lamentably abandoned in recent months, I will be resurrecting it as soon as I can as they are ridiculously popular, and exceptionally useful in class! It is no surprise to me this is the most popular as Concealed Zips are a problem for a lot of Sewers’, I’m just pleased this has helped a little bit!

See the original Tutorial here.

5.

The Sorbetto Top from Colette

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Who else is looking forward to The Great British Sewing Bee in 2015? This is a post I wrote to accompany last years Sewing Bee, when they made a simple top… which covered an awful lot of Sewing Techniques! A lot of my students were left in a spin and I like the Sorbetto for teaching these techniques, whilst making a garment from not much fabric (also known as, if it mucks up, don’t worry it didn’t cost too much!). Covering making Bias Binding and sewing it on, Slip Stitching, Understitching and a couple other techniques this is a most informative little post and the Pattern is still free over at the Coletterie! Wow!!

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See the original Tutorial here. Added bonus, click here to see my Interview with Sarai from Colette!

Well, that was 2014, I didn’t do so bad upon reflection. I am trying hard to think which was my favourite post from 2014 and I think it has to be this one. There’s much to look forward to in 2015, and it all started in that little Studio!

Happy stitching!

Notes from the Atelier

This week has been a week filled with ups and downs. Renting and moving in to Midnight Atelier has been filled with mixed blessings! Yes, it is something which I have wanted to be able to do for many years now however; doing it has meant I have to suddenly make a lot more money, more consistently- something which this business is not known for!

I am in the process of drawing up a revised business plan for the next year or so, which is a wonderful way to organize thoughts and narrow down your scope- I have no problem dreaming big!- and out of the somewhat nervous depression is starting to come a spark of excitement. This could work!

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For the most part this week I have been preparing for a couple of Summer Vintage Markets, this first of which is in a week hosted by Gimme Shelter! Vintage Boutique at The Lanes in Bristol on Sunday 6th July 12-5pm.

I have been making up some of my best sellers- Bunting and Bunnies!- for what promises to be a very cheerful stall filled with my Vintage inspired Sewing Kits, new style Kilner Pin Cushion Jars, Appliqué Cushions and all sorts of other goodies! The above shows a fraction of the Bunting… I have been making up enough (hopefully) for a fair few markets and what you’re looking at it about 80 meters worth! Eek!!

I have also been receiving some pretty exciting post here at The Midnight Atelier! My Mum and Dad sent me an essential box of Lady Grey Tea- it’s so delicious, and Sewing Club are very appreciative!- and a super pretty Cup and Saucer (which I think my Dad picked out!). There was a HUGE box of biscuits as well but I am going to be honest and confess they have not made it here yet… we are enjoying them too much at home!

I also received a lovely couple of 1935 and 1937 Singer Needlework Samples Books from an Aunt, with two beautiful Edwardian Photos. I have already framed the photograph of the Lady sitting, and she has already starred in a photo shoot for my little Sewing Workshop!

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The other piece of post was this little package, sent from the Bunnies who have moved in to my Fells’s Sisters field… they are all called Jeff and we often hear from them but I had to share this delightful little package! It’s a little piece of art really…

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Apart from preping for the Markets I have also been hard at it creating more Corsets, which will be on sale soon.

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I am head over heels in love with the Red Satin one, and as you can see have found some pretty inventive ways to cut out!

Happy stitching!

What’s on the board this week?

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Well, boys and girls, this week on the Midnight Atelier Chalkboard is information about our up-coming Vintage Lingerie Classes, Vintage Bra Making Classes, the Eventide Corsetry Course and Sewing Club dates!

As you can see, all courses include Pattern (with the Eventide Corsetry Course you receive the Pattern and Instruction book), and they are all booking now!

Check out the Class Schedule Page for more information, and to book. If you would like to pay a deposit, and the balance later please email me on laura@lauraaftermidnight.com

Happy stitching!

 

 

All Change!

Well, you may have noticed it is a little quiet around here at the moment! My sincere apologies, moving in to the new Studio has been all consuming, and will make for an epic JRR Tolkin style narrative one day however; we are almost there!

Sunday is the last moving day, when I shall have tables in for the Sewing Machines, all storage sorted and all walls painted (with a rather fancy chalk board and mural… but more on that as I do them!). I have tried to make it one, hideous week so as to get working again as soon as possible- I haven’t sewn anything all week but for one solitary pair of Spats!- and Corset Month will resume next week because of this. I have some great work in progress images to show you of people joining in with the sew-a-long!

I am also working on a couple of exciting, slightly off the wall Sewing Courses too. If you are in Bristol and want to sew something a little different, watch this space for news of a Corsetry course using the Eventide Pattern, a Vintage Lingerie Course and a Light Upholstery course. So exciting!!

Don’t forget also, you can join Bristol Sewing Club which will start on the 16th June in the new space. Running for a couple of years now, this Club meets every 1st and 3rd Monday, and every 2nd and 4th Wednesday. It’s just £7 a ‘go’ to sew anything with a cuppa and a biscuit or two. If you would like to join, email me or follow the above link to join the Newsletter for further dates and information.

Happy stitching.

 

Corset Month Week VI: Finishing Part I

It’s all about finishing this week, having tackled sewing the Boning Channels, we will be Binding, Cutting and Tipping Boning and inserting Eyelets in to our almost finished Eventide Corset!

I have chosen to sew my Eventide in the simplest method, with the Boning Channels on top (The Eventide Method). After this is accomplished, you will next need to sew the Boning Channels for the Back. If you have your Eventide Corset Book, you will have noticed these need to lie 1.5cm from the Edge Stitching at the Centre Back, then 1cm from this line of Stitching and then 1.5cm from this line of Stitching.

Again, you can use a measuring tape to mark your seam allowance guides on the sewing machine as you did for inserting the Busk. Click on the below to enlarge.

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Next, you will need to continue neatening the top of your Corset, which you will have started doing when Fitting. Lay each side on top of each other, and pin as illustrated.

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Stretch the Corset Top or Bottom out as flat as possible (above, centre), then cut down the sides following the adjustments you made when Fitting. Both sides should match as closely as possible (above, right).

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This is also a great time to start considering any adornment you may like for your Eventide!

Now that your Corset has been cleaned up- what a difference it makes!- you will need to bind the Top before we Cut and Insert the Boning. Of course you can create your own by cutting strips of Bias Cut matching or contrast Fabric (below, left), sewing them together (below, centre) and then attaching them- with Right Sides Together- to the Top of the Corset however; there are a myriad of ready made Bias Bindings out there too.

Each strip of Self Made Bias Binding should be 4.5cm wide, and as long as you can make them (if you need to join, see the below, centre illustration). When sewing on to the Top of the Corset, you have 1cm Seam Allowance. Leave about 3cm extra Bias Binding at the beginning and end of the seam (below, right).

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When the Top Bias Binding is attached, you are ready to Cut and Tip the Boning.

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Draw a little diagram of the Corset (if you are using the Eventide Pattern, this will be in your booklet), then measure from the Bottom of the Bias Binding to the Bottom of the Corset (below, left). Take 2cm away from this measurement and make a note of it (below, centre). Gather up your Steel Boning, a permanent marker and Tin Snips.

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Measure along the Steel Boning, draw a line where you will need to cut and write the Measurement of the Steel in permanent Marker (below, left). I like to make a note of all of the Steels I need to cut and cross them off as I do them (below, centre). This helps me not to cut too many, or one of the wrong size.

Once all of the Steels have been cut to length, cut 24 1cm lengths of Shrink Tubing. Pop a piece of Shrink Tubing on the end of the Steel, and heat with a Heat Gun or Hair-dryer until is shrinks and snugly wraps around the end of the Steel. Each piece should just cover the end of the Steel so that the sharp edge is completely protected (below, right).

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Slip each Steel Bone into the relevant Casing and push until it is up against the Bound edge and about 2cm away from the raw edge of the Corset.

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Sew the Bias Binding on to the Bottom of the Corset in the same fashion as you did the Top (above, right).

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Iron the top of the Bias Binding over by 1cm (above, left). Pleat the excess Bias Binding neatly (above, centre), and fold in. Fold the Bias Binding over again so that the edge of the Bias Binding lies along the Stitching (above, right and below). Pin.

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As you can see from the below, front view, it is obvious why Self Made Bias Binding is so wonderful! When you have pinned all four Seams, you will need to hand stitch on the inside using a Slip Stitch.

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And that’s it! Just the Eyelets and Modesty Panel and your beautiful Eventide Corset will be complete! Join me later this week for this, and a couple of very interesting Interviews!

Don’t forget to share you Corsets on Facebook or Twitter, If you have just joined us, check out what Corset Month is all about here.

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!