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!

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: Steampunk Family Guest!

A huge, enormous cup of tea and slice of my best Carrot Cake welcome to Steampunk Family who I am handing over to today! Anna-Marie will be talking about making a Duct Tape Corset, and I am wildly excited not only to host my very first Guest Blogger, but to share this interesting way of Corsetry Construction with you all! sf2

As a Costumier, I am often having to improvise, make up and- lets be honest- panic create Costumes completely on the fly, so I am always on the look out for different ways of doing things and this has to be my favourite find so far this year. With care, this should produce excellent results and will suit those of you who may be new to Pattern Making, want to create different shapes in Corsetry or make a Historically inspired Corset quickly that will fit your Curves… I think it’s also a right laugh to do with a couple of mates!!

So, without further ado… over to Anna-Marie!

sf1

We at Steampunk Family do custom corsetry with mad science flare. We get excellent results, and it involves a lot  of duct tape.  The pattern-making is high on fun, low on dignity. sf4 This is a solidly intermediate skill-level project.  At many points this project requires two people, one who will wear the corset, and one doing the fitting, who must have moderate skills.  If you can do it all yourself, I’ll be impressed.  (And we want pictures!) Before you begin you should have researched the overall shape, shape of individual fabric panels, and the boning of the corset desired. Plenty of corsets to look at out there, get a good idea of what you’re going to do before you start.

Making the pre-pattern:

This is a two-person step all the way.  It’s amusing and silly, but you need to get all the hard laughing and flailing giggles out of the way before you begin.  For clarity’s sake the person the corset for is will be called the “client” and the seamstress/seamster will be called the “highly skilled, extremely talented, underpaid sewing guru”.  OK, that’s too long….  Even though I am a seamster, I’m going to go with “seamstress” in honor of the women who dominate the field.

What you will need for this step:

Large t-shirt (not recoverable) Duct tape EMT (paper) scissors (sewing scissors are razor sharp and should never be used near skin) Moderate sized tip permanent marker Beverage for the person wearing the t-shirt and duct tape, if necessary Before starting, everyone involved should have gone to the restroom, and obtained sufficient beverages. To begin with the client should don the disposable T-shirt and a fitted pair of pants or skirt if modesty requires such.  Depends on how well you know each other, but definitely wear underwear.  Foundation garments are not necessary, unless the corset will be worn with them or needs to be shaped around such.  (If you are making an under the bust corset which you intend to wear with a bra, wear that bra now.) Tape the t-shirt down with a pass through the groin (this is why you’re wearing underwear!) and tape the t-shirt down on both hips, because it will ride up as the tape shapes it over the curves of the client’s body.  The client should try to minimize movements, as excess moving will cause bunching up of the pre-pattern.  You can work in front of a mirror it the client wants to contribute input (or you can work in front of a movie, if the client gets bored easily). Start with a band of tape around what is to be the smallest part of the waist – the area between the floater ribs and the top of the hip.  While you want it snug, it does not have to be as tight as the final product.  There will be future opportunities to do reduction adjustments. Making the pre-pattern too tight will cause horizontal rolls and wrinkles. Next tape horizontally from under the breast down the tummy on the side and front of the client with overlapping, yet smooth pieces of tape. Keep it as flat as possible. Stay in the stomach region, not going down onto the hips or up into the chest.  Now tape the back, again, horizontally, pulling snug and shaping the front.  You can go a bit lower, but don’t cover the sides yet. Tape the back and sides up higher than they will be needed at this point. Before going farther, I like to establish a tape band about the hips as the lowest possible point for the client’s movement and use of the restroom. The bottom of the tape band is the do-not-pass point.  Experience dictates this is about ½ to 1 inch above where the leg forms an angle with the lower abdomen when the client is sitting.  This band is continued on level around the client.  The seamstress can observe the client sitting to check the work so far. It is from this point on, that excessive movement can cause problems. So let the client get those last squirms and scratches in while they still can.  Now place a strap or two of tape starting on the taped back, over the shoulder, outside of the breast down on to the waist strapping.  Do this whether it is going to be an over-the-bust or and under-the-bust design – it just helps keep things in place. Now tape from the waist down to the lowest point on the hip in bands. Hip taping should remain loose so the corset will not cut in when tightened down. This is a good point in the process to cut off the neckband of the shirt. Use EMT/paper scissors. (I cannot emphasize this enough! One nick to an artery and the client is dead. Really, don’t screw around.) Get the client to lift her breasts into place while you tape under them. Now it’s time to make the top of the corset, either under or over the bust. Under is just a matter of square top or shaping round the bust. sf3 Over the bust has a few more steps. Wrap short pieces of tape down the outside and under to create lift, before taping up the center of the area.  Be aware that the areolas will be much higher than normal, if all is going well.  Don’t make the chest too tight, but snug is required for some styles.  If you want shoulder straps, now is a good time to tape for them.  I use two or three short pieces, so as to get a nice curve over the shoulders.  Shoulder straps are seldom straight, but a slight concave curve towards the arm when laid out as a pattern. Now its time for the medium tip marker.  Mark your center front and center back vertical lines.  It helps if the client can help the seamstress by pointing out her belly button, things that need to be covered, and give feedback about centering in general.  Draw the top and bottom edge lines.  Strap width should be measured, and check to see how they will work with other seams as the seamstress marks where the other seams will before the individual panels. If the corset is going to be waist slimming make the reduction curves graceful. By feeling and squishing in the natural waist area one can get an idea of how much and where the pre-pattern can be reduced.  Bear in mind that while the natural waist can be compressed, the floater ribs can only be compressed a little without discomfort. Trimming the pre-pattern on the client needs to be done with care, with EMT/paper scissors.  Good sewing scissors are razor sharp…. and the flesh under the duct tape and t-shirt is much softer than the pre-pattern.  Trimming is done so the seamstress can see how the pattern’s overall shape is working out.  Start with neck and hip lines, and then move on to arm pits.  Armpits are a bit tricky.  Too wide or tight and flesh and will bulge out unattractively. Too loose or small and they are not comfortable.  The seamstress can use scrap of t-shirt and tape to build out an area she has trimmed to far.

sf5   sf6

Got it looking the way you want it?  Then it is time to cut the client out of the pre-pattern with the EMT scissors. This can be done by cutting down the front seam marking for ease, or the back seam for modesty.  You have a pre-pattern ready to transfer to a pattern paper and the client is done until a fitting of the first under layer is complete, but the seamstress’ work has just begun.  Still, it’s break time!

Things to remember:

Try to keep the shape fitted but not tight so as to avoid rolls and crunching of the pre-pattern. Don’t just keep building up tape, you’re building a pre-pattern, not armour.  Thickness messes up the pattern details, makes it harder to cut apart, and more difficult to transfer to the pattern. The bottom of the corset at the hips should not be tight, for this causes an unseemly bulge of skin or garment below the corset. Keep in mind only one half has to be finished and well marked, the other half is just waste, so it doesn’t need to be completed.  To not complete the other hip is a great way not to get it too tight.

Thank you Anna-Marie! Fascinating, right? To read more Part 1 can be found here (with loads more pictures), Part 2 here and Part 3 here. Once you have made and modified the Pre-Pattern, you can follow the Eventide Corset Sew-a-Long for further Corsetry sewing up tips as well. I now have a burning desire to Duct Tape someone up! How about you? If you need some inspiration for styles, lines and shapes don’t forget to check out Corset Month on Pinterest!

Happy stitching!

 

 

Week III: Corset making resources

In writing and sewing for Corset Month, I have stumbled across a couple other websites which have some handy notes on creating Corsetry and further corset making resources. There are a myriad of ways to create a bespoke Corset, especially if you are unfettered by historical restraints, and these websites will illustrate both that and how to execute some of them.

As ever, there aren’t many! Corsetry is a very secretive art form it would seem but then this is why I have developed the Eventide Corset Pattern!

Foundations Revealed

Figure 29: The final corset, front.   Figure 30: The final corset, back

A fabulous resource, many of their articles you have to subscribe for (which I highly recommend if you want to continue creating bespoke corsetry, and particularly if you are interested in creating Historical Corsets) however; there are a couple free Corset making articles including this one from Sparklewren. Included are all of her helpful tips to sew clean lines, and some interesting hints including a neat little trick with Bias Binding. There are also links through out to other free articles including how to Draft your own Corset Pattern, tipping Boning and Dyeing your Coutil.

Steam Ingenious

Steam Ingenious have a whole host of Corsetry resources, which are from a more Costuming, Steampunk perspective which is really great to read through. Tutorials include Drafting, and Making Up as well as separate tutorials on Inserting Eyelets and using non-traditional Fabric and a fab list of other resources. It’s a great read, and I think presents the reader with a lot of alternatives which, as a Costumer I am more than aware of, but the home sewer or beginner will find fascinating. It is also great to read about someone learning and sharing all of these techniques!

Sidney Eileen

Black Low-Hipped Underbust - Quarter Front View, by Sidney Eileen

This thorough Corset Construction post on how to make a Basic two layer Coutil Corset is often spoken of and I think I learnt about it from Steam Ingenious. It is a very thorough Tutorial and well worth a read. Because it has been around for a little while, the comments make an interesting read too. Many of the techniques can be used for Sewing up the Eventide if you would like a different look.

I hope you enjoy as much as I did giving these varied resources a good read! As ever, don’t forget that you can share your Eventides‘ on Facebook and Twitter, as well as finding inspiration for your creation on Pinterest.

Happy stitching!

Week 2: Inserting the Busk Pt II

So, having perfectly inserted the Right side of our Busks in to our Eventide Corsets, today I shall be showing you how to insert the Left.

I think this is a little simpler than the Right, but should still be sewn with care. You will need your Awl for this bit.

Place the Left hand side of the Front Corset panels Right Sides Together and draw a line 2.5cm from the Front as illustrated. Again, using a Patternmaster will make this easier.

Sew along the line, remembering to reverse stitch at the beginning and end of the seam. Iron, with the Seams out and then roll the Front Fabric  around to the Back as you did for the Right hand side so that no Coutil can be seen from the Front. Pin.

Stitch a 5mm (or half a centimetre) seam along this Front edge- shown below right- this line is now our Centre Front Line of the Corset. You may need to attach the Zipper Foot to your Sewing Machine to see where you are sewing a little more clearly.

busk2 1 busk2 3

Place the Right side, over the Left side, and in line with the Seam you have just stitched (below left). Using a Fabric Pencil mark through the holes of the Busk Hooks… if your fabric is highly patterned you may need to use pins. Mark- or pin- at the far edge of the Busk Hook as illustrated.

Take away the Right hand side of the Corset.

busk2 4 busk2 6

Next, you will need your Awl. On the mark, push the Awl through the two Fabric layers- NOT the Coutil layers- until a hole has formed.

The aim is to gently push a hole and not snap any of the threads of the Fabric, as this will keep the structural integrity of the Fabric. If a hole is punched, or many threads snapped, when the Corset is worn and the Fabric put under stress the hole will rip larger and look incredibly messy.

When you have made a hole, from the back push the correct Busk Post through (the two together should be at the bottom as for the Right side of the Busk). This needs to be done gently so as to not damage the Fabric.

busk2 7 busk2 8

When all of the Busk Posts have been pushed through (below left), pin the Busk hard in as you did for the Right hand side of the Busk.

Attach the Zipper Foot to your Sewing Machine, measure the Seam Allowance and make a mark on your Sewing Machine as you did before.

Stitch along the edge of the Busk from top to bottom of the Corset panel (below right).

busk2 9 busk2 10

Easy as pie, right? And look… it’s a Corset Front! So pretty… …

busk2 12

So, it’s not all that difficult. Just remember to stitch nice and close to the Busk so it is held in nice and tight- not baggy! Remember also that it can be unpicked at any moment if you are unhappy.

At this point you may find your Fabric has ‘stepped’ or mis-aligned. Do not worry about this too much. It can be trimmed at the end of the sewing up process and is quite common as the Corset is sewn up. In fact, the Eventide Pattern has been made a little longer than necessary for this very reason.

Join me again tomorrow next week as we start to stitch the Corset up, and fit it to your figure. Also watch this space for a cheeky little Book Review of one of my favourite Corset Books and more Sewing Tips.

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: 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.

busk1 busk2

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.

busk3 busk4 busk5

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.

 busk6 busk6a

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.

busk7 busk8 busk9

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.

busk10 busk11

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.

busk12 busk13

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.

busk14 busk15

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!

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!!

sequin 5

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!