Re-Making an Old Project: Part 2

I have continued to chip away at the corset from part 1. After removing all the seams, I re-drew the waist curves in key areas to give the finished garment a more pleasing, less boxy shape. Since the model that it was originally made for has moved away, I do not have anyone’s measurements in particular in mind. I would like to be able to wear it myself on occasion though, and the original shape was too big and did not flatter me. I also took out a bit at the top of the ribs on the side, for a straighter line.

As you can see, on the bonded side of the corset, there are plenty of unsightly bubbles and wrinkles, which I am still frustrated by. Further research and experimentation will be needed on methods of fusing fabrics.

As you can see, on the bonded side of the corset, there are plenty of unsightly bubbles and wrinkles, which I am still frustrated by. Further research and experimentation will be needed on methods of fusing fabrics.

Given all my problems with the fashion fabric (silk dupioni) wrinkling over the strength layer (coutil) in the garment’s first iteration, I decided to bond the layers together with a fusible web.

The web that I had did not bond well. I was torn about whether to use it at all, or just leave well enough alone. In good scientific spirit, I decided to bond the layers on one side, but not the other. This would be the only difference in treatment between the two sides, and while it might not make for the best finished garment I am sure to learn something along the way.

The other major difference that I made in constructing this corset from last time was in the bone channels. Last time, I rolled the seam allowances around on the inside to finish the edge and create a casing for the bones at the same time. This resulted in puckering and pulling at the waist where the curve was most dramatic. Given how much more dramatic the curve is now, this would be even worse.

Instead, I trimmed the seam allowances and pressed them open. I made the bone channels out of twill tape, which I stitched over the seam allowances to finish them as well. I also added a few extra channels down the centre of the wider pieces. Hopefully the twill tape will hold up for the gentle wear that I intend to put this corset through, however I am already having my misgivings and will use coutil next time.

Experimenting with lace placement and scattering flowers around to keep my spirits up.

Experimenting with lace placement and scattering flowers around to keep my spirits up.

I wish that I had taken more pictures of this process as I went along, but alas that is something that I am still learning to do. Currently, the corset has been reconstructed with most of the bones reinserted. I misplaced my bone tips until yesterday - a good reminder to keep a tidier studio - so there are a couple last bones to be added.

Next, I will embellish the corset. In the pictures, I am playing with some lace placement ideas. I may add some beading as well! Please let me know in the comments if you have any suggestions on how to decorate this corset.

Once the embellishment is complete, I will finish the corset with a bias binding over the raw edges. That is always my very favourite step.

Helena SmithComment