Saturday, July 25, 2009

Assembling the corset 3

The next few steps are totally optional and very specific to this corset.
I'm going to decorate the top half of the corset using lace.
I'll do this while the corset is pinned onto a doll.

I start with a band running from centre front to centre back under the arm. and I am going to work my way up to the top of the shoulder straps.

I pin each layer as I put it on the corset and hand sew it to the corset all along the edges.

each following layer will slightly overlap the previous.

Finally after lots of hours of small handsewn stitches I'm left with something like this.

Now It's time to finish of all the edges of the corset, I usually use a pre fabricated satin bias band for this, or you can make your own out of any fabric you want.
In this case I'll do both.
Let's start with the top. that is going to be pre fab black satin.

Remember, before you do this step it is still possible to shorten and trim the corset.

Now, it is also time to sew the front and back shouder straps together. this is very straightforward, but dont take the easy way out, make sure there is no seam allowance showing on the inside of the finished corset. so make the extra effort of seperatly sewing the outside and the lining.

Let's attach the bias tape. The reason you use bias fabric (cut at a 45' degree angle onto the fabric) is that it is far more adaptable to curves then straight cut fabric.

Lets pin the bias tape to the corset like the pictures below.

And sew it to the corset, (directly through the fold line.) and remember to leave an extra bit of tape at beginning and end.

Important! take extra care at centre front and centre back. the tape should look symmetrical and should start at exactly the same point, otherwise you'll end up with a crooked looking corset.

Armholes like this corset has, are extra tricky since they are all curve. It's trial and error with this. sooner or later you'll get the hang of it. I've done this so much but even i need to redo every now and again to get it just right.

Look for instance at the next picture, the bia tape on the left shoulder has folds/creases. this means i've sewn it on to tight, and that the bias tape has lost it's flexibily at this point. so unfortunately i need to take it off and re-attach it!

Once you are satisfied with the result, trim the edges of the coret some more, and after they are all even, flip te band over to the inside and pin. take extra care when pinning the beginning and end parts.

Now the next thing a lot of people do is to use the sewing machine to sew though the bias tape.
I personally hate doing it, since I think that sewing this bit by hand creates a lot nicer effect.
Attention is in the details, so take out your needle and thread and sew it all together.

Finally it should look something like this..

Next we're going to tackle the bottom of the corset, and for this, I'm going to make my own bias tape out of the same pink ilk the corset is made of. I've cut a couple of long strips of fabric. (assembled from various pieces) which are all cut on the bias (45' degree angle.) and I am going to use a specialist tool for turning it into bias tape.

First I cut a slight poit to one of the ends of the strip. This makes it easier to get throught the tool. and pull it along the fabric strip ironing it as I go.

finally it looks like this..

From then on it is the same process as discribed before..

And after some elbow grease. the main body of the corset is 99% finished...

Let's continue..

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