Making my own corset…part three – it’s finished!

 

Hello everyone, I hope you are well!

Just a quick update while I procrastinate from my studies….I finished my corset!15228010_10211232163622979_753013006_n

Eyelet punctures = not easy. I had to call in assistance in the form of my mother, which then ended up with a hammer, knitting needle and some good old ‘waggling’ to get the metal pieces into the eyelet hole.

It was all worth it, especially when I threaded the red ribbon through each hole. It ended up being a therapeutic exercise despite the fact that there is certain way to thread corsets, which in the past I became very agitated with!

The ribbon is adjustable, making the corset adaptable to any colour scheme. I just love these colours for now, it’s very Christmassy!

The corset itself is extremely comfy – a lot is said for nylon boning, which is padded out between the three layers of the corset. Being susceptible to shoulder and back ache due to slouching, the corset ‘forces’ my back to be straight – however in a natural and comfortable way.

I loved this project so much that I want to expand my corset making. Next time perhaps making a longer bodied one? With frills and lace? Or maybe make a more modern style which takes into account the bust – a heart shaped one? Who knows, I’ll have a think!

Let me know your creative ideas! x

 

 

 

 

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Making my own corset: Part One

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It’s finally happened everyone: I’ve turned my attention to making a corset.

From researching the history of corsets for my museum work, stumbling upon (and buying, obviously) a beautiful gold satin one from a vintage ‘barn’ and receiving access to a free pattern online – it was inevitable.

The free pattern is courtesy of corsettraining.net, which gives you a detailed digital booklet and online pattern of the most basic corset – perfect for beginners! The pattern stretches across two sheets of paper, with the different sizes colour coded withi14139411_10210367104957053_1650529098_on the shapes.

I’ve opted to make a size 14 as it’s very difficult to gage what kind of sizing is measured. However, because corsets are made in what seems like a hundred different pieces it’s relatively easy to add or take panels away if the sizing is a little wrong.

Obviously before starting I needed to get the materials, meaning I would be in the fabric shop for at least an hour just gawping and contemplating every single colour and style.

Eventually I went with my all-time favourite colour, a jade-green silk finish. What I didn’t exactly realise was the amount of layers on this particular corset, not only needing this beautiful outer fabric but a stiffening middle layer and a lining for the inside – oh and bias binding to make all the edges look pretty and neat. (Note, bias binding was made at home using a metre of polycotton, cut on the bias!) For all the fabric I got ½ metre each! 14101603_10210367102716997_576247134_n

For this corset I wanted all the fabric (minus the stiffening layer) to be the same colour so I chose the same jade shade for all. Unfortunately the name of the black stiffening fabric has fallen straight out of my head, so when it reappears in my head I will update you all!**

And for the boning? Not whale bone or steel boning unfortunately…but nylon boning – a very excellent and comfy alternative. I got a couple of metres of this, rolled up and secured with a lot of sellotape (it doesn’t unravel – it pings, everywhere.)

After doing the material shopping it was time to focus on the pattern! After printing the pattern it was time to go back to school (sort of) and do some cutting and ‘sticking’ (pinning).

The pattern is great, clearly labelling each pattern piece A B C and D. Starting with the black stiffening layer, part of the edge was folded and piece A was pinned on the fold. The other pieces were pinned elsewhere and not on the fold.

Before cutting it is recommended to leave a seam allowance of around 1cm so I had room to manoeuvre or rectify a probable future mistake, haha. Instead of cutting directly on the lining I roughly cut 1cm away all the way round the piece.

All the pieces, minus A which was cut on the fold on fabric were cut out twice. Piece A is the front of the corset, when unfolded it becomes the centre.

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After I felt comfortable with my millions of pieces, it was time for the next stage: Unpinning the paper templates and pinning the black shapes onto the silk finish. You do not need a seam allowance this time, as it is included in the black shape already! (You can happily reuse the paper templates if you want, just remember to use the seam allowance again!) This stage is exactly the same, however the two fabrics are completely different to work with. The stiffening layer was a little bit of a challenge to cut due to its sturdy nature. In contrast the silk is extremely slippy, something that I will have to take into account if I make any future garment!

The final stage for part one is my favourite part. It’s time to thread up the sewing machine! Each black shape is sewn together with it’s green counterpart, and hallelujah the first two layers are beginning to form! I sewed around 1/2 cm in, trying my hardest to be equal!

That was enough for one day. I need to recharge myself!!

DIY Vintage….

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Photocredit: 101 ways to stitch, craft, create vintage

As you all probably know by now, I love craft projects. I have countless books, magazines and pinned pages online with different vintage style crafts and items. On reading one of my hardcopy books I came across a beautiful hair fascinator, encrusted with colourful ribbons. Inspiration alert.
Unfortunately, I don’t have a hair fascinator hanging around – but I do have a plain royal blue hat; half a skull cap style, half beret. I’ve ‘accessorized’ this hat before – adding feathers or brooches depending on what st20160821_115453yle of outfit I go for. I like removal items so I’m not stuck with a certain style.

I’ve never used ribbons on this hat, so I decided to give it a go! Also, my wonderful foam hat ‘model’, Angelica, has made an appearance.

 

What I used:

  • One hat.
  • A selection of ribbons, lace and fabric (Try to get different widths and styles, to layer and contrast!)
  • A pair of scissors
  • Pins (Safety pins also work – if you want to make your hat a fixed design, pin and then superglue!)

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  1. Take the larger piece of fabric and cut three circle like shapes. There’s no need to worry if the circles aren20160821_121305’t perfect – they’re going to be moulded into flowers! I just love how the colours compliment each other, a jadey green teamed which a royal blue.

 

 

  1. To get the circles into flowers, the middle needs to be ‘pinched.’ The fabric here is quite slippy, so I secured it temporally with a pin. The sides are then pinched together, making a flower outline. Take the pin out, and then position the flower wherever you want on the hat. I chose to pin on the top front. I made two more flowers, one at the bottom and then one for later to position when
    the other items are on.

 

  1. I mentioned I love the colours teamed together. I still do. But why not add another? I cut up the thin purple ribbon, making them into small bows. Using another pin, I attached the centre of the bow into the middle of both flowers.

 

  1. I liked the way the bows looked, so I created a bigger bow out of the pretty while lace ribbon. It came out asymmetrical which matches the asymmetry with the hat! Again, I pinned it between the two flowers.

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  1. The last flower was then added above the bow, holding a more rose shape rather than the two ‘pansy’ style flowers. Conclusion: A very modern, yet vintage style hat. So unique.

 

Great thing about this hat: no two can be the same! You can remove, add or move all the décor about!

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