After my experience with the amazing Dark Garden corsets at the Vintage Fashion Expo, I decided that it was high time I just bit the bullet and started working on a corset. I did my research (mostly using advice from House of Marmalade and Steam Ingenious), found a free pattern for an underbust corset, and purchased a packet of 24" plastic cable ties from OSH for $5.99. In an effort to keep my costs for this first foray into corsetry as low as possible, I used fabric that was already in my stash: some stiff-ish (but as I later discovered, simultaneously loosely woven) cotton leftover from hemming IKEA curtains for a friend, red corduroy (from a bag of donated fabric from a church lady) for the red Sew Weekly theme, and black hook and eye tape instead of a proper busk.
|Right after I had followed the instructions to lay out the pattern pieces for marking so that I wouldn't mix them up, |
Walnut woke up from his nap and walked over...
|"Oh, I'm sorry, did you need to do something with these little pieces of comfy fabric? Also, did you need more work to do? Because I've got all these little red corduroy bits in my fur that need to be brushed out now."|
The pattern was easy enough to use, being only four pieces (with the fourth piece mysteriously upside-down -- so make sure you rotate it if you use that pattern!), but I think I'm not used to being quite so precise in my cutting and stitching. My inner and outer layers definitely did NOT match up! As a result, once I sewed my boning channels, the inside looked pretty ghetto-tastic. Also, my topstitching on the corduroy just looks wonky. That said, once I painstakingly cut and filed my boning and set all my grommets, it was really exciting to lace it up and try it on.
|Excuse the odd choice of lacing material...this ribbon was all I could find that was anywhere close to long enough. |
The cable ties were curled up in the package, so they're still a little bent.
I was scared to lace it too tightly, as I don't trust my own construction. There's no coutil in this, and my grosgrain ribbon waist stay is a little too high for my actual waist. As a result, it doesn't actually reduce my waist any, but it looks pretty cool (at least, for being totally unfinished and missing binding and all) and will be perfect for if I ever get invited to a pirate-themed costume party. Or possibly a very campy Western saloon party?
|Awkward shots in front of the bathroom mirror.|
|I shot this over the back of my shoulder, so it's not in focus at all, but you get the idea.|
Tomorrow, I'm going to get some more bias tape for the binding, as well as pick up some pearl buttons for the cuffs of this lovely thrift store find:
|Front of the blouse: it closes with a series of hooks and eyes down the front. One of them was missing, but otherwise the blouse is in very good condition. No sweat stains or anything, as is common in thrift store white blouses.|
|I took these in front of our shower curtain since I was taking pictures in the bathroom mirror anyway? Not sure.|
I know it's not nearly period accurate, but it's a 100% cotton white embroidered blouse with tucks and hooks and eyes, which are all at least period appropriate, I believe. There's no shaping to it, so it will poof out nicely with a high-waisted skirt. And guess what! My VPLL 1912 project pattern for the month is a skirt! So it's perfect. I'm trying to decide between a dark blue cotton or a forest green wool/poly blend. I've got nine yards of the former and "only" five of the latter, but the recommended fabrics are wool, silk, linen, or twill.