Problems? Let me count them


black flocking corset

This one nearly killed me.   It was a pattern which I’d used successfully a number of times before, but I just make mistake after mistake on it.  Some were silly mistakes and some were ‘learning activities.’

The exterior fabric itself was all upcycled.   The black and grey flocked material on the four front panels was upcycled from a skirt I found at a goodwill store.    The black velvet on the other panels came from my favourite fabric upcycling place – The Fabric Cave.  I know I keep plugging this place, but if you’re in Sydney, it’s well worth a look.

Problem #1 (Learning experience).    My first choice for the plain black panels was black cotton.  I found the blackest cotton I could, but it just looked lame next to the dark black flocking on the front panels.    I then remembered that I had some black velvet in my stash so I decided to try it instead.   Start unpicking all the cotton from the coutil backing.

Problem #2 (faulty fabric).   Replaced the cotton with the velvet and have it looking fabulous with a good fit.  Then the velvet pile started coming loose and left the corset looking like it has mange.    Start unpicking it all again

Problem #3, 4, and 5 (learning experience).   I headed to the Fabric Cave for some replacement velvet and found the perfect stuff.   Put it all back together again and find the busk is no longer sitting straight.   Not just a little off, but way off.   And the lacing at the back is also off.

Thought that perhaps it was because I didn’t sew the panels all in the same direction, so unpick and re-sewed the panels.   No luck.   4. Try again.   Thought it was perhaps because of the velvet, so I unpicked the velvet from the coutil and re-sewed the coutil only.   No luck.    I’m really wanting to give up at this stage, but the technical part of my brain is determined to find cause and solution    5.  Try again.  Finally I compared the flocked panels at the front and found they weren’t sitting identically.   Turns out that because the length of the sides weren’t absolutely identical, I’d joined the panels on left and right unevenly.    Note to self: make sure all pattern pieces have absolutely matching seam lengths.

Problem 6.   Don’t iron velvet flocking.  Just don’t.   Part of the flocking now has a dull patch on it.   Thankfully it wasn’t destroyed, but still……

I’m pleased to say that I’ve worn this a few times and it was worth persevering.  I am finally happy with it.  I could have given up, but I think I would have stayed irritated at not knowing why it sat unevenly.





Black Brocade Underbust

Oh I had a lot of fun with this one.   The client is my daughter’s friend who has a wonderful curvy shape and was so enjoyable to work with.   If I could dedicate myself to dramatic curves I’d be very happy.

Technical aspects:  Black brocade basted onto coutil with a cotton lining.  I double boned each seam.    As the wearer is only 16, I wasn’t comfortable with giving her a large reduction so we just stuck with 2″ reduction.  Not that it matters because she has such a great natural hip spring.    I extended the top and bottom of the back for both dramatic effect and to prevent any over spill of flesh.

She is delighted and so am I.

black brocade1

black brodade rear

black brocade1 (2)


Black and Purple Underbust

I’ve had a break from corseting while playing around with quilts and learning to sew stretch fabrics, so it was lovely to return back to this and try out some things I haven’t done before.   I’m very keen to keep trying new patterns and techniques.

The pattern I used was the Ariadnes Thread Corsetry 24″ pattern.  I’m not a tight lacer and so had to resize this to fit my corseted 31.5″ waist.   This gives a 2″ reduction, so is a good size for a corset beginner.

The instructions for resizing the corset were from a great download published by The Corsetmaking Revolution called The New Corset Pattern Drafting Masterclass.    Resizing is all math, so I ended up making a spreadsheet to do the multiple calculations.  Soooo much easier than doing each calculation on a calculator.   I think I’ll make a spreadsheet for resizing each corset pattern I own now.

After the resizing, I was absolutely delighted to try on my toile and discover that it fitted beautifully.  Who knew it could be this easy?!

When I started putting it together in the final fabric, I tried a technique called “Roll Pinning” when sewing the fashion fabric to the strength layer.   The idea is that it will help stop wrinkles – and it worked a treat.   If you’ve never heard of it, here’s a tutorial

I also tried a new way of tipping the bones.  Instead of battling with the little metal caps, I used heat shrink tubing which an electrician friend sourced for me.   It shrinks down real quick with the heat gun from my scrapbooking stash.    Now only time and wearing will tell me if the tubing is good for the job.  I doubled the amount of boning this time too: two bones, side by side on each fabric join.    I didn’t make a modesty panel for it because I will be wearing it over black anyway.

Incredibly comfortable to wear, I can’t wait to give it an outing

black and purple underbustblack and purple rear view