Thursday, September 8, 2011

Corsetry: Trying Something new...

So I have started work on my Halloween costume.  I won't give away  my idea yet, but here is a visual clue... I will accept guesses!

I have started with a Victorian corset, Simplicity pattern 9769. 

I began by cutting and pinning my pattern pieces.  Over Labor Day JoAnns was having a 50% off sale on bottomweights so I picked up some cream colored cotton twill.  I suppose it's denim?  Is any heavy weight cotton twill denim?  I picked up the steel boning and busk from

I began by cutting out my pattern peices and sewing the sections for each side together.

The sections are sewn together via flat felled seams (like those on blue jeans).

Then each seam is covered with twill tape sewn on close to each tape edge to create narrow channels for the boning.

At this point you are supposed to sew additional twill tape boning channels.  This is something I did not do at the appropriate time leading to extra work and some internal ugliness of my finished product.  Lesson learned? Read the directions!

Next I created the back sections and applied the grommets for lacing.  I'm not sure whether standard grommets are supposed to be used here but I am not an expert in corsetry and hey, it was available....

I begun by measuring and marking where each grommet would be applied.

I then cut a small hole slightly smaller than the grommet at each mark.  One lesson I did learn here is to perhaps veer on the side of a too small hole.  A few of the holes were a little too large and the grommets are hanging on by only a few threads rather than being very secure.  I did ultimately reinforce those with some handstitching.

I then pushed the grommet through the hole...

I lined up the grommet application thingy-doodle (it came in the package with the grommets)...

And used a hammer to apply the grommets.  I did, in fact, use both hands for my hammering but I needed my second hand for photography here.

The grommets seemed to work very well.

I then attached the busk and then sewed double fold bias tape along the lower edge.  This is when I realized that I had neglected to appropriately add all the boning channels.  I then added the channels and inserted the boning.  I then added bias tape to the upper edge to fully enclose the boning.

All leading to a finished product that I am quite pleased with.  I managed to discolor some of the bias tape with a hot iron and I have not yet picked up the laces so this is pinned to my poor dress form, but overall, I think this is an excellent result!  

 My only complaint regarding this pattern is the sizing.  I had been warned that this pattern ran big so  I cut an 18 rather than a 20 or 22 and it is still big.  As I stated, it has not yet been laced but I've held it up to myself and the back almost meets so it won't exactly be tight lacing...


  1. So, I'm going to throw my guess out there: Mary Poppins.

  2. You are absolutely right... I am clearly not nearly as sneaky as I suspected!