I tell you, this corset sewing business has been just awesome! I am really enjoying myself and learning lots along the way.
After making some small adjustments to my first muslin, I cut out all (32!) new pieces for the second one. I used some poly-blend upholstery fabric for the outside, and plain cotton muslin for the lining. I tried it on midway, and didn't feel it was the perfect fit. However, a corset without boning is a different animal to a finished one, so despite seeing some points for improvement, I decided to finish it just to get some practice with the grommets/eyelets, the waist tape, lining and spiral steel.
|Adding the waist stay.|
I used continous spiral steel boning, cut and tipped them myself. It was not hard at all, and I recommend getting this opposed to the pre-cut lenghts. Cheaper, too! For this corset I used three meters of spiral steel.
I didn't think of ordering flat steel boning for the back, so I had to improvise. I used hacksaw blades with the teeth sanded off, and it worked fine for the outer edge, but the one inside of the eyelets (if that makes sense) needs to go. If you look closely at the side view, you can see that my back looks very straight where there should be a hollow. The blade is flexible, but still too straight and broad for that placement. There's actually room behind it, and I can press it in with a finger...
|Uhm...is that a baseball bat up your back?|
I am quite pleased with the fit. When I tried it without the boning, it seemed too long because it doubled over itself at the waist, and it was also very loose at the bust. I switched from the A-cup bust gores to the B-cup on this muslin, and debated whether I should switch back again. I ended up keeping the Bs.
After inserting all the boning, I see that the length is perfect and the extra room in the bust allows for tightening at the waist. Some reviews of this pattern claims that the bust gores are "all wrong" but I got my own opinion on this matter. I think, the gores are not meant for the boobage but rather for the ribs. They start just at the edge of my ribcage, and give me room to take a full breath (high in my lungs) and there is no excessive compression or hot spots over my ribs at all. My bust is nicely cradled within the corset, and there is no "spillage".
If I am to be very critical, the outer gore could use just a teeny tiny adjustment to make it a tad more close fitting and give it a more correct curve.
I am also a bit bothered by the way the bottom front edge sticks out, although this is probably invisible when wearing a gown (or even just the undergarments). When ordering my supplies, I was tempted to get a spoon busk, but some say they are notoriously uncomfortable. I opted for the regular straight steel busk for this first corset, but I *need* to try the spoon busk some time. Love the shape it gives!
I can rather easily-ish lace this corset all shut, and it gives me a 27" waist, so a 3-4" reduction.
I have at least an inch more of squish, but I am ok with the reduction that this corset gives me.
Now that I know I can tackle this pattern, I am itching to get swinging with my Belle Coutil fabric, the lace and the nice stuff. It's so gorgeous!!!! (and I am terrified of ruining it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
I think I'll do one more muslin, though...
By the way, does anyone know if you should pretreat your corset coutil? I pretreat all my fabric, but seeing that a corset is not to be washed, do you still need the pretreating bit? (Not being lazy, just being utterly insane, thinking my washing machine will mince it. I think I need wine.)