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Saturday, March 3, 2012

Frustration. Thy name is corset.

So I did the right thing and cut a smaller size this time in calico and sewed it up - in fact I am down two sizes on last time and you know, it's still hard to judge.
I've basted it together to try it on and I'm worried it's still going to be too big.  Which is a problem since I'm using the smallest size in the packet.
I also think I need to add a bit to the top to cover my bongos or there could be problems. 
Meh!  Maybe I'll go and make a petticoat instead.

6 comments:

  1. Did you make a cardboard version? I find it to be a really helpful first step when it comes to fitting.

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    1. Hi Cassidy,
      That's interesting, I'd not heard of doing that before. I'm just not sure it would help in this case - I have an 11 inch difference between my ribs and my bust which makes fitting a difficulty. That's the problem with my calico mockup, I can't tell for sure. I think the only thing I can do is really make it up again and hope for a better result this time. Until I can almost lace it up I don't think I'm going to be able to tell. If I'm missing something with the cardboard mockup please let me know. All suggestions greatly appreciated.

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    2. Well, with fully-boned stays, the cardboard produces nearly exactly the same shape - so curviness shouldn't make much of a difference. Now that I think about it, I'm not sure how it would work with partially-boned stays since they're not as stiff, but it might be worth a try - they won't be an exact duplicate, but they'll tell you if you're close.

      Though it's more difficult than just getting another pattern, I have to recommend Cathy Hay's Corset Drafting Revolution to alter your pattern, if you need to go smaller than the smallest one in the packet - basically, you find the percentage of the width of the corset as patterned that each piece is, and then use your own measurements to get the necessary width of each piece for yourself. It's a bit trickier for 18th century stays as they're not an hourglass shape, but doable if you take off a bit more for squish at the chest.

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    3. Thanks Cassidy for all the info and tips. I'll give it a go and see what happens. I'm not about to quit at any rate! : )

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  2. Corsets can be so frustrating! I've sewn about 8 pairs of 18th century stays in the past 5 years and I'm only happy with a couple of them. It took quite a long time for me to learn all the things you need to know to make a good corset, especially because there's not much information about construction of historical corsets in my language. Oh well, at least I learnt to speak better English while learning to make historical undergarments.

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    1. Gee you are keen. And I'm all admiration for anyone who learns English as a second language - my efforts at Italian and German are hysterical. So to make corsets from instructions in a second language really blows my mind. I have to make some time to get back to all things 18th century but most especially the corset. Too many things drain me of time.

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