December 16, 2011

1911 corset sew along - FAQs

It is so fun knowing there will be so many of us sewing together. We'll help each other deal with questions as they come up during the sew along, but this should help with questions right now.

I'm larger/smaller than the size of the pattern we're working with. Will I be able to make this corset fit me?
The first thing we'll do is pattern alterations so you have a pattern sized expressly for you. From there we'll sew a mock-up and do a fitting to assure the finished corset fit well.

Can you recommend a fabric other than coutil?
Mmmmm, coutil. It's the fabric engineered specifically for corsets so it's the perfect fabric to use, and with the deals offered by Sew Curvy and King & Co. Corsetry it's possible to get great fabric at a great price. However, I will do a post about fabric choices to help if you'd like to sew with something other than coutil.

Will this be a single or double layer corset?
Single layer. All the extant corsets I've seen form this era were constructed from a single layer of fabric so that's how I'll be constructing mine.

You specified steel boned in the supply list, will plastic boning work?
The corset I used to draft my post Edwardian pattern from has steel boning so that's what I'll be using myself. Flat steels can be purchased either already cut to length and tipped, or in a continuous length that you cut yourself. High quality synthetic whalebone can be substituted for some of the steels, but the boning on either side of the grommets should be flat steels, plastic just won't cut it there.

The list says six garter grips but the corset you made from your pattern only has four garters, why six then?
The Corsets and Crinolines pattern looks like it has six garters so that is how many I'll be attaching to my corset. Four will do the job just as well.

Are there specialized tools needed to make the corset?
There are a few items, like an awl or a grommet setting kit, that you not already have. They are readily available and there is time to procure them before we start sewing. If you decide to cut your own steel boning you will need tin snips and either metal tips or Plasti-Dip to cover the raw ends. Other than that your standard sewing supplies will do.

This will be the first corset I make, can you explain all the little things for me?
Of course! I'll break the project into small steps, which will give me time to thoroughly explain each step, and give you time to complete it before moving on to the next.

How long will the sew along last?
We'll have our corsets finished by the end of February. I'll post a complete schedule next week.

What can I do to prepare before we start in January?
Procure supplies and take your measurements. We'll enlarge the pattern during the last week of December.

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  2. Hello Jo, I often have to lengthen the bust pattern pieces of clothes I am making about 2 inches as I have quite a long bust. Does that mean I should purchase a 12 inch busk instead of a 10?

  3. This pattern does not cover the bust itself, it just rises a bit past the underbust. But if you've found you normally have to lengthen from the waist up because of a longer rib area then you may want to plan on a longer busk. You can always trim it down if it is too long.