May 30, 2011


This always takes so much concentration, but it's worth paying attention and not rushing.

Stitching in the ditch,

and from the other side...


May 27, 2011


Basting didn't take nearly as long as it did for the summer corset.

Sorry for the blue photo. I finished just as the sun was setting and didn't want to wait until daylight to take a picture. Tomorrow I'll sew the layers together. Progress!

May 25, 2011

lining the seams up

It was fairly easy to align the seams of the interior and exterior layers, it's keeping them that way when sewing the layers together that's the problem. Here's what I'm doing to keep things in line. I laid the corset flat and pressed my finger on the seam, the allowances for the interior are pressed in one direction and the exterior in the opposite direction so it felt smooth when they lined up, I could feel bulk to one side when the they weren't. I pinned as I went then double checked the alignment by holding the corset to the light.

All good. Just pinning in place has never worked for me when I've tried to sew layers together so the seams all will be basted.

Fortunately this corset doesn't have a crazy number of pieces. Only five more seams to go!

May 23, 2011

putting the layers together

Before sewing the layers together I basted a waist tape to the interior layer.

That is a rather narrow ribbon to be using as a waist tape. I have plenty of wider grosgrain, in a few lovely colors, but the only white ribbon happens to be 1 centimeter wide. It's better than nothing. So, I laid the two layers together face-to-face and stitched together along the center back. After pressing the seam allowances open I flipped the whole thing right side out. Here are the layers mid-flip.

Isn't that gorgeous? Does anyone else see a hint of Georgia O'Keefe in that picture?

May 20, 2011

shaping seam allowance corners

Shaping seam allowance corners really helps when matching the pattern pieces up and it's not difficult to do. Since I add seam allowance when I trace the pattern to the fabric I do the shaping then. First I add 1/2 inch seam allowance.

Then I flip the pattern piece over and trace off the correct angle.

When it's time to assemble the pieces there's no question as to how the pieces should line up, and on seams where the allowances are pressed out they perfectly match the rest of the piece.

Sometimes it's difficult to be sure exactly where seam lines should match up. Shaped seam allowances solves this issue. Since every fraction of an inch can make a difference on a corset I like to be as precise as possible.

May 19, 2011

exterior layer

The exterior layer has been sewn together. Here is how the pattern on the center front matched up.

Not bad. The seam allowances of the interior layer have been pressed to the center front, the seam allowances of the exterior to the center back. Here are the two layers both face down, you can see how the seams match up with the allowances laying in opposite directions.

When I put the two layers together the seam allowances will serve bone casings. This is my least favorite way to assemble a corset, all those seam allowances create a lot of bulk, and it's difficult to get the two layers to match up perfectly, but it's the way that makes sense here. Once the layers are stitched together it will be time to insert the bust gores. I've been wondering if I should quilt the gore layers. Any thoughts?

May 17, 2011

finally sewing the 1844 pattern pieces

Sewing again! Normally sewing wouldn't justify an exclamation point, but it's been too long since I've sat at the machine. The interior pieces of the corset have all been sewn together.

Those sloppy looking pencil marks on the seam allowances will be never be seen when the interior and exterior layers are put together. Plus, since they are just graphite they should wash out, right?