July 29, 2011

problem solved

I received an email suggesting I use a hook to pull a strip of fabric through the layers to add heft for the grommets. Why didn't I think of that? I have a tool for turning sewn tubes of fabric right side out that worked perfectly for this job too. First, I cut a bias strip of coutil, which is sort of the twill tape suggestion on steroids, and pressed it along the center back curve to help guide it to the correct shape.

You can see I doubled the coutil. That may be overkill, but I figured two layers of coutil couldn't hurt since the linen is so light. I hooked one end of the strip on the tool and pulled it through. The pull ring was just small enough to fit between the stitching already done on the back panel.

The groove at the edge of the coutil is where I'll stitch the other channel. Grommets this weekend? I think yes.

July 25, 2011

channels sewn

I finally managed to get the channels for the bones sewn. I sewed 3/8 inch channels on both sides of the seam using a mystery foot that came with my machine as a measuring guide.
Does anyone know what this foot is designed for?

Normally I grade all seam allowances but this time I didn't because I'm using them as bones casings. The seam allowances are 1/2 inch wide and the channels are 3/8 so the bones will sit between 4 layers of fabric. Here's a backlit picture that clearly shows the construction.

The narrow horizontal shadow near the top is the waist tape and the wider vertical shadow is the center front where the busk will be. I made one silly mistake when sewing the channels. I sewed the channels along the center back and realized I forgot to insert another layer of fabric so the grommets have something to grab on to. The linen is so light I'm afraid they'll just fall out without a little more bulk, but now I have very little room to maneuver fabric in that last panel. Has anyone else done this? Any suggestions as to how to solve it?

July 8, 2011

1906 mode illustrée corset

I've been diligently sewing, just not the 1844 corset. I should be able to post some progress soon, but in the meantime I thought I'd share a corset I made for a Foundations Revealed article.

The pattern came from La Mode Illustrée number 52, published December 30, 1906. If you've never seen a Mode Illustrée pattern hold tight, they are not for the faint of heart.

I know! The most difficult thing about making this corset was pulling the pattern out of that crazy roadmap. Once that was done the construction was pretty straight forward. I used an unbleached linen canvas fused with cotton batiste so it was very lightweight if not particularly striking. In an attempt to create a low Edwardian bosom I dressed the model in a strapless bra slung as low as possible, which looks a bit odd to me now. But I think the curves from the back are perfect.

Not too far off Anna Held's chorus girls pictured here in 1903.

I hope when I get around to making an Edwardian era corset for myself the effect is as dramatic.