January 11, 2012

1911 - sewing the gores

There's just one extra thing that needs to be done to assemble the Corsets and Crinolines pattern, insert the gores. There are a few steps that will make this much easier. First, draw lines on the fabric 90 degrees from the point of the gore to the edge of the seam allowance.

Now cut almost to the point.

Do the same for the point on pieces 3 and 4, the pieces the gores will be sewn to.

You can trim the little triangles of fabric off, just don't cut into the pattern piece itself or even to the very edge of it. You need that bit of seam allowance so the needle and thread have something to grab on to. If you cut all the way to the pattern piece you have to sew on air and you'll have a small hole at the top of the gore. If that doesn't make sense now it will once you've accidentally cut too far and have sewn everything together. And if you do cut too far don't worry, this is the mock-up, time to learn all those little things.

Pin the first gore, or piece number 2, to piece number 3, with the point of the gore meeting the point on piece three. The square corners should match up.

Pin the pieces together at the end of the seam, then along the seam line with as many pins as are needed. It should look something like this, maybe with a few more pins.

Sew the pieces together starting at the point then stitching toward the bottom edge. Now take the combined 2 and 3 pieces an pin them to piece number 1, or the front piece. The squared corner at the point of the gore should match up with the notch on piece 1. The photograph below is of pieces 4 and 5 attaching to 6, so you'll see a second notch to the left, but otherwise it's the same.

Notice how the seam allowance from the gore is pushed down and out of the way? Pin from the point of the gore to the waist, match the corners or the seam allowance at the bottom, and pin the rest on the seam together. Don't worry if one side of the seam allowance is ruffly.

With curvy seams the allowances won't lay flat together. What matters is that the fabric meets evenly at the seam. If you press your fingers together with one on each of the seam it should feel smooth. Just take your time pinning. When the pieces are pinned together sew a seam from the top of the corset to the bottom. Here's what it looks like as you approach the top of the gore.

When you are done the pieces will look like this from one side.

And this from the other.

Assemble pieces 3 and 5 the same way then sew them to the back panel, or piece 6. The first gore may be confusing, the second will make more sense, and by the fourth you'll have it down. Don't stress if it's not perfect. My gores aren't perfect either.

Those little puckers are not worth picking out and re-sewing. Just move on to the next piece and keep sewing. Each seam will be better than the last, and all of these seams will are great practice before we start sewing the finished corset.

We'll attach the lacing strips and insert a couple bones on Friday and we'll be done with the mock-up!


  1. Now that I've done the entire mock-up I realise that it might possibly have been a bad idea for me to expand the hip gores by one inch along with the rest of the pattern. The hip area of the mock-up is exactly 4 inches to big: one inch for every hip gore. :-P

  2. That will make it easy to alter the pattern then!

  3. I got all of my hip gore seams to match; which makes me nervous for the real thing.

  4. Don't be nervous, that means you've done something right. Celebrate!