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[personal profile] crystalmoon
The Goal:  To make a functional, everyday corset for foundation wear.

The Challenge
:  To finish this before Lydia finishes her evening gown.  (Also, just making it usable is a challenge)

You guys know this already, however I'm gonna try to document as much of the process as I can, including the learning curve.  Also, if I manage to be smart, I'll add pictures!

So as previously stated, I drafted a pattern using my own custom measurements and a handy-dandy pre-made template to make a pattern that would fit my own body.  After much trial and error, and a trashed muslin mock-up or two, I think I've hit it.  The pattern making itself was tedious at best and I'm still uncertain about the cup curvature.  I'll know more about that once I get everything together.

Here's the pattern pieces, all laid out in a pretty row.
Pattern PiecesLook at that, a picture!  It even does wrap-around text.... I'm feeling accomplished already!

So anyway, the minimum type of fabrics you need to make a properly strong and functional corset is 4.  You need your lining, the strength layer, the interlining and finally, the fashion layer. 

Lining:  Pretty self explanatory, the fabric that goes against your skin.  Usually muslin is not what you use for this, but it's the only 100% natural fabric I had that was soft enough.  Also the large piece had been washed multiple times so it is quite soft.

Strength:  For a "proper" corset, a fabric called coutil, or corset coutil is used.  This fabric is made with it's ONLY function in the world being to make corsets.  It's also frigging expensive.  In a pinch, one can also use cotton duck or canvas.  I found some duck at the local Joann's for only about $5.00 a yard so I went with that.  This being my first corset and me not knowing how it's gonna turn out, I'm ok if it doesn't last for 30 years.

Interlining:  This layer is a thin, sometimes gauzy, almost always slick type fabric used as a buffer between the strength layer and the fashion layer to keep the fashion layer from getting all rubbed on and beat up by the strength layer.  I've heard tale that silk organza is a dream of an interlining, so being the budget seamstress I am, I went with white polyester organza.  The thought occurred to me that polyester won't be as breathable however, being organza, it's more than breezy enough that I am again not too worried about it.

Fashion:  Again, self explanatory.  It's the outermost layer that may or may not be seen by the public depending on what kind of corset is being made.  This could be anything from heavy brocades, to quilting design fabrics or, as I decided to do, polyester organza.  I was originally going to use a slate grey cotton I have but after seeing how the white organza looked against the beige muslin I decided I really liked the effect.  The duck is about the same color, a bit darker, so it should be very suitable for a foundation garment, as it will be similar to my own skin tone.

So, I got ALL the layers cut out... then realized on two of the fabrics I had cut in the wrong direction.  This is an important thing to know, especially with the strength layer.  Since cotton duck is not cotton coutil, there is one direction in which it has a tiny bit of stretch, and the other direction has NO stretch.  The NO stretch direction MUST fall horizontally, as the corset will be pulled in that direction by the lacing once finished.  If it were to have stretch in this direction, it defeats the purpose of the corset; to slim the waist.  So... I re-cut and started over.  I'm just glad I had bought enough fabric.

I feel like this is really long.  Due to this feeling, I'm going to cut these posts into multiples and update... oh... every couple days maybe?  I am definitely further than just the fabric portion but I really don't want to bore whoever is reading this.  So, see you next post!

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crystalmoon

February 2015

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