Corset Building, Week Two

In my second week of class we continued draping corset bodices on the dress form. The first style was a straight 8 panel corset, the second an 8 panel corset with a bust dart and pointed front and back.  The third corset was also 8 panels, but it had a top and bottom bust piece cut on the bias.  This was most successful muslin as the lines actually lined up this time. The fourth corset style is of our own choosing, I’ll likely draft an underbust pattern, just to do something different.

Another highlight of the week was going through the school’s fabric stash. I scored a few small pieces of rust colored brocade with yellow bees and fleur de lis. I do not know if there is enough for a complete corset, although it may work well for the underbust I just drafted. I may save it and pattern match the front panels of a straight Victorian corset pattern that I already own. I also came across a yard or two of purple cotton velvet-I see a lot of corset building in my future!

One of these days I will get around to taking a camera to class.


Corset Building, Week One

We are starting off the semester with four weeks of draping. We began by labeling the parts of a dress form. The dress forms we are using are a size 8. I assume this is an industry standard. Unfortunately anything I make for this class will be too small to actually fit me (I am closer to a size 12-14 in the sewing world). I am going to work on a personal corset project in addition to the class project.

After labeling the dress form we took our 1/4″ ribbon and outlined all of the corset panels. Since we are sharing forms with  a partner we each chose a side to work on and met in the middle. After this step we tore separate rectangles of muslin (on grain), one for each panel of the corset. Each muslin panel measured one inch larger than the widest portion of the ribbon panel, on both sides and top and bottom. We then pinned each muslin panel to the dress form and traced the ribbon panels. Although mine are not perfect, they shall suffice.

My muslin corset pattern panels:

The side front and side back are different lengths at the sides. I am hoping to learn how to fix this in class next week. On Tuesday I believe we are going to clean up this muslin pattern, transfer it to paper and then start work on the next one.

The Pumpkin Bird Skirt

In order to prepare for taking a sewing class this semester I decided to make a few things with materials I had on hand. I belong to a lot of sewing and craft communities on live journal and I really like the project forms used by the sew_loli community and will be using them in my project posts.

Project Registration

Project Title : Pumpkin Bird Skirt
Short Project Description: Lined skirt with a yoke, side zipper and gathered poof.
Projected Deadline: No deadline
Pattern(s) Used: Vogue 8127 (view C)
Materials needed: 100% cotton for the skirt itself and a satiny polyester lining fabric, 7″ zipper, hook & eye closure and thread.
Challenges or obstacles : I do not have much experience putting zippers in.

Project Completion

Project Title: Pumpkin Bird Skirt
Project Start Date: January ?
Planned Finish Date: January ?
Actual Finish Date: It only took a couple of days.
Did you make changes from original plan? The pattern is sized (6-8-10-12), I am technically a 14 on the bottom, pattern wise. I increased the yoke and lining pieces a fraction of an inch on each side (I used the same distance from a size 10 to size 12 to make a size 14).
Did you discover something you want to share?
Practice makes perfect?
How happy are you with the result? 90%. I need to re-stitch the zipper, as I cut some important threads that had bunched up on the back, and the hem is slightly uneven. This skirt would likely lay better if I had used a silky material instead of 100% cotton. All the bad aside, it fits perfectly and I do not think the print screams Halloween so I can likely get away with wearing at other times of the year.

My Introduction to Corset Building

I’ve decided to focus on the creative aspects of my life this year so  this semester I  signed up for the Corset Building class (Fashion 354) at my local community college. This is a combined class, taught along with Historical Costuming. The majority of the students in the class are on the costuming side, only five or six of us will be concentrating on corsets.  Even buying school supplies was exciting!

I already own one of the required textbooks, Linda Spark’s The Basics of Corset Making and the other one should arrive some time today.  This is my first time taking a formal sewing class, I have 18 weeks of corsets to look forward to.