How long has it been since I cut these out? I looked back, and found it was…oh dear, JANUARY when I made the toile. The original inspiration was this image
And I found McCall’s 4713 to adapt for something approximating to the look.
I cut out two, one in the very last fragment’s of Dawn’s wedding dress [bronze/lilac shot silk dupion] and one in a faux suede of unknown manmade fabric. And then they sat. And sat. I got totally distracted by other projects, and delayed by trying to decide how to get that corsetted look, without corsetry. The missus is dead against it. I thought about cording, as used in pre-boning corsets, then floundered as I couldn’t find much in the way of information on t’web.
I decided to make a coutil foundation, then found I didn’t have enough coutil left from making my corset, and had to get more. Finally, a couple of days ago, I took a deep breath and dived in, knowing that I’d hit various bumps along the way, as I’m not following instructions!
Cording the side fronts:
I started off with the coutil and a bit of toile fabric, layered them together, and ruled parallel lines at what looked like a good angle, inspired by proper corset boning/cording.
After much deliberation, I’ve gone for hairy string, simply because I had a large reel. I used a hairgrip to loop onto a bit, threaded through the ruler width channel, doubled back, leaving a loop, and then stitched close to it, using a zipper foot. Wobbly, but it worked. Repeat fourteen times for each panel.
I discovered that:
- Hairy string makes your fingers sore.
- I’m crap at sewing straight lines.
- Hairy string is very uneven.
- I eventually got better at sewing straight-ish lines.
- Hairy string REALLY makes your fingers sore.
I knew that having the string protrude into the seam lines might be a problem, but couldn’t think how to deal with it. So I went ‘la la la’ and carried on. And got these.
I then sewed everything up as normal, and did a fitting. I needed to take it in a fair bit along the side seams and shoulders, but we approved of the shape given by the cording. No fitting pictures, sorry! I was surprised to have no trouble sewing the seams straight across the string cording.
Trimmed, pressed, and then faffed about trimming away the excess cording. THAT was a pain. I still can’t see how to avoid it though…any ideas?
I transferred the alterations to the suede-y stuff, and assembled that. Second fitting, with the coutil bodice on inside out, and the suede mounted over. Oops. I hadn’t thought about the considerable ‘turn of cloth’ that coutil + cording would require. The suede bodice was too small, and I’d already zoomed on and trimmed and clipped all those curved seams. I managed, with great care, to let it out about 1/8″ on side and side back seams, but wasn’t brave enough to faff with the side fronts- too curved! Lots of unpicking, more pressing.
3rd Fitting- not bad! The shape is gorgeous, the neckline is very sexy and the cording works like a ruddy wonderbra. Who’da thunk? I’ll be using a modesty panel underlaid at the front opening, and whichever fastening we settle on will go over that- no gaping or inadvertent flashing!
Now to mount it all together. Duh. It’s a ruddy waistcoat Fairy, how can you get a clean finish without leaving either shoulders or sides unpicked? I duly muttered and unpicked the coutil shoulders. I turned to the suede, and realised that with the collar already attached, this was a no-go. SO I re-stitched the bloody coutil, and unpicked all the side seams. Very carefully cos that seam allowance is now very narrow…and clipped.
Careful stitching round a lot of curves and points, [with quite a fight around that little collar curve] more trimming and clipping, and it’s sitting ready for some careful understitching [by hand I think, the shape is just too complicated to mess about on the machine], then serious pressing, and reassembling those side seams. After that, just the modesty panel and fastening. And then do it all again with the silk one. Sigh.
Right, that’s all you’re getting until later on, after I’ve nipped into town on an errand. I AM ONLY BUYING FABRIC FOR SOMEONE ELSE!