I zoomed ahead after getting the main assembly done, and spent a jolly [ahem] couple of hours bashing grommets into place. Then I slipped the lacing in, and had a quick try-on…even without boning this gives a lovely shape, very curvaceous!
I played with some lace left over from my daughter’s wedding dress, and I think I’m onto a winner with this combination of colours and shimmer. I may play more with the layout, I have loads of motifs of different sizes all safely zipped up. The lace was quite expensive, and it WON’T be wasted!
So- boning time. I have spiral bones, flat steels, and some quality plastic whalebone. The pattern instructions state that you MUST NOT use spiral bones in this corset, but doesn’t say why.
I sulked. Spirals are very comfy.
I started measuring and cutting, and found that the wider bone casing I used at the back and sides is just right for two pieces of the plastic boning, laid side by side. I then stared at the front. And tried to insert some spirals. Which wouldn’t fit. I sulked some more.
Here’s the inside- black twill tape in two widths for the bone casings, remaining raw edges pinked. Quite authentic. My stitching is as wonky as ever, hey-ho.
I took time out from sulking to bind the bottom of the corset so that the boning has something to sit on.
My usual width of bias tape, roughly 2″ wide [the width of my metal ruler], machined on, folded edge-to-stitching line, then the folded edge folded over the corset and hand stitched down. Quite neatly- much better than my machine stitching. Here’s the inside and the outside, pretty!
Back to the boning. I decided to defer a decision, and see what type of boning was inside the cheap brown corset I bought last year in a sale-only a tenner, and when I got it, I could see why. It’s got a crap shape, nasty plasticky binding, and does weird things over the boobs. Never to be worn, so I did a bit of organ harvesting. I found 16 rather dirty, sticky, rusty spiral bones, a decent buck, and some narrow flat steels.
SO this evening I spent a couple of hours with a tube of autosol, loads of paper towel, an old toothbrush and a dirty yellow duster. Much better [and more than a tenner’s worth of fixings, not bad.] It’s all now drying on the radiator, I’m not risking rust stains on that silk.
Then I de-sulked, and wandered off to the Face Book group ‘Learn How to Make Corsets Like a Pro’. The very helpful and talented folk there have explained why I mustn’t use the spirals, or at least not on the front of the corset. The typical Edwardian S-bend shape has very very curved seams to give the lovely shape, but the boning channels do not run along he seam lines at the front, but straight up and down the body, to give the flat front required [the bosom spills into the top of the corset, giving the fashionable ‘pigeon front’.]
Spirals have side to side flexibility, and would allow the curves of the corset to get out of control, producing bulges where I don’t want them. Well, I have enough bulges, I don’t need more due to faulty engineering! I have two options: I can put spirals in the back of the corset [not centre back, you have to have flat steels either side of the eyelets], and plastic whalebones in the front OR I can put plastic whalebone in the back, and narrow flat steels in the front.
I’ll have to experiment and see which allows for comfortable sitting!
Work is nearly over for this year, just a few lessons and some exam invigilation, and it will be time for a good rest. Things are no better, but at least I’ve adjusted to my meds. And soon I’ll have an outrageously curvy Edwardian figure. Probably. More soon.