Friday, November 15, 2013

Shut up, I'm hilarious.

AHAHAHAHAHaHaaaaaa.... I'm so clever.

I should be ashamed of myself.

Anyways, the point of my ultra lame reference making is: I rescued the 5th corset!  I'm so glad!  I really didn't want that one to fail since the image of a brown leather underbust with swing hooks is what started me on my steampunk and corset making path.

Here it is:
yeah, I know the plaid pajama pants kinda ruin the effect.  oh well.  It's after midnight and I didn't care enough to change.
Here's an upclose of the fabric so you can see the pattern:

I'm very fond of it.  and now I have a brown corset with cliche swing hook closures.  I don't care if every steampunk corset uses swing hooks, I think they look awesome.

I managed to rescue the front panels from the original corset, although I did have to add a small strip to the edge to have enough fabric for boning channels.  And I saved about half of the back panels with the grommets in them.  I just barely managed to scrape together enough fabric for the rest of it.  I had to redo panels 2, 3, and 4 to correct the fit issue.  I had to resize most of the bones, but that wasn't a big deal.  I found it was nice to have the front and back closures already done as I was assembling it so I could actually try it on and know it was going to fit before it was finished.  I had to use commercial bias tape, since there was barely any scraps of the fabric left, and on the tops of the front panels it's actually only glued down because the bones in front go up too high for me to sew it down.

However, the liner looks great, the inside is very pretty.  My best work yet, considering it's a salvaged failure.


Friday, November 8, 2013

A New Corset, a Failure and a Lesson

So. I critically failed on my 5th corset.  It was incredibly demoralizing.  I had bought those cool swing hooks and special predrilled bones to mount them in that I had to get from England, and I was using the cool vinyl fabric that looked like tooled leather. I was figuring out how to add shoulder straps for that underbust with straps look that I love.  And I failed so hard.  In a few different ways.

In case you're wondering, there are no pictures of the failure.  I'm still hoping to salvage it so the hardware doesn't go to waste.

So.  Firstly, the shoulder straps.  The shape was utterly and abysmally wrong, I don't even know how to describe how they were wrong.  they were too long so they didn't rest on my shoulders.  The arm hole was too small so the edges cut in to both the front and back of my arm.  They were just so, so wrong.  Too wrong for me to fix.  They weren't a fixable problem, they were a cut-those-fuckers-off-and-start-from-scratch problem.  So that was bad enough, because the shape of the corset around my arms was cut around those, so the boning is too long in places to cut them off.  However, all this could be fixed with some time and effort.  Trim the fabric, trim the bones, resew hems, and so on.  There is however, a bigger problem.

I trimmed down the pattern I used.

Now, I had mentioned the wide hips problem of the previous two more recent corsets.  Here's the thing I have come to understand: That wasn't caused by the pattern being too wide in the hips.  I know, weird, right?  I have discovered however that the real problem is the waist.  You see, I didn't just cut down the hips, I trimmed the waist a bit more just for fun.  I thought, hey, my waist is squishy, let's see if we can reduce by more than two inches!

Spoiler Alert: I can't.

And the result of having a waist that I can't lace tight enough is a hips and ribs section that don't fit.  The fit of this failed corset was a tight cord around my waist and a hip and rib section that didn't even touch my body.  my torso felt like a clapper in a bell.  Now, if I got in to waist training and tight lacing I could probably train my waist to fit this corset, but I'm not going to do that.  Corsets are fun, occasional wear for me, not 23 hours a day never take it off deform my body wear.

The moral of the story is, there is a point at which I cannot squish my waist anymore, and I must respect that point or my corsets will not fit.

So, after learning this lesson, and angrily throwing the corset in a corner (I must salvage that hardware, I'm not letting it go to waste.  I'm just too angry to look at it now.)  I retraced my pattern, left some of the hip width, and smoothed out that waist curve a bit more reasonably.  And this story has a happy ending.  The result was this:

My 6th corset.
Oh. My. God.

I realize this doesn't look much different from my other corset pictures, but that's because you can't feel the difference.  This sucker molds so beautifully to my shape with a PERFECT waist shape.  This is a single layer corset, which was a new experience for me.  I splurged on some real coutil, professional corset maker's fabric.  Since it was just gonna be a single layer I wanted to use the strong, good stuff. The seams were sewn to the outside, seam allowances on the outside sewn down and used as boning channels, with satin ribbon sewn over to hide the ragged edges.  The bust shape was resculpted to curve just right, and OH MY GOD THE WAIST.  THE FUCKING WAIST.  That perfectly smooth curve.  The ribs and the hips fit perfectly, and my shape is just.... god.  it's just perfect.  After putting this on I spent half an hour putting on all my slim form fitting clothes I'm usually too self conscious to wear and nearly crying because I looked SO GOOD in them.  My pattern is FLAWLESS.  I'm so fucking happy.  And because it's a single layer corset, there's no liner for me to fuck up, so the inside is also gorgeous.  Not quite perfect, there's a few places where I had issues with the ribbon binding the edges, but pretty good.  Binding is so hard...

Anyways, I'm pleased with myself.  I feel it is an excellent recovery from the failed corset.

(also, I apologize for the excessive use of caps and profanity... I may be working on a bottle of wine all by myself tonight... which means I'm sorry enough to apologize, but NOT SORRY ENOUGH TO FUCKING TAKE IT OUT!  AHAHAHAHA!)