Bitch Witch, part 2
Updated: Jul 8
We last left off with a plunging red brocade corset, with fringed boning channels that seemed to be going swimmingly. Or so I thought.
I've made many corsets over the years, and maybe I got a little cocky. As far as I'm concerned, the only animals ever allowed to be cocky are roosters, with their ruffling gorgeous barnyard feathered tails that rise with such masculinity.
The corset was originally patterned to have a 24.5 inch waist, with initial mock-ups working out fine. Yet, when it came to making the actual corset, with a strength layer of canvas and the outer layer of brocade, it magically grew three inches. Because of it's added size, the silhouette was wonky, with the waist too big for the bust and hip measurements.
This would have not been a huge issue if I'd caught it beforehand, except for the fact I was so busy fraying little boning channels to my heart's content. With all the seams now encased inside these boning channels, I sure in hell wasn't going to pick them out.
So I made my corset too big. But this wasn't the only f*ck up.
Remember I wanted that plunging front? I had decided to cut the neckline early in the patterning process. Problem was that I'd used my tiny size 0 dress form to determine the neckline for a corset meant closer to a size 6. Don't ask me how I managed to ignore that obvious fact, but oh well. So when I did a quick test run on a more accurate model, that plunging "neckline" left all sorts of bits and tits way out in the open.
Long story short, the corset turned out to be too big and too small at the same time.
Now here's where we put the craft in craftiness.
(Btw, this crafty little video shows what I explain below).
To reduce the waistline of the corset, I sliced in the middle of four separate panels (two on either side) and re-stitched them with a 1/4 seam allowance. Meaning that with each new seam, I was able to reduce the corset by an extra half an inch. I also reduced along center front seam for a more streamlined profile with less of that Victorian wasp-waisted bulge.
Don't get me wrong, I love myself a good wasp waist. It makes me feel like a flower, but sting like a bee.
But bee-channeling vibes aren't quite the look for this costume.
After slashing the panels, I pinned and hand sewed the seams, measuring a 1/4 of an inch as I went along. Normally, I would just pin and take it straight to the sewing machine. But since my margin of error was non-existent, I decided to take the extra step and baste the seams together.
Moving onto the bust, I cut away most of the top half to refashion into a corset with cups. However, I abandoned the cup idea pretty quickly. It would have gotten kind of complicated and kind of finicky that I 'aint got time for.
The seams with the raw edges that have been zig-zagged are the seams that I reduced to make the corset smaller. Fun fact: if you want to make a garment smaller or bigger, the trick is not to add it to the sides, because it won't necessarily change the fit. Instead, mark along the center of the pattern piece and bring it inwards to make it smaller, or outwards to make it bigger. By adding/reducing along the center line of the pattern, will reshape and resize the garment.
In the case of this corset, by slashing along the center of the widest panel pieces and bringing in each seam by half an inch, I was able to resize the corset to the desired fit.
Now as fair as cups are concerned, I went with the idea of making a bustier for the upper half and cutting down the corset into an underbust. I'll go into the process of the bustier in next week's blog post.
Until then, have a shot of whiskey.