Good Decisions, Bad Decisions

I was so excited after trying on my draft corset that I wanted to get started right away on the real thing.

I had almost everything I needed.  I bought way too much lacing, so naturally I ordered more – shorter pieces and some lacing tips so that I could cut them to an appropriate length.  I also ordered more grommets in the right size and color – the originals did not fit my grommet kit, grunt.  And I ordered a second busk so that I can make ANOTHER corset for a costume I am not prepared to discuss yet 😉

I decided a few things about the corset.

1)  I had been considering doing multiple colors / fabrics for different panels, but ultimately I decided to go with a single fabric on the outside.  Ultimately, I think this was a good decision.  Below is the brocade I went with.


2)  I bought a fabric to use in the corset with the goal of making the final product sturdier.  Normally, it is recommended that you use cotton coutil fabric.  However, that stuff is like $20-$30 a yard, so way too pricey.  I managed to snag a comparable fabric on Amazon for about $8-$10 a yard.  I decided to use this fabric as a “middle layer” in between the outer brocade and the inner lining.  It definitely has the effect of making it sturdier, though it also has a side effect of make the corset a little bit more complicated to put together.  I reserve judgement on this decision until the corset is done, but I feel like it was probably a good decision.


The picture above shows the middle layer pinned together before sewing.  Once the busk was installed, this part was pretty easy.  The busk was a little trickier.  I decided to install it between the outer brocade and the middle layer.  I attached the lining layer when I stitched the line that locked the busk in place.  Below is a shot of this process.  The piece on the left shows the inside of one busk piece, completed.  The right piece shows how I pinned the piece to attach it.


3)  I bought a very thin white satin-y lining fabric to use for the inner layer of this corset.  I do think a nice satin for the inside is a good decision.  This particular satin was a bad decision.  It is super flimsy, and comes with the other not-so-awesome things about satin such as it frays when you look at it funny and moves all over the place on your machine while you sew.  Since it is on the inside of my garment it won’t matter too much, but I will not ever buy such a flimsy fabric for a corset again.  Substance, people, else the inside of your corset could look like this!


Gross, right?  I keep telling myself no one will be able to see it.  Hopefully it won’t hurt to wear it, though I imagine all the ripples will leave marks on my skin afterwards.  I think what I hate most is that the fabric slipped and moved so much that in some places, I am not going to be able to catch it with the bias tape when I finish off the top and bottom edges.   I guess I will be fray checking those pieces and glad that no one will know.  Ugh.  Yesterday at Jo Ann’s I bought some GOOD satin, sturdy for the inside lining of the second corset I’ll be making.

I haven’t even finished half of the corset yet, but I am close.  The one side is done, boning channels are filled and basted across the top.  This week I’ll work on the other side and then settle down to grommets and bias tape.



1 comment for “Good Decisions, Bad Decisions

  1. April 29, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    Your corset is looking so pretty. I’m with you on satin, though. I’d rather sew with just about any other fabric, but I do have an in-progress project that involves some satin (not my choice). We shall see how it goes.


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