Julie's Venetian Courtesan

Who doesn't want to be a Dangerous Beauty?

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Corset Conclusion, I Hope

Wow. I don't think I should've wished for the boning to come in quite so much. Cuz sometimes you get what you wish for. It came Friday night. I have been working on finishing the corset since then. The boning is perfect in it--no channel fit issues (kudos to me and my knowledgable ruler use), and it looks very nice. Note to self and others: the spiral steel boning is MUCH more flexible than I had envisioned. This makes it much more comfortable than I envisioned. But in the future, if I want to go for rigid, I would go with the spring steel. That is what i used to approximate a "busk" in my corset, and it really does the job.
This pic shows the flexibility of the spiral steel--top is side to side, middle is straight, and bottom is front/back flexibility. I found that the spring steel (its jsut a strip of plastic coated metal with rounded ends) is only flexible front to back (not side to side), and even only marginally flexible--so it makes a great busk substitute. The poly boning acts like a weak spring steel.

Once I had all the boning in and had attached my lacing strips once more to assess fit (and removed them once again--yay jack the seam ripper), I decided I was ready to put the ribbon edging on.

The ribbon I found at the local fabric store, and thought it perfect. It has a slight shell design in cream and tan. It complements my corset fabric nicely. It is thick, heavy duty ribbon, so I thought would work well for the load bearing corset. And to make it stronger, I folded it in half (it is 2.5 inches wide, and the pattern calls for 1-1.5", so this seemed a good solution).

ribbon trim on corset fabric--love the way it looks together.
The thing I didn't love was how FRIGGIN DIFFICULT it was to sew onto my corset. With each pull of my needle (handsewing mind you), I was going through 2 layers of denim, one of thick curtain fabric and two of heavy duty ribbon--and sometimes more. Ouch. The needle stuck so many times I can't even describe it. And the thread kept insisting on knotting itself. Friday night I sewed on it for about 4 hours. On Saturday, I worked on it almost all day, and thought I would go mad. My sister, who was stuck in our apartment due to Maryland snow, took mercy on me and helped me--we were stitching from opposite sides of the corset to get it done faster. But Saturday bedtime came and it still wasn't finished. Sunday morning breakfast and then back to stitching--I just want the thing to be done! About 17 hours, 3 puncture wounds, 1 pinky blister,2 bent needles, 10 numb fingers and 4 callouses later, I was finished. Ouch. Remind me not to do this again. This corset better last for a long long time! It weighs 1 lb, 10 oz. My sister and I both bled on it.

As as if it wasn't torturous enough to do the ribbon, when it was done I had about a 1 minute feeling of accomplishment before I realized I needed to put the eyelets in for lacing. I used Dritz 1/8" eyelets in gold--this took me an additional 2ish hours--Ack! While I like the way they look (daintier than grommets), they were not deep enough for my 3-fabric-layer corset, so the innermost denim layer did not all get caught into the eyelets. To fix this, I think I may have to sew a buttonhole stitch around each eyelet. It'll hold all the layers, but a side effect is that it will look more period. Quite honestly, I could care less about period on the corset that goes under the dress, but looks like I'll be going that way anyway. I'd much rather just know that I am done, but looks like the corset has it in for me and I will have to work on it a bit more...

Here are some pics, though. I think its AWESOME. Now that its *almost* done (minus the sewing over the eyelets), I think all the crazy work was worth it!

Here is a close up of the finished product. I'm loving it, personally..

This is with a skirt I already had made from the same fabric for a past ren fest. Convenient little ensemble, should I ever need it...

And here is the back view. I intentionally made it a bit small in hopes of losing my 15 thanksgiving and christmas pounds. And if i don't lose them, oh well, its still serviceable. ;-)
Damn, baby got back.


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