Friday, February 10, 2012

Pirate Wedding - Corset/Bodice BONING CHANNELS & CABLE TIES

My corset pattern is one piece. I had decided to use my gold tapestry valance for the corset, since the skirt situation was getting so bulky. But the valance wasn't quite the right proportions to just lay the pattern out and cut. I had to fold it in half and cut two pieces. I reminded myself to add a half-inch to the center front edges so I could sew them together. Then forgot until I was halfway through trimming the first center front edge. So now I will have to figure out a way to join the pieces.

I cut out the buckram (for the interlining) and the muslin (for the outer lining) accordingly in two pieces.

Here's what the corset/bodice looks like when the outer fabric halves are put together:

So I assembled all the layers on each half, and then spent a week hemming and hawing on how I would draw the boning channels. Finally I told myself to JUST @$&!ING EYEBALL IT AND GET IT OVER WITH. I sewed a few test channels of different widths in my first muslin mockup and determined that a 7/16" channel fit the 3/8" cable ties perfect. I looked at my pre-existing corset and judged where I should make my channels on my pattern. I measured the distance between channels using the awesome UMD Measuring Disc, which I learned about from Jo's Bridges on the Body blog. (She calls it a tailor's shuriken, and I love that name).

And I think it looks okay (the channels are sewn in, in the above pic). There was some fabric wrinkling in some of the channels and some crooked stitching, but it didn't affect how the bones went in. The thread matches the fabric so well, and since the fabric is textured, you can't even see the crooked stitching from the front. At first I felt like a loser but then I just thought, "I AM DOING THIS" and I plan on doing it again and again in the future and I'm certain I'll get better.

I thought they were the biggest boning channels ever, but then I read on Leimomi Oakes' blog, The Dreamstress, that she uses the 3/8" cable ties in at least some of her corsets, and since she is amazing I felt very relieved because that's the size I bought and I was thinking they were too big.

Cutting heavy-duty cable ties (or zip ties, whatever you want to call them) is a bitch. I bought some wire cutters to cut them, and they only made a dent. Finally I had to use my precious kitchen shears, and had to apply an amazing amount of squeeze to get them to cut. I don't have a good history with sharp blades, so I was constantly worried I'd cut off the tip of my finger, for real.

I think maybe if I get some tin snips, it might go easier next time? Because I was thinking I am never using heavy duty cable ties again. I will buy steel boning and somehow make it work if my boning channels aren't quite the size of my bones. I don't know. It was a pain and I would really rather pay for the steel boning than have to deal with that every time.

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