Free ebook HOW TO MAKE A CORSET IN JUST 1 DAY straight to your inbox

Introduction

Introduction.

Hi everyone!

I am glad to welcome you to this book which is a part of the “Opaque Corsets” series by the Corset Academy!

This book has been written for you my dear friends, based on your multiple requests.

The material it contains is made after my video tutorials and is in fact a work-book of what is discussed in the second version of the first DVD from the Corset Academy series. There are 358 pages in the book and about 800 large-scale pictures.

It is going to be of great help for you during the working process.

Sometimes one has no possibility of watching a DVD or using a computer for that purpose.

At the same time you might simply need to quickly revise a certain bit of the material and in this case it is much more easily found in a book rather than on a DVD.

It is very important to understand that despite its very useful and valuable material the book cannot fully replace the DVD with video tutorials and author’s commentaries! However it is a handy, worth-while and basically essential supplement to the DVD!

 

If you achieve mastery of the DVD course and use this book in your future work as well, it is going to help you learn easier and implement your new skills practically.

I highly recommend you to start learning how to tailor opaque corsets exactly in the sequence described in the book - in other words going from the basics to the complicated parts in a build-up manner.

You should first of all try your hand at the tailoring of a corset in a simplified technique. Achieve a really beautiful garment! And only then - elated by success - go on to the making of a quilted-cup corset. If you manage to make this professional garment well - what I am sure you are going to manage - you can doubtless go on to the making of a dress with separately cut cups or a bodice.

Just follow my directions carefully and you will succeed!

I would also like to add that the corsets and dresses that I teach you to tailor in this book are only a base for your own masterpieces.

Let your imagination flow freely!

You can design an amazing dress using one of the corsets as its element!

If you are not sure how to decorate the garment or how to design patterns of various models and sizes - my DVDs and books are there to help you!

I advise you to watch the updates on the website or - even better - subscribe to my
free magazine to keep informed of any novelties.

Best of luck with your learning and enjoy reading the book!

Sincerely yours,

Tatyana Kozorovitskaya

www.corset.co.il

Corset in a Simplified Technique.

1 2.0-01-98.jpg

Tutorial 1. Measuring and Altering Patterns.

I start working on the first corset which I am going to sew in what is known as the simplified technique.

I have chosen a simple basic design for the tailoring of this corset.

You can see a technical drawing of this design and its pattern schemes in this picture:

1 2.0-01-01.jpg

There are four parts in the pattern of my corset: 2 front pieces and 2 back pieces.

There is a crease line in the middle of the front and a cut in the middle of the back because the lacing will go across the middle of the back.

Tools and Materials Required for Corset Tailoring:

You are not going to need that many materials to sew this corset.

I have made a collage of all things necessary for making this corset and took a picture of it.

Please take a look at what you see on the picture.

1 2.0-01-02.jpg

There are:

Basic fabric that I’m going to use for the corset.

Some iron-on fabric. I am using iron-on batiste.

Thread and needles.

Rigilene bones: both wide (0.5") and narrow (0.3”).

Measuring tape.

Scissors.

Pruner. I use it for cutting the bones.

Ribbons.

Plastic bones. I use them for adding support to the curves of the corset.

Small flock of padding polyester. I use it for covering corset cups.

Tip:

Please read all tutorials before you start sewing a corset on your own. Afterwards return to the beginning of the course and start working repeating every step after me!

Altering a Standard Pattern.

You need to make certain calculations and alter the standard pattern a little in order to be able to use it for any non-standard forms.

I highly recommend that you should first watch my free tutorials on corset pattern alteration:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzB-3PujN2k

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fvaCdvdaMsw.  

The main rule: I need to preserve the beautiful corset shape and at the same time stretch (or the other way round - squeeze) the pattern so that the new size can fit the forms of the client.

I make a table like this before I start working:

1 2.0-01-03.jpg

Measurements

Kate

Pattern

BM

Front side

Back side

Adjusted back side

Back curve

Bust middle

7.1

Bust front

18.1

Under-bust front

14.2

Bust circumference

33.9

Under-bust circumference

27.6

Waistline

26

Stomach

33.9

Clip

3.5 3.5

Side length

7.1

There are 8 columns and 10 lines in the table.

Column 1 – necessary measurements that you need to take off the client.

I assume that before buying this book you had watched my free tutorials on taking clients’ measurements where I explain in detail how it is done and how each measurement is used.

Column 2 – your client’s individual measurements (Kate).

I have written them down into the table.

Column 3 – measurements or sizes taken off the patterns.

Let me explain what it means.

I need to measure the pattern along the main circumference lines.

This column should contain the values of the same measurements I took off Kate but taken off my pattern.

Only then I can imagine what size the corset will be if I sew it according to the standard patterns and how much the size of the standard pattern should be altered (made smaller or bigger) so that the client could put her corset on.

There are necessary notches on the pattern corresponding to the main lines:

- bust;

 - under-bust line;

 - waistline;

 - stomach.

The task is to lay out the patterns on the table in such a way that the main lines are parallel to each other and go through the notches of all pattern pieces.

Please take a look at how I spread the patterns on the table:

1 2.0-01-04.jpg

(bust-line; under-bust line; waistline; stomach)

Then I measure each section length with a ruler or a measuring tape.

For example I measure sections 1, 2, 3 and 4 along the bust-line.

1 2.0-01-05.jpg

I add up these values.

I take away the total value of seam allowances.

As a result I’ve got some value.

I multiply this value by two.

The result is the "bust circumference”.

In this very case the bust circumference of the standard pattern is 36.6 inches.

I write this value down into the third column of the table against the “bust circumference” measurement (line 5).

Measurements of other section lengths are taken exactly the same way and fill up the third column of my table completely.

1 2.0-01-06.jpg

Measurements

Kate

Pattern

BM

Front side

Back side

Adjusted back side

Back curve

Bust middle

7.1

7.9

Bust front

18.1

19.7

Under-bust front

14.2

15.7

Bust circumference

33.9

36.6

Under-bust circumference

27.6

31.1

Waistline

26

30.7

Stomach

33.9

38.6

Clip

3.5 3.5

4.7    5.1

Side length

7.1

7.5

I find this method very easy. However there are many questions addressed to me concerning exactly this step. Therefore I would recommend you reading this part of the tutorial one more time and very carefully.

There is another method of taking measurements off a corset sewn based on the standard pattern.

You could sew a corset out of some mock-up fabric, put it on the dress-form and draw some cords along all circumference lines. Then you would outline them with a pencil, measure them and write down the values.

As a result I have the following measurements at the moment:

- «bust middle» - distance between the protruding points of the bust;

- «bust front» - central bust line at the front;

 - «under-bust front» - under-bust line at the front measured from side to side;

- «bust circumference» - full circumference of the bust-line;

 - «under-bust circumference» - full circumference of the under-bust line;

 - «waistline» - full circumference of the waistline;

 - «stomach» - full circumference of the stomach line.

It is necessary to mark the distance between the waistline and this measurement. The line of the stomach is normally the spot where the corset ends.

In this very case this distance is 4.7 inches from the waistline.

When taking this measurement off a client I always note the distance from the waistline and put it into the table. And afterwards when I start measuring the pattern I draw a stomach line at exactly the same distance from the waistline.

 - «clip».

In this case I have taken a “clip” measurement in only two directions: from the bust middle to the underarm (line 1) and from the bust middle along the curve (line 2).

1 2.0-01-07.jpg

The standard pattern should be measured at exactly the same spots.

- «side length» - distance from the waistline to the upper point of the corset along its side seam.

Now I start re-calculating my standard pattern based on Kate’s individual measurements.

I recommend those not yet familiar with my re-calculation technique to watch my free tutorials on the topic in advance. It’s really going to be helpful.

Most of my students have got acquainted with my philosophy and agreed that it is much easier and more reliable to use a worked-through standard pattern.

And for those who still doubt themselves or who haven’t fully understood my methods yet I would recommend that you start sewing corsets using my unclosed side seam technique. It means that even when the corset is basically finished you will still be able to alter the circumferences by adjusting the side seams. In other words, you can fix the situation if your calculations happen to be slightly wrong.

Only once you have sewn a couple corsets and understood my methods you can easily cut corsets with closed side seams and make fitting tests with a finished garment.

We are returning to the calculations.

The first measurement under comparison is the “bust middle” measurement.

If the measurements of the pattern and the client coincide you won’t have to make any corrections and the whole column 4 of the table should be left out during re-calculation.

But in my case Kate’s measurement is 7.1 inches against the pattern’s 7.9 inches which means I have to alter the pattern along the middle crease line.

Let us calculate:

7.1”– 7.9“= -0.8”

I have to divide this value into 2 sides - the right and the left.

Therefore:

-0.8” ÷ 2 = -0.4”

I write this value of -0.4 inches into the table (column 4, line 2).

The “bust middle” measurement of the standard pattern is larger than Kate’s. This means I need to take away 0.4 inches (the value was negative) from the standard pattern to adjust it to Kate’s measurements.

Therefore the crease of the fabric is going to be 0.4 inch inwards to the central front part of the pattern.

And when I make a pattern after Kate’s measurements my standard pattern should go 0.4 inches beyond the crease of the fabric.

1 2.0-01-14.jpg

(верхняя кромка ткани - upper selvage; край лекала - edge of pattern; сгиб ткани - fabric crease; нижняя кромка ткани - bottom selvage; срезы ткани - fabric cut edges)

Since I have shifted the pattern by 0.4 inches, the 0.8 inch value (0.4 inch from each side of the pattern) is going to be removed from all circumferences of the corset: bust, under-bust, waistline and stomach.

I am going to write the -0.4 inch value in all the lines of column 4 in order to keep this in mind.

Let me remind you that the value is -0.4 inches for each side of the pattern.

1 2.0-01-10.jpg

Measurements

Kate

Pattern

BM

Front side

Back side

Adjusted back side

Back curve

Bust middle

7.1

7.9

-0.4

Bust front

18.1

19.7

-0.4

Under-bust front

14.2

15.7

-0.4

Bust circumference

33.9

36.6

 -0.4

Under-bust circumference

27.6

31.1

-0.4

Waistline

26

30.7

-0.4

Stomach

33.9

38.6

-0.4

Clip

3.5 3.5

4.7    5.1

Side length

7.1

7.5

Now I want to determine where the front side seam will be.

There are two measurements determining the location of the side seam: “bust front” and “under-bust front”.

Bust front:

It is 19.7 inches on the pattern and 18.1 inches according to Kate’s measurements.

It is clear that the side seam is going to be shifted.

Let us calculate this shift.

I have already adjusted down all circumferences by 0.8 inches when calculating the “bust middle” measurement and shifted the pattern by 0.4 inches against the fabric crease.

And this means:

19.7” – 0.8” = 18.9”

(18.1” – 18.9”) ÷ 2 = - 0.4”

Therefore the side seam along the bust-line is going to be adjusted down by 0.4 inches.

I write this value into the table (column 5, line 3).

 Under-bust front:

Let me calculate the location of the side seam.

It is 15.7 inches on the pattern and 14.2 inches on Kate.

I am doing it the same way keeping in mind that the bust middle has been reduced by 0.8 inches.

15.7” – 0.8” = 15”

(14.2” – 15”) ÷ 2 = -0.4”

I add this value to the table (column 5, line 4).

It is now perfectly clear that the side seam is shifted by 0.4 inches.

However I am going to adjust down the whole pattern by 0.4 inches to keep the beautiful side shape of the corset - this lovely curve - thereby reducing all circumferences (bust, under-bust, waistline, stomach) by 0.8 inches.

I add the -0.4 inch value into the lines 5, 6, 7 and 8 of the column 5.

 Clip measurement.

For the scye:

Since there are 4.7 inches on the pattern corresponding to the 3.5 inches of the client’s measurement, I do the following:

3.5” – 4.7” = -1.2”

Along the curve line:

It is 5.1 inches on the pattern and the client’s measurement shows 3.5” which means I need to do the following:

3.5” – 5.1” = -1.6”

The values are added into the table (column 5, line 9).

Side length.

It is 7.5 inches on the pattern and 7.1 inches on Kate, therefore the side length should be adjusted down by:

7.1” – 7.5” = -0.4”

This value is also recorded in the table (column 5, line 10).

1 2.0-01-11.jpg

Measurements

Kate

Pattern

BM

Front side

Back side

Adjusted back side

Back curve

Bust middle

7.1

7.9

-0.4

Bust front

18.1

19.7

-0.4

-0.4

Under-bust front

14.2

15.7

-0.4

-0.4

Bust circumference

33.9

36.6

 -0.4

-0.4

Under-bust circumference

27.6

31.1

-0.4

-0.4

Waistline

26

30.7

-0.4

-0.4

Stomach

33.9

38.6

-0.4

-0.4

Clip

3.5 3.5

4.7    5.1

-1.2 -1.6

Side length

7.1

7.5

-0.4

Now I would like to go into more detail concerning the side length.

In my case I need to lower the side of the standard pattern by 0.4 inches.

According to the rule of side adjustment you cannot cut off more than 0.6 inches atop.

And this makes perfect sense.

The thing is that when the difference between the side seam lengths exceeds 0.8 inches it means the client has different proportions: the distance between her waist and her bust differs from the standard.

If you for instance reduce the sides by 2 inches for a petite client - the neckline cut of the corset is going to be right below her chin.

That is why the pattern should be altered in a different manner if the difference between the side seam lengths exceeds 0.8 inches.

You need to cut all patterns along the waistline and lay the top and bottom parts onto each other shifting them up by the value of this difference, i.e. reduce the pattern length.

The exact same thing needs to be done if you want to increase the side length: you simply prolong the side seam if the difference is up to 0.6 inches; if the difference is greater - you need to expand the pattern halves cut along the waistline by the required value.

Now I start calculating alterations for the back side seam.

There are naturally no more “bust front” or “under-bust front” measurements now.

Our next measurement is the “bust circumference”.

It is 36.6 inches on the pattern and 33.9 inches according to Kate’s measurements.

I have already taken into account the alteration along the middle of the bust-line (-0.4”) and the front side seam (-0.4”).

This value makes up 1.6 inches for two pattern halves.

Thus:

36.6” – 1.6” = 35”

(33.9” – 35”) ÷ 2 = -0.6”

The value is added to the table (column 6, line 5).

Under-bust circumference.

It is 31.1 inches on the pattern and 27.6 inches for Kate.   

It is calculated the same way:

31.1” – 1.6” = 29.5”

(27.6” – 29.5”) ÷ 2 = -1”

I write down this value in the table (column 6, line 6).

I don’t think much about the values for now; I just calculate and record them.

 Waistline.

It is 30.7 inches on the pattern and Kate’s measurement makes 26 inches.

Let us calculate:

30.7” – 1.6” = 29.1”

(26” – 29.1”) ÷ 2 = -1.6”

I add the value to the table (column 6, line 7).

 Stomach measurement at a 4.7 inch distance above the waistline.

It is 38.6 inches on the pattern and 33.9 inches on Kate.

Let us calculate:

38.6” – 1.6” = 37”

(33.9” – 37”) ÷ 2 = -1.6”

This value is added to the table (column 6, line 8).

1 2.0-01-12.jpg

Measurements

Kate

Pattern

BM

Front side

Back side

Adjusted back side

Back curve

Bust middle

7.1

7.9

-0.4

Bust front

18.1

19.7

-0.4

-0.4

Under-bust front

14.2

15.7

-0.4

-0.4

Bust circumference

33.9

36.6

 -0.4

-0.4

-0.6

Under-bust circumference

27.6

31.1

-0.4

-0.4

-1

Waistline

26

30.7

-0.4

-0.4

-1.6

Stomach

33.9

38.6

-0.4

-0.4

-1.6

Clip

3.5 3.5

4.7    5.1

-1.2 -1.6

Side length

7.1

7.5

-0.4

Now if you look at the alteration values for the side seam on the back you might think there is no symmetry at all and the side seam won’t look good.

Please take a look at the picture to see what it is going to look like:

1 2.0-01-13.jpg

We have got a very bold side seam (the red line).

But you can at least trace the side line here.

And there are cases when the side line is totally irregular (the green pecked line on the picture).

Such cases cause many questions and the tailor loses heart so to say.

But one should not get disappointed!

Let us reflect upon it together.

First of all I should have left the side seam on the client’s pattern in about the same state as that of the standard pattern.

I refer to the table.

The smallest alteration of the side seam is 0.6 inches along the line of the bust circumference.

So the best is to make the side seam go parallel to the side seam of the standard pattern with a 0.6 inch shift.

But I need to shift it by 1 inch along the under-bust circumference.

If I shift the side seam the way I like - by 1 inch - the following happens:

1”– 0.6” = 0.4”

And along the waistline and stomach there is:

1.6” – 0.6” = 1”

I can distribute these extra inches between the curve lines!

I should shift every curve by 0.4÷ 2 = 0.2” along the under-bust circumference line.

And along the waistline and stomach I should shift every curve by 1” ÷ 2 = 0.5”.

You can see in the picture what happens in this case:

1 2.0-01-15.jpg

Now I have a slightly altered pattern. I have basically done it thanks to the dart at the back. With the help of this re-distribution you can make a well-shaped corset for a client of any body type.

I adjust down the length of the side on the back by 0.4 inches.

Having re-distributed it I add the final values to the table (columns 7 and 8):

1 2.0-01-16.jpg

Measurements

Kate

Pattern

BM

Front side

Back side

Adjusted back side

Back curve

Bust middle

7.1

7.9

-0.4

Bust front

18.1

19.7

-0.4

-0.4

Under-bust front

14.2

15.7

-0.4

-0.4

Bust circumference

33.9

36.6

 -0.4

-0.4

-0.6

-0.6

Under-bust circumference

27.6

31.1

-0.4

-0.4

-1

-0.6

-0.2

Waistline

26

30.7

-0.4

-0.4

-1.6

-0.6

-0.5

Stomach

33.9

38.6

-0.4

-0.4

-1.6

-0.6

-0.5

Clip

3.5 3.5

4.7    5.1

-1.2 -1.6

Side length

7.1

7.5

-0.4

-0.4

The calculation is done!

A very important remark: you absolutely mustn’t alter the shape of bust curves when adjusting the standard pattern!

These curves are responsible for the fitting of the corset, its balance and the fitting of the neckline cut!

Even the slightest change of these curves usually leads to a distortion of the garment!

That is why you should try to adjust the size of the garment only with the help of the front middle and side seams and afterwards apply final adjustments with the help of the back curve (back dart).

And now I would like to show you the way the standard pattern has changed after my calculations:

1 2.0-01-17.jpg

This way I have adjusted the standard pattern after Kate’s individual measurements.

The calculations I’ve made are so precise that during every fit test I am always amazed at how well the corset fits the client after such uncomplicated calculations. During the next tutorial I am going to perform this directly on fabric.

Tutorial 2.  Fusing of Fabric, Corset Cutting.

In this tutorial I start directly with the cutting.

I have prepared all my notes and calculations made during the previous tutorial.

I have taken my standard pattern for this corset.

Fabric Consumption.

First of all I need to figure out how much fabric is going to be consumed.

Fabric consumption is determined in a very simple way.

I take the patterns and lay them out in the same sequence I am going to lay them out onto fabric.

I take all calculated alterations into account when laying the pieces out: I will reduce and expand them where needed. You don’t have to lay patterns out very precisely.

1 2.0-01-18.jpg

I use a measuring tape to see how much fabric approximately I am going to need.

I got about 22.8 inches.

I tear off 47.2 inches of iron-on batiste (deliberately oversized) and as much of the main material.

Preparation of Fabric.

My iron-on batiste is 35.4 inches wide. This width is exactly enough for the full cutting of both the face and the lining.

Then I fold this piece of batiste in half, even out cut edges and then fold it in half once more.

Please take a look at the picture to see how I place this batiste piece. Note the way its cut edges and creases are located:

1 2.0-01-19.jpg

You can see how the patterns are spread on fabric from the middle of the front to the middle of the back:

1 2.0-01-20.jpg

Now I take a piece of face fabric.

I am going to use the same fabric both for face and lining: crepe-satin.

I am fusing iron-on batiste onto the whole piece of crepe-satin:

1 2.0-01-21.jpg

You shouldn’t hurry when fusing; you should distribute the fabric accurately to avoid bubbles and creases.

The quality of the cut and the garment itself depends on the way I’m going to fuse the iron-on fabric onto the main one now.

Afterwards I fold fused fabric the way I have planned it; all creases get evened out and pinned together and the fabric is now fully prepared for cutting.

1 2.0-01-22.jpg

Cutting.

I start laying out pattern pieces.

I lay down the pattern of the central piece of the front.

Based on the calculation I shift the pattern by 0.4 inches beyond the fabric creases thereby reducing it:

1 2.0-01-32.jpg

The pattern itself is outlined “as is” with no changes.

I transfer every notch very carefully.

The pattern you see in pictures has a certain neckline shape. But I want to make a design with a straight cut or a “strapless” type. That is why I am taking another standard pattern but with a different neckline cut - the one I need:

1 2.0-01-25.jpg

I outline the neckline cut according to this pattern and shift the cut down by 1.6 inches based on the “clip” measurement:

1 2.0-01-35.jpg

I am going to provide you with a ready-to-use strapless pattern but I think it is useful and interesting to see a possible implementation of patterns with varying top cuts.

I start working with the pattern of the front side piece.

I draw a waistline across the notches on the outlined pattern of the central front piece in order to arrange the grain of fabric correctly against the pattern. This line is perpendicular to the fabric crease.

I am placing the pattern of the front side piece onto fabric so that the waistline of the pattern perfectly coincides with the waistline that has been drawn on fabric:

1 2.0-01-28.jpg

(waistline)

I outline the pattern “as is”.

Then I make all necessary changes based on the calculations.

First of all I make a new side seam line.

For that purpose I mark 0.4 inches (see the table) decreasingly along the waistline and draw a new side seam line of the front through this point, parallel to the line drawn after the standard pattern.

I use the corresponding sides of the same pattern for drawing lines going through calculation points.

Then I draw a new top line (0.4 inches below) also referring to the top line of the standard pattern.

I pin the fabric together along the newly drawn lines in order to prevent it from shifting.

1 2.0-01-33.jpg

(standard pattern line)

To prevent fabric layers from shifting I am trying to add pins horizontally in a gliding motion, parallel to the table, rather than add them at the right angle to the fabric.

Now I take the side piece of the back.

I place waistline notches along the waistline drawn on the fabric and outline the pattern.

Please note that I use plastic patterns or patterns made of thick cardboard. Such patterns don’t need to be pinned to the fabric.

1 2.0-01-36.jpg

Now I correct the side length, the length of the side seam on the back and the curve.

All calculations have been carried out and all values are in the table.

I connect all calculation points referring to the standard pattern, i.e. I try to transfer all curve lines from the old pattern.

1 2.0-01-37.jpg

A very important aspect!

Having marked the calculation points (see the picture) I draw new lines with the help of the standard pattern starting from the waistline. I draw the bottom part of the line first, then turn the pattern around the point on the waistline and draw the top part of the line.

The top and bottom lines of the calculated pattern are also drawn based on the standard pattern.

This way all the parts of the new pattern are going to match each other perfectly. The lines will have a smooth flow.

And here is finally the central part of the back.

I put the pattern on the fabric matching notches on the waistline with the waistline line.

I outline the standard pattern.

1 2.0-01-38.jpg

I alter the back curve in the same manner.

I adjust down the standard pattern by 0.2 inches at the under-bust level.

It is adjusted down by 0.5 inches at the levels of waistline and stomach.

Now I match the waistline notch of the standard pattern with the waistline notch on the drawing and place the bottom left corner of the standard pattern at the new calculation point along the stomach line.

I draw the bottom half of a new curve line over the pattern.

Then I draw the top half of the curve line turning the standard pattern around the intersection of the notches.

1 2.0-01-39.jpg

(standard pattern line)

This way I have drawn all corset patterns on the fabric after my client Kate’s measurements:

1 2.0-01-40.jpg

I draw a “clip” pattern where fabric space allows it. I am going to sew it as well and put it underneath corset lacing so no skin can be seen through. It is a rectangle as long as the back piece and about as wide as 3.9-4.7 inches.

I cut out my pattern pieces. Making notches is necessary.

1 2.0-01-42.jpg

Then I unpin the pieces and sort them out into face parts and lining parts.

Marking the Location of Bones.

I take the lining pieces and mark the spots where the bones are going to be attached to them.

I make markings for horizontal bones.

I connect the notches with a line going along the bust-line at the central part of the front.

I also connect the notches along the bust-line on both halves of the front side part.

Now I make markings for vertical bones.

I look for the middle point of the waistline and the bust-line on the central part. Then I draw a vertical line passing through these points. This is where the central vertical bone is going to be sewn-on.

 I also draw a vertical line through the midpoints of the waistline and bust-line on both halves of the front side part.

As for both halves of the back side part - only vertical bones are going to be placed here. I make the same kind of markings and draw a vertical line passing through the midpoints of the waistline and bust-line.

There won’t be any bones on the central pieces of the back because there will be the bones of the lacing at this spot.

1 2.0-01-46.jpg

So, during this tutorial I have fused the fabric, made a pattern for Kate using my standard pattern, cut it out and marked the points where the bones are going to be sewn-on.

In the next tutorial I am going to start the sewing process itself.

Tutorial 3.  Joining Vertical Curves.

Joining the Front Pieces of the Lining.

I start sewing together the front pieces of the lining.

I need to join the central part together with the side part.

I hear many people asking how to put these pieces together correctly.

The answer is very simple: the notches needn’t be matched!

Please take a look at the picture: I have put the pieces together very accurately (face to face), evened out their cut edges, the notches however don’t match!

1 2.0-01-47.jpg

So what do I do in this case? I look for the intersection of the bust-line and the seam allowance line on the side part of the front and pin it at the spot:

1 2.0-01-48.jpg

(линия припуска шва - seam allowance line; линия груди - bust-line; боковая часть переда - side part of the front)

And this pin should be exactly at the intersection of the bust-line and the seam allowance line on the central piece of the front:

1 2.0-01-49.jpg

(линия припуска шва - seam allowance line; линия груди - bust-line; центральная часть переда - central part of the front)

Afterwards the pieces get joined together.

Please note that the notches don’t match:

1 2.0-01-50.jpg

Thus the notches do not indicate where the pieces should be joined, but rather indicate the location of the bust-line, waistline and stomach line...

I start sewing together the pieces.

Please note the way I use my hands when sewing pieces together: I am holding the bottom layer in one hand and the upper layer - in the other:

1 2.0-01-51.jpg

While sewing, I even out cut edges right under the machine always correcting the seam allowance according to the line of the throat plate.

I am using neither pins nor tacks. I always hold the layers of fabric with both hands controlling thereby either the ease-in degree or the stretching. You should always feel the way the fabric lies under the machine.

The first curve is finished:

1 2.0-01-52.jpg

Then, in just the same manner, I join and sew together the central part of the front lining piece and the second side piece.

A small trick: it is very difficult to start sewing pieces together when fabric layers slide along each other like in my case. It is hard to push evened-out cut edges underneath the sewing machine.  That is why I pin the layers together, then push them underneath the machine and start working.

1 2.0-01-53.jpg

The pins are afterwards removed and I continue sewing, holding each layer with my hands - the upper layer with the left hand and the bottom layer - with the right one:

1 2.0-01-54.jpg

I keep controlling how much the fabric is stretched under the machine.

This procedure is rather simple.

Having sewn a seam like this a couple times you will see this yourself and the situation will be fully under your control.

So I have finished sewing together the front of the lining and now I put it aside.

Joining the Back Pieces of the Lining.

Now I start sewing together the pieces of the back of the lining.

You can see the pieces I’m going to work with in the picture:

1 2.0-01-55.jpg

I am sewing together the vertical curve:

1 2.0-01-56.jpg

I hold the pieces separately with my hands, like before. I hold the bottom piece lightly but let go of the upper one. This way the fullness produced by the machine on the bottom layer is evened-out. I join even the most basic pieces this way. This should become your habit!

 I trim corners on the seam allowances of the curve:

1 2.0-01-57.jpg

This procedure is going to be repeated multiple times during the process of sewing corsets.

It is done in order to make the fabric less thick when you start joining the lining and the face along the curves.

I sew together the second vertical curve of the back of the lining also trimming the corners.

Pressing Open the Back Pieces of the Lining.

And then I start pressing open the seam allowances on the back of the lining.

I press the seam open step by step from both sides - first from one side and then from the other- to preserve the volume of the piece:

1 2.0-01-58.jpg

Then I trim about a half of the seam allowance leaving around 0.2-0.3 inches.

Afterwards you can press open one more time.

I repeat the procedure with the other back curve but in a different way.

First I press the sewn curve along the iron-on fabric without unfolding the piece:

1 2.0-01-60.jpg

Then I trim seam allowances:

1 2.0-01-59.jpg

I unfold the piece and press open the seam like I did in the first case:

1 2.0-01-61.jpg

You can choose whichever way suits you most.

It is slightly more difficult to press open in the second technique because the seam becomes small and hardly opens. However on the other hand the seam allowances are trimmed perfectly the same from both sides and the seam therefore looks neater.

Pressing Open the Front Pieces of the Lining.

I start pressing open the front of the lining.

I use the second press-open technique because I find it more convenient:

1 2.0-01-62.jpg

The seam allowances get trimmed:

1 2.0-01-63.jpg

I press open the flat parts of the curves on an even, smooth surface:

1 2.0-01-64.jpg

And then I take my tools for pressing cups - a cup pressing mould and a cushion:

1 2.0-01-65.jpg

I place the cushion on the pressboard then put the cup pressing mould on top of it and the cup itself - onto the mould.

I open the seam allowance:

1 2.0-01-66.jpg

I press open the seam in a circular motion forming the required shape of the cup:

1 2.0-01-67.jpg

And then I press the face side one more time very carefully:

1 2.0-01-68.jpg

1 2.0-01-69.jpg

A corset should be pressed very thoroughly and you should by no means hurry!

Note that the pressing process takes almost as long as the sewing one!

You should let the seams cool down - then they will stay well pressed and won’t crease:

1 2.0-01-70.jpg

As a result, in this tutorial I have shown you how to join together pieces without using pins and tacks.

I have sewn together the vertical curves of the lining and pressed them open.

Please take a look at the result of my work:

1 2.0-01-77.jpg

I will continue working on the corset in the next tutorial.

Tutorial 4.  Stitching-on Bones.

During this tutorial I am going to stitch bones onto the lining pieces.

Stay-Stitch.

I should do something very important before starting stitching-on bones. I need to make a stay-stitch in certain areas of the lining pieces.

What is a stay-stitch?

This stitch is a basic seam sewn at a distance of the seam allowance.

The stay-stitch carries out a few functions simultaneously:

- it marks precisely the location of the seam that is going to join the pieces;

- it supports cut edges therefore preventing cut bias areas from stretching;

- it is a guiding line for a very precise marking of the start and end points of sewing bones onto corset pieces.

One always feels tempted to mark this stitch with the help of a pencil and a ruler.

But trust me - nothing is more precise than a machine-made stitch. Stay-stitches can be made both along the face fabric and along the lining.

Every time you should make sure that the stay-stitch is identical from both sides. With this in mind, it is really convenient to make one stay-stitch on the face side along one half of the piece and another on the lining - along the other half.

I am going to make a stay-stitch on the front part of the corset along its top and bottom, and on the back of the corset along the three sides (excluding the side seam).

I make a stay-stitch along the bottom of the front:

1 2.0-01-78.jpg

Then I turn the piece over and make another stay-stitch along the top cut edge of the front:

1 2.0-01-79.jpg

Now along the bottom of the back (on both halves):


1 2.0-01-71.jpg

And along the top of the back (also on both halves):

1 2.0-01-74.jpg

Along the lacing area on the back (both halves):

1 2.0-01-73.jpg

Stitching Bones onto the Back of the Lining.

I start stitching-on a wide Rigilene bone along the back curve.

You should start stitching-on a bone like this at a 2-3 mm distance from the stay-stitch. And you should trim it at the end the same way - leaving 2-3 mm from the stay-stitch on the opposite edge of the piece. If you fail to follow this rule but start sewing-on the bone right from the stay-stitch, then this bone is going to be an obstruction when you need to turn the garment out.

1 2.0-01-76.jpg

(строчка-линейка - stay-stitch)

I place a wide Rigilene bone along the side part of the corset back:

1 2.0-01-80.jpg

I have already made the marking for sewing-on the bones (see tutorial 2).

For this bone there are also 2-3 mm left from the stay-stitch at the beginning and the end.

All bone edges need to be taped with masking tape.

I always make a bar tack at the start and end points of the sewing.

Upon making a stitch along one side of the bone I turn the piece round and make another stitch along the other side of the bone:

1 2.0-01-81.jpg

This is what two sewn-on bones on the back look like from the lining side:

1 2.0-01-82.jpg

And this is what they look like from the face side:


1 2.0-01-83.jpg

I repeat these procedures with the second half of the back.

Stitching Bones onto the Front of the Lining.

Vertical Bones.

All the rules of stitching that I have previously used for the bones on the back piece work here as well. I start with a wide vertical bone along the side part of the front:


1 2.0-01-84.jpg

I use previously prepared markings when sewing (see tutorial 2).

At the end I trim the bone at an angle parallel to the upper cut edge of the corset:

1 2.0-01-85.jpg

And then I make the second parallel stitch over this bone:

1 2.0-01-86.jpg

I stitch-on a vertical bone along the other half of the front side part:


1 2.0-01-87.jpg

And now I stitch-on the central bone of the front:


1 2.0-01-88.jpg

You shouldn’t prepare Rigilene bones in advance.

This would be a big mistake!

It is much better to cut bones on spot each time - like I do.

Now I only have to stitch the bones onto the front curves.

I have opted for using a narrow Rigilene bone because my corset is small-sized and the curve has quite a bend.

1 2.0-01-89.jpg

Whenever I reach the cup level I pull the fabric onwards with my right hand while pushing the bone away from myself with the left hand.


1 2.0-01-90.jpg

I use this trick to prevent the fabric from easing-in underneath the bone at the cup level due to the sharp bend of the curve! 

I make the cup look even rounder and more dome-shaped by pulling the fabric onwards like this. A flattened cup is a result of this bone being sewn-on incorrectly!

But you should not pull the fabric too hard! This may deform the shape of the corset!

I make another parallel stitch along this bone:

1 2.0-01-91.jpg

I have noticed a crease or a tuck on the face side of the corset:

1 2.0-01-92.jpg

You can’t neglect something like this!

It is necessary to slightly rip off this bone and even out the seam!

I take the scissors, push them under the bone and cut the thread:

1 2.0-01-93.jpg

Then I spread the seam and sew the bone back into place:

1 2.0-01-94.jpg

The fault has been fixed!

1 2.0-01-95.jpg

Now I sew-on a bone along the second curve of the front using two stitches like before:


1 2.0-01-96.jpg

We’re done with the sewing-on of the vertical bones.

Horizontal Bones.

I place a horizontal bone along the bust-line:

There is a rule: all horizontal bones of the corset should be narrow!

I leave about 1.2 inches from the side cut edge.

This is done in order to prevent the bone from getting into the seam allowance in case the garment needs to be adjusted with the help of a side seam.

When sewing-on this horizontal bone, I always try to pull the fabric onwards and push the bone away from myself.

Please pay special attention to the sewing-on of this very bone!

It goes along the central bust-line!

And it is exactly this bone that’s responsible for the dome-shape of corset cups!

1 2.0-01-99.jpg

If you ignore my recommendations concerning the sewing-on of this bone, then the fabric is going to ease-in underneath it (which has been proven by practice) and the cups will be flat instead of having a beautiful rounded shape.

I make the second parallel stitch along the bone:


1 2.0-01-100.jpg

 

Take a look at the result! The cups are dome-shaped and the lining already somewhat holds its shape!

1 2.0-01-101.jpg

And now I need to place a bone along the bottom of the corset.


1 2.0-01-102.jpg

There are also some peculiarities concerning the way of sewing-on this bone:

- there should be about 1.2 inches left from the side cut edge;

- the bone should be placed 1mm above the stay-stitch.

I pull the fabric onwards when sewing-on the bone.

I make the second parallel stitch.

I think it is now clear why I had left 2-3 mm from the stay-stitch when sewing-on vertical bones. It was done so that the horizontal bone could overlap the edges of the vertical bones.

1 2.0-01-103.jpg

The horizontal bone thereby prevents fishing lines from sticking out of the edges of the vertical Rigilene bones.

Pressing.

And now I need to press these Rigilene bones. I took them out of a box where they were rolled into a spool.

1 2.0-01-104.jpg

It is especially noticeable on the back pieces:

1 2.0-01-105.jpg

Rigilene bones are easy to press.

This is what the back piece with sewn-on bones looks like after it’s been pressed:

1 2.0-01-106.jpg

Rigilene bones have one significant disadvantage: they don’t hold their shape well when pressed heavily and can even break.

And that is why I use additional supporting plastic bones when making more sophisticated corset garments.

However stitched-on Rigilene bones are enough for keeping the shape of corsets for young women or corsets with no particular tummy control effect.

I would like to stress it that I am sewing this corset in a simplified technique without any additional means of support.

Let me summarize this tutorial.

I have stitched bones onto the pieces of the front and back of the lining.

Tutorial 5.  Covering Cups with Padding Polyester. Joining the Face Pieces of the Corset.

Covering Cups with Padding Polyester.

And now it’s time to cover the cups of my corset with some padding polyester.

I have prepared a strap of padding polyester about 7.9 inches wide and long enough to fully cover the cups at the front.

I take the lining with bones already stitched-on. I cover the cup area with padding polyester and attach it to the lining with a couple of pins:

1 2.0-01-107.jpg

And now I stitch-on this polyester leaving a presser-foot gap from the upper stay-stitch to prevent the polyester from getting into the seam allowance later:

1 2.0-01-108.jpg

(строчка-линейка - stay-stitch; строчка пришивания синтепона - stitch attaching the polyester)

I continue stitching padding polyester in a circular motion.

I leave a 1.2-1.6 inch gap from the side seam.

I try to make the stitch attaching the polyester along the bottom of the cups parallel to the finished upper stitch.

The sewing-on of the polyester should be finished at the point where you started sewing.

I take a ribbon that can be up to 0.4 inches wide.

I cut off two pieces, each 9.8 inch long, and fold them into loops.

Now I place the first loop at the stitch that attaches the padding polyester at the level of the middle of the cup and sew it to the lining with two stitches: one going along the polyester attaching stitch and another a little lower:

1 2.0-01-109.jpg

I attach the second loop the same way at the level of the middle of the other cup.

These loops can be stitched-on at the very beginning together with the padding polyester.

The loops are used for hanging the corset.

Now the polyester is sewn-on.

All pins get removed.

The polyester should be trimmed close to the attaching seam or else it is going to add unnecessary thickness along the seams of the garment while its function is just to cover the bones on the embossed parts of the corset, i.e. cups.

Cups covered with padding polyester look like this:

1 2.0-01-110.jpg

Joining the Face Pieces of the Corset.

I take the face pieces of the corset and start sewing together their vertical curves.

All steps are absolutely identical to the ones I followed when working on the pieces of the lining.

I join the vertical curves of both halves of the back piece:


1 2.0-01-111.jpg

The vertical curve of the front piece:


1 2.0-01-112.jpg

I trim the seam allowances of every single curve up to 0.2-0.3 inches and trim corners as well:

1 2.0-01-113.jpg

The pressing process is exactly the same for the face side as it was for the lining.

1 2.0-01-114.jpg

In the next tutorial I am going to join the face with the lining.

Tutorial 6.  Joining the Face and the Lining.

I start joining together the ready sewn lining and the finished pieces of the face of the corset.

Back Pieces.

I have joined the back pieces of the face and the lining along their upper cut edge.

I sew them together along the stay-stitch:

1 2.0-01-115.jpg

I keep the previous piece under the machine to ensure that the length of the back is the same. I place the next piece on it and match their seam allowances until they are fully identical.

1 2.0-01-116.jpg

I sew a clean-finish-edge seam on both pieces.

Now I turn the piece over directing the seam allowances towards the lining.

I spread the garment with my hands and make an additional supporting stitch 1mm from the joining seam:

1 2.0-01-117.jpg

I have stitched-on the vertical bones leaving 2-3 mm from the stay-stitch which is why their edges do not prevent me from making a clean-finish-edge seam.

And finally now - and not before sewing the clean-finish-edge seam - I trim seam allowances:

1 2.0-01-118.jpg

Front Pieces.

I join the face with the lining of the front part of the corset.

First of all I need to match the edges of the garment and secure them with pins.

I shift the curves of the face aside by 1-2 mm against the curves of the lining.

1 2.0-01-119.jpg

This is done to avoid unnecessary thickening at the areas where the curves overlay.

Thanks to this trick I achieve a smoother upper edge of the corset.

Afterwards the pieces are pinned together along the whole upper cut edge.

I put the pieces under the machine lining upwards and sew them together along the stay-stitch:

1 2.0-01-120.jpg

I remove the pins.

I take a Capron ribbon around 0.7-1 inch wide (you could tear it off a piece of organza):

1 2.0-01-121.jpg

I stitch-on this supporting ribbon that is going to help me ease-in at the upper cut edge to make it rounder, prevent it from stretching and ensure better fitting to the bust.

I pull the ribbon with the right hand when sewing and push the fabric away from myself with the left hand thereby achieving light fullness.

1 2.0-01-122.jpg

I stitch-on the ribbon along its middle following the seam that joins the pieces together.

I stop easing-in at the middle of the corset and start again when nearing the curve and going from the curve to the side.

Please take a look; this is what the corset top looks like with the ribbon attached:

1 2.0-01-123.jpg

You can notice some light fullness.

Then I bend the ribbon upwards, towards the seam allowance, and attach it to the seam allowance 2-3 mm above the first stitch. I make sure there are no creases or tucks.

1 2.0-01-125.jpg

I make a clean-finish-edge seam along the upper cut edge of the corset.

The seam allowances should be directed towards the lining.

I make a supporting stitch at about a 1-1.5 mm gap from the seam that joins the pieces together.

This stitch should be made with particular care.

It’s hard to work because the bones have already been stitched onto the lining, the ribbon has been attached and the stitch itself is rather long. Remember to always spread out seam allowances.

I have managed to fulfill this task:

1 2.0-01-126.jpg

I check carefully one more time how well the seam allowance is sewn.

If you notice a crease, a tuck or a lump you will have to rip the supporting stitch and re-stitch it all over again.

The stitch should be very even.

And the corset should be easily turned out with no unnecessary thickening.

There must be no slipshod work аt the level of the upper cut edge of the corset!

The upper cut edge is the most important edge of the corset!

I trim seam allowances:

1 2.0-01-127.jpg

Pressing.

As a next step all upper cut edges should be pressed.

At first I press the two back pieces:

1 2.0-01-128.jpg

I press very carefully trying to make the upper cut edge flat and smooth:

1 2.0-01-129.jpg

1 2.0-01-130.jpg

And now I go on to the pressing of the upper cut edge of the front half of the corset.

It is necessary to use a cup pressing mould.

1 2.0-01-131.jpg

It is really handy when you have a few moulds of various sizes. A large-size mould is perfect for pressing upper cut edges of a corset and a smaller mould suits for cups.

First of all I spread the seam very carefully and only afterwards I start pressing. I keep turning the piece on the mould. Every inch of the upper cut edge is pressed the way it lies. The upper cut edge must keep its shape perfectly and be ideally smooth!

I also press the corset cups themselves using smaller-size moulds:

1 2.0-01-132.jpg

The pressing process is finished:

1 2.0-01-133.jpg

I would like to remind you one more time that I am sewing a corset in the simplified technique.

I am not stitching-on a bone along the top and I am not making round quilted cups.

This leads to creases, folds and lumps.

And for this reason I cannot fulfill the strict requirements to the shape of the corset when I use the simplified technique.

However this can all be forgiven thanks to the technique itself.

I am going to show you later how to sew more sophisticated corset garments that hold their shape much better.

And so, during this tutorial I have joined together the lining and the face of the corset and pressed its upper cut edges.

Tutorial 7.  Joining the Side Seams. Fitting.

In this tutorial I am going to join together the side seams of the corset pieces and carry out a fit test.

Joining the Side Seams.

I start working with the pieces of the back.

First of all I join the lining and the face of the corset along the middle of the back.

I make the stitch go along the stay-stitch.

1 2.0-01-134.jpg

I join together the pieces of the back along the side seam leaving a presser-foot gap from the edge.

I join the notches and the cut edges of the pieces.

1 2.0-01-135.jpg

And next I need to make a connecting stitch along the bottom of the back pieces.

I make the stitch go along the stay-stitch again.

1 2.0-01-136.jpg

You should have no problems joining the pieces of the back. The face and lining parts usually match very well.

I repeat the same steps with the other half of the back.

A little more work needs to be done for the front piece.

I secure the side cut edges with pins from both sides to avoid any skews. At first I pin at the waistline area matching the notches and then I arrange the fabric. I keep checking how much the face fabric is stretched to ensure the corset fits tight enough in the bust area.

1 2.0-01-137.jpg

Having pinned the edges down I check if the fabric is stretched well enough along the main lines (I stretch the pieces as if the corset were put on the client):

1 2.0-01-138.jpg

The thing is that every fabric used for a corset behaves in its own way.

It often happens that the face pieces become slightly bigger than the lining. And you need to pull the face fabric if there is some slackness. It is usually enough to just let it off by 2-3mm from the sides. Less often you might have to let off the face fabric beyond the bottom of the corset.

I start pinning down the bottom of the front corset part always checking the degree of stretching. I have noticed that in my case the corset is going to fit beautifully if I make its face fabric 4-5mm longer than the lining:

1 2.0-01-139.jpg

I join the side seam with the help of the machine leaving a presser-foot gap from the edge:

1 2.0-01-140.jpg 

I have turned the garment around on the needle and started sewing a connecting stitch along the bottom. Note that the left edge of the presser foot follows the edge of the bone that’s been stitched-on along the corset bottom.

In other words this bone is a guiding line for the presser foot.

1 2.0-01-141.jpg

(соединительная строчка - joining seam; косточка - bone; швы пришивания косточек - seams attaching the bones)

Now I join the other side seam of the front also leaving a presser-foot gap from the edge.

I remove pins.

The next step is to overlock the side seams of the front, the back and the middle of the back.

There are a few methods of fastening the ends of an overlock seam.

You can take a big needle and push thread ends inside the overlock seam.

Or you can simply machine-stitch these ends up. This is the method I usually use.

1 2.0-01-143.jpg

Now I need to join the side cut edges of the front and back.

I begin by pinning them together at the waistline level, then atop and finally - down the bottom.

1 2.0-01-144.jpg

Now I need to join the side seams.

I make a machine-stitch with a 0.5 inch seam allowance.

Right now I am preparing the corset for a fit test that’s why I can make a larger seam with the maximal stitch length in order to make ripping easier later. If everything turns out fine you can just sew another regular seam over it for better durability.

1 2.0-01-145.jpg

I repeat the same thing with the other side seam.

Although I might have to rip these seams later, I still make bar tacks from both sides of the seam to measure it better without worrying that it will burst.

And then I take some detachable lacing bars for fitting and place them at the seam that joins the face and the lining.

I have made this seam follow the stay-stitch and it matches the seam allowance. Later I will have to bend the edge inwards and finish proper lacing, which means this seam allowance won’t be there when the garment is ready. For this reason I have sewn-on a detachable bar in such a way that it fully duplicates the actual lacing of the corset.

1 2.0-01-146.jpg

I sew another bar like this onto the other side of the back.

If the bars are sewn-on precisely, a fit test will show me how much needs to be changed if at all.

I have demonstrated how to make such bars in one of my free tutorials that you can watch in the Corset Academy magazine, on my website or my You-Tube channel.

A corset with sewn-on fitting bars looks like this:

1 2.0-01-147.jpg

It is recommended to press open these side seams even for a plain fit test.

1 2.0-01-148.jpg

These seams are rather thick and if you don’t press them open the fit test might have incorrect results.

That is why I highly recommend you pressing these seams open (although not necessarily too thoroughly) from the face and the lining sides.

Fitting.

Well, my corset is ready for a fit test!


1 2.0-01-149.jpg

I would like to draw your attention to the fact that a corset sewn in the simplified technique has more in common with a bodice.

It is impossible to avoid small folds and light creases!

Do not place way too high demands on the garment sewn in the simplified technique.

Please take a look at a couple more pictures showing what the corset looks like on the client.

1 2.0-01-150.jpg

1 2.0-01-151.jpg

1 2.0-01-152.jpg

1 2.0-01-153.jpg

I recommend always taking pictures of the client during a fit test.

During a fit test you talk to the client, get distracted and thereby might overlook some things.

Whereas pictures will show you every fault.

I think you will agree that the corset fits the client quite well!

Although some slight changes need to be done...

But we will talk about it in the next tutorial.

Tutorial 8.  Finishing the Corset. Finishing the Bottom.

Fitting Results.

So, now the fit test is over, what have I noticed?

The upper cut edge of the front seems to slightly come off the body, i.e. there is no due fitting along the neckline.

That means I need to slightly pull this front part on top.

And that is why I make a 0.5 inch seam allowance on the front half of the corset instead of a 0.7 one.

Apart from that the corset fits Kate very well, the side seam is at its right place and there is good fitting along the waistline and the bottom of the corset.

I start making up for my faults.

I rip the entire side seam to create a smooth flow from the re-adjusted area to the area that remains unchanged. Then I remove pins.

1 2.0-01-154.jpg

And again I pin together the pieces of the front and the back.

I shift the back piece along the top by 0.2 inches fading away at the waistline.

If I make a side seam with a 0.5 inch allowance after the pieces have been shifted, then this allowance will be somewhat 0.7 inches at the top and then smoothly return to the standard 0.5 inches at the waistline level.

1 2.0-01-157.jpg

I pin together the pieces of the front and the second half of the back in the same manner.

I make new side seams with a 0.5 inch allowance:

1 2.0-01-156.jpg

(new side seam; old side seam)

Afterwards I need to press open the seam allowances and catch them up by hand or by machine to prevent their ends from going beyond the edges of the corset.

Finishing the Bottom.

And now I finish working on the bottom of the corset.

I use a 0.5 inch wide bias tape for this purpose.

I place the tape at the seam that joins the face and the lining along the bottom of the corset and sew it on with an overseam. I pull the garment onwards to avoid any creases.

1 2.0-01-158.jpg

It is very important to sew the tape on directly along the existing seam that joins the bottom of the corset. This existing seam is made at a presser-foot gap from the horizontal bone attached down the bottom. There will be a light piped-like edge effect on the main fabric when I bend the tape inwards and thus the tape won’t be seen at the bottom of the corset.

It is usually difficult to choose a tape of a matching color for the main fabric if the latter is neither black nor white. There is always some slight color difference. And you don’t want a differently colored tape to be noticeable at the bottom of the corset. In our case this tape stays inside the corset and will not be seen.

I bend the tape back and trim the seam allowance:

1 2.0-01-155.jpg

I bend the tape inwards and secure it with pins.

1 2.0-01-159.jpg

The bend is really smooth thanks to the lower horizontal bone.

I make sure the back pieces of the corset have the same length:

1 2.0-01-160.jpg

I sew the tape on by hand having previously secured it by machine at the back ends.

Finishing the Lacing Area.

Now I start finishing the lacing area of the corset.

I take a narrow Rigilene bone.

I tape its edge over with masking tape.

Now I place this bone at the stay-stitch made on the lining side along the side of the corset. Normally I would place this bone at the edge of the stay-stitch. But after the fitting I want to make the size of the back a little smaller, basically just by 0.2 inches. That’s why I place the bone in such a way that the stay-stitch goes along the middle of the bone.

I stitch the bone on with two strengthening stitches:

1 2.0-01-161.jpg

Then I bend the corset edge along this bone and sew it on along the stitch it’s been attached with:

1 2.0-01-162.jpg

A finished side edge of the corset prepared for the lacing looks like this from the face side:

1 2.0-01-163.jpg

I do exactly the same with the other side edge of the corset.

The seam allowance on the lining side that is now “detached” is very useful for me because it will create additional density when grommets are punched through:

1 2.0-01-164.jpg

Now is the time for some pressing.

I thoroughly press the side seams as well as the top and bottom of the corset.

1 2.0-01-165.jpg

So I have made all alterations that I found necessary during the fit test, finished the corset, finished and pressed the lacing area.

During the next tutorial I am going to sew a flap for the lacing and punch the grommets through onto the corset.

 

Tutorial 9.  Sewing a Lacing Flap. Punching Grommets.

Lacing Flap.

I start sewing a flap used for the lacing:

I have cut it when I was cutting the general pattern for the corset.

The length of the flap equals the length of the corset back.

It is easy to calculate its width: if you or your client wishes to leave an open triangle on the back (the middle of the back won’t close) then you should measure the length of the gap and add 0.8-1.2 inches to account for the flap going inside the corset.

The flap is very easy to sew; you simply stitch around a rectangular piece of fabric.

You can see the sewing sequence in the pictures:

1 2.0-01-166.jpg

1 2.0-01-167.jpg

I make a clean-finish-edge seam for a piped-like edge to make sure the flap turns inside out properly:

1 2.0-01-168.jpg

1 2.0-01-169.jpg

1 2.0-01-170.jpg

I make additional clean-finish-edge seams directed inwards as far as possible from both sides of the open part of my semi-finished flap:

1 2.0-01-171.jpg

Then I trim corners and seam allowances:

1 2.0-01-172.jpg

Now I turn it out. The corners look pretty neat:

1 2.0-01-173.jpg

I make a connecting stitch along the last side of the flap - it will make it easier to overlock it later:

1 2.0-01-174.jpg

This side needs to be finished with an overlock:

1 2.0-01-175.jpg

The flap is ready!

Punching Grommets.

Now I need to punch grommets through.

1 2.0-01-176.jpg

First of all I need to make markings.

I measure the length of the back which is 9.8 inches.

The last grommets should be punched 0.4 inches from the edge.

The remaining length of the back is 9.4 inches.

The distance between the grommets should be ideally 1.2-1.6 inches.

I divide this distance into seven sections which means each section or the distance between the grommets is going to be:

9.4”  ÷ 7 = 1.3”


1 2.0-01-177.jpg

I take the punch machine.

First I put a hole-punching accessory onto it and punch eight holes for the grommets along the marking:

1 2.0-01-178.jpg

I put a grommet punching piece onto the machine.

I insert one part of a grommet into a hole, then put the corresponding part into the punch machine and press it thereby flaring each grommet.

Here is the result of my presswork:

1 2.0-01-179.jpg

A punch machine like this is a very handy tool for your inventory.

Apart from punching grommets you can use this tool for covering buttons and installing various kinds of snap fasteners by changing its accessories.

And now I hand-sew the flap on with blind stitches:


1 2.0-01-180.jpg

In this tutorial I have made a flap, sewn it to the lacing, and punched grommets.

Tutorial 10.  Decoration.

The final stage of working on any garment deals, of course, with decoration!

I have decided to decorate my corset with pretty pansies that I’m going to make out of ribbons.

I take some yellow and lavender ribbons about 7mm wide.

1 2.0-01-181.jpg

I cut a strap off the yellow ribbon, around 4 inches long:

1 2.0-01-182.jpg

 I fold it:

1 2.0-01-183.jpg

I want to assemble flowers consisting of two yellow petals down the bottom and three lavender petals on top and vice versa.

I make small stitches along the edge of this ribbon:

1 2.0-01-184.jpg

I pull the ribbon up the thread and get a flower detail for the two yellow petals:

1 2.0-01-185.jpg

I secure them with a thread and put them aside:

1 2.0-01-186.jpg

Now I cut a strap off the lavender ribbon, this time around 4.7 inches long:

1 2.0-01-188.jpg

And this time I fold it three times for the three petals:

1 2.0-01-188.jpg

I make some stitches along the edge again. I have secured the crease lines with pins for more convenience:

1 2.0-01-189.jpg

I pull the ribbon up the thread the same way and then distribute it:

1 2.0-01-190.jpg

I secure the petals together.

And here is a flower detail made of three petals:

1 2.0-01-191.jpg

Next I join together yellow and lavender pieces of the flower to make it look like a pansy:

1 2.0-01-192.jpg

I sew some stamens in the middle of the flower and insert a small bead there.

This is the resulting flower:

1 2.0-01-193.jpg

I have made two more flowers but this time with a yellow top and a lavender bottom:

1 2.0-01-194.jpg

I have also made some decorative bows and arranged it all together.

Now you simply need to sew it onto the corset:

1 2.0-01-195.jpg

And this was the last step - the corset sewn in the simplified technique is now fully finished!


1 2.0-01-98.jpg

Quilted Cup Corset.

1 2.0-02-01.jpg

Tutorial 1.  Cutting Preparations.  Neckline Alteration on a Ready Pattern.

I start working on a corset with round quilted cups.

The sewing technique I am going to use here is more traditional.

Compared to the previous corset sewn in the simplified technique this one holds its shape better, is smoother and has more pronounced top and bottom lines both along the back and at the front.

This is a basic technique for sewing either corsets or wedding dresses.

Besides the technique of sewing round quilted cups suits for making separately cut quilted cups.

Please take a look at the scheme of the corset and a suggested pattern design for its cutting:

1 2.0-02-09.jpg

The front part of the corset consists of 5 pieces (3 pattern pieces):

- central part of the front with a crease - piece 1;

 - medium part of the front - piece 2;

 - side part of the front - piece 3.

The back of the corset consists of 2 pieces (2 pattern pieces):

- side part of the back - piece 4;

 - central part of the back - piece 5.

Calculating values for a non-standard version of this corset pattern for a client can be done exactly the same way as described for the previous corset sewn in the simplified technique.

I highly recommend you watching my free tutorials on corset pattern alteration for a start:

 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzB-3PujN2k

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fvaCdvdaMsw.  

The difference is that there is an additional curve on this corset which allows for greater freedom of possible pattern alteration.

It is for example much easier to alter the “under-bust circumference” measurement in a corset pattern like this. Altering this measurement usually triggers many questions. That’s why if there is still something you haven’t quite grasped about the “under-bust circumference” measurement of the previous corset - you will certainly solve any issues when altering the pattern of this corset and there will be no questions left!

Tools and Materials Required for Corset Tailoring:

I have made a collage of all things necessary for making a corset and took a picture of it.
1 2.0-02-03.jpg

You are going to need:

Main and lining fabric:

 - I have chosen crepe as the face (main) fabric;

 - for the lining I am going to use crepe-satin.

Some fine iron-on material such as batiste for face and lining.

Dense iron-on fabric for additional support in the cup area. I am using fabric produced by the German brand, Hansel. I don’t know what kinds of materials are available in your region so I will simply name some important requirements. The material should be dense like stiffening fabric, it should not stretch either along the grain of fabric or along the shoot. Its fusible properties are not as important because the additional details that I’m going to cut out of this fabric can be secured by machine-stitching. However it is very important that the material preserves its shape and durability properties after pressing.

Rigilene bones: both wide (0.5”) and narrow (0.3”).  

Four plastic bones that will be used for securing the lacing.

Measuring tape.

Scissors.

Pruner. I use it for cutting bones.

Ribbons.

Small flock of padding polyester.  It is used for covering the cups of the corset.

Thread and needles.

Grommets.

These are the basic tools and materials. If you need something else during the working process - I will let you know.  

You are not going to need very much fabric. I will show you how to cut fabric if it consists of separate pieces - for example clippings left after sewing a skirt.

Neckline Alteration on a Ready Pattern.

And now I would like to go into more detail regarding the pattern of this corset.

The thing is that my pattern was originally designed with a crew neck cut.

Of course I will supply you with a pattern that has an appropriate neckline cut.

But I believe it will be interesting for you to learn how to alter the neckline cut of a corset.

This is not difficult at all!

I start altering the neckline shape of my pattern.

I take a piece of paper.

I stick pieces 1 and 2 of my pattern onto it with some sticky tape.

1 2.0-02-04.jpg

I prolong the lines of the pattern pieces upwards using a ruler:

1 2.0-02-05.jpg

I cut the piece of paper to separate the patterns:

1 2.0-02-06.jpg

I flip back piece 1 (still attached with sticky tape) and cut off all extra paper:

1 2.0-02-07.jpg

I return piece 1 into its original position and cut the paper along the drawn line:

1 2.0-02-08.jpg

Now I place piece 1 onto piece 2 matching their seam allowances. The patterns should be overlapped by an inch. I draw the desired neckline with a marker:

1 2.0-02-10.jpg

Then I cut it out and get a perfectly matched pattern:

1 2.0-02-11.jpg

The original pattern used for designing the new one has already been calculated and tested and its values have been carefully checked.

Fabric Consumption.

Having altered the patterns I would like to estimate how much fabric is needed.

I lay out the patterns the same way I am going to lay them out on fabric and measure their total length:

1 2.0-02-12.jpg

I have got 22.8 inches.

This means I am going to need 1.2 meters of iron-on material and fabric.

The width of the relevant fabric should equal the length of the tallest pattern piece which is 17.7 inches.

I tear a piece off my iron-on batiste. The piece is 1.2 meter long and 35.4 inches wide.

I cut the batiste into two pieces 1.2 meter long and 17.7 inch wide because I am using different fabric for the face and the lining. 

I am going to use whole-piece fabric for the face side; and for the lining I am going to use several individual fabric pieces (rags) left after sewing some other garment.

I place a piece of batiste (that I’m later going to fuse on) to the crepe used for the face fabric:

1 2.0-02-13.jpg

However the crepe-satin piece for the lining has an irregular shape and I can’t fuse the batiste onto it as a whole piece:

1 2.0-02-14.jpg

In the next tutorial I will tell you how to cut a pattern in a case like this and how to fuse its pieces.

Tutorial 2.  Layout Planning.  Cutting.

Layout Planning.

I fuse the face fabric with some fine iron-on batiste.


1 2.0-02-15.jpg

My face fabric is a whole piece so I do everything the same way I did for the previous corset: I place the iron-on batiste over the fabric, even out cut edges and start pressing it. At first I secure the batiste on by stamping it down carefully with the iron. It is essential to use steam when pressing! Then I turn over the fused fabric and press it from the face side. I fold the fused fabric piece into half and put it aside.

I take the second piece of batiste used for the lining and start drawing the pieces of the corset pattern on it.

There are only very light alterations of the standard pattern in my case.

The client’s “bust middle” measurement is 0.8 inches smaller than that of the standard pattern. That is why I shift the central part of the front piece by 0.4 inches behind the batiste crease and outline it “as is”.

Apart from this I will need to lower the neckline because the “clip” measurement of the client is 1.2 inches smaller than that of the standard pattern.

Besides I also need to reduce the pattern by 0.5 inches at the back curve of the back piece going from the waistline to the bottom of the corset.

 Just like previously I lay out the patterns matching their waistlines and notches.

It is also important to keep in mind that the waistline is perpendicular to the crease of the central piece of the front.

I outline all patterns marking their notches.

I have drawn a new back curve line on pieces 4 and 5 of the standard pattern reducing it by 0.5 inches. For that purpose I turn the piece around the waistline notch by 0.5 inches and draw a new line using the pattern side as a ruler, i.e. without changing the shape of the new pattern piece.

You can see the alterations of the back curve on pieces 4 and 5 in the picture:

1 2.0-02-17.jpg

(линия талии - waistline; стандартное лекало - standard pattern; новое лекало - new pattern)

Then I lower the top line of the corset by 1.2 inches on each pattern piece corresponding to the “clip” measurement and preserving the shape of the top line on the standard pattern:

1 2.0-02-18.jpg

Afterwards I put corresponding pieces of the lining material under the patterns drawn on the batiste.

I am going to put this piece under the central part of the front and secure it with pins from the batiste side:

1 2.0-02-19.jpg

I prepare a piece of the lining fabric for the medium front piece and place it underneath:

1 2.0-02-20.jpg

It should also be secured with pins. You continue this way up to the end.

This is what it looks like from the wrong side:

1 2.0-02-21.jpg

I use this method only when working with very expensive fabric or when I cannot pick fabric of a required color shade. It concerns both lining and face fabric.

Cutting.

I lay out the face fabric fused with batiste on the cutting table and put the lining pieces over it.

1 2.0-02-22.jpg

I even out cut edges and secure it with pins again.

I cut all patterns very carefully.

I make all necessary notches.

1 2.0-02-23.jpg

Upon completing the cutting process I only need to cut the cup pieces out of hard iron-on material.

I put the cut-out patterns onto the hard iron-on fabric and outline them up to the under-bust line. I am not using the standard pattern because all alterations have already been accounted for in the cut-out pieces. In this very case there were alterations along the top of the corset.

I start by working on the medium piece of the front:

1 2.0-02-24.jpg

I don’t need to be particularly precise when fusing the cup pieces, because I will cut the seam allowances along the top on the pieces made of the hard iron-on material.

I fold a piece of iron-on material with the drawn-on cup leaving enough space for placing the central piece of the front at the crease. This line should also be outlined up to the under-bust line.

And then I mark 0.6 inches above this under-bust line and draw a free-hand curve. I am going to cut the bottom line of the cup piece along this curve.

1 2.0-02-25.jpg

I secure it with pins and cut along the marked lines trimming seam allowances along the top:

1 2.0-02-26.jpg

(seam allowance line)

Cup pieces cut out of hard iron-on fabric look like this:

1 2.0-02-27.jpg

During this tutorial I have completed cutting the pattern of the corset.

In the next tutorial I will tell you how to correctly fuse corset pieces if your iron-on material and main fabric have been cut separately.

Tutorial 3.  Fusing the Pieces of the Lining.

In this tutorial I am going to fuse the lining pieces.

I put the medium piece of the corset front onto the pressboard and unpin it:

1 2.0-02-28.jpg

I take off the lining pieces cut out of batiste and main lining fabric.

1 2.0-02-29.jpg

The fused pieces of the front crepe part remain on the pressboard:

1 2.0-02-30.jpg

I place the batiste carefully over the crepe pieces its adhesive layer up:

1 2.0-02-31.jpg

I put 2 crepe-satin pieces of the lining on top and even out cut edges very carefully:


1 2.0-02-32.jpg

And finally I put the second batiste piece on top of it with the adhesive layer down:

1 2.0-02-33.jpg

I fasten the iron-on material by stamping it carefully with the iron:

1 2.0-02-34.jpg

Then I remove the face pieces and finish pressing the lining pieces:


1 2.0-02-35.jpg

No matter how accurately I arrange the fabric, it still goes beyond the iron-on material by some 1-2 mm because the fabric does get deformed during the pressing process and the fusing of batiste:

1 2.0-02-36.jpg

So I still need to shape these areas:

1 2.0-02-37.jpg

This procedure demonstrates how hard it is to fuse pieces that have been individually cut out of iron-on material. That is why I highly recommend you fusing the fabric beforehand and only afterwards going on to the cutting.

However there are situations when fusing all fabric in advance is impossible which is why I have shown you what to do in a case like this.

Then and there I have explained and demonstrated you the principle of fusing a corset.

It is a “sandwich” principle. I place the pieces that need fusing onto the pieces that match the pattern best.

I repeat the same with the rest of the cut-out corset pieces.

The side pieces of the front:

1 2.0-02-38.jpg

I reach the central piece of the front.

At first I go through the same steps that were made for other corset pieces.

1 2.0-02-39.jpg

But I have cut out a separate piece of hard iron-on fabric for some extra supporting effect in the cup area.

And I do the following:

I put a cup piece made of the hard iron-on material over the lining piece with its adhesive layer down:

1 2.0-02-40.jpg

I press it a little:

1 2.0-02-41.jpg

Next I shape the fused pieces:

1 2.0-02-42.jpg

I trim the hard iron-on material along the seam allowance line:

1 2.0-02-43.jpg

And I press the hard iron-on material one more time through:

1 2.0-02-44.jpg

This is what the central piece of the lining of the front looks like when the cup piece of the iron-on material is fused onto it:


1 2.0-02-45.jpg

And again I take 2 medium front pieces of the lining and place the cup supporting pieces of hard iron-on material on top of them with their adhesive layer down:

1 2.0-02-46.jpg

I press the hard iron-on material through:

1 2.0-02-47.jpg

I shape the pieces:

1 2.0-02-48.jpg

I restore the notches that have been covered with the hard iron-on material:

1 2.0-02-49.jpg

And I repeat the same steps for the pieces of the side part of the back:


1 2.0-02-50.jpg

I fuse the lining pieces of the central part of the back:

1 2.0-02-51.jpg

Marking the Location of Bones.

I have finished fusing all lining pieces and fused some hard iron-on fabric onto the cups.

Now I start marking the location of bones.

Central Piece of the Front.

I start with the lining piece of the central part of the front.

I make preparatory markings on the fabric (blue pecked lines):

1 2.0-02-70.jpg

Here is the sequence of the working process:

1. I join the notches of the bust line using a ruler (line A-B).

2. I find the middle of the A-B section (point A1).

3. I join the notches of the waistline using a ruler (line C-D).

4. I find the middle of the C-D section (point C1).

5. I draw a line connecting points A1 and C1.

6. I make 2 parallel lines G-H and J-K at a distance of 0.8 inches from each side of the A1-C1 line.

7. I mark points E1 and E2 at a 0.8 gap from the edge of the piece.

8. I draw 2 parallel lines N-P and L-M stepping 1.4-1.6 inches down and 1.2 inches up the A-B line.

9. The A1-C1 line divides the neckline curve in half. I divide each half of the curve one more time marking points F1 and F2.

10. I join points E1 and E2 along the curve repeating the bottom edge of the hard iron-on fabric.

The marking is finished.

Please take a look at how I’m going to sew-on bones according to my markings:
1 2.0-02-71.jpg

There are going to be 10 bones in total sewn onto the front piece (their numbers are written in red).

Bone 1: it goes along the A1-C1 line. This is a central vertical bone.

Bone 2: it goes along the A-B bust-line.

This is a central horizontal bone or a chest bone. It goes along the bust-line of the left medium piece of the front, continues along the bust-line of the central piece of the front and then along the bust-line of the right medium piece of the front.

Bones 3 and 4: they go along the G-H and J-K lines.

These are additional vertical bones for supporting the central piece of the front. However the central piece of the front of my corset is rather narrow. And that is why I have not decided yet whether or not some additional bones, parallel to the central bone, are required. I mark the location of these bones just in case and will make the final decision later during the sewing process.

Bones 5 and 6: they are sewn between the points E1-F1 and E2-F2. These are inner bones of the cup.

Bone 7: it goes along the N-P line parallel to the central chest bone.

Same as the central chest bone this bone goes along the bust-line of the left medium piece of the front, along the bust-line of the central piece of the front and along the bust-line of the right medium piece of the front.

Bone 8: it goes along the L-M line.

It starts at the central piece of the front and goes over to the left medium piece of the front.

Bone 9: it goes along the L-M line.

It starts at the central piece of the front and goes over to the right medium piece of the front.

Bone 10: it goes along the bottom (base line) of the cup that I’m going to quilt and goes over to the left and right medium pieces of the front.

The inner bones of the cup create and maintain its shape making it look round and embossed.

Medium Pieces of the Front.

I go through the same steps for the medium pieces of the front.

I make some preparatory marking on the fabric (blue pecked lines):
1 2.0-02-67.jpg

Here is the sequence of the working process:

1. I join the notches of the bust-line using a ruler (line A-A2).

2. The A-A2 Line is an extension of the A-B line on the central piece of the front.

3. Point A is the general point of all these pieces.

4. I mark point E1 leaving a 0.8 inch gap from the edge of the piece.

5. This point should lie at the same level with the E1 point on the central piece of the front.

6. Now I need to decide where will be the border or the base line of the cup I’m going to quilt. I need to determine the intersection of the cup base line and the bust-line, i.e. determine point R.

The base line of the round cup begins about 2-2.4 inches off the side of the corset.

I place a corresponding side piece to this medium piece of the front:

1 2.0-02-66.jpg

(seam allowance)

If you don’t take the seam allowances of the side piece of the front into account, you are going to have about 0.8-1.2 inches left at the bust-line level of this piece.

Therefore I need to mark the remaining 0.8-1.2 inches off the seam allowance of the medium piece of the front in order to determine the intersection of the cup base line and the bust-line (point R).

Let me draw the location of the base line of the cup. It is going to be a curve going through points R and E1.

It is very easy to mark the base line of the cup (the curve): I just place my fist onto the bust-line, mark the radius with a pencil and draw a curve connecting points R and E1 by moving my hand:

1 2.0-02-69.jpg

The curve connecting points R and E1 is an extension of the curve connecting points E1 and E2 on the central piece of the front.

7. Now I find the culmination point of the hard iron-on material (point F3).

8. I draw a line connecting points E1 and F3.

9. I mark points N and L stepping 1.4-1.6 inches down and 1.2 inches up the A-A2 line. I used exactly the same values for the A-B line on the central piece of the front.

10. I draw a line N-N1 - not parallel to line A-A2 but at a slight downward angle.

Line N-N1 is an extension of line N-P on the central piece of the front.

Point N is the general point of these pieces.

11. I draw a line L-L1 - also not parallel to the A-A2 line but at a slight upward angle.

Line L-L1 is an extension of line L-M on the central piece of the front.

Point L is a general point of these pieces.

12. I draw a line C2-C3 dividing the bottom part of the medium front piece in about a half.

The marking is finished.

Please take a look at how I am going to sew bones onto the left medium piece of the front:

1 2.0-02-73.jpg

Bone 2: it goes along the A-A2 bust-line.

This is a central horizontal or a chest bone. It goes along the bust-line of the left medium piece of the front, continues along the bust-line of the central piece of the front and then along the bust-line of the right medium piece of the front.

Bone 7: it goes along line N-N1 at a slight angle downwards to the central chest bone.

Same as the central chest bone this bone goes this bone goes along the left medium piece of the front, along the central piece of the front and along the right medium piece of the front.

Bone 8: it goes along line L-L1.

It begins at the central piece of the front and goes over to the left medium piece of the front.

Bone 10:  it goes along the bottom (base line) of the cup which I am going to quilt and then goes over to the central part of the front and the right medium piece of the front.

Bone 11: it is an inner bone going along lines E1 and F3.

Bone 12: it is a vertical bone going along line C2-C3.

This is what the marking for quilting rounded cups with bones looks like.

Please note the way quilted bones will pass from the central part of the front onto the left side part of the front:


1 2.0-02-77.jpg

I repeat the same steps for the right half of the medium piece of the corset front.

I think there is no need for detailed explanations this time.

All the marking is done in a mirrored way:

1 2.0-02-74.jpg

Bones 2, 7, 9 and 10 pass onto the central piece of the front.

Bones 13 and 14 remain only on this piece.

Side Pieces of the Front.

I mark the location of bones on the side pieces of the front.

I draw a line on both pieces going along the middle of the waistline lengthwise to the whole piece - almost parallel to the cut edge line.

1 2.0-02-60.jpg

(waistline)

1 2.0-02-62.jpg

Side Pieces of the Back.

I mark the location of bones on the side pieces of the back.

My corset is rather small-sized which is why I am going to put one vertical bone onto each piece about in the middle of it.

1 2.0-02-75.jpg

1 2.0-02-76.jpg

If the corset were large-sized I would have divided the width of the piece into 3 sections and put 2 vertical bones onto each section.

Central Pieces of the Back.

There is no need for additional bones on the central pieces of the back because there will be some bones for the lacing.

Tutorial 4.  Joining the Lining along Its Curves.

Bust Curves.

I start joining together the lining pieces from the pieces of the front.

I take the central and medium pieces of the lining front.

I start sewing them together, i.e. start from the bust curves.

1 2.0-02-78.jpg

I don’t use any pins but if you find it difficult to work without them - you can pin pieces together.

I keep the upper piece in my left hand and the bottom piece - in my right hand. I link the pieces together and direct them underneath the machine. The seam allowance is the standard 0.5 inch one. I match all cut edges, notches, and top and bottom of the garment very carefully.

1 2.0-02-79.jpg

I trim the corners of the seam allowances on top and down the bottom:

1 2.0-02-80.jpg

I take the second medium piece of the front and sew together the second bust curve:

1 2.0-02-81.jpg

So, I have sewn 2 bust curves:


1 2.0-02-82.jpg

In order to make opening these curve seams easier I topstitch them by 1 mm from both sides of the seam. I spread the seams carefully by hand when sewing:

1 2.0-02-83.jpg

(дополнительная строчка - additional seam; соединительная строчка - joining seam)

You should be particularly careful working on the cup area! There should be no creases or tucks!

I check the quality of the seam:

1 2.0-02-84.jpg

I repeat the same steps for the second bust curve.

You’re supposed to get this result at the end:


1 2.0-02-85.jpg

I trim seam allowances:

1 2.0-02-86.jpg

It is enough to trim seam allowances only at the cup level because hard iron-on material makes further work much more complicated. But the seam allowances going from the bottom of the cups to the corset bottom are soft and do not necessarily have to be trimmed.

There might be some mismatch of the lines that mark the bones between the front pieces due to some inaccuracy of patterns or cutting. This is excusable enough. These marking lines should simply be corrected.

The sewn pieces should be properly pressed afterwards.

I always use a cup pressing mould.

I shape the cup making it look nice and embossed:


1 2.0-02-87.jpg

I press it in a circular motion from the centre of the bust to the edges. I divide the curve and form the desired rounded shape.

After the pressing the cups should look like this:


1 2.0-02-88.jpg

And then I press open the bottom parts of the curves:

1 2.0-02-89.jpg

I press from the face side using the pressing mould again:

1 2.0-02-90.jpg

And now I make a stay-stitch along the top and bottom of the sewn piece:

1 2.0-02-91.jpg

Let me remind you something!

Stay-stitch is a machine stitch made at a distance of a seam allowance.

It is important that the stay-stitch is sewn very accurately along the top of the garment.

Hard iron-on fabric often happens to be trimmed insufficiently and goes beyond the boundaries of the stay-stitch, which means it gets into the seam allowance and makes it difficult to work further.

That is why the areas of hard iron-on fabric going beyond the stay-stitch must certainly be trimmed.

I can show you a case like this in the picture:

1 2.0-02-93.jpg

Back Curves of the Back.

I put the side piece of the front aside for now.

And now I am going to sew together the back curves of the back.

I sew together the first couple of the side and central pieces of the back:


1 2.0-02-94.jpg

I put the second pair of pieces under the machine without tearing the thread off:

1 2.0-02-95.jpg

I trim the corners of seam allowances.

And just the same way as was done for the bust curves I topstitch the seams of the back curves of the corset back by 1mm from both sides of the seam to make them easier to open.

1 2.0-02-96.jpg

Side Cut Edges.

I take the side pieces of the front and sew them onto the side pieces of the back, i.e. join together the side cut edges of the lining. Soon you are going to see why exactly I join pieces in this very sequence.

I sew together the side cut edges:

1 2.0-02-97.jpg

Looking ahead I should tell you that it is much easier to quilt a cup and work on the front of the corset before attaching it to the side piece.

However it is better to work on the back part after the side seams have already been joined.

I trim the corners of seam allowances.

And again - the same way as was done for the bust and back curves - I topstitch the seams of the side cut edges by 1 mm from both sides of the seam to make them easier to open.

I have got 2 pieces like this:


1 2.0-02-98.jpg

I make a stay-stitch along the back.

I go across 3 sides: top, bottom and the middle of the back.

1 2.0-02-99.jpg

Let me note one more time that a stay-stitch should go right from one edge of the garment to the other! You should by no means turn the garment around on the needle!

Stay-stitches should intersect and I am going to be guided by these intersection points in further work.

Then I thoroughly press all sewn pieces all over again:


1 2.0-02-100.jpg

I would like you to pay attention to the fact that I do not flatten out the pieces on the pressboard when pressing them but try to preserve their volume. Besides I use some additional pressing moulds, for example a pear-shaped pressing mould. The curve of the pear-shaped pressing mould should be the same as the desired curve of the side seam.

So, during this tutorial I have sewn the lining along its curves.

Tutorial 5.  Quilting Embossed Cups on the Lining.

I am beginning one of the most important tutorials of this whole course - I start quilting round dome-shaped cups on the lining.

First of all you should slightly gather a narrow Rigilene bone. I start gathering this bone by pulling its fishing lines out of it, and then I pull the last fishing line and continue gathering the coating of the bone:

1 2.0-02-101.jpg

The Rigilene bone bends and starts acquiring an arch-like shape:

1 2.0-02-102.jpg

It is important to keep in mind that a Rigilene bone can be rounded.

Afterwards I trim the ends of the fishing lines and tape the edge of the bone with masking tape.

I start sewing-on bones by working on the sewn front piece of the lining.

For a beginning I am going to sew-on a bone along the upper edge of the corset. This bone is stitched-on along the existing stay-stitch at a 1mm distance from it. I haven’t marked its location because the existing stay-stitch serves as a marking line here.

This is how I place the bone to start stitching it on:

1 2.0-02-103.jpg

I stitch the bone on along the outer edge. I ease-in underneath the bone on all curved areas of the upper cut edge. For this purpose I just pull the bone onwards with my right hand and push the fabric away from myself with the left hand. This creates an effect of light fullness.

1 2.0-02-104.jpg

This very fullness allows for perfect fitting in the bust area!

I stitch-on this bone along the stay-stitch in this manner: starting from the edge of the medium front piece, continuing to the central front piece and finishing it at the end of the second medium front piece.

I don’t ease-in on the straight part of the cut edge on the central front piece.

1 2.0-02-105.jpg

(строчка-линейка - stay-stitch; шов пристрачивания кости - bone attaching seam)

But I start easing-in again on curved areas as soon as I go over to the medium front piece.

1 2.0-02-106.jpg

I finish sewing the bone symmetrically, at the same spot where I originally started. I tape its edge with masking tape.

This is what the front piece looks like when the upper bone is sewn along the upper edge:

1 2.0-02-107.jpg

I would like to stress it once more that the bone should be sewn 1mm from the stay-stitch.

And then I stitch-on a bone underneath the bust (bone 10 after the marking).

I take another narrow Rigilene bone, pull its fishing lines out of it, and pull on the very last fishing line making the bone look round. I tape the edge of the bone with masking tape. Then I place this bone at the marking line that creates a rounded curve underneath the bust.

I start by making bar tacks and start easing-in almost straight away.

1 2.0-02-108.jpg

I always make sure there are no creases on the fabric. There is no need for easing-in on the central part. Upon reaching the second curve I ease-in underneath the bone again, the same way I did it on the first medium front piece. If I fail to gather the bone along its whole length then I just leave some extra space when trimming this bone, form its curve from its other side and finish stitching it on:

1 2.0-02-109.jpg

If the two curves have unlike fullness, you should rip them off and re-stitch them! Nonsymmetrical cups are going to be very noticeable!

I finish stitching-on the bone along the outer side, trim it, cover it with masking tape and make a bar tack.

Here you can see the front piece with the upper bone and the under-bust bone:


1 2.0-02-110.jpg

Sewing-on these bones (perimeter bones) is the most difficult stage of working on the cups. The key task is to create identical fullness on both medium front pieces.

The cups should be dome-shaped and the corset top should fit the body tightly:

1 2.0-02-111.jpg

Now I am going to continue by quilting the cups with inner Rigilene bones.

I would like you to note that I have sewn-on these perimeter bones only from one side, i.e. they somewhat fly off.

I start with the bone going along the middle of the bust (bone 2 after the marking).

I push the end of the narrow Rigilene bone underneath the bone under the bust and stitch it on following the marking line. This bone is straight and not gathered. Its ends are not covered by masking tape.

1 2.0-02-112.jpg

Upon reaching the end of the second cup I trim the bone as needed and push its end underneath the under-bust bone as well. Then I make a bar tack.

Having turned the garment around I return to the other side of the bone:

1 2.0-02-113.jpg

I sew all inner bones on with two seams.

I sew-on a bone going along the left curve of the front.

I haven’t made any marking for this bone either because the curve seam marks the line it should follow.

The end of the un-gathered narrow Rigilene bone (with no masking tape on) should be pushed underneath the perimeter bone:

1 2.0-02-114.jpg

I trim the bone making it 2mm shorter than the outer (sewn-on) edge of the opposite perimeter bone and push its end underneath that bone. This end should be well overlapped by the bone of the curve.

I sew a seam along the other side of the bone.

I stitch-on bones radiating from underneath the bust.

I start with a bone on the left medium piece of the front (bone 11 after the marking).

Similar to the bone of the curve I push the end of this narrow Rigilene bone underneath the under-bust bone and stitch it on along the marking line. The bone is straight and not gathered. Its ends are not covered with masking tape.

1 2.0-02-115.jpg

I trim the bone making it 2mm shorter than the outer (sewn) edge of the opposite bone and push the trimmed end underneath it:


1 2.0-02-116.jpg

I sew a seam along the other side of the bone.

I don’t stretch the cup under the bone but at the same time I keep spreading out the fabric forming the volume of the cup. There should be no fullness underneath the bone otherwise the cup is going to be flat.

I sew-on the left bone to the central front piece (bone 6 after the marking):


1 2.0-02-117.jpg

The ends of this bone should also be pushed underneath the perimeter bones.

I sew-on a bone along the right curve of the front in the same manner.


1 2.0-02-118.jpg

I sew-on a bone to the right medium piece of the front (bone 13 after the marking):


1 2.0-02-119.jpg

I sew-on the right bone to the central front piece (bone 5 after the marking):

1 2.0-02-120.jpg

And then I start stitching-on a bone that goes above the bust area, i.e. across the upper part of the cup (bone 8 after the marking).

This bone goes along the right medium piece of the front and passes over to the central front piece.

I push the end of this bone under the upper perimeter bone again:


1 2.0-02-121.jpg

I stitch the bone on:

1 2.0-02-122.jpg

If you notice that the marking line for this bone is curved - you should gather it. If the marking line for the bone is a straight line like in my case - you can leave it as is.

However sometimes I purposely gather this bone because you can never tell how it’s going to behave when you start sewing it on. So in order to prevent any problems I do try to gather bones going above and below the bust-line when sewing them on.

I stitch on a symmetric bone going above the bust area along the right medium piece of the front and passing onto the central piece (bone 9 after the marking):

1 2.0-02-123.jpg

Afterwards I sew-on a bone below the bust-line (bone 7 after the marking).

I take another narrow Rigilene bone, pull its fishing lines out of it, and pull the very last fishing line making the bone rounded.

This bone goes across all front pieces.

I push the end of the bone underneath the perimeter bone and start stitching it on:

1 2.0-02-124.jpg

Before you start sewing it on you should either press the fullness area or carefully arrange the fabric underneath the bone with your fingers.

Then I make the second seam along the opposite side of the bone.

So, all inner bones have been stitched-on and their ends have been pushed under the perimeter bones.

I finish sewing-on the upper and lower bones making the second strengthening stitch along their inner sides:

1 2.0-02-125.jpg

Round quilted cups are ready!

1 2.0-02-126.jpg

The cups are embossed and their shape corresponds to the shape of the corset.

The corset has more volume thanks to the fullness along its top; and its “lugs” look inward:

1 2.0-02-127.jpg

This way I achieve good fitting of the corset to the chest.

And now please take a close look at this picture:

1 2.0-02-128.jpg

As you can see there seems to be some extra fabric under the bust area between the cups.

This extra fabric sticks out a lot if you fold the garment on a surface the way I’m showing in the picture:

1 2.0-02-129.jpg

I stitch a dart there in order to make up for this fault:

1 2.0-02-130.jpg

Thanks to this dart the corset will fit well at the under-bust area.

1 2.0-02-131.jpg

If there is a deep enough vent that goes up to the under-bust on the front of the corset, then this dart will get re-distributed and pass onto the cup. In this case good fitting to the bust should be achieved in some other manner.

However if the corset is whole like in my case there is nowhere to put this extra fabric which is why I make a dart. As a result there is a kind of a hollow formed between the corset cups, i.e. there is also better fitting at the in-between area of the bust.

It rules out the possibility of getting one of the main corset defects - this “buldged chest” effect. I receive very many letters asking how to eliminate this defect. That is why I have gone into so much detail concerning this issue.

The dart I have made fully removes this fault and makes the corset look natural.

Then I cut the dart apart:

1 2.0-02-132.jpg

I topstitch both sides of it as the lining fabric fused with batiste is rather dense and the dart may therefore start sticking out. But this way it is hardly going to be noticeable.

1 2.0-02-133.jpg

I won’t change the face side of the corset but just pull it downwards a little harder during the final steps of joining corset pieces.

So during this tutorial I have completed a very important stage of working on a corset - I have quilted round coups.

Tutorial 6.  Sewing-on Vertical Bones.

I have quilted round corset cups and now I start sewing-on vertical bones.

Front Piece.

I continue working on the front piece of the lining.

I start by sewing a vertical bone onto the left medium piece of the front (bone 12 after the marking). I take a narrow Rigilene bone, tape its end over with masking tape and place it at the marking line so that the marking goes along the middle of the bone. I step aside (by 2-3mm) from the stay-stitch going along the bottom of the corset.

1 2.0-02-134.jpg

I reach the rounded bone under the bust without overlapping it and make the second strengthening stitch:

1 2.0-02-135.jpg

I attach another bone along the curve exactly the same way stepping aside from the stay-stitch:


1 2.0-02-136.jpg

I try to make the joining seam go along the middle of the bone.

Now I go on to the central piece of the front.

I sew-on the first side vertical bone (bone 4 after the marking):


1 2.0-02-137.jpg

I stitch-on the central vertical bone (bone 1 after the marking):


1 2.0-02-138.jpg

I stitch-on the second side vertical bone (bone 3 after the marking):


1 2.0-02-139.jpg

Another vertical bone goes along the second curve:


1 2.0-02-140.jpg

I sew a vertical bone onto the right medium piece of the front (bone 14 after the marking):

1 2.0-02-141.jpg

Please take a look at what the front piece looks like after all vertical bones have been stitched-on:

1 2.0-02-142.jpg

Back Piece.

I start sewing bones onto the back pieces of the lining.

I take the first sewn back piece consisting of the central and side pieces of the back and a side piece of the front.

I attach a wide Rigilene bone to the central piece of the back 1mm from the stay-stitch. I leave some 2-3mm space from the top and bottom of the bone. I leave some room for the lacing.

1 2.0-02-143.jpg

(строчка-линейка - stay-stitch; шов пришивания кости - bone attaching seam)

 And I sew-on the second parallel wide bone just the same way:


1 2.0-02-144.jpg

Then I sew-on the third parallel bone:


1 2.0-02-145.jpg

Having attached these 3 vertical bones to the central piece of the back I have created a base for a beautiful hard lacing of the corset.

As a next step I sew a wide Rigilene bone onto the side seam:


1 2.0-02-146.jpg

And then onto the back curve:


1 2.0-02-147.jpg

I sew a narrow Rigilene bone onto the side piece of the front:


1 2.0-02-148.jpg

I sew-on this bone following the marking line.

A small tip: fabric gets deformed during the sewing and pressing processes and marking lines might turn into wiggly lines instead of staying straight. Do try to arrange fabric with your fingers when sewing-on bones to return the line to its original state and secure it with the bone. These bones are sewn-on exactly for this purpose.

Thereby I not only secure the corset vertically but bring the fabric fiber back to its original undeformed shape.

If the level of deformation is quite serious, you should first of all stitch-on the in-between bones and only afterwards go on to the bones of the curves and the side seam.

Please note that vertical bones can be either wide or narrow. You can make your own choice according to your experience and the design. Horizontal bones must be narrow!

I sew-on another narrow Rigilene bone like this following the marking on the side piece of the back:


1 2.0-02-149.jpg

I sew the same kind of bones and in the same sequence onto the second back piece of the lining joined along its curves.

To sum it up, in this tutorial I have sewn-on all vertical bones of the corset lining.

Tutorial 7. Covering Cups with Padding Polyester. Joining the Lining Along Its Last Curve.

Pressing of Corset Pieces.

First of all you need to press all pieces with bones attached. The thing is that when I take Rigilene bones out of the package they are bow-shaped. I shape them in the desired way with the help of an iron. I use pressing moulds for pressing side seams and corset cups.

In this picture I am pressing the back and the side seam of the corset:


1 2.0-02-150.jpg

It is necessary to press the fullness areas on the front part of the corset very thoroughly:


1 2.0-02-151.jpg

1 2.0-02-152.jpg

I turn the front piece inside out and shape the cups:

1 2.0-02-153.jpg

During this stage the cups should be particularly thoroughly pressed because they are going to acquire their final appearance.

This is what a ready pressed front piece of our corset looks like:


1 2.0-02-154.jpg

Covering Cups with Padding Polyester.

After pressing I need to cover the cups with padding polyester. This is done in order to prevent the numerous bones stitched onto the cups from sticking through the face fabric. Moreover - padding polyester supplements the roundness of the bust.

I pin a strap of polyester onto the cups:

1 2.0-02-155.jpg

I start sewing padding polyester on along the top part of the corset, along the inner seam attaching the bone. I also place the ribbons (loops) for hanging the corset there. I sew them on inside the cups instead of doing it at the side seams. After my experience, it makes a corset look better and more advantageous when put on a clothes hanger.

1 2.0-02-156.jpg

(внешняя строчка пришивания кости - outer bone-attaching seam; внутренняя строчка пришивания кости - inner bone-attaching seam)

Having stitched-on padding polyester along the top I go on to the side part of the piece. I sew padding polyester on along the sides and the bottom, along the outer seam attaching the bones of the cup curves. I try to get exactly into the bone-attaching seam when sewing-on this polyester. Having gone all around the perimeter I return to the point where I started sewing.

I remove pins and trim extra fabric along the whole perimeter close to the seam.

Cups covered with padding polyester look like this:

1 2.0-02-157.jpg

Making the Lining Whole.

Now it’s time to join all the pieces of the lining into a whole piece.

I sew the front piece together with the back piece using a standard 0.5 inch seam:


1 2.0-02-158.jpg

I trim the corners of the seam allowance. And I repeat all the steps of joining the curves.

I topstitch the joining seam from both sides:

1 2.0-02-159.jpg

I put a Rigilene bone along the curve leaving a 2-3 mm gap from the edges and stitch it on with two seams:

1 2.0-02-160.jpg

The very same procedure is repeated with the second curve.

Tutorial 8. Sewing-on Horizontal Bones. Fusing with Batiste.

Sewing-on Horizontal Bones.

So the vertical bones have all been stitched-on.

And now I need to sew a bone onto the top of the corset.

I take a narrow Rigilene bone and tape its end with some masking tape.

This bone is placed 1mm aside from the stay-stitch and sewn-on beginning at the cup.

This way I overlap the ends of the vertical bones and secure the top of the corset.

1 2.0-02-161.jpg

Now the top of the corset won’t stretch and I will therewith achieve a perfect line of the top.

Then I make the second parallel stitch along the bone.

I repeat the procedure performing it from the other side of the corset:

1 2.0-02-162.jpg

And then I sew another bone onto the bottom cut edge.

I gather this bone in advance to make it lie smoother, and tape its end with some masking tape. The matter is that the lower cut edge of the corset is not really straight - there is a bend radius (although not a large one) that depends on the size of the corset. And the smaller the corset is - the more you need to gather this lower bone in order to help it spread evenly and lie as flat as possible over the bottom cut edge of the corset.

I stitch-on this bone exactly the same way leaving 1mm from the stay-stitch:

1 2.0-02-163.jpg

The bottom of the corset has been slightly deformed by the sewn-on vertical bones but the horizontal bone that I stitch-on makes up for these defects and restores the bottom of the corset after the original patterns.

There is one more important trick: I try to stretch the fabric a little bit underneath this bone. The point is that the lining should slightly exceed the face in order to keep the face fabric as tight as required. 

That is why you should never ease-in any fabric underneath this bone! Otherwise the fabric on the face part of the corset will be bumpy and uneven because of a lack of tension.

Upon attaching the bone with one seam I always check the length of the back. In case of a slightest mismatch it is better to rip this bone off, even out the length of the back and stitch it back on.

As a next step I make the second parallel stitch.

This is what the corset lining looks like with its bones stitched-on:

1 2.0-02-164.jpg

Fusing Bones with Batiste.

I have covered the cups with padding polyester to prevent the bones from sticking through the face fabric. However if I used fine face fabric knowing for sure that the corset would be smooth and have no appliqués or draperies - then I would want to ensure that no vertical bones would stick through the face fabric. This is particularly essential for corsets with a tummy-control effect.

I am using a very simple trick - all the bones of the front piece of the corset should be covered with straps of iron-on batiste.

1 2.0-02-165.jpg

I use leftover cuttings for these straps.

When fusing batiste on, you should make sure the seam allowances are not creased underneath it.

The surface should be perfectly smooth.

1 2.0-02-166.jpg

And so this way I have completely finished working on the lining now and fully shaped my corset.

Tutorial 9. Joining the Face Pieces of the Corset.

During this tutorial I am going to sew and press the face pieces of the corset.

I start by sewing together the central and side pieces of the front, i.e. joining the bust curves:


1 2.0-02-167.jpg

I match the pieces, even out their cut edges and sew them together using a 0.5 inch seam allowance.

Please note that I haven’t pinned the pieces together and moreover - I am not using any bar tacks. I urge you to learn sewing exactly like this. Then you will also learn to get the feel of the fabric, its tension and fullness. You will be able to control the tension degree of two layers with your hands and make more professional-level garments.

After the fabric layers have been pinned together the sewing machine starts bouncing on them disturbing the smoothness of the seam. However it is absolutely impossible to control the matching of fabric layers when you hand-tack them.

Now I sew the second medium front piece onto the central piece:


1 2.0-02-168.jpg

I trim corners and then trim seam allowances by 0.2-0.3 inches:

1 2.0-02-169.jpg

As opposed to the lining you should trim absolutely all seam allowances on the face part of the corset!

I am frequently asked: why do I need to sew things together first and then trim seam allowances?  Why not make a 0.2-0.3 allowance from the very beginning? Please trust my experience - it is way easier to join pieces with a 0.4-0.5 inch allowance. Your seam in this case has higher quality and the layers are joined together much better which has to do with the way the needle plate of your sewing machine is adjusted.

I sew-on the first side piece of the front:


1 2.0-02-170.jpg

Unlike for the lining a traditional sequence of sewing pieces together is used here: first I sew together all front pieces and then - vertical curves of the back.

I sew-on the second side piece of the front:


1 2.0-02-171.jpg

And again I trim corners and seam allowances.

I sew together the vertical curves of the back (joining the side and the central pieces of the back):

1 2.0-02-172.jpg

And again I trim corners and seam allowances.

 Afterwards I press open seam allowances on all pieces.

Back piece:

1 2.0-02-173.jpg

I use an additional sleeve pressing board for more convenience. The garment hangs down the edges of the board and doesn’t get deformed.

I always press seams from both sides: first from the inner side and then from the outer side!

Having pressed open the back pieces I go on to the front half of the corset.

I press open straight curves on the additional pressboard as well and use cup pressing moulds for pressing open bust curves:

1 2.0-02-174.jpg

I press open from one side and then from the other:

1 2.0-02-175.jpg

After pressing I sew together side seams using a 0.5 inch allowance:

1 2.0-02-176.jpg

I trim corners and seam allowances as before.

I use a pear-shaped pressing mould when pressing open side seams because its bend repeats the shape of a side seam:

1 2.0-02-177.jpg

Again, I press open from both sides.

I would like to reveal a little trick for you!

If you are aware that you sometimes fail to hold a seam allowance precisely enough, then you must have sewn the lining with sometimes somewhat bigger and sometimes smaller seam allowances. Face fabric should overlay the lining with some tension. In a case like this I recommend you sewing together the side seams of the face piece using a slightly bigger seam allowance than usual (0.5-0.6 inches).

This way you will make the face part smaller and it will be pulled up very well.

All this of course comes with practice and experience. So if you are a beginner working in wedding fashion - start from the basics and then proceed to sophisticated know-how’s. Learn to get a feel for fabric, for bones.

And believe me, very soon you will have a steady hand at it and you will be able to decide on your own when you should use the methods I offer and when not.

In this tutorial I have sewn together the pieces of the face part.

The lengths of all my corset pieces match perfectly!

This means the corset pattern is tried-and-true!

Tutorial 10. Joining the Face and the Lining.

I start joining the lining and face of my corset.

I put the main fabric face down onto the face side of the lining.

I start joining the bust curves of the lining and the face:


1 2.0-02-178.jpg

However I don’t join the curves seam-to-seam but shift the bust curve by around 2mm towards the side:

1 2.0-02-179.jpg

I have eased-in along the top of the corset on the lining.

It is important for me to prevent the resulted fullness from passing onto the central part of the face fabric.

I am going to re-distribute this fullness on the rounded areas of the top (along the sides of the neckline and the underarms).

 

I pin the pieces together atop: first I pin at the curve points, then divide the in-between distance in half and pin again, then divide in half once more - and so on.

1 2.0-02-180.jpg

This way I re-distribute the face fabric evenly along the centre. I add pins in a gliding motion catching the lining fabric underneath the bone.

I join the pieces at the level of the back evening out their cut edges:

1 2.0-02-181.jpg

Then I pin together the side seams and carefully arrange the face fabric going from the side seam to the back the same way as was done for the central piece:

1 2.0-02-182.jpg

As you can see in the picture I have left some extra face fabric on the rounded area on top hoping that the cut edges have been cut bias and it will allow me to re-distribute this fabric.

I re-distribute the fabric in the last “problem area” the same way:

1 2.0-02-183.jpg

I use quite many pins when joining the top and the lining.

The same steps are repeated on the second side of the corset. Both sides should be pinned together absolutely symmetrically!

Then I join the lining and the face along the back in the lacing area, matching notches. I pin them together the same way as the corset top: first I pin along the edges and the waistline notch, then divide each in-between distance in half, then again in half, etc. Pins should not pierce through the lining!

1 2.0-02-184.jpg

Then I do the same with the second side of the corset.

And afterwards I start joining the face and lining with the sewing machine.

I start from the cut edge of the back:

1 2.0-02-185.jpg

For more convenience I have taken a one-sided presser foot with the ski-shaped part on the right. The foot moves along the bone as if it were a guiding line and the needle gets right into the stay-stitch. It is for this purpose that I stepped 1mm away from the stay-stitch when attaching the bone.

And then I join the corset pieces along the top:

1 2.0-02-186.jpg

Note: never turn a corset around on the needle! Every seam should be made from beginning to end and there should be bar tacks at the points of intercrossing with the stay-stitch! Bar tacks should remain where they are after seam allowances have been trimmed!

The pace of the sewing machine can be slowed down when working on fancy cut edges. You should always be guided by the location of the stay-stitch.

1 2.0-02-187.jpg

I made this stay-stitch at the very beginning of the working process when the corset pattern was not yet deformed by further treatment.

Therefore the stay-stitch marks the original shape and size of the pattern.

I make a bar tack at the intersection of the seam and the stay-stitch.

I sew the last seam along the second cut edge of the back:

1 2.0-02-188.jpg

As a result of this tutorial I have joined the face with the lining along the top and back of the corset.

Tutorial 11. Turning Out and Pressing the Garment.

During this tutorial I am going to turn the garment out and thoroughly press it.

Turning Out the Garment.

I begin by carefully removing pins.

1 2.0-02-189.jpg

The thing is that when a presser foot passes through pins inserted perpendicularly its teeth may crack the thread. You should examine the quality of the seam attentively! There will be strong tension during the turning out of the garment and if the thread happens to be even slightly cracked - it will definitely tear and make a small hole.

It is a real pity to discover a hole on a garment that’s already been turned out. You will have to turn it inside out again and restore the seam.

And that is why you need to immediately restore any areas where the thread got cracked!

I trim corners and seam allowances:

1 2.0-02-190.jpg

The bar tack remains after the seam allowances have been trimmed:

1 2.0-02-191.jpg

As you must have noticed I am sewing this corset without doing a fit test because I don’t doubt either my pattern or the measurements taken. I am absolutely certain that the corset will fit the client very well. That’s why I don’t hesitate to trim seam allowances and I am going to turn out the corset.

If you don’t feel very confident about your pattern, the correctness of your measurements and the measurements of the standard pattern - then you should perform a fit test at the stage of sewing the lining into a whole piece before sewing bones onto the last curve. In this case you can easily rip off a bone either on the vertical curve of the side seam or on other curves. But remember that such a fit test is done with no upper and bottom bones and this means the lining may stretch along the upper and bottom cut edges. This may be misleading! You should therefore decide yourself at what stage you would like to perform a fit test (probably even after the upper and bottom corset bones have been sewn-on). These bones can be ripped off and alterations can be made when appropriate. It all depends on your experience!

I make additional notches in the concave areas of the upper cut edge to prevent the seam allowance from becoming an obstruction when the corset is being turned out:

1 2.0-02-192.jpg

1 2.0-02-193.jpg

I start turning out the corset:

1 2.0-02-194.jpg

I do it very carefully because the bones add to the stiffness.

Because of that one should always make sure the seam joining the face and lining won’t burst.

You can see the sequence of turning out a corset in the pictures:

1 2.0-02-195.jpg

1 2.0-02-196.jpg

1 2.0-02-197.jpg

1 2.0-02-198.jpg

1 2.0-02-199.jpg

1 2.0-02-200.jpg

Pressing.

I carefully press the turned-out garment using pressing moulds again:

1 2.0-02-201.jpg

Pressing a corset after it’s been turned out is rather time consuming. It is exactly at this point that I am giving the corset its final shape. Minor faults can also be removed with the help of the iron.

1 2.0-02-202.jpg

1 2.0-02-203.jpg

1 2.0-02-204.jpg

Pressing process can take up to thirty minutes.

Sometimes I put a corset on the mannequin, steam it and leave it on for a couple of hours until it cools down.

And to conclude, in this tutorial I have turned out and pressed the corset.

Tutorial 12. Pulling Face Fabric onto Lining. Pinning Along the Bottom. Finishing Lacing.

After careful pressing I should pull up the face part of the corset and secure it along the bottom line.

As you can remember I have made an extra notch under the bust. So now I should pull up as much fabric along the centre of the front as I have used for this extra notch. Had I not made this notch - there would have been a fold formed under the bust (you can see this area in the pictures of corsets).

First of all I make a notch along the middle of the front both on the lining and the face side:

1 2.0-02-205.jpg

Then I pull out some face fabric below the lining level by the size of a notch making sure the notches are on the same vertical line:

1 2.0-02-206.jpg

I secure the spot with pins:

1 2.0-02-207.jpg

Afterwards I add pins all along the bottom of the corset. I keep pulling up the face fabric by hand and matching the curves. The pins here have to pierce right through, going around the horizontal bone sewn along the bottom of the lining.

This is what the corset bottom looks like from its face side after getting pinned together:


1 2.0-02-209.jpg

And from the lining side:


1 2.0-02-208.jpg

Finishing Lacing.

There are 3 wide Rigilene bones attached to the central piece of the back of the lining.

I turn the corset out and make 3 machine seams on each central back piece going along the inner seams that attach bones:

1 2.0-02-210.jpg

(seam)

These seams should be very even.

The tunnels formed as a result will be guiding lines for plastic bones that I am going to insert. These plastic bones will protect the back plackets of the lacing from getting deformed. The thing is that lacing plackets go through some serious pressure if a corset is supposed to have some tummy-control effect, and therefore start losing their shape.

I am going to punch grommets onto the central one of the three bones - this way they will be well secured and won’t pop out. I always place an additional Rigilene bone under the grommets.

Having quilted the tunnels I make a machine stitch along the bottom of the corset as well:

1 2.0-02-211.jpg

I step away from the edge of the garment by a lacing width and start sewing. I leave the tunnels open to insert plastic bones there.

The presser foot should slide along the lower horizontal bone of the corset when I’m sewing, i.e. at a presser foot distance from the bone:

1 2.0-02-212.jpg

I finish this stitch the same way without reaching the lacing.

During this tutorial I have pulled the face fabric onto the lining and finished working on the lacing area.

Tutorial 13.  Finishing the Bottom of the Corset.

I remove pins and trim the bottom of the corset:

1 2.0-02-213.jpg

Then I even out the bottom line of the corset.

Afterwards I insert plastic bones into the tunnels of the lacing.

First of all I need to measure the length of the bone which should be about 0.8 inches shorter than the length of the finished back:

1 2.0-02-214.jpg

I trim the other 3 bones on both sides of the corset down to the same length.

I slightly round off the ends of the bones and insert them into the tunnels.

Now the tunnels look nice and dimensional:

1 2.0-02-215.jpg

Besides the lacing placket has become very firm and doesn’t bend even after some heavy pressing of the corset.

I insert the bones into the tunnels on the other side of the corset.

With the help of chalk I mark the length of the back in its final appearance.

1 2.0-02-216.jpg

This length should be identical from both sides. I will sew-on a ribbon (welt) here to fold over the bottom cut edge.

The bottom cut edge of the corset can be finished with a bias tape the same way as was done on the previous corset. However if you haven’t managed to find a bias tape of required color or size, you can do the following:

I have torn off a 2.8 inch satin strap crosswise, bent it in half and pressed it.

Now I should sew this strap or ribbon onto the bottom of the corset at a presser foot distance from the edge:

1 2.0-02-217.jpg

I slightly pull up the ribbon when sewing. Then I trim it leaving a 0.5 inch end.

I turn the ribbon out:

1 2.0-02-218.jpg

I make sure there is a nice piped-like edge along the bottom:

1 2.0-02-219.jpg

I secure the ribbon with pins, press it and sew it on along the bottom with an invisible stitch.

This is what the bottom of the corset looks like:

1 2.0-02-220.jpg

As a result of this tutorial I have finished the corset bottom.

Tutorial 14. Finishing the Corset. Decoration.

I have almost finished sewing this corset. Now I only need to put some finishing touches and decorate it.

Sewing a Lacing Flap.

First of all I need to sew a flap that is sewn-on underneath the lacing.

Its length should equal the length of the back of the corset.

You can choose its width yourself depending on how wide the open gap on the back is going to be.

I take 2 rectangular pieces of face fabric fused with iron-on batiste from the wrong side and sew them together along 3 sides:


1 2.0-02-221.jpg

I bend the seam allowances towards the lining side and make a clean-finish-edge seam in order to turn the flap out easier and achieve a neat piped-like edge:

1 2.0-02-222.jpg

I trim corners and seam allowances.

I make a stitch along the fourth side leaving a small hole in the middle for turning the flap out.

Then I turn the flap out and stitch the hole up by machine:


1 2.0-02-223.jpg

Then I press this flap and hand-stitch it onto the lining of the corset at the lacing area.

Punching Grommets.

So I have sewn a flap and now I start marking holes for grommets:

1 2.0-02-224.jpg

I measure the length of the back leaving 0.4-0.6 inches from top and bottom and then divide this value into sections to make the distance between the holes about 1.4-1.6 inches.

In my case the distance between the grommets is 1.5 inches. I make markings.

I take my punch machine and punch holes through using a special accessory:

1 2.0-02-225.jpg

I bend the corset and make markings on its second side through the existing holes in order to make sure these lacing holes are in exactly the same spots as those on the first side, i.e. the grommets are symmetric:

1 2.0-02-226.jpg

I punch all holes through, insert grommets and expand them with the help of the machine.

Now the grommets are inserted:

1 2.0-02-227.jpg

Decoration.

I am going to decorate my corset in a very simple way.

I take a 1 inch wide satin ribbon and make gathers on it using a household sewing machine with a special presser foot:

1 2.0-02-228.jpg

You could gather the ribbon by hand as well then secure it with pins and make a running hand-stitch.

I put the corset onto the mannequin and arrange this gathered ribbon into an improvised ornament securing it with pins:


1 2.0-02-229.jpg

You can use any ornament depending on the shape of the neckline. You could also make an ornament along the bottom of the corset.

Afterwards I stitch this decorative element onto the corset by hand.

And thereupon my quilted cup corset is completed!

1 2.0-02-01.jpg

Dress with Separately Cut Cups.

2.0-03-01.jpg

Tutorial 1. Pattern Calculation before Cutting (Beginning).

Pattern Pieces.

I start working on a new garment - a dress with separately cut cups.

Here is a technical drawing and pattern schemes of this dress:


2.0-03-60.jpg

Individually cut corset cups are the main peculiarity of this garment. The dress itself is going to consist of the main material and a lace overlay.

The make-up of this dress is simple and classic but at the same time very popular.

I am going to sew a short straight dress but you could choose any other design for it.

You could alter the cups itself.  Their lower line could be straightened, rounded, or lifted upwards. You could also alter the neckline. The most important is to know how to quilt these cups and attach them to the base of the dress and this is what I am going to teach you.

You could also alter the base of your dress.  It could be a bell-shaped dress or an absolutely straight long pencil dress or a dress with a separately cut skirt.

The main material can vary. You could for example use a chiffon material gracefully draped underneath the cups, i.e. make an Empire dress that is much loved today.

As you can see you can modify the make-up of your dress the way you wish!

There is only one remaining principle: the way of cutting and quilting cups, and joining them with the main body of the garment.

The pattern I use and offer you consists of the following pieces:

Cup:

1. Central piece of the front with a bend.

2. Two side pieces of the front.

3. Two back pieces with a laced-up centre.

Note:  I do not recommend using a side zip on such dresses. It is quite hard to make a neat side zip because of the thickness and roughness of the side cut. Besides, a fastener like this won’t be able to hold the dress up and straps will also be necessary. For these reasons I would highly recommend you using a zip or - much better - a lacing fastener going along the centre of the back. In this case straps can just be a decorative element because they won’t be functionally required in a design like this.

Dress:

4. Front part piece with a bend. I use and offer you a pattern that needs no waistline notch here and will however fit the client perfectly even if you use no-stretch fabric.

5. Two back pieces with waistline notches.

Altering a Standard Pattern.

And as usual I start working by taking measurements and calculating the pattern.

I highly recommend that you should first watch my free tutorials on taking measurements and altering corset patterns:

 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzB-3PujN2k

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fvaCdvdaMsw.  

I take measurements off my client (Kate) basically the same way I did it for the corsets.

You will need the following measurements:

- «bust middle» - distance between the protruding points of the bust;

- «bust front» - central bust line at the front;

 - «under-bust front» - under-bust line at the front measured from side to side;

 - «bust circumference» - full circumference of the bust-line (BC);

 - «under-bust circumference» - full circumference of the under-bust line (UBC);

 - «waistline» - full circumference of the waistline (WC):

I take the WC measurement without pulling the measuring tape. There is no tummy-control effect meant in this dress and that is why the waistline circumference is measured with the measuring tape in a free state.

 - «stomach» - full circumference of the stomach line (S):

It is necessary to mark the distance between the waistline and this measurement. In my particular case the distance from the waistline is 4.7 inches.

 - «hip circumference» - full circumference along the hip line (HC);

- «clip» - explained in detail in the free tutorials;

- «side length» - length between the waistline and the upper point of the dress along its side seam.

I write all taken measurements into the table (column 2):

2.0-03-06.jpg

Kate

Pattern

BM

Front

Back

Bust front

18.1

Un.B. front

14.6

BC

33.5

UBC

29.1

WC

28

S

35.8 (4.7)

HC

37.8

Clip

3.5    2   2.4

BM

7.1

SL

7.5

The third column of the table is used for writing down the measurements of the pattern in use:

2.0-03-07.jpg

Kate

Pattern

BM

Front

Back

Bust front

18.1

19.3

Un.B. front

14.6

15.7

BC

33.5

36.6

UBC

29.1

33.1

WC

28

30.3

S

35.8 (4.7)

37.4

HC

37.8

39.4

Clip

3.5    2   2.4

4.2   3.5  2.9

BM

7.1

7.9

SL

7.5

7.9

All these values are a result of measuring a ready garment sewn after these patterns and I do recommend you using them. I would like to point it out once more that if you want to measure the print-out patterns included into this book - then you should sew a mockup first and then test it and take measurements along the relevant lines the same way you would take measurements off a client. Your measuring tape may pass through a little differently than mine. Therefore you should measure the patterns along the same lines that you use for taking measurements off your clients. So just put your mock-up on a mannequin and measure it again.

Re-calculation of a Standard Pattern.

I start re-calculating my standard pattern after Kate’s individual measurements. All calculations are carried out the same way as they were for the corset.

The first measurement under comparison is the “bust middle” measurement.

You won’t have to make any alterations if the measurements of the pattern coincide with those of your client. In this case the whole column 4 of the table should be left out.

However in my case Kate’s measurement is 7.1 inches corresponding to the value of 7.9 inches on the pattern which means this pattern does have to be changed along the middle, along the crease line.

 Let me calculate:

7.1” – 7.9” = -0.8”

However this value should be divided into 2 sides - the right and the left one.

Therefore:

- 0.8” ÷ 2 = -0.4”

I write this value of -0.4 inches down into the table (column 4, line 10).

2.0-03-08.jpg

Kate

Pattern

BM

Front

Back

Bust front

18.1

19.3

-0.4

Un.B. front

14.6

15.7

-0.4

BC

33.5

36.6

-0.4

UBC

29.1

33.1

-0.4

WC

28

30.3

-0.4

S

35.8 (4.7)

37.4

-0.4

HC

37.8

39.4

-0.4

Clip

3.5    2   2.4

4.2   3.5  2.9

BM

7.1

7.9

-0.4

SL

7.5

7.9

The “bust middle” measurement of the pattern is bigger than Kate’s. It means that I need to remove 0.4 inches (the value is negative) from the standard pattern to adjust it after Kate’s measurements.

And therefore the crease of the fabric is going to lie 0.4 inches inwards to the central front piece of the pattern.

When I start constructing a pattern after Kate’s measurements the standard pattern should go beyond the boundaries of the fabric crease by 0.4 inches.

Since I have shifted the pattern by 0.4 inches, the 0.8 inch value (0.4 inches from each side of the pattern) is going to be removed from all circumferences of the corset: bust, under-bust, waistline and stomach.

I am going to write the -0.4 inch value in all lines of column 4 in order to keep this in mind.

Let me remind you that the value is -0.4 inches for each side of the pattern.

Now I want to determine where the front side seam will be.

There are two measurements determining the location of the side seam: “bust front” and “under-bust front”.

Bust front:

It is 19.3 inches on the pattern and 18.1 inches according to Kate’s measurements.

It is clear that the side seam is going to shift.

Let us calculate this shift.

I have already adjusted down all circumferences by 0.8 inches when calculating the “bust middle” measurement and shifted the pattern by 0.4 inches against the fabric crease.

And therefore:

19.3” – 0.8” = 18.5”

(18.1” – 18.5”) ÷ 2 = - 0.2”

So the side seam along the bust-line is going to be adjusted down by 0.2 inches.

I write this value into the table (column 5, line 2).

Under-bust front:

Let me calculate the location of the side seam.

It is 15.7 inches on the pattern and 14.6 inches on Kate.

I calculate it the same way keeping in mind that the bust middle has been reduced by 0.8 inches.

15.7” – 0.8” = 15”

(14.6” – 15”) ÷ 2 = -0.2”

I add this value into the table (column 5, line 3).

It is now perfectly clear that the side seam is shifted by 0.2 inches.

However I am going to adjust down the whole pattern by 0.2 inches to keep the beautiful side shape of the corset, this lovely curve, thereby reducing all circumferences (bust, under-bust, waistline, stomach) by 0.4 inches.

I add the -0.2 inch value into lines 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 of column 5.

2.0-03-09.jpg

Kate

Pattern

BM

Front

Back

Bust front

18.1

19.3

-1

-0.2

Un.B. front

14.6

15.7

-1

-0.2

BC

33.5

36.6

-1

-0.2

UBC

29.1

33.1

-1

-0.2

WC

28

30.3

-1

-0.2

S

35.8 (4.7)

37.4

-1

-0.2

HC

37.8

39.4

-1

-0.2

Clip

3.5    2   2.4

4.2   3.5  2.9

-0.7  -1.6  -0.5

BM

7.1

7.9

-1

SL

7.5

7.9

-0.4

 

Clip measurement.

To the scye:

Since there are 4.2 inches on the pattern corresponding to 3.5 inches of the client’s measurement then I do the following:

3.5” – 4.2” = -0.7”

Upward:

Since there are 3.5 inches on the pattern corresponding to 2 inches of the client’s measurement then I do the following:

2” – 3.5” = -1.6”

To the neckline:

Since there are 2.9 inches on the pattern corresponding to 2.4 inches of the client’s measurement then I do the following:

2.4”– 2.9”= -0.5”

I write these values down into the table (column 5, line 9).

Side length:

It is 7.9 inches on the pattern corresponding to 7.5 inches according to Kate’s measurements which means the side length should be reduced along the scye by:

7.5” – 7.9” = -0.4”

This value is also recorded into the table (column 5, line 11).

I start calculating alterations of the side seam of the back.

There are naturally no more “bust front” or “under-bust front” measurements now.

Our next measurement is “bust circumference”.

It is 36.6 inches on the pattern and 33.5 inches according to Kate’s measurements.

I have already taken into account the alteration along the middle of the bust-line (-0.4”) and the front side seam (-0.2”).

This value makes up 1.2 inches for two pattern halves.

Thus:

36.6” – 1.2” = 35.4”

(33.5” – 35.4”) ÷ 2 = -1”

The value is added to the table (column 6, line 4).

 Under-bust circumference.

It is 33.1 inches on the pattern and 29.1 inches for Kate.

It is calculated the same way:

33.1” – 1.6” = 31.9”

(29.1” – 31.9”) ÷ 2 = -1.4”

I write down this value in the table (column 6, line 5).

I don’t think over these values for now, I just calculate and record them.

Waistline.

It is 30.3 inches on the pattern and Kate’s measurement makes  28 inches.

Let us calculate:

30.3” – 1.2” = 29.1”

(28” – 29.1”) ÷ 2 = -0.6”

I add the value to the table (column 6, line 6).

Stomach measurement at a 4.7 inch distance above the waistline.

It is 37.4 inches on the pattern and 35.8 inches on Kate.

I calculate it:

37.4” – 1.2” = 36.2”

(35.8” – 36.2”) ÷ 2 = -0.2”

This value is then added to the table (column 6, line 7).  

Hip circumference:

It is 39.4 inches on the pattern and 37.8 inches according to Kate’s measurements.

Let us calculate:

39.4”– 1.2” = 38.2”

(37.8” – 38.2”) ÷ 2 = -0.2”

I write down this value in the table (column 6, line 8).

2.0-03-12.jpg

Kate

Pattern

BM

Front

Back

Bust front

18.1

19.3

-1

-0.2

Un.B. front

14.6

15.7

-1

-0.2

BC

33.5

36.6

-1

-0.2

-1

UBC

29.1

33.1

-1

-0.2

-1.4

WC

28

30.3

-1

-0.2

-0.6

S

35.8 (4.7)

37.4

-1

-0.2

-0.2

HC

37.8

39.4

-1

-0.2

-0.2

Clip

3.5    2   2.4

4.2   3.5  2.9

-0.7  -1.6  -0.5

BM

7.1

7.9

-1

SL

7.5

7.9

-0.4

-0.4

As a result there is a slight dispersion of values.

If I were dealing with a corset I would first of all change the side seam at the front. Then I would choose an optimal value (for example -0.6 inches), mark it along the side seam of the back, calculate the difference between the chosen value and the existing one and re-distribute it between the back curve and the medium curve of the front that divides the side part in half (in a corset consisting of 4 front curves).

There is no back curve on my dress.

Of course there is a notch here but it’s rather risky and problematic to use it the same way I used the back curve of the corset. The pattern of the back is not cut along the curve. Those who have already dealt with fitting a dress along the back know that this notch should by no means be altered!

So there is only one single way to solve this issue and that is using a side seam!

I have figured out mathematically that the location of the side seam on the bust and under the bust is determined by the “bust front” and “under-bust front” measurements. I have calculated that I need to remove 0.2 inches from the bust and from under the bust. This will be enough to balance out my dress correctly and put the side seam in place. But making a beautiful side seam below the under-bust level won’t be possible anymore. I can still evenly remove 0.2 inches along the side seam at the front but it won’t work well at the back: I need to remove 1 inch from the bust area, 1.4 inches from under the bust, 0.6 inches from the waistline and 0.2 inches from the stomach and hips.

Please take a look at how the side seam of the back would look in this case:

2.0-03-10.jpg

Of course this seam is not so scary in terms of beauty! It follows its original outline more or less correctly. But its configuration is totally different from that of the side seam at the front. It is incredibly difficult to join pieces of such a garment together! First, there is no guarantee that the garment will fit the body correctly, and second, unwelcome creases around and about are unavoidable.

Side Adjustment Formula (Tatyana Kozorovitsky’s Formula).

So now my task is to re-shape the side keeping it perfectly identical both at the front and at the back!

Those who don't get along so well with mathematics can choose their own method of value selection. I used to pick values from the table (columns 5 and 6), re-calculate them a few times and select average values. And then I would even out the shape of the sides on the pattern, on fabric, making them identical.

However I quickly got tired of this amateurish approach!

I pondered the issue, noticed a common pattern and managed to make a formula for myself - a universal formula of side adjustment.

I haven’t seen this calculation in any manuals before and therefore I dare claim it is my own formula.

The essence of Tatyana Kozorovitsky’s Formula is very simple if you think it over attentively.

2.0-03-11.jpg

client

pattern

front

back

BM

waistline

a

b

e

stomach

c

d

x

y

e

We should find such pattern gain values x and y along the chosen line that would meet the following two requirements simultaneously:

1.  Their sum should equal the difference between c and d measurements along this line divided by two. Any BM alterations should be accounted for in this calculation.

2. The difference between them should equal the difference between a and b pattern gain values from the line above in the calculation table.

In other words I have written a system of 2 equations where “a, b, c, d, e” are existing values from the calculation table while “x” and “y” need to be determined.

If it seems somewhat vague and complicated to you now, I promise you: it is going to be crystal clear in the next tutorial.

Tutorial 2. Pattern Calculation before Cutting (Continued).

Tatyana Kozorovitskaya’s Formula.

I want to achieve the same configuration of the side seam at the front and at the back of my dress!

I always use the formula I derived about 7-8 years ago for this purpose. It has never let me down ever since!

I recommend you having this picture above your cutting table:


2.0-03-15.jpg

Kate

Pattern

Front

Back

BM

Waistline

a

b

e

Stomach

c

d

X

Y

e

So, the sum of unknown variables X + Y that I need to find should equal the difference between client’s measurement (c) and pattern measurement (d) divided in half. If there are any alterations along the bust middle (e) then this value should also be accounted for: d + 2e.

The difference between the unknown variables X - Y should equal the difference between the gain at the front (a) and the back (b) taken from the previous table line, i.e. the value a – b.

It is much easier when applied than when explained in word.

So, here is my particular case.

The final table of re-calculation for the standard pattern (Table 1):

2.0-03-12.jpg

Kate

Pattern

BM

Front

Back

Bust front

18.1

19.3

0.4

-0.2

Un.B. front

14.6

15.7

0.4

-0.2

BC

33.5

36.6

0.4

-0.2

-1

UBC

29.1

33.1

0.4

-0.2

-1.4

WC

28

30.3

0.4

-0.2

-0.6

S

35.8 (4.7)

37.4

0.4

-0.2

-0.2

HC

37.8

39.4

0.4

-0.2

-0.2

Clip

3.5    2   2.4

4.2   3.5  2.9

-0.7  -1.6  -0.5

BM

7.1

7.9

0.4

SL

7.5

7.9

-0.4

-0.4

I have removed 0.2 inches along the bust-line at the front and 1 inch along the bust-line at the back.

Now I need to even out the side seam for the under-bust line. There is quite a significant dispersion of values here. I need to remove 0.2 inches at the front and 1.4 inches at the back.

Therefore the difference between the values along the bust-line and the under-bust line is as follows:

 - at the front: 0.2” – 0.2” = 0”;

 - at the back: 1”– 1.4” = -0.4”.

This means that side seams of the front and back at the area between the bust-line and the under-bust line are going to have unlike inclinations, i.e. diverse configurations. It will then be very hard to match these pieces and join them together. Inclinations of these side seams need to be evened out.

In other words, I need to calculate suitable values of “x” and “y” instead of the values of -0.4” and -1.4” along the under-bust line (line 5) to make the side seams of the front and back have the same inclination or an identical configuration.

I even out side seams using my formula:

First of all I draw a separate table:


2.0-03-16.jpg

Kate

Pattern

Front

Back

BM

BC

a

b

e

UBC

c

d

X

Y

e

I re-write all existing values from Table 1 into the new one (Table 2):

2.0-03-14.jpg

Kate

Pattern

Front

Back

BM

BC

-0.2

-1

-0.4

UBC

29.1

33.1

X

Y

-0.4

Along bust-line:

 - front – minus 0.2” (a);

 - back – minus 1” (b);

 - bust middle – minus 0.4” (e).

All these values have been calculated previously.

Along under-bust line:

 - variables X and Y are gain values along the side seams of the front and back;

- bust middle – minus 0.5” (e);

 - under-bust circumference after Kate’s measurements and after the pattern correspondingly: 29.1” (c) and 33.1” (d).

As a next step I substitute existing values from Table 2 into the formula:

It is very important to substitute a gain value with a minus sign if it is negative and with a plus sign if it’s positive.

I have got a most basic system of 2 equations that is solved by the substitution method.

From the second equation of the system

 

I find that

 

I substitute the value of (
) instead of
into the first equation of the system:

I substitute this value into the equation:

 

And now I substitute the determined values instead of values
 and
 (Table 3):

2.0-03-17.jpg

Kate

Pattern

Front

Back

BM

BC

-0.2

-1

-0.4

UBC

29.1

33.1

-0.4

-1.2

-0.4

And so I have evened out the side seam for the under-bust line.

Now I need to even out the side seam along the waistline.

I go down by a line in Table 1.

I draw an additional table and substitute determined values from Tables 1 and 3 (Table 4):

2.0-03-18.jpg

Kate

Pattern

Front

Back

BM

UBC

-0.4

-1.2

-0.4

WC

28

30.3

X

Y

-0.4

The calculation is entirely the same.

And again I use my formula of side seam adjustment:

I substitute the determined values from Table 4:

I determine the values of
:

 

And now I insert the determined values into Table 4 instead of
 and
 (Table 5):

2.0-03-19.jpg

Kate

Pattern

Front

Back

BM

UBC

-0.4

-1.2

-0.4

WC

28

30.3

0

-0.8

-0.4

So I have evened out the side seam along the waistline.

Now I need to even out the side seam along the line of the stomach.

I go down by a line in Table 1.

I draw an additional table substituting determined values from Tables 1 and 5 (Table 6):

2.0-03-20.jpg

Kate

Pattern

Front

Back

BM

WC

0

-0.8

-0.4

S

35.8

37.4

X

Y

-0.4

The calculation is entirely the same.

And again I use my formula of side seam adjustment:

I substitute the determined values from Table 4:

I calculate
:

 

Now I substitute the determined values into Table 6 replacing
 and
 (Table 7):

2.0-03-21.jpg

Kate

Pattern

Front

Back

BM

WC

0

-0.8

-0.4

S

35.8

37.4

-0.2

-0.6

-0.4

As a result I have evened out the side seam along the line of the stomach.

Now I need to even out the side seam along the hip line.

I go down by another line in Table 1.

I draw an additional table substituting the determined values from Tables 1 and 7 (Table 8):

2.0-03-22.jpg

Kate

Pattern

Front

Back

BM

S

0.2

-0.6

-0.4

HC

37.8

39.4

X

Y

-0.4

The calculation is entirely the same.

And again I use my formula for side seam adjustment:

I substitute determined values from Table 4:

I determine values
:

 

Now I substitute the determined values into Table 8 replacing
 and
 (Table 9):

2.0-03-23.jpg

Kate

Pattern

Front

Back

BM

S

0.2

-0.6

-0.4

HC

37.8

39.4

0.2

-0.6

-0.4

So, I have evened out the side seam along the hip line.

This way I have evened out the side seams along the front and back in all relevant areas of the dress starting from the bust-line and finishing at the hip line.

All these re-calculated gain values from Tables 3, 5, 7 and 9 should be written down into Table 1.

Final table of standard pattern re-calculations with side seam adjustments accounted for (new values are marked with blue) (Table 10):

2.0-03-24.jpg

Kate

Pattern

BM

Front

Back

Bust front

18.1

19.3

-0.4

-0.2

Un.B. front

14.6

15.7

-0.4

-0.2

BC

33.5

36.6

-0.4

-0.2

-1

UBC

29.1

33.1

-0.4

-0.4

-1.2

WC

28

30.3

-0.4

0

-0.8

S

35.8 (4.7)

37.4

-0.4

-0.2

-0.6

HC

37.8

39.4

-0.4

-0.2

-0.6

Clip

3.5    2   2.4

4.2   3.5  2.9

-0.7  -1.6  -0.5

BM

7.1

7.9

-0.4

SL

7.5

7.9

-0.4

-0.4

It is necessary to check everything! Do not start cutting without checking first!

I check every line of the table containing new values.

The point of such checking is the following: the value of a standard pattern measurement + all calculated gains (their values are multiplied by 2) = client’s measurements.

Along bust-line:  36.6 – 0.8 – 0.4 - 2 = 33.4.

Along under-bust line: 33.1 – 0.8 – 0.8 - 2.4 = 29.1.

Along waistline: 30.3 – 0.8 – 0 - 1.6 = 27.9.

Along stomach: 37.4 – 0.8 + 0.4 – 1.2 = 35.8.

Along hips: 39.4 – 0.8 + 0.4 – 1.2 = 37.8.

I am used to working with full circumferences. If you find it more comfortable working with semi-circumferences, then you should just write down semi-circumference values into the table and then you don’t need to multiply by 2 when checking gain values. It doesn’t affect the point of this method.

Having checked everything I am now confident that all calculations are made correctly!

Now I am going to schematically draw the location of the new side seam on the front and back.

All values are taken from Table 10.

Side seam at the front:

 - I reduce the pattern by 0.2” along the bust-line;

 - I reduce the pattern by 0.4” along the under-bust line;

 - there are no alterations along the waistline (-0);

 - I expand the pattern by 0.2” along the stomach;

 - I expand the pattern by 0.2” along the hip.

Side seam at the back:

 - I reduce the pattern by 1” along the bust-line;

 - I reduce the pattern by 1.2” along the under-bust line;

 - I reduce the pattern by 0.8” along the waistline;

 - I reduce the pattern by 0.6” along the stomach;

 - I reduce the pattern by 0.6” along the hip.

That is what the side seam of the front and back looks like (schematically):

2.0-03-02.jpg

(bust-line; under-bust line; under-bust line; waistline; stomach; hip)

You can notice even from this schematic drawing that the side seams are symmetrical and have the same configuration.

Let me take the area of the side seam between the under-bust line and the waistline as an example.

The difference of gain values between these lines is:

 - at the front: 0.4” – 0” = 0.4”;

 - at the back: 1.2” – 0.8” = 0.4”.

Therefore the side seams of the front and back in the area between the under-bust line and waistline are going to have the same inclination, i.e. configuration. It is going to be very easy to match and join these pieces together. I have evened out inclinations of the side seams.

There is the same result after checking other areas of the pattern: the side seams of the front and back have the same inclination.

Looking ahead, I would like to demonstrate you how correct my calculations and my formula really are.

In these pictures you can see the result of the first and only fit test of this sewn dress:

2.0-03-25.jpg

2.0-03-27.jpg

2.0-03-28.jpg

See for yourself how well the dress fits!

There are no folds, no creases and the side seams are perfectly in place!

I hope I have managed to prove the correctness of my calculations and showed you that you can and actually even should use my formula!

Tutorial 3. Cutting the Cups.

Required Materials.

Let me say a few words about the required materials before I start preparing fabric for cutting.

These are basically all materials that I use for sewing a corset.

For sewing my dress I need:

 - iron-on batiste for fusing the face and the lining;

 - hard iron-on fabric for fusing the cups;

 - Rigilene bones, both wide (0.5”) and narrow (0.3”). It’s enough to just use narrow bones for this very design;

 - main fabric. I have chosen rather dense stretch satin as the main fabric. This dress can be made either with or without an additional lining. Additional lining is desirable if you use a thin material as the main fabric. However if the main fabric is dense enough and there is also an overlay of decorative fabric atop (in my case it is a lace overlay embroidered with glass beads and sequins) - then you don’t really need a lining.

 - ribbons for the lacing;

 - narrow ribbon for hanging loops;

 - zipper;

 - thread, needles, pins;

 - scissors, pruner for cutting bones.

You can see all tools required for sewing the dress in the picture below:

2.0-03-29.jpg

Fabric consumption.

Fabric consumption is very low if you cut your garment crosswise.

In my case I need 1m of main fabric and 1m of lace.

Cutting the Cups.

I start cutting the dress from the cups.

I have prepared 2 pieces of fabric for the face side and the lining:

2.0-03-30.jpg

I use the same stretch satin fabric as for the lining. Both pieces have been fused with thin iron-on batiste.

I start laying out pieces.

I lay out the cup pieces crosswise, i.e. along the shoot, but I have decided to arrange the back pieces along the grain of fabric to save up some material.

I remove 0.4 inches along the centre of the front because according to the calculations I need to go 0.8 inches inwards in order to reduce the standard pattern along the middle of the bust. I outline the pattern as is for now remembering to mark notches.

2.0-03-31.jpg

I will alter the patterns later and for now I just outline all pieces as they are.

I have cut the back piece crosswise against the front piece of the cups. I am fully aware that laying out fabric in different directions may result in having different kinds of shades or shimmer. But I also know that there will be an appliqué going along the top of the cups and that’s why I’ve taken this decision to spare some fabric.

2.0-03-32.jpg

I start altering the standard pattern.

I take the final table with all calculations (Table 10).

I start from the “clip” measurement.

I step 1.6 inches atop from the curve, 0.5 inches - from the neckline, and 0.7 inches - on the side piece of the front.

2.0-03-34.jpg

I look for the location of the bust-line to find out how much the neckline should be lowered. I would like the depth of the triangle in its actual size to match the bust-line precisely. That’s why I step upwards from the bust-line by a distance of the seam allowance and mark the end point of the neckline cut.

However upon looking at the shape of the neckline I can tell that removing 1.6 inches along the curve would be too much! The neckline cut won’t look good and the cup pieces won’t match properly. I have most probably recommended the client to have the neckline cut lowered significantly when taking off her measurements, or maybe she just wanted a very low neckline cut. But I can see that it won’t look good, the shape of the cup will be deformed. And that is why I have decided to remove 0.8 inches along the top instead of 1.6 inches. This way the beautiful proportional shape of the top will be preserved.

I move on to the side piece of the cup.

As I have decided, I need to remove 0.7 inches from the scye and 0.8 inches from the top.

I remove 0.2 inches along the side seam and 0.4 inches under the bust.

I draw a new top line using the pattern.

You can see how pretty and well-proportioned the new top line is:

2.0-03-36.jpg

You shouldn’t forget to remove 0.4 inches along the length atop the side.

Altering the back.

I remove 1 inch along the bust-line, 1.2 inches under the bust and 0.4 inches - along the side length.

2.0-03-37.jpg

I pin the pattern pieces together.

I place some folded hard iron-on fabric underneath the front cup pieces that have been pinned together.

I match the creases of the iron-on fabric and the pattern fabric and pin them together again:

2.0-03-38.jpg

The cup pieces are ready for cutting.

I cut the cups very carefully along the marked lines. It is necessary to make notches. I don’t put any hard iron-on material underneath the back pieces.

Once I’ve cut out all pieces, I check them comparing the cut out pieces with the pattern.

2.0-03-40.jpg

Apart from that I always check how well these cut out pieces match:

2.0-03-41.jpg

Tutorial 4.  Dress Cutting: Main Fabric and Lace.

During this tutorial I am going to cut the bottom or the base of my dress out of the main fabric (stretch satin) and out of the lace.

Cutting Main Fabric.

I fold the fabric piece in half and secure the crease with pins. I am going to cut it crosswise. The stretching (stretch thread) goes along the shoot. That’s why the whole stretching effect will go from top downwards.

I lay out the front pattern on the fabric and outline it with a tailor’s chalk. I mark notches.

I alter the central piece of the front. As I have changed the bust middle, the central piece of the front also has to be reduced by 0.4 inches.

2.0-03-42.jpg

I mark the required length with the seam allowance accounted for:

2.0-03-43.jpg

I alter the pattern after the calculations made by using Tatyana Kozorovitskaya’s Formula (see Table 10):

2.0-03-44.jpg

I match all reference points with the help of the standard pattern:

2.0-03-45.jpg

I cut out the resulting front piece of the dress and restore the notches:

2.0-03-46.jpg

And so, I have cut the front of the dress.

Now I lay out the back pattern on the fabric:

2.0-03-47.jpg

I repeat the same steps as were done for the front of the dress.

I mark the length of the dress:

2.0-03-48.jpg

The only difference from the front is the fact that I always add extra 0.4 inches to the dress (skirt) length along the centre of the back, just in case. I make this allowance to account for the buttocks height. It is easier to just shorten it later.

I alter the pattern in accordance with the performed calculations (see Table 10):

2.0-03-49.jpg

I secure it with pins.

The dart seems to have been shifted towards the side as a result of the applied alterations. That is why I divide the back piece in half and transfer the dart onto a new spot:

2.0-03-50.jpg

Now this dart should be transferred onto the other side of the cutting.

For this purpose I pierce the peaks of the dart with pins and pin the fabric together along the centre:

2.0-03-51.jpg

I turn the fabric around and mark the location of the dart on the second piece using these pins as guiding lines:


2.0-03-52.jpg

It could also be done with the help of a contrasting thread but using pins is much easier and faster.

I turn the piece around again, cut it, and make notches:

2.0-03-53.jpg

And now I would like to show you the result of adjusting side seams after Tatyana Kozorovitskaya’s Formula.  I place the front piece over the back piece and - voila - their side seams match perfectly!

2.0-03-54.jpg

2.0-03-55.jpg

There will be absolutely no problems with sewing the pieces together!

I would like to add that I often use my formula of side seam adjustment for calculating the side seam of a corset.

Cutting Lace.

I put the patterns of the dress onto the lace. I arrange the repeat of the ornament on the lace in such a way that the central part of the forepart lies in accordance with certain proportions: those of bouquets, flowers, festoons or any other element.  I try to arrange all motifs symmetrically.

I cut the pieces out of the lace:

2.0-03-56.jpg

I remove pins, lay out the cut pieces, put the lace over them and see how it works.

2.0-03-57.jpg

So, I have finished cutting the dress.

Tutorial 5. Marking the Location of Cup Bones. Removing Beads off Seam Allowances on the Lace.

Marking the Location of Cup Bones.

I start working on the cups.

I fuse the cups with hard iron-on fabric.

And I start marking the location of their bones.

Central cup piece:

 - I draw a bust line connecting notches along the bust (line 1);

 - I draw a vertical line along the centre of the cup (line 2);

 - I step 0.8 inches back from the edge of the curve on each side and draw lines going upwards and slightly inclined, basically going through the middle of each section of the bust-line (lines 3 and 4);

 - I draw a line parallel to the bust-line, 1.6 inches below it (line 5);

 - I draw 2 parallel lines (lines 6 and 7) 1.2 inches above the bust-line. These lines of the upper bone location are going to be adjusted during the sewing process.

2.0-03-58.jpg

(линия груди - bust-line 1; линия - line 2)

Left side piece of the cup:

- I draw a bust line connecting notches along the bust (line 1);

- I draw a line parallel to the bust-line, 1.6  inches below it (line 5);

- I draw a slightly upwards-inclined line 1.2 inches above the bust-line (line 7);

- I draw a slightly inclined upward line stepping 0.8 inches from the edge of the curve (line 8).  The location of the bone following this line is also going to be adjusted during the sewing process.

 - as I have already mentioned: when working on round quilted cups, you should restrict them by a bone placed about 2.4 inches from the side seam. And that is why I step 2.8 inches from the side seam (accounting for the seam allowance) and draw a vertical line that sets boundaries for the bones and serves as a boundary line for the cups (boundary line 9).

The lines of bones location starting on one cup piece and going onto the other piece have the same numbering.

2.0-03-59.jpg

(линия груда - bust-line 1; линия 5 - line 5; линия границы 9 - boundary line 9)

Right side piece of the cup:

- I draw a bust line connecting notches along the bust (line 1);

- I draw a line parallel to the bust-line, 1.6 inches below it (line 5);

- I draw a slightly upwards-inclined line 1.2 inches above the bust-line (line 6);

- I draw a slightly inclined upward line stepping 0.8 inches from the edge of the curve (line 10).  The location of the bone following this line is also going to be adjusted during the sewing process.

 - I draw a vertical line stepping 2.8 inches from the side seam (accounting for the seam allowance) that is going to set boundaries for the bones and serve as a boundary line for the cups (boundary line 11).

The lines of bones location starting on one cup piece and going onto the other piece have the same numbering.

2.0-03-61.jpg

And now I have finished marking the location of the bones on the cups.

Transferring the Location of Darts onto the Lace.

In order to be able to work further I need to transfer the location of darts onto the lace.

2.0-03-62.jpg

I place the lace piece over the piece made of the main fabric, take a thread and a needle and transfer the dart onto the lace by small stitches. I make 4 bar tacks along the edges of the pattern.

Having transferred the location of the dart onto the first lace piece I put the second lace piece over the piece made of the main fabric and transfer the dart location exactly the same way as before.

This is how I have transferred the dart onto the lace with the help of point-like stitches:

2.0-03-63.jpg

Removing Beads off Seam Allowances on the Lace.

And as a next step I need to clean up all seams on the lace that are going to be joined together by machine.

2.0-03-64.jpg

I place the lace piece onto a firm surface, take a small hammer and crush all beads along the seam allowances.

Using my fingers I get rid of shatters left on the seam allowances:

2.0-03-65.jpg

Afterwards I repeat this procedure with the other cut edge of the lace and inside the dart.

The thread attaching the beads remains undamaged when you remove them with the help of a hammer. This means I don’t have to restore any torn threads. Only individual beads are removed but the embroidery itself doesn’t go undone.

Therefore all the pieces of my dress are ready to be sewn together.

Tutorial 6.  Joining the Lining of the Cups. Pressing. Sewing-on Perimeter Bones.

Joining the Lining of the Cups.

I take the pieces of the cup lining and start joining the curves matching and evening out cut edges:

2.0-03-66.jpg

I sew them together using a 0.5 inch seam allowance:

2.0-03-67.jpg

I never tack or pin pieces together.

And I sew together the second curve of the cup lining in exactly the same manner:

2.0-03-68.jpg

The curves are ready:

2.0-03-69.jpg

Then I turn the curve seam around and topstitch it by 1mm from both sides of the seam using the sewing machine:

2.0-03-70.jpg

And I topstitch the second curve seam the same way.

2.0-03-71.jpg

I trim corners.

I cut seam allowances off completely leaving 2mm from each side. This will make it easier to press the seam and to sew bones onto it.

2.0-03-72.jpg

This is what a trimmed and topstitched curve seam looks like:

2.0-03-73.jpg

And then I make a machine stay-stitch at a distance of the seam allowance along the bottom of the cup.

I make a stay-stitch going along the inner side of one half of the cup in order to achieve symmetry of the parts:


2.0-03-74.jpg

(stay-stitch)

And I make a stay-stitch going along the outer side on the second half of the cup:

2.0-03-75.jpg

In this case the intersection of these stay-stitches in the corner of the cup is going to be perfect.

If a V-neck is intended, then I start making the stay-stitch along the top of the cup from the inner side:

2.0-03-76.jpg

I reach the corner of the cup, make a couple of stitches and stop:

2.0-03-77.jpg

I turn the garment around and make a stay-stitch along the face side of the second half of the cup, again slightly below the corner:

2.0-03-78.jpg

The resulting intersection of these stay-stitches is the most precise marking of the centre of the front. Later I am going to use this point as a reference.

2.0-03-79.jpg

2.0-03-80.jpg

Pressing.

Now it’s time to press the stitched curves.

I use my cup pressing mould for pressing the curves:


2.0-03-81.jpg

I carefully shape the cup by a circular motion of the iron making it look beautiful and rounded. I press both from the inner and outer side.

Sewing-on Perimeter Bones.

I sew-on bones along the bottom of the cup.

I take a narrow Rigilene bone and round it a little the same way I did when sewing corsets. Then I tape over the end of the bone with some masking tape.

I place the bone at a 1.2 inch distance from the edge stepping 1mm from the existing stay-stitch:

2.0-03-82.jpg

I sew this bone onto the bottom of the cup along the outer side:

2.0-03-83.jpg

I don’t ease in here! I try to go right along the stay-stitch very carefully.

I trim the bone leaving 1mm to the intersection with the second stay-stitch:

2.0-03-84.jpg

I tape the end of the bone with masking tape and finish stitching it on.

This way I have sewn-on a narrow Rigilene bone along its outer side to the first half of the cup bottom.

Now I take another narrow Rigilene bone and make it rounded. Instead of taping the end of this bone with masking tape I push it underneath the sewn-on bone stepping 1mm away from the stay-stitch that goes along the bottom of the second half of the cup.

I sew-on this bone along the outer side as well, starting from the very edge and making bar tacks:

2.0-03-85.jpg

I trim the bone leaving about a 1.2 inch gap from the edge:

2.0-03-86.jpg

I tape over the edge of the bone and finish sewing it on.

And then I start sewing-on bones along the top of the cup.

I take a narrow Rigilene bone and make it rounded the same way I did when sewing corsets. The end of the bone should be taped with masking tape.

I place the bone at about a 1.2 inch distance from the side cut edge the same way it was done along the bottom of the cup and start stitching it on along the outer side, 1mm from the stay-stitch. Bar tacks are necessary here.

I start easing-in the fabric underneath the bone:

2.0-03-87.jpg

The main rule of easing-in goes: the smaller the bust - the more fullness on the cups; and vice versa, the larger the bust - the less fullness on the cups!

That’s rather logical. Full breasts don’t need to be squeezed into the cups - they will naturally fill up their space in a beautiful way. But small-size breasts will require additional push-up pads and very good fitting along the bust area.

I touch upon the intersection of the stay-stitches with this bone and prolong it further, up to the lower horizontal bone:

2.0-03-88.jpg

I haven’t marked the location of this bone after the intersection of the stay-stitches; I just lay it out the way it naturally goes. However, atop of the cup this bone should go along the stay-stitch.

 I trim the end of this bone in such a way to make it possible to push it underneath the horizontal bone sewn-on from the outer side.

2.0-03-89.jpg

Now I get on to sewing a bone along the top of the cup from its other side.

And again I take a narrow Rigilene bone and round it out. I try to place this bone symmetrically to the first sewn-on bone, that’s why I start sewing it on from the lower bone. I don’t tape its end over with masking tape but just push it underneath the lower bone.

2.0-03-90.jpg

I try to lay the bone very symmetrically at the intersection of the stay-stitches because it determines how good the corner of the V-neck cut will look.

2.0-03-91.jpg

Then I put another bone going along the stay-stitch at a 1mm distance from it and start easing-in the fabric underneath this bone. I trim the bone as far as 1.2 inches from the side cut edge and finish sewing it on, making necessary bar tacks.

2.0-03-92.jpg

Many times have I tried to make a stay-stitch go along just one side of a piece and each time I got a really askew V-neck. Then I had to suffer, adjust it using a ruler or a pattern and yet the V-neck would still stay askew! Only after I had first made the stay-stitch go from edge to centre and then turned the garment around and made the second part of the stay-stitch go along the face side, was the V-neck finally beyond reproach - a perfect triangle!

Afterwards, I re-distribute the fullness by hand, spreading it more evenly along the whole décolleté:

2.0-03-93.jpg

Although the piece has not been finished yet, you can already see that the V-neck cut is perfect:

2.0-03-94.jpg

Tutorial 7.  Sewing-on Inner Cup Bones.

Now I start sewing-on the inner bones of the cups.

I use narrow Rigilene bones.

I have attached the perimeter bones with one outer seam. I push the ends of all inner bones underneath the perimeter bones. I make bar tacks at the start and end points of sewing. I stitch-on the bones along the marked lines (the numbers of the bones coincide with the numbers of the marking lines).

I stitch-on bone 9 along the border of the left side piece of the cups on its outer side:

2.0-03-95.jpg

I stitch-on bone 11 along the border of the right side piece of the cups on its outer side:

2.0-03-96.jpg

I stitch-on bone 1 along the bust-line.

This bone passes through all cup pieces. It begins at the left side piece.

I push the end of the narrow Rigilene bone underneath bone 9 sewn-on only from the outer side:

2.0-03-97.jpg

I reach the intersection of the upper perimeter bones of the cups. I try not to overlap the bones so I trim bone 1, push its end underneath the perimeter bones sewn-on from one side, and make a bar tack.

2.0-03-98.jpg

I push the end of the bone underneath the perimeter bone and keep stitching it on as a prolongation of bone 1:

2.0-03-99.jpg

I reach bone 11 (the border of the cup), trim bone 1, push its end underneath bone 11 sewn-on from the outer side and make a bar tack.

2.0-03-100.jpg

I turn the cups around and stitch bone 1 along the other side.

I check very carefully that there is no fullness underneath the bone. You should push the bone away from yourself and pull the fabric onwards when sewing bones on. This will allow you to make embossed cups.

I stitch-on bone 5 from both sides between bones 9 and 11 at the border of the cup pushing the ends of bone 5 underneath them:

2.0-03-101.jpg

(кость 1 - bone 1; нижняя кость периметра - lower perimeter bone)

I lay bones along both curves of the cup (not marked previously) pushing their ends underneath the perimeter bones. I attach them with two stitches.

2.0-03-102.jpg

The order of sewing-on these bones is of no particular importance - you should just sew them on symmetrically. If I sew a bone along one curve then I am going to sew the next bone along the second curve. You shouldn’t first quilt one cup and then the other.

I stitch a bone onto the second curve with two stitches:

2.0-03-103.jpg

I stitch-on bone 10 with two stitches pushing its ends underneath the perimeter bones:

2.0-03-104.jpg

I stitch-on bone 3 with two stitches pushing its ends underneath the perimeter bones:

2.0-03-105.jpg

I sew-on bone 8:


2.0-03-106.jpg

I sew-on bone 4:

2.0-03-107.jpg

I sew-on bone 6 pushing its ends underneath the upper bone of the cup perimeter:


2.0-03-108.jpg

I sew-on a symmetrical bone 7:

2.0-03-109.jpg

I sew-on bone 9 (the left border of the cup) with the second stitch:


2.0-03-110.jpg

I also sew-on all bones attached only along the outer side with the second stitch: the bones along the top and bottom of the cup perimeter as well as bone 11. This way I secure all bones and finish stitching them on.

Quilted cups for my dress look like this:

2.0-03-111.jpg

(кость 1 - bone 1; кость периметра - perimeter bone; кость рельефа - curve bone)

And then I cut through the conclave seam allowances to make bending them upwards easier:


2.0-03-112.jpg

These cuts reach the stay-stitch. Then I bend the seam allowances towards the cup section by section, between the notches, in such a way that the stay-stitch is on the edge of the crease.

I make a stitch at a 1mm distance from the edge:

2.0-03-113.jpg

I reach the corner of the bottom and trim the sewn seam allowance on the last spot between the cuts in order to be able to fold the corner neatly. Then I continue sewing the stitch:

2.0-03-114.jpg

Afterwards, I trim the seam allowance completely along its full length:

2.0-03-115.jpg

Tutorial 8.  Sewing Together the Face of the Cups.

Face Cup Pieces.

I sew together the face pieces along the curves with all cut edges evened out:

2.0-03-117.jpg

There are no tacks and no pins used!

Having joined the curves I trim the seam allowances leaving about 7mm:

2.0-03-118.jpg

I make a stay-stitch going along the face part of the cup:

2.0-03-119.jpg

I spread the seam allowance (that hasn’t been pressed open yet) with my fingers and reach the corner of the bottom.

I turn the garment face up and make a stay-stitch along the bottom of the second half of the cup:

2.0-03-120.jpg

Then I turn the seam allowance around to get an open seam, and finish at the corner.

The resulting stay-stitches along the bottom of the cup look like this (the corner is exactly in the middle):

2.0-03-121.jpg

(stay-stitch)

Back Pieces.

I take the back pieces - both face and lining - and stitch them together:

2.0-03-122.jpg

I make a connecting stitch at a distance of the seam allowance:

2.0-03-123.jpg

I put the other face and lining pieces under the sewing machine:

2.0-03-124.jpg

When joining pieces together, I sew without making stops in order to make all pieces stay perfectly symmetrical and have the same length.

I turn the sewn piece around, choose the side that is going to be the lining and direct the seam allowances towards it.

I make a clean-finish-edge seam stepping 1mm from the joining seam:


2.0-03-125.jpg

Upon finishing the clean-finish-edge seam on the first piece I go on to the second piece without breaking the seam line:

2.0-03-126.jpg

I trim seam allowances:

2.0-03-127.jpg

I make a stay-stitch along the bottom of the back both across face and lining:


2.0-03-128.jpg


2.0-03-129.jpg

I bend the seam allowance of the lining back pieces inwards and stitch them on 1mm from the edge:

2.0-03-130.jpg

The ready back pieces of the cups look like this:

2.0-03-131.jpg

Pressing.

I thoroughly press the lining of the quilted cups using a cup pressing mould:

2.0-03-132.jpg

This is what the cups look like after getting pressed:

2.0-03-133.jpg

I press the face part of the back:

2.0-03-134.jpg

I bend over the seam allowance using the stay-stitch as a guiding line, and press it:

2.0-03-135.jpg

2.0-03-136.jpg

Then I fold the piece in half, even out its cut edges and press it again

2.0-03-137.jpg

The result is a very neat semi-finished piece:

2.0-03-138.jpg

I do the same with the second face part of the back.

And afterwards, I press open the curves on the face of the cup starting from the inside:

2.0-03-139.jpg

And continuing on the outside:

2.0-03-140.jpg

Then I take the piece off the pressing mould and press down the seam allowance.

First, I simply press it through.

And then I bend the seam allowance inwards to the cup along the stay-stitch and press it down:

2.0-03-141.jpg

I repeat the same procedure with the other half of the piece:

2.0-03-142.jpg

Here is the resulted semi-finished cup piece:

2.0-03-143.jpg

Tutorial 9.  Joining the Cups and the Dress.

I start joining the cups with the dress.

First of all, I need to stitch up the darts on both back pieces of the dress:

2.0-03-144.jpg

A stitched-up dart looks like this:

2.0-03-145.jpg

I cover the lining of the quilted cups with padding polyester and secure it with a couple of pins.


2.0-03-146.jpg

I stitch this padding polyester on with the sewing machine: first along the outer side of the bone that marks the border of the cups:

2.0-03-147.jpg

I stitch-on the polyester along the top of the cup, along the inner side of the upper perimeter bone:


2.0-03-148.jpg

It is important to prevent the padding polyester from getting into the seam allowances and creating extra thickness. I also place two ribbon loops under the seam for hanging the dress.

I stitch-on padding polyester along the other side and the bottom of the cup, along the inner side of the bones (thereby overlapping them):


2.0-03-149.jpg

I remove pins and trim extra polyester along the perimeter.

Cups covered with padding polyester look like this:

2.0-03-150.jpg

And now I am going to join the dress with the hard quilted cups using an overseam.

I put the front piece of the dress over the seam allowance of the cup, match the centre and the sides along the points of reference, then carefully arrange all fabric according to the curve and secure it with pins:

2.0-03-151.jpg

Now I sew-on the last piece of the dress along the seam that attaches the bone from the cups side:

2.0-03-152.jpg

That is exactly the way I join the hard lining of the cups with the soft piece of the dress.

I make a parallel stitch going along the other side of the seam attaching the bone:

2.0-03-153.jpg

And then I pin the back piece of the dress onto the back piece of the cups matching their seam allowances:

2.0-03-154.jpg

I stitch by machine:

2.0-03-155.jpg

As a next step I remove pins and overlay the seam with the face part of the back of the cups. I have pressed and prepared this piece in advance.

I even out their cut edges and - without pinning them together - stitch them on along the top, 1mm from the edge:

2.0-03-156.jpg

This is what it looks like:


2.0-03-157.jpg

I secure it all with a vertical machine stitch going along the centre of the back …


2.0-03-158.jpg

and along the side seam:

2.0-03-159.jpg

I sew together the second couple of back pieces just the same way.

I take the face part of the cups and match it with the lining:

2.0-03-160.jpg

I pin them together the same way I did for the corset, but I would recommend letting the lining off by a couple of millimeters and slightly shifting the seams of the curves to avoid unnecessary thickness.

2.0-03-161.jpg

First, I pin the pieces together along the furthest points, then divide each distance in half, re-arrange the fullness, pin it and then divide in half again, and so on.

Please take a look at the way I’ve pinned these pieces together and by how much I have let off the lining from under the face:

2.0-03-162.jpg

As a result of this trick it will be easier to cover, turn out and overlay the cups.

This is what the face and lining look like after getting fully pinned together:

2.0-03-163.jpg

I would like to remind you once more that I add pins in a gliding motion without piercing the bone that is attached on top of the lining.

I switch to a one-sided presser foot that is handier for sewing face and lining together. I stitch over the lining and the pieces have been pinned together from the face side. I start sewing them together from the bar tack.

The presser foot glides along the bone (the stay-stitch serves as a guiding line):

2.0-03-164.jpg

Approaching the triangle of the neckline I slow down the pace of the sewing machine and this is one of the rare cases when I do turn the garment around on the needle. But my neckline cut is so precisely formed that turning the garment in such a manner is not going to cause any obstruction or deformation. The neckline is symmetrical.

The seam joining the pieces from the face side looks like this:

2.0-03-165.jpg

I remove pins and check the quality of the seam:

2.0-03-166.jpg

When I sew along the pins, machine teeth may tear the thread and in this case there will be a hole when the garment is turned out.

I have noticed a breakage and that is why I make another seam at this spot going over the old one:

2.0-03-167.jpg

I take some Guterman fabric glue and glue the thread and the seam allowance on the corner of the neckline from both face and lining sides:

2.0-03-168.jpg

This trick helps reduce the tension of the fabric in the area of the cut and prevents the thread from breaking.

I trim seam allowances leaving 0.2 inches and carefully cut the corner of the neckline:

2.0-03-169.jpg

Tutorial 10. Pressing the Top of the Cups. Sewing-on the Face.

Pressing Cups.

Upon being turned out the cups should be thoroughly pressed. I take the largest cup pressing mould I have. I place the cups on this form and spread them in such a way that the allowances of the upper seam lie very smooth and don’t ridge.

I “stamp” these seam allowances with the iron and then press them thoroughly:

2.0-03-170.jpg

I believe you have noticed that I haven’t trimmed any seam allowances on the hard iron-on fabric. I haven’t done this in order to prevent the upper edge from stretching too much. I assumed that the seam allowances would be slightly seen through the face as you can see in the picture. But I also knew in advance that there would be some appliqué décor over the cup that’s why it didn’t bother me at all. On the plus side, the upper edge remains hard and its shape is well set.

As a matter of fact one should pay great attention to the pressing of the upper edge of the upper cut. I press it without a hurry, very accurately in a stroking motion - a small area at a time. I try to preserve the embossed shape of the cups and their slight gather to ensure good fitting to the bust. I keep making sure that the piped-like edge is even.

I pay special attention to the neckline corner in the middle of the bust:

2.0-03-171.jpg

2.0-03-172.jpg

If you fail to remove this small tuck or fold at the corner then you should turn the cups out again and carve the corner more properly. If this doesn’t help either, there is a very interesting trick: you should take a small flock of padding polyester and place it underneath this fold.

2.0-03-173.jpg

This padding polyester will fill up the space and make the corner look pretty and neat:


2.0-03-174.jpg

Sewing-on the Face of the Cups.

I secure the bottom of the face of the cups where it should be.

It is really easy to pin finished cups in place since I’ve made a stay-stitch on the cups and pressed the seam allowance inside out. Apart from this, this stay-stitch prevents the fabric from stretching. Such handling of the cups makes further work much easier.

I put the pieces onto my cup pressing mould for more convenience:

2.0-03-175.jpg

The pieces are ready to be sewn together:

2.0-03-176.jpg

I stitch-on the pieces along the side seam at a presser foot distance:

2.0-03-177.jpg

I step 1mm from the edge when sewing-on the pieces along the bottom of the cup:

2.0-03-178.jpg

2.0-03-179.jpg

There is a reasonable question: why do you use an overseam? Why can’t you do it the other way round: first sew-on the face of the cups, then dress them with the lining and afterwards hem the lining? It is all done backwards for a corset! It would be very hard, basically impossible, to manage with this very hard and stiff lining base. I have tried various ways, for example sewing a dress in-between the layers of lining and face fabric of the cups and then covering the top of the cups with a bias tape. And yet I came to the conclusion that my technique leads to the most efficient and clean results.

The seam attaching the cups to the dress looks like this:

2.0-03-180.jpg

Tutorial 11. Preparing the Dress for a Fit Test. Alterations after the Fit Test.

And so I have neared a very exciting moment - a fit test!

I am going to sew together all the remaining pieces of the dress seam outwards in order to do a fit test. Moreover, I am going to sew together the side seams using a 0.5 inch seam allowance and the back seam up to the level of the zipper - with a 0.8 inch allowance, accounted for on the pattern.

I sew together the first side seam:

2.0-03-181.jpg

And I sew together the second side seam:

2.0-03-182.jpg

I sew together the back seam (up to the zipper):

2.0-03-183.jpg

And now the fit test. I always take pictures of my clients.


2.0-03-184.jpg

2.0-03-185.jpg

2.0-03-186.jpg

2.0-03-187.jpg

2.0-03-188.jpg

The main conclusions of the fit test.

I have noticed that I need to gather some fabric into the side seams between the hip line and the stomach because there is a small lug at the rounded part of the side. I have marked the spot with pins.

The cup pieces have been cut crosswise, i.e. along the shoot, while the back pieces have been cut along the grain of fabric (for more efficient consumption) and the fabric stretches along this grain. During the fit test I had to slightly pull the dress along the top to ensure good fitting of the cups to the bust, because the fabric stretches in this direction and there are extra 0.4 inches of fabric formed at the back that I’ve also marked with pins. This is quite an illustrative answer to the question: why is it not desirable to cut corset garments with their elastic yarn going along the waistline? If the corset stretches towards the side, then it is going to stretch despite any fusible materials applied.

I haven’t noticed any other faults.

This fit test also proves that the pattern calculations have been carried out precisely. I think you are now convinced that the dress fit perfectly during the fit test!

I transfer the alterations marked by pins onto the fabric using a disappearing ink pen. Then I rip off the seams.

I need to straighten this spot, this lug on the side seams, by about 0.2:

2.0-03-189.jpg

I trim the dress from its sides:

2.0-03-193.jpg

I draw a new line along the pins on the back pieces and remove these extra 0.4 inches:

2.0-03-192.jpg

I have matched the back pieces, pinned them together and evened out the cut edge of the centre of the back.

After making alterations I whip all pieces with an overlock seam.

I have whipped the pieces along their side seams, the bottom and the back cut edge of the back. The ends of the overlock thread should be either pushed inside the seam with a big needle or machine-stitched the way I did when sewing corsets.

2.0-03-195.jpg

2.0-03-194.jpg

Tutorial 12. Joining the Lace Pieces. Sewing a Zipper onto the Back.

Working with Lace.

First of all, I need to stitch up the darts on both back pieces.

I have previously marked the location of these darts with a thread and removed all sequins and beads hindering the sewing process.

2.0-03-196.jpg

I have already cut out the front lace fabric and there are no darts on it which means I can immediately lay it out over the front pieces. I lay it out very carefully, watching the bottom line. I even out the sides and let some lace off onto the cups by the length of a seam allowance.

I secure the front lace fabric with pins and trim the side cut edges:

2.0-03-197.jpg

The question is: how come I’ve decided to stitch the lace onto the cups that have already been handled? It seems like the lace could be inserted into the cups, i.e. the face of the cups could be overlaid with lace fabric already stitched-on. And this is also correct, first of all, when you deal with chiffon or other drapery fabric. But in this case I would like the lace appliqué on the cups to gradually blend with the main lace of the whole dress. I don’t like it when the joining line between the cup and the body can be seen through the appliqué and there is no smooth flow from the appliqué to the lace. Besides, the thickness of the cups would then form a kind of a ledge at the transition from the appliqué to the lace. In theory it is technically possible to sew the lace fabric together with the main satin.

I do exactly the same thing with the back pieces:

2.0-03-198.jpg

I arrange the lace pieces on the pieces of the main fabric, then secure them with pins and even out their cut edges. Due to the alterations made after the fit test the lace needs to be slightly trimmed. I transfer all notches onto the lace fabric, viz. the notches at the beginning and end of the zipper and the waistline notch.

I sew-on the lace fabric of the front with a machine stitch going across the whole cup:

2.0-03-199.jpg

I secure the lace on the back pieces:

2.0-03-200.jpg

I make an additional connecting stitch 3-4mm below the notch at the end of the zipper:

2.0-03-201.jpg

Sewing-on a Concealed Zipper.

2.0-03-202.jpg

First of all I look for the waistline notch. The notch at the beginning of the zipper is 1.6 inches below it. I undo the zipper and place its corresponding side at the notch where it should begin. The seam allowance at the centre of the back is 0.8 inches. I fold the upper end of the zipper into a “hut-shape” to get it out of the way, and turn it down. I use a standard presser foot here.

I sew the zipper into place with just a basic catch seam for now:

2.0-03-203.jpg

Thanks to the fact I secure the zipper in its place with a regular machine stitch - it will never go askew. Moreover, this will reduce the fullness on the fabric when I switch from a regular presser foot to a special foot for attaching concealed zippers.

I find the point where the zipper should begin on the second piece of the back. I turn the stitchwork around and sew-on the other side of the concealed zipper using the notches as guiding lines and folding its end into a “hut” like before.

2.0-03-204.jpg

At this stage the hardest part of the process of attaching a concealed zipper is over for me. Now it is fixed in the right place. Upon zipping it up I check how well the pieces match.

Afterwards, I switch to a special presser foot for attaching concealed zippers.

I stitch-on the zipper from both sides, close to its teeth:

2.0-03-205.jpg

Joining the Central Seam of the Back.

Since there is lace, I am going to join the central seams step by step: first I am going to sew the central seam of the lace fabric, make cuts and bend seam allowances inwards, and then go on to the central seam of the main fabric. But first of all I need to stitch through a small area of the central seam (1.2-1.6 inches) catching both the main fabric and the lace. I start at the point where I finished attaching the zipper. I stitch over a small area using a one-sided presser foot with the left ski-shaped part and make bar tacks:

2.0-03-206.jpg

Having switched back to the regular foot I sew together the lace:

2.0-03-207.jpg

I cut the seam allowance of the lace and bend it inwards:

2.0-03-208.jpg

Then I sew together the main fabric:


2.0-03-209.jpg

As a next step the finished central seam of the back should be pressed open:

2.0-03-210.jpg

2.0-03-211.jpg

2.0-03-212.jpg

I have bent the fabric along the top of the back by the length of the seam allowance:

2.0-03-213.jpg

This is how I would prepare the lacing area if the lacing were meant to close:


2.0-03-214.jpg

However, based on multiple requests I have decided to demonstrate the way you make a lacing with hanging loops on such a dress. I need to make enough space for the hanging loops and therefore make the lacing area more triangular-shaped. I bend inwards another 0.8 inches along the top of the back.

And for this reason I additionally tuck the top of the back and press it down:

2.0-03-215.jpg

Tutorial 13. Hanging Loops for the Lacing.

During this tutorial I am going to show you how to mark and make hanging loops for the lacing.

Since the lace on my dress is black and it is difficult to make distinct bright marking on it, I am going to show you this marking on a regular piece of paper first.

2.0-03-216.jpg

(линия конца «хвостиков» петель - end line for loop “tails”; воображаемая линия края петель - imaginary borderline for loops)

I begin by drawing a straight line and marking an assumed length of the lacing on it.

The cleavage at the back, i.e. the triangle I have pressed, is about 1.6 inches wide. This means that loops can go beyond the edge of the garment by 0.5-0.6 inches to allow for beautiful lacing. I have drawn an imaginary borderline for the loops. 

You should step 0.8 inches inwards from the edge of the garment in order to make the spot where the ends or “tails” of the loops are going to end. I draw this line.

I mark an assumed location of the loops on the edge of the garment, i.e. I mark their width and the distance between them. The stitch attaching these loops is going to go along this line.

I mark middle and upper points of the loops on this imaginary borderline.

I mark the location of the ends of these loops on the inner line.

I place pins at the points of reference.


2.0-03-217.jpg

Such markings are best of all done on a pressboard as it makes adding pins easier.

I take a cord or a ribbon - whatever you want to use for the loops - and start arranging it between the pins:

2.0-03-218.jpg

I secure the end of the ribbon and arrange it in a “serpent”-like shape between the pins.

Now I only need to secure this ribbon at those spots where the stitch attaching the loops is going to pass:

2.0-03-219.jpg

The ribbon passes exactly through those spots of the loop width that I have marked on the line of the pressed flat crease.

I remove the pins that served as the pegs I went around with the ribbon and finish securing the loops on the fabric or - as you can see now on paper - at the spots where they should be attached.

It looks like this:

2.0-03-220.jpg

This way I have made the marking for the loops very easily, precisely and quickly!

Now I mark the loops on the actual garment based on the same principle:

2.0-03-221.jpg

I have pressed out the edge of the garment and now I mark the width of the loops and the distance between them on it.

Stepping away 0.6 and 0.8 inches correspondingly I draw borderlines for the loops and the end of the loop “tails”:

2.0-03-222.jpg

(линия конца «хвостиков» петель - end line for loop “tails”; заутюженный сгиб - pressed flat crease; воображаемая линия края петель - imaginary borderline for loops)

I mark middle and upper points of the loops on their borderline and the location of loop “tails” - on their own borderline.

The line attaching the loops is going to go right along the crease or edge of the garment while the “tails” are going to go inside the seam allowance.

The loop width is determined by the thickness of the rope, cord or ribbon - i.e. any material you are using for it.  The distance between the loops is determined by the same parameter.

Make it whichever way you like it most!

I place pins to mark where future loops are going to be formed:

2.0-03-223.jpg

I take a ribbon and form hanging loops:

2.0-03-224.jpg

You don’t really need to arrange the ribbon along its whole length from the very beginning. It is enough to form 2-3 loops and then secure them and re-locate the pins. I move to the very end, gradually re-locating the pins.

2.0-03-225.jpg

I repeat the same thing with the other side of the lacing:


2.0-03-226.jpg

I stitch-on hanging loops along the pressed flat crease from both sides of the lacing:

2.0-03-227.jpg

Then I remove pins:

2.0-03-228.jpg

I fold the fastener along the pressed flat crease:


2.0-03-229.jpg

I have measured and cut 2 pieces of a wide Rigilene bone corresponding to the length of the lacing:

2.0-03-230.jpg

The ends of the bones are taped over with masking tape.

And I have torn off a strap of the main fabric about 1.2-1.5 inches wide and 1.6-2 inches longer than the prepared bone.

I place the Rigilene bone in the middle of the strap leaving 0.8 inches from the edge:

2.0-03-231.jpg

I wrap one side of the strap over the bone and stitch it on leaving 1mm from the edge:


2.0-03-232.jpg

I reach the end of the strap.

I wrap the strap from the other side and stitch it, leaving 1mm from the edge like before:

2.0-03-233.jpg

I trim the ends of the strap leaving 0.6 inches.

A bone wrapped in a fabric strap looks like this when finished:

2.0-03-234.jpg

I do the same with the second bone.

I overlay the “tails” of the loops with the bone additionally securing the lacing:

2.0-03-235.jpg

I mark the spot where the bone is going to be sewn-on:

2.0-03-236.jpg

I stitch up the end of the strap:

2.0-03-237.jpg

I bend the wrapped bone towards the face side, overlap  loop “tails” and make two parallel stitches along the existing ones. The other end of the strap should be tucked and pushed underneath the bone.

2.0-03-238.jpg

The result is the following:

2.0-03-239.jpg

It is simple, neat, quite fast and what’s more important - very safe! Loops like this won’t break!

I cover the loops on the other side of the lacing in exactly the same manner.

The lacing loops are identical, symmetrical and located at the same level:

2.0-03-240.jpg

Then I secure the fly-off allowance at the level of the upper yoke:

2.0-03-241.jpg

You can decide for yourself whether you want to leave such a wide allowance or not. It is quite possible to trim and overlock it now. But I’ve decided to leave everything as it is!

2.0-03-242.jpg

I prefer making a lacing with hanging loops only when the corset has no tightening effect. I always make hanging loops “serpent”-shaped and secure them with Rigilene bones. It guarantees their safety and they won’t ever break.

As a matter of fact, you should always be very careful with corset garment fasteners. Any garment that requires tightening should be securely fastened. People often ask me why I don’t use zippers. And quite often my clients persuade me into sewing a zip fastener. But I always say that I cannot guarantee good quality of a plastic zipper!  I don’t think you are going to be happy if your zipper suddenly breaks while you are embracing your guests or relatives during a ceremony. A couple times I have even asked my clients, who insisted on having a zip fastener, for a note of hand confirming that they have been warned and won’t hold any demands against me in this respect.

 

Tutorial 14. Joining the Side Seams. Hemming the Bottom of the Dress.

Joining Side Seams.

I start joining the side seams. I am going to join them step by step: first I am going to join the side seam by a common seam at the level of the cups, i.e. going from the top to the under-bust line, and then I am going to divide the dress into 2 layers - backing and lace. This is a familiar procedure that requires no detailed explanations.

It is necessary to place some pins at the top and bottom of the future side seam at the cup level because this spot is rather thick.

2.0-03-243.jpg

For the sake of convenience and a neater look I have finished the side seam 1.2-1.6 inches below the level of the yoke and cups. This makes spreading the layers of the dress easier. Bar tacks are also necessary.

I make the same kind of a seam on the other side as well.

I turn up the satin pieces and find the point where I started sewing together the lace fabric. I sew together the layers of lace from both sides of the dress.

2.0-03-244.jpg

Having sewn together the lace I return to the upper point and cut the lace basically up to the seaming.

2.0-03-245.jpg

I fold the seam allowances of the lace inwards and sew together the side seams of the satin front and back dress pieces starting from the same point as with the lace.

2.0-03-246.jpg

(start point of joining)

Afterwards, I press the side seams carefully:


2.0-03-247.jpg

I recommend you pressing the side seam flat to one side on the lace pieces and pressing both sides of it open on the satin pieces and the cups.

2.0-03-248.jpg

Hemming the Bottom of the Dress.

Now it’s time to finish the bottom of the dress. I turn the bottom of the dress in by 0.2-0.5 inches and make a seam going along the whole lower hem.

2.0-03-249.jpg

Now I only need to press the bottom of the dress:

2.0-03-250.jpg

Tutorial 15.  Decoration.

My dress is now finished and I only need to decorate the cups and the yoke at the back.

I have cut some motifs out of the lace and arranged them consequently, one by one, like a mosaic over the cups. I have secured these lace motifs with pins.

2.0-03-251.jpg

Now I just need to pin some motifs onto the sides and the back.

At first I just pin these motifs on loosely (and not very densely repeated). 

The decoration process can be seen in these pictures:

2.0-03-252.jpg

2.0-03-253.jpg

2.0-03-254.jpg

Then I take some Guterman fabric glue, lift each motif, apply a thin layer of glue and then glue it on.

I like this glue because it dries fast, leaves no dirt stains and has a handy sharp “nose”. Moreover, if the appliqué has already been glued-on but after the fit test you notice that some alterations, for example of the side seam, should be made - you can easily unglue the lace using a steam iron. It will be enough to just heat up the side seam area, lift the appliqué, make all required alterations, and place the appliqué back.  

I don’t remove all pins from the motif but only one of the 2 or 3 pins attaching it. I apply some glue onto the unpinned part of the motif and place it back. Then I remove the next pin off the same motif, glue the relevant part, and place it back and so on - until the whole motif is glued where it should be.

You should never remove and glue the whole motif at once and then try to stick it to its original spot. It is usually very difficult to restore the pattern this way.

You can see the process of gluing a motif on:


2.0-03-255.jpg

And this way - one by one, step by step, motif by motif - the whole top of my dress gets covered with the appliqué. It will take a couple of minutes for the glue to set and then the dress will be ready!

At this point I have finished working on my dress with separately cut cups:

2.0-03-01.jpg

Afterword.

I am sure that you’re asking yourself “How can I sew a dress with separately cut rounded cups?”

Fair enough, it truly is a very popular model!

2.0-03-256.jpg

Here is the answer.

You will find out how to sew separately cut rounded cups like those in the drawing from my second DVD or my second book called “Transparent Corsets”. Both deal exactly with the technique of sewing separately cut rounded cups. Based on the knowledge you receive when studying the material of the second DVD or the second book you will easily construct a pattern for a dress with separately cut rounded cups.

Bodysuit with Corset Cups.

2,0-04-01.jpg

Tutorial 1.  Introductory Tutorial.

I start working on the next garment - a bodysuit.

Before I start talking directly about the pattern for this garment and the working process, I would like to talk about the pros and cons of a bodysuit.

Here are the pros of a bodysuit:

 - it is a light and elastic garment that doesn’t hinder your movements;

 - it fits your body tightly and there are no folds on the stomach or at the back if the garment is sewn correctly;

 - it is a one-layered garment that can be made either of see-through lace or an opaque elastic material.

Here are the cons of a bodysuit:

 - first of all, its fastener is not conveniently located. Lately I have completely given up using button, snap and hook fasteners here. All of these have been tried and showed no good results when worn.  That is why I either make a one-piece bodysuit or a sewn-together bodysuit. I always warn my clients about this. Usually we decide to sew a one-piece garment similar to a jumpsuit or a swimsuit.

 - in most cases functional straps are needed regardless of the size due to unavoidable vertical tension. Straps prevent one from having this unpleasant feeling that the garment is going to slide down, and they are absolutely necessary for women with full breasts because without them a body won’t be able to hold a heavy bust even if the cups have been quilted and glued.

 - there are quite high requirements to one’s forms. This garment cannot change body forms dramatically and cannot disguise fat rolls.

 - it is rather difficult to decorate it on the stomach and at the back. It is hard to drape it and fix the drapery because a bodysuit is made of elastic materials. That’s why either your mannequin should have the precise size of your client or all alterations after the fit test, as well as all decorative elements, should be applied directly on the client.

However: despite the cons, bodysuit remains popular and is often used in the tailoring of evening gowns and wedding dresses. If the skirt of a future garment is going to be rather heavy and voluminous, you can sew a bodysuit without the panties part. In this case you just sew it like a singlet and the skirt provides vertical tension with its weight. This eliminates all the main disadvantages of a bodysuit. But straps remain a necessity.

In this picture you can see a technical drawing of the bodysuit I am going to sew and the scheme of its patterns:

2,0-04-03.jpg

The bodysuit itself will be made of an elastic material and have one layer; a non-elastic dense material with lining will be used for the cups.

The pattern I use myself and offer you consists of the following pieces:

Cup:

1. Central piece of the front with a crease.

2. Two side pieces of the front.

Body:

3. Front piece with a crease.

4. Two back pieces.

5. One-piece crotch.

Required materials.

Main fabric - elastic lace.

Fabric for the lining and base of the face - satin.

Iron-on batiste for fusing face and lining.

Hard iron-on fabric for fusing cups.

Elastic band for handling at the leg area.

Rigilene bones.  For this very model you can just use narrow bones (0.3 inches).

Thread, needles, pins.

Scissors, pruner for cutting the bones.

Measuring tape.

Narrow ribbon for the loops used for hanging the garment.

In this picture you can see all tools and materials required for making a bodysuit:

2,0-04-04.jpg

Since the main part of the bodysuit is sewn out of a highly elastic material, there is no need to go into detail about alteration of the pattern, in other words I won’t explain you in depth how this pattern should be changed. It is the same principle as when sewing a corset or a dress.

The only thing that will always require your attention when cutting a bodysuit is the elasticity coefficient of the fabric. That’s why the main part of a bodysuit should even be made a little smaller than client’s measurements both in length and volume.

However the rules of altering cups remain the same. Their size is adjusted by the side seam and the “clip” measurement. The location of the side seam is determined by the measurements “bust front” and “under-bust front”.

Let me say a few words on altering cups with the help of the “clip” measurement.

I often hear this question:

“Tatyana, you keep drawing our attention to the fact that one should never, by no means, alter bust curves. But how come? Larger cups should be much deeper and smaller cups should be shallower, so what should we do then?”

I will use this illustration to answer this question:

2,0-04-05.jpg

I always alter cups using the “clip” measurement.

Please take a look at what happens:

 - if I make the “clip” measurement smaller, the cup becomes shallower automatically (line 1).

 - as soon as I start enlarging the cup based on the “clip” measurement, it automatically becomes deeper (line 2).

The only thing you should always keep in mind: you should always control the depth of the dart if the bust is large and full. You cannot just enlarge the pattern thoughtlessly and continue the curve line right parallel to the line on the original pattern. A full bust requires some space. You should narrow the opening of the bust dart.

There is one simple rule here.

If you minify the location of the “clip”, you just go right along the bust curve, make markings after new measurements and lessen the cups length proportionally thereby reducing their depth.

To prevent cups from being loose on the bust, you should necessarily ease them in onto a bone or organza when sewing, depending on the shape of the neckline. Thereby you can regulate how well the cups fit to the bust.

2,0-04-06.jpg

For larger cups you start going up along the bust curve and go beyond the border of the cup. This is exactly the case when you need to slightly draw away from the upper point (literally by 2-4mm depending on the size, fullness and shape of the bust). Thereby the cup is slightly enlarged and the dart opening - narrowed. The same is done on the central pattern piece.

2,0-04-07.jpg

However as we start shaping a dome-shaped cup when sewing, we ease-in the upper cut edge thereby ensuring good fitting of the cup to the bust. But it is absolutely unacceptable to have large cups sticking tightly into the body. It is a very graceless effect!

You might ask me: Tatyana, why should we determine everything by sight? Can’t we take a certain formula and calculate the dart opening for a certain figure?

Unfortunately this is not possible! Otherwise, why do most women buy and wear lingerie, including bras and swimwear, produced by a particular brand? It is just because garments of this or that very brand fit them well! Why does it happen? It happens, because every woman’s bust has individual properties and there are no single standards or single calculation methods.

The same happens when you tailor a garment based on a certain request. Every woman should be approached individually and there is no universal method of constructing a bra that would suit everyone and always, with no exceptions.

Your good tailor’s or cutter’s eye should suggest you the methods and alterations I have just told you about.

Later, in the process of sewing, you can adjust the volume of the cups using other methods, for example the method of quilting rounded cups or the method of easing-in along the upper cut edge of the cup to make it look dome-shaped.

Well, this is pretty much the answer to your question.

I never looked for a universal calculation method because I always thought: if I have a beautiful cup pattern, then I will just try to alter this very pattern in such a way that any woman could feel comfortable with it. All the more, these alterations are quite simple and your comprehension of working with a ready pattern comes very soon. It’s enough to literally sew 2-3 garments for different body types.

Tutorial 2.  Cutting a Bodysuit.

I start cutting the bodysuit pieces.

As usual I have prepared the pattern pieces and the fabric for the cups that’s already been fused.

Satin fabric fused with iron-on batiste is used for the face and lining of the cups and for the body itself I have prepared some elastic lace. This lace can stretch in all directions; it is very elastic and easy to press.

2,0-04-08.jpg

You don’t need so much lace for a bodysuit - just about half a meter; I happen to have a lace clipping of the right size. I cut all fabrics crosswise.

I’ve been quite fortunate because my client’s measurements coincide with the pattern and I don’t have to alter anything.

I cut out the back pieces right along the pattern outline:

2,0-04-09.jpg

I could have outlined it with chalk or a disappearing ink pen but I have not. Elastic fabric is very supple and it is easy to just cut it out with scissors right along the cardboard pattern. I make relevant notches.

I place the pattern of the front body part at the crease of the fabric and cut it out:

2,0-04-10.jpg

I take a small piece of fabric with a crease and cut out the bottom crotch:


2,0-04-11.jpg

I cut off pieces of hard iron-on fabric big enough for cutting the front and side cup pieces. Then I cut the same pieces out of the lace.

I cut the front cup piece.

I pin together the creases of all fabrics at the same time: I lay down the lace first, then put the hard iron-on fabric over it and place the fused face and lining pieces of the cups on top. I outline the pattern, secure it with pins and cut it out. Notches are necessary to make.

2,0-04-12.jpg

And I cut the side cup pieces exactly the same way:


2,0-04-13.jpg

I outline the pattern. If alterations are required, I apply them right on fabric the same way I did for the previous garments. Then I pin the fabric together and cut it out. All notches should also be transferred.

I take all pieces cut out of the hard iron-on fabric and trim unnecessary seam allowances:

2,0-04-14.jpg

I trim the seam allowances by about 0.5 inches. If you can’t cut the required amount by sight, you should mark it in advance with a ruler or after the pattern.

I want to make the cups smooth, i.e. there won’t be any additional drapery or décor over them. At the same time I want the cups to be smooth and thin enough on the creases when I start pressing them out. That’s why I leave all iron-on fabric inside the cups instead of pulling it into the seam allowances.

The same thing should be done with the central part of the cups:

2,0-04-15.jpg

In this picture you can see all cut out bodysuit pieces:

2,0-04-16.jpg

Tutorial 3. Fusing the Cups. Marking the Location of Bones.

Now I need to fuse the hard iron-on fabric onto the corresponding lining pieces.

I place the iron-on pieces adhesive side down and press them with the iron, preferably from both sides (be sure to use steaming as well):

2,0-04-17.jpg

2,0-04-18.jpg

I mark the location of the bones.

Left side cup piece:

- I draw a bust line connecting notches at the bust (line 1);

- I step back by 1.2-1.4 inches depending on the height of the cups and draw the location of the upper bone at a slight angle dividing the armhole about in half (line 2);

  - as I have mentioned before when working with rounded quilted cups, a cup should be restricted by a bone placed about 2.4 inches from the side seam. So I mark this distance with the seam allowance included - that makes about 2.8-3 inches - and draw a vertical line which sets a border for the bones and serves as a boundary line for the cups (boundary line 3);

- I step 0.8 inches from the edge of the curve and draw a line going upward at a slight angle. This line can be either drawn to the very corner or shifted towards the centre (line 4);

 - I step 1.6 inches down from the bust-line and draw a line for the bottom bone of the cup (line 5).

The lines of bones location starting on one cup piece and going onto the other piece have the same numbering.

2,0-04-19.jpg

Right side cup piece:

- I draw a bust line connecting notches on the bust (line 1);

- I step back by 1.2-1.4 inches depending on the height of the cups and draw the location of the upper bone at a slight angle dividing the armhole about in half (line 2);

  - I mark this distance with the seam allowance included - that makes about 2.8-3 inches - and draw a vertical line which sets a border for the bones and serves as a boundary line for the cups (boundary line 6);

- I step 0.8 inches from the edge of the curve and draw a line going upward at a slight angle. This line can be either drawn to the very corner or shifted towards the centre (line 7);

 - I step 1.6 inches down from the bust-line and draw a line for the bottom bone of the cup (line 5).

The lines of bones location starting on one cup piece and going onto the other piece have the same numbering.

2,0-04-20.jpg

Sure enough the bones on the right and the left side pieces should be marked identically.

Central cup piece:


2,0-04-21.jpg

 - I draw a bust line connecting notches on the bust (line 1);

 - I draw a central vertical line along the centre of the cup (line 8);

 - I step 0.8 inches from the edge of the curve from both sides and draw lines going upwards at a slight angle, basically reaching the middle of each section of the bust-line (lines 9 and 10). These vertical lines practically divide the neck hole into four equal sections.

 - I draw a line parallel to the bust-line stepping down by 1.6 inches (line 5).

 - I draw a line parallel to the bust-line stepping 1.4 inches up from the bust-line (line 2).

As you must have already noticed, I show basically you the same scheme of marking the bones for all corsets which means it should be easy to memorize it.

Tutorial 4. Sewing Together the Cup Pieces.

I start sewing the body by sewing together the lining pieces of the cups.

I place the pieces together. I hold the upper piece with my left hand and the bottom piece - with my right hand, and stitch them together in a single motion without using any bar tacks or pins.

2,0-04-22.jpg

The same thing is done from the other side.

If you find it easier to stitch bottom-upwards, you can stitch one curve from top downward and the other bottom-upwards. The cup pieces are small that’s why you can stitch in any direction. I topstitch the seams of the curves to save some time and speed up the sewing process:

2,0-04-23.jpg

2,0-04-24.jpg

You can press open instead of doing this but I like saving time. That’s why I prefer not having to leave my workplace but quickly topstitching the seam of the curve and trimming seam allowances.

2,0-04-25.jpg

I make a stay-stitch at a distance of the seam allowance (0.5 inches):


2,0-04-26.jpg

(stay-stitch)

I trim all unnecessary thread and put the lining aside.

I start working on the face pieces of the cup.

The face pieces consist of the decorative lace and the main fabric. I place the lace pieces over the main fabric, arrange them carefully and pin the layers together.

2,0-04-27.jpg

I sew-on lace along the vertical curves on the central cup piece at a presser foot distance from the edge:

2,0-04-28.jpg

Please note the order of sewing pieces together - it is very important!

First you should sew the lace onto the main fabric along its vertical sides and only afterwards - along the horizontal sides!

Do not turn the garment around on the needle!

Always check how tense the decorative fabric is!

The central face piece of the cups is ready:


2,0-04-29.jpg

I join the lace with the main fabric on the side pieces exactly the same way and in the same order.

2,0-04-30.jpg

Now it’s time for some pressing.

I make the lining of the cup rounded, carefully pressing it with the steam iron in a circular motion on a cup pressing mould. 

2,0-04-31.jpg

2,0-04-32.jpg

2,0-04-33.jpg

A few words about the iron.

You can even use a regular household iron without a steam generator for pressing all curves and seams with no bones stitched-on yet.

A steam generator and quite heavy steaming is used for pressing out beautiful dome-shaped cups with Rigilene bones quilted on.

What is the use of a steam generator?

Generally speaking, you need a steam generator for shaping Rigilene bones but you don’t really need it when sewing naturally soft garments. However I am deeply convinced that a beautiful shape of cups or side seams and a corset on the whole can only be achieved by pressing them with a semi-professional iron or a professional iron with a powerful steam generator. Steam pressure should be no less than 3 bars.

Only now, after all face pieces have been pressed, you can shape them:


2,0-04-34.jpg

I stitch together the face cup pieces along their bust curves:


2,0-04-35.jpg

I trim seam allowances leaving about 0.2-0.3 inches:

2,0-04-36.jpg

The same is repeated with the other curve, the seam allowances are trimmed again.

You need to press out the curves:


2,0-04-37.jpg

Tutorial 5. Quilting the Cups with Bones.

I start stitching bones onto the lining of the cups.

I gather a Rigilene bone for the semi-round cut of the cups in the previously described manner and tape its end with masking tape.

I place the gathered bone 2-3mm from the stay-stitch going to the armscye, and 1mm from the stay-stitch passing along the neckline cut.

I make a machine stitch along the outer side of the bone and let it fly-off for now, i.e. attach it only with one stitch.

2,0-04-38.jpg

(строчка-линейка - stay-stitch)

I try to ease-in the cut underneath the bone along the whole central piece of the cups. Let me repeat that the level of fullness depends on the size of the cups being quilted. The smaller the size - the more fullness is needed and vice versa, the larger the size - the less fullness required. Thereby I regulate the fitting of the cut to the body.

2,0-04-39.jpg

I gather another Rigilene bone a little in order to stitch it to the bottom of the cups and thereby make it more elastic so that it could pass even through the slightest bends along the bottom of the cups.

I don’t start stitching-on the lower bone from the very corner but from the spot where the hard iron-on fabric begins. 

I leave a little space at the side seam to make it possible to adjust the under-bust line in case some alterations are needed after the test fit. A bone stitched-on this way won’t become an obstruction for these alterations. Otherwise the bone would be in the way and I would have to rip it off an almost finished garment to trim it and stitch it on all over again.

2,0-04-40.jpg

And now I am going to prepare a semi-round bone for the armpit area.

There are 2 opposed opinions on whether one should sew-on a Rigilene bone here or not.

If this area is small then I try to sew no bones here because additional stiffness in the armpit area makes a garment uncomfortable to wear.

But if the area is vast enough, I do place a bone there. The matter is that if this area is large it means the corner of the cut lies closer to the centre and the armscye is deep enough and won’t trouble the client. Cups like this are also going to look much better.

A Rigilene bone stitched onto an edge will even this edge out and make it perfect. Besides, fabric tension is then balanced out, which looks very beautiful! And you could also ease-in some fabric in the armpit area creating tighter fitting to the bust.

I stitch-on a bone along the armpit area from both sides of the cups:

2,0-04-41.jpg

Having taped over the end of the bone I push it underneath the upper perimeter bone and finish sewing-on the bone without reaching the side seam with it. Again, itt is done this way in case I will need to adjust the size of this garment after the fit test.

And then I stitch-on straight (not gathered) Rigilene bones along the curve lines. These bones are attached by two stitches and their ends are hidden underneath the perimeter bones.

2,0-04-42.jpg

Now I stitch-on straight Rigilene bones going along the outer edges of the cups (bones 3 and 6 after the marking). I stitch-on these bones with one stitch along the outer side because the ends of all horizontal bones will be later pushed underneath them.

2,0-04-43.jpg

I stitch-on the central horizontal bone going along the bust-line (bone 1 after the marking).

The lining fabric underneath this bone should by no means be gathered, there should be no fullness here! You should try to pull the fabric slightly towards yourself and push the bone away. But sometimes less is more! Do be careful and don’t pull too much fabric, it should be pulled up well underneath the bone but not stretched.

I stitch the bone on with 2 stitches and push its ends underneath the bone on the border of the cups.

2,0-04-44.jpg

(central horizontal bone)

I stitch-on the inner vertical bone 4 with 2 stitches:


2,0-04-45.jpg

And then I stitch-on all inner vertical bones of the cups the same way and in the following order (bone numbering keeps with the marking): bones 10, 7, 9, 8.

I stitch-on a slightly bent lower Rigilene bone under the bust-line (bone 5):

2,0-04-46.jpg

And I stitch-on another slightly bent Rigilene bone along the line above the bust (bone 2).


2,0-04-47.jpg

After the upper bone has been sewn-on, I stitch-on all perimeter bones along the inner side securing them for good.

I trim all unnecessary thread.

And now the cups are quilted with bones:

2,0-04-48.jpg

Tutorial 6. Finishing the Lining of the Cups. Joining it with the Body Front.

And now it’s time to press the bones I have stitched onto the lining of the cups.

I take a good heavy semi-professional iron with rather high steam pressure and start finishing the cups, i.e. forming their good and pretty rounded shape on a cup pressing mould.

2,0-04-49.jpg

As you must have noticed, all the procedures have their own sequence. This is not a coincidence! Did you notice that I don’t jump off my place after each step made with the help of the machine and don’t go pressing a newly-sewn piece? I try to arrange the sewing technique in such a manner that a few pieces at once are ready for pressing. Otherwise you are going to spend a minute here, a couple of seconds there and some five minutes there. And this time adds up to an hour or a couple of hours, or even longer than that.

We should use our precious time wisely. This way we can save up some time for our own rest and leisure or for sewing more garments and therefore earning more.

Now I am going to start pressing the front part of the cups which I have sewn and put aside during the previous tutorials. And now is the time to press it out together with the lining.

I press each seam from both sides as usual. I begin by pressing it open and then fix it and press it with the help of a special cushion. This lace is easy to press. Its motif is rather oft-repeated and you can hardly see the seams from the face side because they merge with the lace.

2,0-04-50.jpg

After carefully pressing the lining of the cups I need to cover their bones with some padding polyester.

I put some padding polyester on the bones and secure it with pins here and there.

And then I machine-stitch this polyester on:

2,0-04-51.jpg

I sew along the inner side of the bone at the upper cut edge trying to get right into the attaching seam. At the bottom of the cups I stitch along the outer side of the bone to ensure the polyester fully covers the bone. I don’t forget about the loops for hanging the garment either. I cut them out of a ribbon that’s about 7.9 inches long, then fold them in half and place underneath the stitch.

I remove pins. All extra padding polyester should be removed by scissors.

I make notches along the whole length of the seam allowance down the bottom of the cups, turn them in and stitch the allowance to the bone:


2,0-04-52.jpg

The stay-stitch lies over the edge of this crease.

You can carry out this turn-and-stitch procedure before sewing-on padding polyester. In this case the polyester is also going to cover the allowance itself. But every case requires an individual approach! I do it in this order because this seam allowance is going to be a guiding line for the seam allowance when I stitch-on the lace of the body and connect the lining of the cups with the main part.

I have made a vertical stitch going over the padding polyester in order to have a cleavage in the centre of the bust:


2,0-04-53.jpg

I make a stay-stitch along the bottom of the face cup piece:


2,0-04-54.jpg

(строчка-линейка - stay-stitch)

I notch the lower seam allowance of the cup to make it easier to fold it:

2,0-04-55.jpg

(строчка-линейка - stay-stitch)

Then I fold and press it:

2,0-04-56.jpg

I place the piece onto the cup pressing mould to flatten this allowance, make it flat enough, let it cool down and then remove any moisture with a pad.

I press this lower seam allowance most carefully:


2,0-04-57.jpg

And now I need to join the lining of the cups with the bodysuit itself.

I take the front part of the garment and secure it on the cup lining using an overseam and pins. The seam allowance that I turned in and left visible instead of covering it by padding polyester is very useful to me here. I arrange the lace using it as a guiding line. You are already familiar with the distribution principle: first I place some pins at the reference points and then divide each section in half, secure it better and arrange the lace along the whole length.

2,0-04-58.jpg

And now I stitch from the side of the cups joining the cups and the bodysuit:

2,0-04-59.jpg

Here is what I’ve got:


2,0-04-60.jpg

Tutorial 7.  Sewing the Back of the Bodysuit. Concealed zipper.

Working on the Back Piece.

I start working on the back of the garment.

I need to treat the upper cut edge of the back. For this purpose I have prepared a small strap of the same elastic lace and cut it along the edge of the lace fabric. The length of this strap corresponds to the length of a half of the back and it is 1 inch wide.

I treat the upper cut edge of the back by edge piping:

2,0-04-61.jpg

You can use various kinds of treatment: you can stitch an elastic band below the overlock, you can wrap the edge in a bias tape or you can welt it. The only condition: you should take the seam allowance into account.

In order to make the back even, I try stitching the pieces one after another using a single thread:

2,0-04-62.jpg

I turn up the welt strap and stitch it to the seam allowance:

2,0-04-63.jpg

I bend the welt backwards and stitch it onto the back:

2,0-04-64.jpg

The handled top of the back looks like this:

2,0-04-65.jpg

2,0-04-66.jpg

Sewing-in a Concealed Zipper.

I begin by sewing the band of the zipper onto the seam allowance, i.e. securing it in place:

2,0-04-67.jpg

I make a bar tack when I reach the notch at the end of the zipper.

I sew the other half of the zipper onto the other half of the back:

2,0-04-68.jpg

When you sew a zipper onto elastic fabric, please try not to let the fabric stretch underneath the zipper. If you’re not careful - there will be drafting waves at the back. When sewing-on the second half of the zipper, please make sure that the right and left halves of the back match fully, as well as the waistline notches and the notches at the ends of the zipper.

Having switched to a presser foot for sewing-in concealed zippers I finish stitching close to the teeth of the zipper, first from one side and then from the other:


2,0-04-69.jpg

I zip the fastener and check the length of the back:

2,0-04-70.jpg

I switch to a one-sided presser foot and stitch up the central seam of the back, going from the point where I finished sewing the zipper down to the very bottom:

2,0-04-71.jpg

If you sew-in a zipper in this very order, the transition from the seam to the beginning of the zipper line won’t be visible:

2,0-04-72.jpg

And now I am going to show you a small trick that helps make a perfectly straight zipper at the back.

This concerns those cases when a zipper is sewn into some elastic knitted fabric that is easily stretched. You probably know that a zipper at the back often doesn’t look so pretty because knitted fabric stretches no matter what you do and there is not enough stiffness to keep the back perfectly straight.

So what do I do in this case?

I cut 2 Rigilene bones that go from the top of the zipper until the level 2.8-3.1 inches below the waistline.

2,0-04-73.jpg

Then I tear off a strap of the lining fabric about 1.4-1.5 inches wide.

I treat the bones the same way I did it when sewing hanging loops for the lacing on the dress.

2,0-04-74.jpg

2,0-04-75.jpg

2,0-04-76.jpg

After hiding the end of the strap under the seam allowance I stitch-on one of the bones close to the teeth of the zipper.

2,0-04-77.jpg

I place the bone in such a way that it overlays the seam allowance at the same time leaving enough space for the stitch, i.e. basically along the very edge of the allowance. In the meantime, the other side of the bone should stay a couple millimeters away from the teeth of the zipper to make stitching along this side of it easier.

2,0-04-78.jpg

This is what it is going to look like when finished:


2,0-04-79.jpg

And next I stitch-on the second bone to the other half of the back.

 

Please take a look at how neatly the zipper is finished; and note that the back has acquired some firmness.

Now the zipper is going to fit perfectly!

2,0-04-80.jpg

Tutorial 8. Covering the Cups with the Lace Front.

I finish working on the front half of the bodysuit by covering the cups.

I join the face part of the cups with the lining along their upper cut edges. I secure them with pins, match the sides and the corners of the neckline cut, and carefully re-shape the fit. Then I do the same with the other side: match corners and side seams. The fullness that was made for ensuring better fitting of the cups along the scye should get re-distributed from the face side as well. I gradually go on to the central part. In order to make the face part easy to turn out and embrace the lining with, I let the lining off by 3-4mm in the central part to make it smaller and expand the face a little.

2,0-04-81.jpg

I switch to a one-sided presser foot and get the needle right into the stay-stitch gliding along the bone:


2,0-04-82.jpg

I make bar tacks at the intersections of the stay-stitches. Bar tacks should never reach the edge of your stitchwork. I also never turn the garment around on the needle. I start and finish making joining seams at the start and end points of the sewing correspondingly.

I remove pins and check the quality of the seam. Machine teeth could have torn the thread of the stitch because the pins were located at the bottom.

I trim seam allowances only when I am sure that the seam is of good quality:

2,0-04-83.jpg

I trim as much as possible in the corners; in this case they will look sharp and neat when the garment is turned out. I also pay attention to the spots where curves meet. I trim as much as possible off these allowances to avoid extra thickness and density or unwanted lumps in this area.

Then I turn out the garment carefully. I spread all seams, straighten the corners and make sure there are no lumps at the spots where curves meet.

 

Then I pin together the sides, pull down the face of the cups and secure it with pins:

2,0-04-84.jpg

I make a joining stitch literally 1mm from the edge:

2,0-04-85.jpg

I would like to highlight once more that you should have no fear of overseams! There are certain difficulties when you join fine fabric and stiff constructions at the same time. And using an overseam is the best option here as shown by longstanding practice.

Please look at the overseam I have made as a proof:

2,0-04-86.jpg

And now I need to press it all. I press the scyes, the corners and the middle of the cups along the neckline cut, the cups themselves - all in a circular motion. I always use additional pressing moulds for this purpose.

2,0-04-88.jpg

2,0-04-89.jpg

Tutorial 9. Finishing the Bodysuit.

I am basically done with working on this bodysuit; there are only some details left.

I take the crotch and sew a stay-stitch to make tucking the seam allowances more convenient:

2,0-04-90.jpg

(строчка-линейка - stay-stitch)

I am so used to using stay-stitches that I use them whenever possible.

I turn the crotch towards the seam allowance and stitch it up by 1mm just to secure the seam:


2,0-04-91.jpg

I make this stitch go along the top and bottom and leave other cut edges of the crotch unfinished.

As I have said, I don’t like making any fasteners here so I just need to join the crotch.

I sew together the front and back pieces along the crotch seam using a 0.5 seam allowance:

2,0-04-92.jpg

And afterwards I press the seam allowances of the crotch.

I press flat both sides of the crotch seam:

2,0-04-93.jpg

I put the crotch in place in accordance with the notches, and secure it with pins:


2,0-04-94.jpg

I take a regular narrow elastic band about 0.2 inches wide and stitch it onto the scyes of the crotch.  I stitch-on the elastic band preserving the original 0.5 seam allowance. I pull the band slightly towards myself creating some fullness.

I stitch bands onto both halves of the bodysuit:

2,0-04-95.jpg

I have overlocked the cuts with the band on:

2,0-04-96.jpg

I bend the resulting seam allowance with the sewn-on band and stitch it again at a presser foot distance from the edge:


2,0-04-97.jpg

I stitch-on the crotch:


2,0-04-98.jpg

And now it’s time for the final step - joining the side seams:

2,0-04-99.jpg

I match the beginnings and the ends of the pieces as well as their waistline notches.

You can overlock the side cuts before stitching them together, but I have decided to sew them first and then treat them with a single overlock seam.

2,0-04-100.jpg

Now I need to sew thin “spaghetti” straps.

I have prepared a 1.4 wide strap of fabric for making the straps. I fold the fabric in half face side inwards. It is desirable to make two parallel stitches with a couple of millimeters between them to ensure that the strap is strong enough.

2,0-04-101.jpg

In order to finish the sewing I usually leave a long thread, run it through the eyelet of a sack needle, tie it in a knot and then push it inside the pencil-edge with the stub end of the needle and turn it out on this thread.

I arrange the resulted strap in the corners at the front, and close to the scye at the back, to make a loop. And then I adjust its length directly on the client during a fit test. You can hand- or machine-stitch the strap onto the garment.

2,0-04-102.jpg

You can see the first and only fit test of this bodysuit in the pictures below.

2,0-04-103.jpg         
2,0-04-104.jpg

2,0-04-105.jpg        
2,0-04-106.jpg

You can make a much lower cut at the back if you wish, or use quilted cups as a separate element to be able to place them underneath some other garments as well. You can also sew such bodysuits with embedded cups instead of separately cut cups.

I have finished working on the body.


2,0-04-02.jpg

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *