Tutorial 1. Cutting. Attaching Lining and Bones.
Let us begin with the sewing of a pretty corset like this:
I am going to use the same fabric for the face and the lining of the corset.
I need to fold the fabric four times and even out the creases. Now I have placed the pattern pieces on the fabric in such a way that the notches of the waistline are parallel to the shoot and the middle of the back - parallel to the grain of fabric. I have outlined the patterns and pinned the pieces together.
All pieces are cut one by one.
It is necessary to make notches along the bust-line, the waistline, and under the bust.
Apart from this I am cutting out a flap piece of fabric that is going to be placed under the lacing at the back.
I remove the pins and lay out the pieces. I am placing the face pieces and the pieces used for the lining into separate groups.
Now I’m taking the middle part of the front and the in-between side parts of the front (those where the bust curve is). I am connecting them along the notch line of the bust.
According to the technique that I normally use a Rigilene bone is attached along the bust-line to the backside of the lining. This bone should then be covered with some padding polyester to prevent it from sticking out. But I am going to use a better trick for working on this corset. I join together the notches of the bust-line and draw a line along the right side of the lining. I am going to sew this corset without duplicating the pieces with fusible fabric and without using any padding polyester for the cups area. I am joining together the notches of the side pieces exactly the same way. I am drawing with a pen right over the right side of the fabric. These lines are going to indicate the exact spot along the bust-line where Rigilene bones should be stitched-on.
I join the pieces together. Now we’re working with the lining.
I am joining the bust curves leaving a 0.6 inch seam allowance:
There is a trick I use so that I don’t have to leave the sewing machine and press open the cut edges: I topstitch over the seam allowances leaving 1 mm space from the seam joining the pieces. In this manner the lining is additionally secured and the sewing process is more timesaving.
Trim the seam allowance leaving about a 0.3 inch gap:
The whole procedure is repeated for the second piece. I am not trying to match the notches when sewing pieces together, especially not at the waistline or along the bust-line. One should remember that the notches indicate the direction of the waistline or bust-line. That is why these notches should not coincide on the edges of the garment - it is the waistline and bust-line lines of the pieces that should.
I take a thin Rigilene bone, tape its edge over with some masking tape, and start stitching it on from the very edge of the garment along the marked bust-line on the right side of the lining. At the end I trim the bone and tape it over again. Next I need to make the second parallel stitch.
The main condition when stitching-on this bone is not to ease in the lining fabric underneath the bone. I am drawing the fabric very lightly to form a dome-shaped cup.
Now I’m taking some white bias tape that is 0.6 inch wide. I stitch-on one edge of the tape right along the edge of the bone, then turn it over and stitch the tape on from the other side. This way I have overlapped the bone which has been stitched onto the right side of the lining. Now it won’t disturb you but feel nice on your skin, and it won’t be sticking through the face fabric.
I take the side part of the front piece, even out the cut edges and join along the next curve line with a 0.5 inch seam:
I bend the seam allowance to the side - because a hard bone has already been attached to it - and re-stitch this curve by 1 mm with a strengthening stitch. You don’t need to trim the seam allowance of this curve, but it’s better to trim a small corner on top and down the bottom because then the fabric won’t be as thick later when stitching pieces together. The important thing is to perfectly match the pieces along the top and bottom lines and then smoothly spread the fabric again along the whole length of the joining line. I am attaching the second symmetric piece exactly the same way.
Now I’ve taken the middle pieces of the back and I am making a controlling stitch along the spot where the lacing is meant to be leaving a 0.5 inch seam allowance.
Afterwards I take the side pieces of the back and stitch along the curve line with a 0.5 inch allowance:
Just the same way as done with the curve of the front I am re-stitching this curve bending the seam allowance to the middle of the back:
The same procedure is repeated with the second piece of the back.
I put together the front and the back pieces, even out the cut edges and join them along the side seam with a 0.5 inch allowance:
There is a large crease at the side seam which is why I topstitch from both sides similarly to the way it was done for the curve line allowances. And now I am trimming the allowances leaving a 0.3 inch gap so that they won’t stand in the way of our pretty side seam bend.
I am stitching the second side seam. I am topstitching the allowances the same way and then trimming them.
The corset lining is ready. Now I need to make a controlling stitch along the top and bottom of the corset.
I am making this controlling stitch go from one edge of the garment to the other regardless whether there are some small corners on top of the cut edge or not. I am sewing each seam separately. You absolutely cannot turn the garment around the needle here. The controlling stitch is made at a 0.5 inch distance and it is necessary that each stitch is done individually from edge to edge. The controlling stitches should intersect in the corners.
Then I take a thin Rigilene bone and gather it a little. That is done by drawing its fishing lines by about 2.4-2.8 inches and then pulling on the last fishing line. The Rigilene bone gets rounded. I trim all extra lines and use masking tape for taping over the edge.
Now I am stitching-on this gathered bone at the underarm area making it go over to the corset back. I am placing the bone leaving 1-2 mm from the intersection spot of the controlling stitches and 1 mm from the upper controlling stitch.
I ease in the fabric underneath the bone very slightly at the rounded spot in order to secure a good fitting to the body. I don’t ease in at the straight spot but try to make the bone and the fabric lie even. At the end I trim it, tape over with some masking tape and close the sewing leaving a 1-2 mm gap from the perpendicular controlling stitch. For now I am only using one stitch along the face side when stitching-on the bone. Next I repeat the same procedure with the second part of the corset.
Now I am stitching-on a thin Rigilene bone along the bottom of the corset. Just like before I am gathering the bone along the whole length of the bottom line. It is enough to slightly gather this bone to make it lie smoothly along the rounded bottom line. Same as with the upper bone I am attaching it to the face side leaving 1 mm from the controlling stitch.
I am stitching-on a wide Rigilene bone to the middle of the back where the lacing is going to be made.
I have pushed the edge of this bone (previously taped over with masking tape) under the horizontal thin Rigielne bone. I stitch it on leaving 1mm from the controlling stitch. Upon reaching the bottom I trim the bone, tape its edge over and push it under the thin horizontal bone. A bar tack is necessary to use here. And then I make another parallel stitch along the other side of the bone.
I stitch-on the second and the third parallel wide Rigilene bones:
The second bone will be located at the spot where grommets are going to be punched through; while the third bone is going to be a guiding line for the tunnel into which a supporting plastic bone is later to be pushed. I am not taping the edges of the second and the third bones with any masking tape because they are overlapped with a stitched-on horizontal Rigilene bone. There are bar tacks at the beginning and the end points of the sewing: made not on the fabric but on the bone itself. I repeat these steps for the second half of the back piece.
I finish the sewing-on of the horizontal bones along the top and bottom of the corset by making the second stitch along the other side of the horizontal thin Rigilene bones. I secure the bone with a back-and-forth stitch at the beginning and the end points of the sewing.
I have joined the lining and stitched on the boning: