Tutorial 1. Getting Acquainted with the Model and the Throw-Over Sewing Technique.
I am about to begin working on a corset sewn in a technique that is totally new to you. It is called the throw-over technique.
When should one use this technique?
It happens that you want to make a see-through corset or a corset sewn in the same technique but the fabric you have chosen for decoration has the following properties:
- A very closely packed pattern with no distinct geometry, basically whole;
- Or the other way round: the elements of the pattern are rare and scattered.
In the example above the flowers are scarcely scattered across the surface of the mesh fabric. But corset pieces are rather small and even if you put this fabric over a completely sewn corset, it might happen that only 2-3 flowers will get onto the corset front and the rest of it will be occupied with blank space. In that case you would have to complement the corset with some appliqués which would make the production process longer and more complicated.
- Or maybe your fabric has a scarce pattern and doesn’t stretch well.
Some types of lace are based on synthetic nylon mesh or sometimes even organza. An example can be Richelieu lace or organza with embossed flowers or a bright sprayed pattern.
The throw-over technique will come to your aid if your client has brought you fabric like this and you have to use it for decoration while sewing in the see-through corset technique.
The main point of this technique is that you don’t just cover the corset with decorative fabric during the sewing process (i.e. place lace onto joined pieces, arrange it and give it a desired volume). What you do is cut each piece individually out of your lace after the corset pattern. This way you can lay out the pattern in any way you like. You can make every single piece have a flower on it.
For example using such mesh with scattered lace elements you could place a flower at a certain spot of a pattern piece:
You could also cut each piece out of organza the same way. When we start sewing our corset, you will see that there are no strongly pronounced vertical bones interrupting the surface of the decorative fabric due to the special sewing technique. We are going to imitate a one-piece lace fabric sheet. Have I sparked up your interest yet? Let’s get to work and watch the way the throw-over technique functions.
Let me draw the model we are going to sew and show you the fabric and patterns.
So I have chosen the following model for sewing a corset in the see-through sewing technique with the help of the throw-over technique. We will sew a corset with a deep narrow V-cut basically reaching the waistline. The corset will have princess seams at the front and round sewn-in cups with integrated halter-neck straps. There will be two princess seams and lacing bars at the back.
The whole corset will be made of organza and covered with lace fabric. The lace will overlay all princess seams and the bones will be nearly invisible. Of course you’ll be able to see them but only slightly as compared to color contrasting bones used in see-through corsets. Everything will be covered with a layer of lace in this case.
The body of the corset will be made of regular organza. I will use two layers of it and I recommend you do the same because it makes the corset stronger. You will reduce the risk of your fabric breaking out from the seams. Despite a double layer of fabric the corset will stay see-through.
I will cover the corset with a layer of this thin lace:
The cups, lining and bone casing will be made of an elastic material. I will most likely use its matte side because I love the way it looks on finished garments.
I have constructed new patterns specially for this course: I have re-designed the front pieces of the corset (i.e. lifted the centre) and prepared absolutely new patterns for cups with halter-neck straps.
Our cup patterns look like this:
And these are front pieces:
And traditional back pieces:
I need to test the patterns before I start working on the garment. This requires cutting and sewing a mock-up. We can check all necessary circumferences and measurements for the pattern only by putting a mock-up onto a dress-form. And afterwards we can move on to calculating and altering the patterns after client’s measurements.
Moreover, I would particularly recommend that you sew a mock-up if your work involves some re-modelling of the garment. It will allow you to make sure that all lines match beautifully, the cup piece fits the body properly, there is enough allowance for easing in, etc. Sewing a mock-up of your garment is the best test possible! And we are about to do it.