During the week, I had finished all the topstitching and satin stitched around the tassets. As my tassets were quite small, I found going round the corners quite difficult and hard to make look even. I ended up redoing this several times on one of the smaller tassets.
Satin stitching around the tassets. You can see I had a lot of trouble to get it even.
I needed to add the eyelets in class today, so the corset could be fitted before I sew up the side seams and start the bias binding. I found using the punch for the eyelets very difficult and in the end I just used an awl to make big enough holes to push the eyelets through. In the afternoon Claire went over finishing the seams, adding the neck straps and bias binding.
Using an awl to make holes for eyelets
Fitting went quite well for me, and although the stays would have to be quite tightly laced, I did not need to make any alternations. I did forget to snip between the tassets before I put the corset on, so this caused a little confusion about the fit until Eileen realised. Luckly, everyone is very profficent with scissors, so we didn’t have to unlace the whole thing to cut them.
In the later half of the afternoon Claire gave a handout about Unit 8: Developing sewing skills for costumes, which will cover the outerwear for the polonaise. We had a look at our dress designs we given an explanation how to work out the amount of material to buy for our outerwear petticoats and dresses (will post about this soon).
Project brief: Unit 8: Developing sewing skills for costumes – Polonaise outerwear 1770-1785.
- Finish the side seams
- Bias bind the bottom of the corset.
- Finish the stomacher and hand stitch in place
- Prepare logbook for units 7 and 9
With the Rigiline boning applied, and the base and top layers sewn together, I continued with the top stitching along the bone lines which took most of the lesson.
Close up of top stitching around tasset on the outside of the stays
Close up of top stitching threads pulled through so they can be knotted on the inside of stays
Eileen explained about satin stitching around the tassets, as this would give them more strength and hold the layers together better; and the formula to work out where the eyelets should be placed.
- finish top stitching, get until the point of so we can add the eyelets next week.
A lot of use were still applying rigiline to our base layers, but we went over mounting top fabric and sewing it to the base layer.
I still wasn’t much closer on the design and didn’t have the top fabric for the corset, but there was still some boning to do, so I still had a little time.
Elaine sat in on the tutorial while Claire and I discussed how things were going, what my plans were, and what I wanted to get out of the course. I said I wanted to apply to do BA (Hons) Theatre: Costume Interpretation at Wimbledon College of Arts . Claire told me about 2 of her other students who are studying there, and advised me about the UCAS process and that I should sign up to attend an open day asap.
I am not so confident in this bit. I find it hard to get my ideas illustrated on paper, there are so many things I could do, but also I am finding it really hard to find fabrics I would like to use.
I am really smitten by stripes, but wide ones and the only ones I can find look like deck chairs as they are printed cotton.
I need to spend more time on this.
The aim for today were to start construction on the stays. Claire taught us in the morning explaining the construction methods for the corset up to sewing the base and top layers together.
Cutting out and mounting the base and the top layers should be done at the same time, but I still had not yet finalised my design or settled on what top fabric to use.
The order of work was laid out, and by the end of the class most of us were well in to applying the rigilne boning which is really quite time consuming.
- Continue with boning
- Start pleating petticoat
- Continue with logbook
Unfortunately I missed this week, but I was able to look at a few of my class mates notes to come up with adjusting an 18th century corset pattern.
18th Century Corset Pattern
The base pattern we are using is the ’18th Century Corset Pattern’ from ‘Period Costume for Stage and Screen‘.
The pattern when scaled up to full size will fit a size 12 model with the following measurements:
|Nape to Waist Back
18th Century stays pattern from the book 'Period costume for stage and screen'
At the end of last weeks lesson, we started to scale up the pattern and add the seam allowances.
Scaled up 18th Century stays pattern from 'Period costume for Stage and Screen'
Panel C (front side panel) pattern piece showing seam allowance, boning and hatch stitching placement
Needed for next week:
- corsetry fabrics
- corsetry habby and notions
- candle, jar and lighter/matches.
- tracing paper and wheel.
Fabric, trimming and haberdashery suppliers
Design considerations for the corset
- bias binding
- hand worked eyelets/grommets
- top stitching/hatching stitches/contrasting by hand
- contrasting ribbon for straps
- work on assumption that the corset will be seen and and plan fabrics and trims accordingly.