Thursday, 11 September 2014

drafting a corselet - the trials and tribulations

Good Morning All

I hope this lovely autumn morning finds you well, I have to say I am loving the weather here in England at the moment, crisp in the mornings but warm during the day and so sunny.

I've taken my leave of ties for awhile and am now concentrating on my underwear, which I know you all love to hear about.
one of my attempts

Mark Garbarczyk from the lovely Foundations Revealed website has a couple of articles on how to make a corselet and control panels and having avidly followed his bra making articles I thought I would give it a go and use the resulting 'masterpiece' under my wedding dress as opposed to a corset which might be a bit uncomfortable after so many hours and always has the disadvantage of pushing your bust up to your chin when you sit down, not a look I want for my wedding day!

I love following Mark's instructions and got out paper, pens, compass, protractor and all the bits that go with them and started. And then stopped, apparently the first thing I needed before any drafting of patterns was my 'powernet', a wondrous stuff that stretches and holds in all the right places if used wisely. You can't work out your negative ease, until you have your powernet in front of you to pull at. I'm not going into details about that you'll have to join Foundations Revealed and read the article in question, it's worth every penny. But suffice to say I needed powernet and quick, I'm so impatient. Powernet is not easy to get in the UK. I'm talking about the strong stuff, so I ordered a small amount (not sure if it would be the right stuff) from Ebay and waited, not too long thankfully. Then a little later I got all the stuff mentioned above out again and drafted a pattern.

Well I hadn't ordered a large amount of powernet as I wasn't sure it would be the right stuff, so as I went to cut out my pattern pieces I realised that there wasn't enough powernet in the weft direction. I needed to sew two bits together to enable me to cut the whole length needed out. I did this and sewed it all together rather pleased with myself. Mark has us sewing without pinning and only a tiny seam allowance, but this a quite good when you get used to it and so much more accurate in the long run. 
You can see the extra seam at the top 
 But anyway I got it all together and popped upstairs to try it on all excited. Not good! You should have heard all the stitches popping as I pulled this poor abused item up over my hips. I say pulled it was more tugged, yanked, swore over. There are no photos for this bit. I got it on, but the effect was not what I had hoped for, but then I looked again and realised for a first attempted it wasn't too bad. It did actually pull me in in the middle quite a bit which was the desired result, I just need to work on it abit. 

Lessons learnt with first attempt:

My seam after stretching.
Listen to Mark and set the stitch length to as small as possible, this is how it copes with the stretching.

Don't try to make a finished article straight off, this is something I really struggle with in everything I sew, I add all the trimming hoping that it will miraculously work and I will be wearing out that night. Never does. I really should know. But if it had worked then I would have to take it apart to add the nice bits like seam tape etc. 

Thin lace stuff on the bra top is not good when you need to pull with all your might to get it on as you can so easily stick your fingers through it, oops.
And buy enough material for the pattern the less unneeded seams the better. Hard this when you can't draft the pattern till you get the material???

The reason why it was such hard work to get on and so tight, was my control panel, an extra piece of powernet the runs around the waist area, to get it nice and tight on the waist, to give you a good pull in, you have to make it small and hence its a real problem stretching over your hips. A merry widow might be the way around this, although I was hoping for a pull on. If you don't know what a merry widow is, google it or tune in next time when I'll go it to it in more detail.
waist control panel 

I needed more powernet before being able to continue with my experiments, I found some really thin stuff at a local material shop, but it doesn't really have the strenght, and I also tried a version with lycra, but it no really strength and quite thick so therefore warm. Back to the internet and as I know now the ebay shop had the right stuff, I have bought and am waiting impatiently for the arrival of a much larger piece of good strong powernet, so more of this to come.
made with lycra, too stretchy and too thick

made with lightweight powernet, more like a thick pair of tights

Also I have order a length of hooks and eyes that mean I can now have a go at drafting a 'merry widow' and then have a really tight waist, but more on that next time.
Hugs and Kisses


No comments:

Post a Comment