Tuesday, September 2, 2014

TV's Edwardian Corset: Part 1

I know we use this blog for completed projects. And I like that, because it looks more clean and polished and organized that way. Especially since Bascha and I both write, and if we had two posters posting unfinished projects it could get a little hard to follow. Once I started this corset, I realized that this was going to be more material than one blog post could handle, unless it was a VERY long blog post. And it's still a very long blog post and the corset isn't even finished yet :P But I wanted to take all of these pictures to make, not a tutorial, but like a journal where you could follow along to see what I did and how I did it. I'm not saying I'm doing everything the right way (but hey, if I'm doing it wrong you can see it and tell me :)) but I just think it might be helpful for someone also making this pattern. And Edwardian does not seem to be a popular era among costumers.

I'm using Truly Victorian 1903 Edwardian Corset Pattern (TVE01), 1 yard of coutil ($10 off etsy! Originally from Richard the Thread), and 1 yard of a pale peach tinted pink silk ($6!) as a fashion fabric. 

Note: I made a mock-up out of men's dress pants before I began on the real corset. (free! from my Dad. They had a hole :P) ALSO: make sure it is cut ON THE GRAIN. I cannot begin to say how important this is to prevent unwanted stretching and bulging. I have known people to measure their grain line before cutting. I did not measure it, but I did line it up as best I could. 
cut two of the coutil, cut two of the fashion fabric
baste the fashion fabric to the coutil on all the pieces. Make sure you have them facing the correct way, because it matters!! I marked a T on the tops of all my pieces once I cut them out, and lettered them, SB for side back, CF for center front and so on. 
the gussets on this corset are SO easy!! I sewed one side of the gusset to the piece (pictured here is CF), leaving a half inch unsewed on the gusset.
showing the half inch left un-sewn on the gusset seam.
MF (middle front, lol) lined up to gusset and CF
Then you pin it to your gusseted CF and sew it down as if nothing happened.

Flawless. And durable too!
The corset progresses piece by piece. I found it easier to work on both halves at once, instead of finishing one side and then the other. I'm not sure it really matters though.

again, flawless gusset!! I was so happy about that :)
Then I ironed the seams to one side, and top stitched close to the seam. L has not been top stitched, R has.
close up of the top stitching. Basically you are sewing to keep the seam allowances in place.

Whole corset top-stitched!
Then you sew the back facing to the CB, and press it under. (You will be making boning channels). For my boning (hoop steel from a hoop skirt :D), I had to make channels a little larger than 1/4 inch. Most people can just use their presser foot to line it up for an exact 1/4 boning channel. I put one boning channel at the edge of CB.
Then measure 3/4 inch from the boning casing at CB and stitch. Then stitch a 1/4 channel next to that, and it will look like this picture ^^
Yay! It's beginning to look more finished. 
Lay front facing right sides to right sides on top of CF, on the L side of corset (in the photo). Working with the LOOP side of the busk, marking the holes where they will come through.
ignore the pin. I used pen to mark my sewing lines, 1/2 inch from the edge. After the lines are marked, sew on the marked lines, leaving the gaps unsewn. When you are finished, you fold the facing to the underside and push the busk loops through. 
busk inserted and pinned.
the holes
Using a zipper foot I sewed as close to the busk as possible making a nice tight channel. Then I stitched across under and above the edges of the busk to keep it in place.
This is a picture of the front facing sewn to the other side of corset.
lay the loop side over on the knob side of corset.
mark with a pencil or tool of the sort, through the loops, where the knobs will go when punched through. Mark them just over the edge, as far in as the knob busk has them set  it. (you can kind of see my pencil marks)
These are the tools I used since I do not have an awl. I used a size 8 crochet hook to punch the holes, some super sharp nipper things I found to snip a few threads, and fray check to finish it all off. Basically you have to make a hole big enough to just squeeze your knobs through. It's best to work one knob at a time.
This is the knob side of the busk pushed through. It's a struggle to get them through, but you don't want the holes to be too big!

Then stitch down with the zipper foot same as you did on loop side. The corset halves should line up exactly like so.
And that ladies and gents, is where I am right now with my corset. I'm making suspenders, binding and trim today, while I'm waiting for my bone casing tapes to arrive. I'll punch the grommets next time I go to Bascha's house since she has the machine :)



  1. Oh it's pretty, Theresa! :) What kind of material is the peach? :) I like it a lot! It is SOO much more finished than mine :P Mine is crap lol I should really make a "for real" one (chuckle)

    Love you!

    1. LOL we are going with silk...because I do not want to burn test and find out that it is not. ;-) its pretty! LOL
      Love you too!

  2. Oooooh...your corset is looking great! I love my corset I made using Heather's pattern. It is the most comfortable one I have made! I can't wait to see it completed!

    1. Thank you! I think it will turn out wonderfully in the end. I love your corset too haha :)