Adventures in Corset Making: Patterns and Piecing

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Front and back of reinforced pattern after all tracing is complete.

Things are progressing nicely and s l o w l y. In all previous projects without exception, I have rushed through all of what I considered the preliminary steps to get to the good stuff, the assembling. This is absolutely the wrong way to go about it. Things are missed. Mistakes are made. The final garment is undoubtedly effected.

This time around, I’m moving at an absurd pace. I’m working on enjoying how accurately I can do things. Lucy made it crystal clear in her corset making playlist that it is imperative to be as accurate as possible. The number of panels involved in a corset means the every error is amplified by a factor of two per panel. Since most corsets are 12 panels, this means any error has the potential to be repeated 24 times, thus making a god awful mess of the finished corset.

I’ve been working on this for a bit over a week now and I only finished transferring pattern markings last night. To understand how ridiculous this is for me, I will tell you I usually complete this step in a couple of days.

The interfacing applied to the pattern earlier on made a massive difference in the transfers, to the extent that I will never again use a pattern not augmented in this way. The photo above is a macro shot taken after all markings were transferred four times over. The pattern has obviously been used but it is not a shredded mess. The only place I was even remotely concerned were the tailor tack circles. The pattern tissue wore away after 3 transfers but the interfacing held true, even through the fourth transfer. (If you don’t sew you have no idea how remarkable this is.) If I had not backed the pattern, I seriously doubt I would have been able to accurately transfer more than two sets and the second set would have been dicey.

Next up, assembling.

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