Friday, February 21, 2014

How to sew a corset - Bias tape-ing along

When we left the corset, it felt almost done. At least it more or less looks like a corset, right?

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Excuse the water marks, I tried to get rid of the chalk...
Well, more or less, yes. As you can see, I still have a bunch of thread from my serger hanging around and if you look closely you might notice that in some cases the seam allowances do not match perfectly.

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This is no problem, we will just use the almighty scissors and get rid of that extra!

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For the first pattern piece with the busk, be extra careful that both sides are symmetrical:

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Today we will talk about bias tape. If your corset happens to be made in a fabric that matches store bought bias tape go ahead and buy some. If you don't mind using contrasting bias tape (black satin for example) go ahead and buy that. I just realise over time that corset tend to look more polished if the bias tape matches the outer fabric. So I started making my own!

old picture, but same technique!

This sounds way more complicated than it actually is. You just need a tape measure, the fabric of choice, a needle, an ironing board and the matching iron. Since I was not able to take pictures this time (it was dark and you really need two hands for ironing and pulling the bias tape), I'll link two videos which explains everything better than I ever could...

If you don't own a bias tape maker -which I don't- you can simply use a needle that you pin to the ironing board in the width you'd like your bias tape to be:

Now that you have your bias tape (bought or self made) at hand, you can sew it to your corset. Since I wanted to add an decoration to the upper border of the corset, I closed this part of the corset first. It doesn't matter if you start on the upper or lower hem in my eyes, except if you want to add some lace or embroidery...

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Take the bias tape and pin it to the outer fabric right on right with about 2-3cm of overlap, fold it open and sew directly on the ironing crease:

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While learning that I like matching bias tape better,I also noticed that *gulp* hand seams make the bias tape look better. So instead of sewing on the other side of the bias tape with the sewing machine (with sink stitch), I do whip-stitches by hand:

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It's not that bad because the length of the seam is small. I do it while watching TV! This also helps getting nice clean ends. For these, I tried to take pictures of my technique, but it is kind of hard to understand what I do. Please comment if the explanation is understandable or what I should explain better!

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This is one of the ends. I start by opening all layers.

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Then I fold over the outer edge to the inside of the corset

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After this step, I fold over the inner edge of the bias tape and fix everything with whip-stitches.

Now your corset is almost done! Before repeating the bias tape process on the other border of your corset, please insert the bones as seen in the next part of the tutorial!

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