Monday, February 24, 2014

How to sew a corset - Heavy metal boning!

For this part of the how to tutorial, please welcome my boyfriend who is so kind to help me with boning my corsets if I reward him with chocolate. This is a pure win-win situation! He is also helping my with making my videos for this part because the techniques are really hard to describe... Mainly because I'm a girl with no strength in my arms and wrestling with heavy metal involves either strength or intelligence and good technique! These are the tools we'll use:

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  • 2 Pincers (preferably nice and sharp)
  • Spiral steel (11mm wide) and accompanying metal hood
  • steel springs (5mm wide)
  • Scotch tape
  • not pictured - a pen which writes on metal
If you are strong,just use the pincers to cut the spiral steel bones into size. If you are weak like me, you will also need the pincers to cut the spiral steel, but can reduce the power you'll need by cutting the two outer parts of the spiral. Then the bones will fall apart by themselves!

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Then you will need to cover the sharp edges of the cut steel bone. You can use duct tape for this or the small metal hoods. I prefer these but I cannot pin point a reason.  For an explanation how to use tape, look a little bit down because I use the technique for the steel springs. For the hoods, you will need both pincers and two hands like this:

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Just press them in with some force, but even my girly strength is enough for this! The insert the bone - hood or tape first- into the bone casing. When you can't insert the bone any deeper (this sounds a little dirty, or is it just me? ^^), mark the point were it hits the fabric with the pen.

Take the bone out again at least halfway and make another mark 1.5cm (1cm if you are using tape to finish the bones) shorter. Otherwise you will have no fabric to sew your bias tape to! Now cut the bone at the second marking!!! Add another hood (or tape) to finish the bone and re-insert it. First bone done! Insert more bones into the corset like this:

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For the steel springs, there are two cutting techniques again. One is by brute force with the pincers (this is how my boyfriend does it): Link to the video because linking directly doesn't work

The other one also takes the pincers, but here you fold over the steel spring -trust me, even you can handle this - and then press it together with the pincers. Thanks to Neisella who taught me this and has made corset making a lot easier for me! Link to the video because linking directly doesn't work

Comparable to the spiral steel, the steel springs need covers so they don't rip the fabric when inserted or later during movements. I use scotch tape since it is cheap, easily available and adds no further thickness. I did a little photo series on how I fold it:

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Once all the bones are inserted, it is time to sew on the other bias tape. This will keep the bones inside the corset. Again, pin the bias tape to your hem and press the bones in one more time. Use a zipper foot this time to sew as close to the bones as possible! On Wednesday, we will finish this corset with the eyelets. Almost there, baby! 


linnea-maria said...

I would love to make a waist cincher with this tutorial. I've been thinking of it so long.

MindLess said...

@ Linnea-maria: I think about translating a tutorial someone from my favourite forum did to draft your own corset pattern. Let's see when I will come around to that!

I'd love to see what you can create! maybe I should post pictures of my irst ones (if I still have them), so people see the common mistakes and be less afriad because only practice makes perfect...

linnea-maria said...

I have made a corset quite long ago but with plastic boning. It's too small for me now :/

MindLess said...

@ linnea-maria: Well that happens (to me as well *sigh*). See it as an opportunity to make a new and prettier one! ;)