Sunday, 12 June 2016

Sewing with Mother: Sew Curvy Sophia Underbust Corset

Hi lovely people. Sometime earlier in the year I asked if anyone would be interested in a corset sew-along. Although this is labelled very loosely as a such, there is no start or finish date. If you fancy giving it a go I will be posting my construction stages in real-time and will be answering any questions as best as I can. I am by no means a corset-making expert although I have made a fair few. I don't normally follow a pattern (or make corsets for myself for that matter) but I think that it will be interesting to see how we all get along. - If anyone else wants to make one up that is.


So as to pattern choice, I have had a bit of a think and as I have heard such good things about it have chosen the "Sophia" underbust pattern from Sew Curvy. The sizing for this is based on the measurement of your natural, uncorseted body and ranges from a 23" waist right up to a 46".  I have shown the size chart below for information. It is really inclusive and plus-sized friendly and it is nice to support indie pattern makers.


Sew Curvy, might be familiar to you as suppliers of corsetry components and classes and is based in Oxfordshire, UK. It is run by Julia Bremble, who is a pretty amazing corset maker in her own right. The Sophia is one of her small but perfectly formed range of patterns. The pattern handily has a list of everything that you need on the back and is printed on sturdy paper which also serves as the instructions. I have not had a proper read through of them yet but it looks really comprehensive at first glance.


As I am advocating curvy sewing, and that includes everyone as we are ALL made of up of curves (except her),  then my thought was to start with an underbust as this is probably the easiest one to cut your teeth on if you have any sort of fitting issues.


To illustrate I have a difference of about 12 inches between my underbust measurement and my full bust (Eek!). That is hard enough to fit on myself and I have been making corsets for a lot of years so this will be ideal to learn corset making techniques (and to remind me too). Then once you have the construction basics down to pat an overbust will be a lot easier.

Front
Back

I traced off the pattern in a size 24, looking more closely at the size chart I should have probably made this a 22.  NB. This pattern does not include seam allowances. This is great as you can add your own in. Just because I like them I have added in 1.5cm SAs except for at the top and bottom where I have not added anything (I forgot).  I have shown a bit more detail of the pattern pieces so that you can appreciate the lovely curves. As you can see the front is pretty flat, a bit of a godsend for me as I carry all my weight in the front. Accurate measuring is pretty important here as you really want this to have negative ease in the waist and not be too big round your body.


I bought a nice busk from there too.  It is a 2-part metal busk. Busks are used to close the corset front and have a little metal knob which slots into the metal loop. They are pretty strong and help to support the front of the corset. Busks are a bit tricky to insert the first time but I will walk through that in a later post.

Knob
Loop

I am choosing to make this corset up as a double layer using an outer silk dupion flat-lined to some cotton herringbone corset coutil as a strength layer. I will also line it with a floating lining in a nice quilting cotton.  Cotton is great as a lining as it is hard-wearing and can cope with wicking moisture and being worn next to the skin, plus all those amazing colours and prints. It is a bit of a signature of mine.

So anyway, this is more than enough for a first post. I do hope that you will follow me sewing this up as I think that the pattern looks great. I really hope that I can do it justice. If you would like to sew this too then the pattern can be purchased from Sew Curvy.

Disclaimer: Just as a last comment, I bought this pattern with my own money. I don't know Julia Bremble from Eve and I have absolutely no affiliation to anything or will get any gain from this except for the joy of making myself a lovely corset and of possibly using up some of my huge stash before it swamps the house (again). 

So does anyone fancy making a corset with me? Doesn't have to be the same pattern, or indeed any pattern? Got a favourite or would you like to link to a corset that you have made? Looking forward to hearing from you!

Have a great week.
Kxx





17 comments:

  1. Oooh, what a fun project and sewalong! I'll be reading along avidly, though I have no interest in actually sewing a corset myself... but perhaps one day I'll change my mind! ;)

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    1. Thanks Gillian, they are surprisingly fun and easy to sew. You never know. They are pretty addictive. I am so looking forward to making one for myself for a change. It must be almost 15 years since I last did, and several stone. Xx

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  2. Sounds fascinating, Kelly!

    I wont be sewing along but reading, watching and learning along!

    Have a lovely week,

    Veronica
    vronni60s.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks Veronica. "Watching" has given me an idea. Maybe I will do a video for one of the posts. You are an inspiration! Xx

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  3. Cool- I'm in, although I may lag behind your real time efforts due to exam marking and the 6Napoleon project...
    I want to make another Laughing Moon Overbust, and improve the fit from last time. I'm happy with waist reduction, and the padded hip gores, but the fit over the ribs could improve, my bust gores are not up to scratch, and I MAY need to tweak the body length by a tiny smidgeon, as I do tend to fidget with it when I first put it on. Sometimes I end up feeling as if it's sitting slightly too high or low [having no hips makes it hard to judge!]
    Looking forward to this...

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    1. Brilliant! It is nice to have some sewing company! That Laughing Moon pattern is brilliant and I really do think that we can improve with every corset that we make. There is nothing worse than an uncomfy corset so that is always a spur. I am not doing very well at getting anything done but am going to cut out my toile tonight. I brought a roll of coutil up with me. I have a flat bum and a very round stomach so I am looking forward to shifting it around a bit. :) Xx

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  4. How interesting! I remember them making a corset on Sewing Bee and I was entranced by the work involved. There were a few Steampunk ladies rocking under-bust corsets last weekend and, although I'd never considered one before I wouldn't mind owning one in a beaten-up tan leather. I shall watch you progress with great interest. xxx

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    1. Hi Vix, yes the one on the GBSB was okay but I would have liked to see more boning in it. I am going to be using a lot of steel in mine. I even have my sewing box bolt cutters! Some of the Steampunk ladies up here have the most beautiful and elaborate corsets and look fantastic in them.. I love the shape that they give. A battered tan leather one sounds absolutely lovely. You would really suit that. Xx

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  5. I found out about this sewalong via The Demented Fairy, and will be joining as I am about to start working on a corset:)

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    1. Hello Marike! Thanks for dropping me a comment and for joining in. This should really be a lot of fun. Which pattern have you chosen? Or are you drafting one yourself? I really liked your "Steampunk Biker" corset. It was such a lovely shape. I hope that you will find this interesting. Xx

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    2. Hi Kelly, thank you! I will be using the same pattern that I used in my "Corset Crazy" post. I got the pattern from a friend. The corset from that post has been abandoned and written off as a learning experience, but I want to have another go at the pattern as I am sure it has potential.

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  6. Oh my. What fun. I shan't be sewing along but I will be bookmarking the pages for future reference. A corset is definitely on my list of things to sew a some point (you can imagine how long that is). Funnily enough my husband is super keen for me to sew a corset too. Can't imagine why....... ;-)

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    1. Hi Evie, I can only imagine how long that list is and I am sure that there are many more things that would be much more practical than a corset. They are a lot of fun to make and wear. though Your husband has good taste. *wink* :) Oh, I do have a few more corset pattens to make up/review so this one won't be the last one that I sew this year. You would rock one! Xx

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  7. I don't 'dressmake' but if I ever need to make a steampunk outfit I'll know where to turn! I'm really looking forward to watching your progress, it's such a fantastic idea to have a corset sew-a-long xx

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    1. Thanks Josie, it has been kind of curtailed by a crazily busy week but I have been doing stuff in the background so expect a flurry catch up posts in the very near future. I bought a very Steampunk pattern from a company called "Harlots and Angels". That is next on the list after this one. Xx

      http://www.harlotsandangels.co.uk/store/p6/Asylum_steampunk_full_back_tailored_Corset_Pattern_-_all_sizes.html

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  8. What fantastic luck to find you! My sophia kit came today and I have the whole summer off work (thank you school cleaning job!) to sew to my heart's content. I look forward to following along! :)

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    1. HI Susan, you will have to forgive the not very informative posts so far. I am writing on on fitting and flat pattern measurements which I will post at the weekend. From the way it looks just now the Sophia is a lovely pattern. Thanks for following. Xx

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