Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Sewing with Mother: Toile & Trouble - Fitting the Sophia Underbust Corset Toile Version 1.

Hello All! I am a bit late posting this and should have done it a few days ago. Really a bit behind schedule at the moment due to crazy work things and that fact that my back is playing up like Billy-O, whoever he is. Believe me I feel sorry for him.  Plus, I had no one to pin me or to take photos so that is not helping. I only got Sprogzilla to take these pics after much moaning and it ended up in a shouting match. Joy! In my last post I had traced out my pattern pieces, added the seam allowances, and was ready to cut out my fabric. Okay, well maybe not cut out right away as I am making a toile (pronounced Twaaaalh) first.


A toile is just a mock up of your garment  which is usually made up in an inexpensive fabric like calico to help finesse the style and fit. This is a really good idea for just about anything that you sew but it is especially important for a corset where the fit will make or break just how comfortable (and wearable) your final garment is.


A few years ago I bought a whole roll of white herringbone corset coutil from eBay. The outer bit got a bit grubby during moving so it is no loss to sacrifice it to make a mock-up.  I used a 12-inch (30cm) strip across the width of the fabric and this was just enough to fit in all the pieces with a bit of jiggery-pokery and shuffling the pieces around.


Before I break the internet with people telling me that this is not the best way to make a mock-up, I know. I drew on this with biro so think of this as a first draft. No boning, waist tape, busk or grommets in this version. No fabric strip in the back so that I could pin out 2-inches either. I was just checking that it went around me and that the length was okay for my body shape.


I knew that this pattern would not be ideal for me straight out of the box what with me being so short-waisted (plus I cheated and measured it first), so I will take this toile apart and use the pieces as a pattern for my toile version 2.  I am fitting this using an iterative process to show the typical changes that you might have to do if you make up this pattern. When I am making a corset for someone I might need three fittings and it is a lot harder to fit yourself so if it is not right first time then don't worry.


The length was not too bad below the waist. I tried sitting down in it to make sure that I could without it digging in anywhere but will probably add an extra inch on the length to help cover up the chub and so that I can gently shape the bottom edge as I prefer this to it being straight across.

Anyway, I had enough of fitting at the weekend, even trying it on it was too sore let alone pinning. I am not sure that mine looks like the ones on the Sew Curvy website and I think that I am going to increase the centre front seam allowance and maybe let out the side seam again. Mine just looks too broad at the front, a bit like me. :) I know that the end result will be worth the effort.

Corset Toile Version 2 coming up soon!

Do you have corset fitting woes or have you found a pattern/size that fits straight out of the packet? Got a favourite pattern? I would love to hear about it.

Anyway, I hope that you are having a fabulous week.
Kxx



13 comments:

  1. Great post- your adjustments have given me a few ideas of adjustments I might want to make to my pattern. So far I have dyed my fabric,but sadly I haven't gotten further than that.

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    1. Thanks Marike, dyed fabric sounds amazing. I love dyeing fabric. What sort is it and what did you dye it with? Do you know my painkiller-addled brain didn't even think about posting how to measure yourself properly and how to make a lot of flat pattern adjustments first. Probably as the pattern just gives "bust, waist, hip" measurements. It is quite a time - hog making a corset isn't it?. Xx

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    2. I haven't been able to find coutil here in SA, so I went for a white canvassy fabric. I dyed it red. I had to boil it in the water and dye mixture for 30 minutes.I don't remember what brand it was,and it was the only brand I could find. My pattern does not give any bust,waist,hip meaurements, so I have studied how my first non-finished corset sits on my body and made a few instinctive adjustments. The opening where you lace the corset up gave me alot of clues.

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  2. You're making me want to have a go, even the toile is looking good. I never knew how to say that word until I caught up with Sewing Bee last night!
    Loving the print on your skirt and hoping the back pain subsides - my doctor recommended Ibuprofen & Paracetamol (one of each) taken together, it's worked for me. xxx

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    1. Hi Vix, thank you. I am really quite enjoying the Sewing Bee. It seems to have picked up a bit and I was quite excited by the Japanese style of pattern cutting. I thought that the skirt looked like a jellyfish. Thanks about my skirt. It has a totally bonkers deep handkerchief hem and is very swishy. I have tried your painkiller recommendation and am a bit more mobile today, thank you. I have pretty much every strong one you can get but I don't like taking them regularly as they make me even more dopey than usual and I feel hungover the next day. What are we like? :) Xx

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  3. Wow, it does look complicated but it is going to be wonderful when it's finished. I, too, learnt about toile on The Sewing Bee. Everyday's a school day!

    Have a fab week yourself, Kelly.

    Veronica
    vronni60s.blogspot.com

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    1. Hi Veronica, corsets are deceptive. They are very simple to sew together, just straight lines. The hardest part is the fitting, which is much easier to do on someone else I can tell you. Lucky is the rara avis who fits into a size straight from the packet. I am really liking the Sewing Bee now and am going to be so sad that it is finishing soon. Fancy a load of fabric getting more viewers than Top Gear. :) Xx

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  4. I just bought cheap corsets for burlesque, as they were going to get embellished and then slung around! I bet yours are far lovelier.

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    1. Thanks Mim. I do love making them and have a lot of old samples kicking about that I really should finish. I have made quite a few burlesque costumes and they are a feat of engineering to make them durable and easy to get in and out of, as well as look the part. Such fun though. I wish that I had the cojones to give it a go. Xx

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  5. Such an awesome post! Thank you so much for sharing.

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    1. Thanks Linda, it is coming along slowly but surely. Having a hard time getting it photographed though. Always the way. :) Xx

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  6. Loving your sew-a-long! I have it book marked should I ever 'need' to make a corset:)

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    1. Thanks Josie. They are really surprisingly easy, if you can sew a straight line you can sew a corset. They are just a bit time-consuming. Xx

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