First off, we needed to decide on a pattern. We found two easily accessible 18th century Stays Patterns - one by Butterick, one by Simplicity.
We finally decided on the Simplicity pattern.
For fabric, we found a floral tapestry for the outside fabric and a very soft egyptian cotton for the inside fabric. For the "Interfacing", we picked up a sturdy white denim.
All fabric was pre-washed and ironed.
Here's a close-up of the top fabric.
Next, I cut out a mock-up based on my current measurements.
That mock-up was HUGE! So, I cut out a second mock-up...one size smaller...
That one seemed to work.
(This is why you should always make a mock-up!)
So, I cut out all of my pieces - Top, Interfacing, and Lining.
Next, I basted my top fabric and interfacing together and started sewing my boning channels.
Note: it's important to follow their instructions on these or you'll end up sewing up places where you're supposed to be putting boning. I had to remove some stitches because of not following the instruction...Oooopsie!
After getting all of my plastic boning in place, I sewed all of my outside pieces together.
(Is that not the loveliest ironing board cover you've ever seen...)
Next, it was time to hand sew on the ribbon and cut out the tabs, per the instructions.
Next came the lining.
I first sewed all lining pieces together and then attached it to the front pieces, again, per the instructions.
Note: I ended up cutting a double layer of lining, because the thin cotton fabric we chose was a bit transparent.
Next I hand cut some bias tape out of a faux shantung silk fabric. The pattern has some crazy instructions on making bias tape...I just cut long diagonal strips of my fabric using a yard stick and tailor's chalk. After cutting the strips, I sewed them together to form one long tape...
Using my sewing machine (as best I could), I sewed the strips of bias tape to the front of the corset and then handsewed the tape to the inside.
I was not able to get to the tab corners with my sewing machine, so all corners had to be sewn by hand.
To form the corners, I made cone shapes with my finger and hand sewed the edges down. This was a HUGE pain in the butt!! I decided that tabs suck!
Here's the completed tabs. Did I mention that they were a HUGE pain?
Here's the inside tabs.
And lastly, came the eyelets. Because I like to torture myself, I decided to go authentic and hand sew eyelets instead of using metal eyelets, which didn't get invented until the 19th century.
Talk about a glutton for punishment.
Here's a detailed photo.
And now I'm done!
Here are the finished photos. I start on my pocket hoops next!
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