Tuesday, 15 January 2013

DIY Home-made corset/bustier

I decided a while ago that I would like to try and make a simple style corset/bustier with polyester boning and a hook/eye closure at the front. This type usually gives a slight shaping to the waist/hips rather than completely reducing/reshaping the waist like a steel boned corset with a solid husk closure. I had disassembled an old one I previously bought to see how it was constructed and then reassembled using some of the same pieces - however the back lacing was damaged and unusable. I wore it out one night with the back stitched together and a jacket covering the back! I then decided I would try my hand from scratch. I went to Spotlight and selected a nice colour satin which I liked and the other matierials I wished to use and got to work from there. The final result is as follows (apologies, but the photo is a selfie):

 The above is pictured with jeans, but I think it would look much nicer underneath a high-waisted pencil skirt.

 The following images are what I took as I went through the process of completing the bustier: 

 I decided to sort of 'cheat' since I wasn't after a really defined 'cinched' look. Cheating and skipping steps usually leads to trouble - but I was just experimenting so I decided to anyway. Usually a corset is assembled by multiple, curved pieces being assembled with boning inserted at these seams. I skipped this step and simply traced a large fabric piece from a corset I already have. Then I pinned a thick ribbon along where I wished to place the boning and stitched.

After I had sewed each strip of ribbon, I then inserted the boning and pinned an iron-on bias tape to the edges and applied. Now, this did cause some trouble with the final result. Ordinarilly, I would have used a sew-on bias binding to ensure a good amount of flexibility when wearing. However, the particular satin that I selected to make this corset was very delicate and was fraying like crazy. I'm talking up to 2 or more centimetres. So I could apply a fray stopper - my only way to salvage what I had already done was to apply an iron-on bias tape - the glue of which sealed the frayed edges and stopped more damage from occurring. Unfortunately, the iron-on tape has very little give and therefore reduced the flexibility of the pieces significantly.
After each piece had been boned and the raw edges sealed, I went to work making the back tabs with the eyelets which would be laced up. I had to try and repeat this process several times with a very sturdy and quality satin. This was bridal satin. All of the other types I tried ended up tearing when the eyelets were inserted. The eyelets were a bit of a pain. I don't have an eyelet applicator and the little tool that comes in the pack is tricky and needs to be hammered. I left many a dent in my counter top doing this!

The iron-on bias tape had a matte finish which didn't match the rest. Since the edges had already been stiffened beyond salvation with the iron-on bias tape I decided to use a thick satin ribbon to finish the edges rather than another bias binding.

On all of my bustiers with a hook and eye closure there was no boning where the hook/eye tape was - however mine just felt too flimsy, so I inserted some boning. As you can see from my picture - I used double boning for extra strength. I had also inserted some ribbon through the eyelets to check how it was sitting.

 Then I pinned on the final ribbon edging and the hook and eye tape and sewed on.

I bought a nice scalloped-edge black lace to apply to the top edge. I pinned it to the top and stitched on one row at the top and another following the shape of the lace down lower.

 I inserted the ribbon through the eyelets.

And voila! The final product! Front side:

Reverse side:

The next corset I make I think I am going to play by the rules. I am not unhappy with this one but I do prefer a good cinching/shaping corset and I think I would like to try that. I have certainly learnt a lot from creating this one and have recognised what I would do differently next time. Namely, use a good, strong satin to prevent the fraying nonsense which nearly ruined it!

I hope you enjoyed reading how I made this - If you have any questions, please leave me a comment!

♥ Alyce x