Slanted Corset Pt. 2 (Construction)

I made it! My EL wire slanted design corset is done, so I owe you a write-up of how it went. To see how I ended up with the pattern, see part 1.

Step 4: Assembling the sections

I first put together each of the four horizontal sections

Step 5: Stitching in the EL wire

I made the EL wire into a kind of piping by wrapping it in a strip of tulle. I then stitched it along the top edge aaaand immediately stitched into the wire and broke it. EL wire has a core running one way and another wire running back, so if you break any of them the whole thing stops working. I could have cut off the damaged part and connected the ends of the remaining wire to make it work again, but I only just had enough length to go along the whole corset. So cutting a chunk off was not an option. €15 + shipping later I can start over, this time being way more careful.
With both the leather and mesh being very stiff, and not dealing well with the heat of ironing, I decided to flatten my seams by putting heavy things on them for a few days. It worked well enough.

Step 6: Boning channels

After weighing down the seams, I put boning tape on the inside of the corset. It was a very tricky to line up and stitch, because I wanted to:
– make sure I was stiching evenly next to the seam lines, so I needed to stitch with the good side facing up
– but not all boning locations have a seam so sometimes you can’t see where you’re supposed to go
– and still need to make sure to stitch within the 2-3 mm edge of the boning tape
– also you can’t use pins in the leather part because it will cause irreversible holes
I ended up using double sided tape instead of pins to hold the tape in place on the leather parts, or occasionally pin into the seam allowance on the back. I stuck vinyl tape on the front where there were no seams to guide me. The width of the tape was very close to the width of the boning tape so I stitched just down the side of it and then was able to tear it out of the stitch line. Of course each time taking care to step over the EL wire and not jam the needle into it.
I made a few errors, either missing the edge of the boning tape (which can be fixed by hand stitching it down) or going too far into the boning channel. That is a bit more difficult to fix becuase you can’t do a second line of stitches on the leather, that would look awful. So in cases where the bone really couldn’t fit I unpicked, ‘scrunched up’ the boning channel to make it temporarily more narrow, and then from the front stitched in the exact spot where I removed the earlier stitch line (last picture below). This makes it a little bit puffy but once the boning is in and the lining is covering it, it really isn’t noticable at all.

Step 7: Lining

I didn’t want to risk accidentally closing off one of the channels while doing the lining so, I started by cutting all the boning and inserting it. Most of the lining was then hand stitched to the inside of the corset. The mesh edges were encased in bias tape made of the same fabric and then folded back and stitched down.

Step 8: The lacing panels

The one part of the corset that is not made of slanted sections is the center back. I really wanted to have a uniform edge for the final bones and the eyelets. It also provides a way to neatly finish the lining.

After that I inserted the eyelets. No pictures unfortunately but I will have you know that the edge was quite thick and hard to get the eyelets into. But I made it in the end.

Step 9: Done!!! 😀

Final evaluation:
While I had some struggles, and there are some flaws in the final product I think it turned out pretty darn good for an experimental corset. First time using mesh, first time using un-pinnable faux leather, first time using EL wire. I really can’t complain. Things I would do differently:
– The ‘pointy bit’ at the top is pulling towards the center a bit because it has nothing pulling it back. Might be alleviated with a horizontal bone.
– Think about where the EL wire loops around and where you’re gonna leave that. It was a real struggle getting it jammed into the lining and it’s quite thick, especially the one at the top.
– At the start of the project I made the decision to reduce the number of pattern pieces by joining adjacent straight edges together. While I think it did help preserve my sanity, the downside is that it’s a bit inconsistent with the boning channels. Sometimes there’s a seam down the middle of the channel, sometimes there isn’t, sometimes partially. It would probably look cleaner to just have seams everywhere.