The Saskatchewan Stitches Conference is drawing to an end, but our corset building class is just beginning. We have a small but enthusiastic class of corset builders. Corsets have gained some recent popularity as a garment to wear on the outside, not the inside as you may have believed. You can wear a corset as a fancy vest-like garment over a blouse, or as a strapless top worn with a walking skirt, or even jeans. I’ve seen modern corsets equally at home at both the Calgary Stampede and as part of a wedding dress.

We call it corset “building” instead of “corset sewing” because there is as much work off the sewing machine as there is on it. First we traced out the patterns in our size. You have to trace all the bone lines and notches on the paper! That’s a job in itself!

Next we pinned it to the fabric. You can use almost any fabric, because the corset is lined with a sturdy fabric, called coutil that will take the strain of the fabric lacing. When the coutil works the way it is supposed to, the outer fabric can be fragile, if you want it to be so.

After cutting, we had to transfer the bone lines to the fabric. You can use a Frixion pen or a wash-out marker but be sure it is one that will come out!

Insert the busk. It’s not difficult, but accuracy is a must! The busk is always sewn in first.

We sewed the interior bone casings on each section. Then we laid out the sections in order and started pinning.

Lastly for today, we sewed all the sections together…six in all.

Tomorrow we will put on the grommet tape, add the boning, binding and the lacing. Then the corset building is done…all in one and a half days!

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