I’ve been avoiding writing this post for about two weeks. Why am I so anxious about it? Maybe because the end result was yet another failure. Or at least, it doesn’t fit the way I wanted it to. I seem to have some kind of magical body that changes size without changing. I can take my measurements, make the corset to those measurements that same day, and still not have it fit. I retake my measurements, they haven’t changed. I double check the measurements on the pattern. Nope, those didn’t change either. But the accursed thing does not fit. And is it a matter of being too small? Did I fudge on my measurements out of vanity? No. They are too big. How on earth can I possibly make 4 corsets in a row that are all too big? Crikeys! I have put on weight since I began my corset making adventures, and now the bigger corsets fit a little bit better, but they have other issues, too. Let’s go through each of the corsets I have made in the last two months. All selfies were taken this morning (yes, I apparently make grumpy faces when I am focusing or concentrating -- I really wasn't in a bad mood). Please forgive the mess visible in the mirror. I'm still in the process of reorganizing the room. I'm also trying out the gallery feature of this blog. I believe that if you click on a thumbnail it will open the whole picture.
Corset 1: This was my first attempt at a Victorian style corset, before I started blogging. It is made of duck canvas and brocade. I stitched the seam allowances of the duck into bone casings, except for the one set of bones on the inside of the grommet line. I think it is beautiful. This one needs more hip spring, I think. If I lace it all the way down to a comfort level on my waist, it rides up and I have to keep tugging it down. I think this is because the hips are a bit small and so they ride up in search of a bit more room, but then it starts making my ribs uncomfortable. Perhaps I am lacing it too tightly, but I am only striving for the same tightness that I tie my bathrobe. Also, at the end of the day that I wore it all day long I discovered that one of the bones in the back had popped through the fabric. And thus I learned the value of flossing (which I haven’t tried yet) and using a strength fabric for the casings rather than brocade.
Corset 2: I really like the looks of this one, too. I had fun working with the brocade, but I didn’t use it as a strength layer this time. I flat lined a second layer of duck with it, instead, and stitched the casings between the two layers of duck. This time I tried making an overbust, since I was still all new to all this and I thought that was a good idea. This one has many of the same problems as the first one, but I added more. I had wanted a nice long corset, and this ended up a bit too long, with a 14” busk. This was also my first try at a busk. The busk I used doesn’t like the bulk of the duck and can be difficult to fasten up. I thought the bust was supposed to curve back over the top of the breasts, so after finagling my saggy ex-nursing boobs into something resembling a decent position that wasn’t in my lap, I curved the pattern back up and over them. This resulted in its cutting into my armpit when I sit down. I don’t think I will try an overbust again for a while.
Corset 3: Since I can’t seem to manage to fit a corset that has anything to do with my bust, I went for an underbust. By now I had run out of my stash of duck and made this one up in a nice olive colored twill. It is the same fabric I successfully made into an Elizabethan corset for my teenager at Halloween (which she wore with a bustle skirt for a Victorian/Steampunk look and originally sent me down this rabbit hole). This corset is very lovely, but it is WAY too big. As in, I took in an entire panel on each side and it still had no gap at the back. Good grief! In the pictures you might be able to see where I just folded in an entire panel and stitched it up. This was my second try at a busk, and I like using the twill much better than the duck. Trying it on again today, I got a bit of a gap at the back, evidence that eating chocolate chips by the bagful is not that great for the waistline. Maybe once in a while I can get away with it, but not twice a week.
Corset 4: This is the one I was documenting on this blog last month. I finished it, and tried it on and was mortified that again, it is too big. No gap. Plenty of room to squish in more. It feels comfy, without digging into my armpits. The length is excellent. I just want it tighter. It gives me no tummy control at all and no shape, either. And I do not want to grow into it.
So there we go. Four corsets that don’t fit well. Time to try the next thing. Yes, I’ve already started it, but I want to dedicate a post to it rather than stuffing a work-in-progress in this post.