March 31, 2009

setting the grommets

Grommet setting is fun. I've gotten tons of use from my grommet kit.

First the fabric is marked where the grommets will be set.

Then a hole is punched through all the layers of fabric.

The shaft sid of the grommet is set on the base, then the fabric is placed face down pushing the shaft through the hole. The donut part of the grommet goes on the other side, concave side to the fabric. And the die is fit in the hole.

After a couple hits with a hammer the grommet is set. Here they are from the inside, and from the outside of the garment.

Yes, I split a grommet. That's the result of uneven pressure and pounding too hard. This is not something you want to do because the the cut edge can catch on the lacing and weaken it. But once a grommet is set it's impossible to remove without cutting it out of the fabric. 

All I need to do now is insert the boning and add the lacing and this corset is done.

strips for lacing

So close to being finished. I laid out the back pieces the way they would be when finished, coutil face down, coutil face up, satin face up.

Then I brought the bottom piece around and sewed the center back seam. The seam allowances were pressed and the ends folded in as they would be when finished.

The lacing strip was pinned to the ribbon panel matching the notches to the ribbon seams.

They were sewn together and the seam allowance was trimmed.

After everything was folded, pressed, and pinned in place I stitched 1/16 inch from the edge.

And sewed again 1/16 next to the seam connecting the ribbon panel.

It was as I was sewing the channels for the boning that I just about lost it. For some reason I'd get the about 1/3 of the way down the seam and the machine would start missing stitches. I sewed the same line at least four times, picked it out, and started again. Then I ran out of thread. As soon as I walked through the door at the shop I remembered they don't stock Guttermann thread, which I was using, but Mettler thread. Refusing to drive to another store, I took a look and there was a perfect color match. Whew. Back home I rethreaded the machine and everything was fine. Could the low thread level have been causing a change in tension and causing the skipped stitches? Any other thoughts as to why that was happening? Anyway, the finished half.

On to grommet pounding.

March 29, 2009

inserting the busk - stud side

After inserting the loop side of the busk I laid the remaining busk panel pieces together and sewed them down the center front. I pressed the seam allowance open and pressed the top and bottom ends in.

Then I pinned the panel in place matching up the notches.

The busk section and the ribbon panel were sewn together from the top to bottom.

Just like I did when I inserted the loop half, I folded the seam allowances in, pressed them in place, and graded the seam allowance of the ribbon panel.

Once everything was tucked in place I stitched right next to the center front seam 1/16 from the edge. Then I laid the other half of the busk right up against that seam and marked where the studs would be.

From the inside I pushed the awl through the fabric at the chalk mark.

I took the stud side of the busk,

and carefully pushed each stud through the hole before moving on and making the next hole. I folded the facing over and stitched right next to the busk.

The, the same way I did with the loop half, I sewed 1/16 inch from the seam line to secure the busk facing in place. Then I sewed the top and bottom ends closed.

The two sides fit. Yea. 

I'm not all happy with the fact that the bottom pieces don't meet in a perfect point, but I'll have to live with it. My stomach is in a knot right now looking at it.

March 28, 2009

inserting the busk - loop side

I made inserting this busk a bit more difficult on myself because instead of just finishing the top and bottom edges with bias binding I decided to tuck the nds in on themselves and that adds lots of layers to fiddle with. 

The loop side of the busk, here, 

is always inserted first, then the stud side. To make sure I assembled the pieces correctly I laid the fabric out the way it would be when finished, coutil face down, coutil face up, satin face up.

Then I brought the bottom piece over, marked off the seam lines, centered the busk  between the top and bottom, and marked where the loops be.

I stitched along the drawn seam line stopping where I had marked the space for each loop.

The seam allowance was pressed open.

The the busk panel was folded back into finished position and pressed to give me a nice smooth edge. Then the busk panel was opened up, laid face-to-face on the ribbon panel, and pinned in place matching the notches. 

After the pieces were sewn together the seam allowance of the other edge was folded in 1/2 inch and pressed. The seam allowances on the ribbon panel were graded.

The loops of the busk were slipped through the openings, the facing panel was foled over with the foled edge lining up on the seam line, and everything was pinned in place.

The top and bottom edges were clipped and tucked in.

Then I sewed right along the length of the busk securing it in place, flipped everything over, and stitched from the front 1/16 from the seam line. The last thing I did was sew the top and bottom edges closed. 

After I finished I thought it would have looked a lot better if I would have finished the top and bottom edges by hand, but, too late. On to the stud side.

March 26, 2009

busk fun

Before I insert the busk I need to make sure it's the right length. Since the finished length of the center front will be 9 inches I need to use an 8 inch busk. I could drive to Farthingales and buy one, or I could trim down the 9 inch one I used for the mock-up. An 8 inch busk is $1 cheaper than a 9 inch one, but I will spend $4 for gas. I'm for saving the $4 and learning something new. 

I cut the busk out of the mock-up and marked a half inch off each end.

Then I broke out the Wiss tin snips. Yea.

I trimmed off the ends and clipped the corners,

then smoothed the edges with a file.

As if using the tin snips wasn't already fun enough, I got to use Plasti Dip too. I've had this container of Plasti Dip sitting around, unopened, for years. It worked just like it's supposed to. I dipped the ends in a couple times.

And they look perfect. 

I feel super resourceful.

March 25, 2009

the side panels

Is it possible that I've taken the pattern with the most pieces, decided to sew it with difficult fabric, and figured out the most complicated way to assemble it? I think, yes.

I laid one coutil side piece face up, and one satin piece face up. Then I laid the back ribbon panel on top, wrong side up, pinned together matching the notches, and sewed them together.

I attached the front ribbon panel the same way.

Then I took the other coutil side piece and pressed the sides in 3/8 inch. I laid it flat, face up, and placed the attached side panel, face down, on top of it. There should be the same amount of seam allowance straight across the top. I'm not sure how I managed to make the panels different lengths. Brother. I checked both fronts against each other, and both backs, and they matched so it's a patterning issue that will have to be fixed. But the only option at this point was to keep sewing, so I continued as if everything was OK and sewed across the top just between the sewn seams.

I graded the seam allowances, clipped the corners, flipped the coutil piece over, tucked the edges in along where I had ironed, and pinned the piece down with the folded edge just over the seam line.

The bottom edges were folded up and pressed.

Then I sewed on the right side of the fabric, from top to bottom, 1/16 inch from the seam line.

Finally, I sewed the channels for the boning.

Whew. I need a beer.

March 23, 2009

sewing the "ribbon" strips

The coutil strips were sewn together to make four panels, two front and two back. The seams were always sewn in the same direction, from the center outward. Then the seam allowances were ironed away from the waistline. The strips of satin were sewn together the same way, but the seam allowances were ironed toward the waistline.

The seam allowances were graded, then the panels were laid face-t0-face and the top and bottom edges were sewn together.

Those seam allowances were pressed open, then graded.

The panels were flipped right side out. If you look closely you can see the seam allowances pointing in opposite directions.

Finally, I pressed the panels again, and stitched the satin to the coutil close to the seam line of each piece, and along the top and bottom edges.