Purfylle: HSM January Challenge - Red Corset

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HSM January Challenge - Red Corset

The month is two thirds through already so it is about time I got to work on the Historical Sew Monthly Challenge for January.




Allow me to refresh your memory on the the January challenge.
January – Foundations: make something that is the foundation of a period outfit.

My plan was to finish the red corset.

The first step was to hunt down the rest of the bias binding. I found it a few days ago.


The next step was to put in the missing boning piece and then trim back all the pieces that were too long. A time consuming and tedious task.

I did't measure and cut each piece to length prior to inserting the boning even though I knew I would have to do this step because having extra length was necessary for leverage to push the boning in.


I spent this morning trimming all the boning. I use pet claw clippers to cut my boning. They work brilliantly. I'm so glad it's done!


Once the boning was trimmed back I ran a rough stay stitch along the edge to hold it all in place while I trim back excess fabric and make sure left and right are symmetrical.


This corset is technically a mock up to try out the pattern and the boning material. The fabrics I used were all from my stash and not exactly ideal however they seem to have worked quite well regardless.


The outer layers are just a cotton drill and there is one layer of heavy pink denim on the inside.

A friend gave me the denim because she did a terrible job of dying it and knew I could use it for mockups. Unfortunately the dye isn't set properly and is quite likely to ruin my bias binding colour the first time this gets washed, oh well.

Ideally there would have been two inner layers but I was limited by the stash. The bias binding is a scrap of fairly light weight furnishing damask that my stash also yielded up. I already had the thread for stitching and the only thing that had to be purchased was the nylon boning (line trimmer | weed whacker or whatever you like to call it).

I should have run all the boning tips through a flame to soften the edge, but because this was a mock-up I cut a few corners and that was one of them. Not because it was a difficult task but because I don't have a nice outdoor area away from pets that I can do this and good ventilation is an absolute must due to the fumes.

The boning channels are stitched vertically at centre front and centre back and in a fan shape at the sides to allow for the difference between bust and waist measurements.  Initially I had intended to run boning in the channels that didn't reach all the way to the hem on the sides.

In the end I chose to just skip the shorter channels because the weed trimmer was so stiff it seemed like they would not be comfortable and would also be in danger of wearing through the fabric without that second layer of denim to enclose the boning.


Tomorrow I plan to trim the seam allowances back, machine stitch on the bias binding on one side and then hand stitch the other side down over the weekend. 

I'm actually hopeful of getting this finished now. Perhaps I'll even go digging out my notes for it to figure out which gown I based the pattern off. 

I've also uncovered the first version which didn't have tabs. It's also a UFO, but I'll show you that one another day. One UFO at a time. 

Actually, the red corset may have been a UFO this morning but now it is now officially a WIP, Yay!!

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