Friday, November 19, 2010

Inserting a Split Busk

Well, I thought I'd get started on one of my corset patterns to see if they work. I decided to do the Tudor Style underbust corset in a ballet pink for a costume. This corset has an 8 inch busk in the front. A busk is a 2 long pieces of steel that connect together to create a fastening at the front. Luckily, "Corsets: Historical Patterns & Techniques" by Jill Salen has a step-by-step guide to inserting a corset, which is actually comprehendible.

Here's how I did it:

Step 1: Lay the left front of the corset right side up, laying the 2 layers of lining ontop of it right side down. pin the edge and make sure that when the seam is flipped over that the right side of the top fabric is shown and that the lining with the pencil markings is shown underneath. Stitch centre-front seam.


Step 2: Fold open the seam so the linings are on one side and the top layer on the other. Position the busk so that you can see where the studs need to appear. Push holes through the top layer where the studs need to go. 


Step 3: Using a zipper foot, stitch along the side of the busk.

Step 4: Place the looped part of the busk on the right corset front and mark where the loops fall along the centre-front seam. Make sure they are aligned with the studs on the left side of the corset front. Stitch the centre-front leaving gaps for the loops.


Step 5: Turn corset right side out and push the busk through the holes. Using a zipper foot stitch alongside the busk.


My seams are a bit wonky and there are a few bumps, but it was difficult because my fabric was slippery and so is the busk. it slips around in the fabric, so a clean stitch was difficult. No worries, I've decided to bling up this corset for a costume (and make a tutu skirt), so I can cover the ugly bits.

I stitched in all the boning channels in all panels of the corset and sewed it together. I can't do anymore at the moment because I need to get eyelets and put them in to lace it up. Once it's laced up I can see if I need to take in the corset any more so it fits better. It probably needs to be taken in the waist, so a few boning channels will be removed, but that's better than it being too big!


In a few weeks I'm doing a photo shoot with a dear photographer friend, Tim, in my Marie Antoinette Costume in the Rocks. I've decided to make a skirt to go with it to make it less slutty, and then since I'm making this pink corset, I might do a second costume with this corset blinged up, and a tutu skirt with a big bustle. Haven't figured out what I'm gonna wear over my boobs with this corset, as it is an underbust.  I'm thinking I might find a vintage slip in white and bling that up too. Or wear a lacy victorian blouse with a high collar. What do you think? Drawings of both the Marie Antoinette Skirt and this "ballet pink" costume will be posted soon.


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