So, this proces was looong, full of mistakes and I learned a lot. Here is how I did it:
– I had no idea were to start, so I bought one big cotton sheet to use it as “white canvas”. I cut a piece and I wrapped my mannequin with it, sticking it to the body with pins, then I drew the lines that would make the panels around the sheet and after that I took some tissue paper and translated those lines into simple shapes.
I knew that I had to do the pannels because I watched several videos in YTube ( this channel is awesome and really useful ) about how to make a corset, which were specific about using many panels of clothes to give strenght to your creation.
I wasn’t sure on how many panels Harely’s corset has, but I based my design in 7 panels per side.
So, I did the panels and the belts that hold it on the shoulders. I cut the shapes on the white cotton sheet and then I sew it together as a mockup, and checked that everything was ok, I even used the belts to make sure the belts were going to be the right lenght.
At that stage I already had my fabrics, so I sew it all together thinking already how to do the boning of the corset. Which I did with spiral iron bones.
There’s several ways to do the boning, and I choose to use the seam allowence as “bag” or “holder” for the bones. I allowed an almost 2 cm biger seam allowence in specific places to use it as bones (4 bones in each half ) and when I sew it I also sew the cages for the bones. Then I added the bones and after everything was secure I added two layers more of fabric to the entire corset, making it a three layered corset.
The other layers where also paneled and sewn like the beauty outside layer (without the big seam allowence of the boning cage due we already have one, no need more ), so all of them where flexible and resistent. This gave a lot of weight to the corset, but it helped a lot to give autenticity and realism. To sew the seems and the three layers of the pannels together was a real nightmare. The machine wouldn’t collaborate so much and I had to repeat the proces twice in one of the sides. But the resalut was awesome.
After that I just had to do the borders, which I did by hand, slowly while I was watching Dexter ( it took me around 5 episodes ). While I was doing that I realized I should have left much more seam allowence than what I did, because at some points I struggled a lot with the bumps and the finish is really not smooth. (In the picture, the top one hasn’t been treated in the borders. You can see that my hand sewing is pretty bad, but still looks much better with it )
Meanwhile I did the belts that go around the body ( the purple ones ) and attached them to the corset using rivets.
Then I build the other belts, the ones that go aournd the arms and I used a little portion of craft foam for the wider part. I wanted it to be rigid and sturd, so what I did, I sew it inbetween to pieces of fabric and I also sew the edges of the res of the belt to the extrems. This way everything is really stuck togehter firmly.
At the end I just had to sew it where they meet the belts and the big ring on the back ( I also put some rivets as decoration and as extra supportive force in the juntcions ).
The way I did the belts was sewing with the sewing machine the borders, folding them to the inner side of the belt, but keeping inside another piece of the strongest fabric ( Yep, I’m really worried that everything brake down ).
Then the hardest part was actually the purple thing between the red sides. I sew it to the inner fabrics of the panels by hand and because of the tension, the pointed corners of the corset were blending out, which gave a non really atractive shape. And what I did was using a bit of that craft foam, I sewn it to the inner sides of the pointy corners.. and it worked! Now it stays straight and looks awesome.
For the strings inside this little purple piece I used red natural silk ribbon I already had. The same I will use for the back laces.
Then I put the body and the arm belts together and voilà! we have the corset 🙂
I had some tension probelms with those belts, and I had to redo the size of them, but now it is solved.
The only thing I have left to do, are the holes on the back and use eyelit pliers to adjust the eyelits ( I just was really unlucky with the pliers I got and they both are useless ), but that’s the last thing I need to finish it up.
-Get a hole maker thingy, to help you do proper holes for the rivets. It honestly saved my life in precission.
– Do the mockup before and think carefully how are you going to develop your tecnique. It’s a slow process with many littel details you have to consider.
-Allow big allowences for the borders, it is always better to cut than to do it again because you don’t have enough.
And I think that’s all!
The next are going to be the boots.. Uuuh! I’m scared. I will let you know how it goes 🙂 And let me know if you have some questions, I know I explain myself a bit chaotic.