I know I bought a new corset pattern that is designed for cording, but I like the way the Alter Years corset fits me, so I chose to use it again, with some alterations of course.
Before I did any of the sewing and such, I took over the dining room with my sewing supplies! Just thought I would share.
And, so it begins with the shopping list;
1 Yard of white duck cloth canvas;
100 feet of nylon cord or rope (it seems like a bit much, but I literally used almost all of it);
3 yards of bias tape
Then came the pinning, I used my alteryears tabbed corset pattern, but simply pinned the tabs up so I kept the V and none of the abnoxious boning of the tabbing.
Easy altering, just folded the taps up and made the lines a bit more soft for the final look of it all.
Then, following that sandwich method that we all know I love so much, I laid the two pieces of fabric out, and began sewing the casings. This part was very time consuming, tons and tons of straight lines, all the way through. The size of casings will depend on the size of the rope/cording you use. The other thing to remember is that the thicker the cord, the less room the corset will actually have when you're done with it. Luckily, my corset pattern fits pretty perfectly and it could stand to be a tad smaller. You can't really see the stitching, but it's just straight lines to put together the casings.
The next part was the easiest, but more time consuming step. Using floral wire with a loop at the end of it, I pulled each piece of cord into each casing and left long ends so that I didn't lose any of the pieces.
After that, it was back to the sewing machine! Using a zig-zag stitch, I stitched around all the edges of the corset, fixing the cording into place so that it has less opportunity to move around. Yes, I have a heavy duty machine, but if you buy a soft rope/cord that isn't coated in plastic it should sew through just fine.
Then comes the tedious work; trimming the edges of the cord. It wasn't too difficult, but I did have to be careful because I didn't want to cut them too long or accidently cut them crooked. Or, worst possibility of all, cut the cloth and have to trim it all down because of a silly mistake.
After that, using store bought bias tape (I'm terrible about cheating like that), I covered the raw edges, because they're too thick to roll and they need to stay flat.
Then, I just had to mark and punch the eyelet holes. Usually a very simple task but the rope cording makes it really difficult. Some eyelets fall in the small gaps between the cords, some need to be punched through the cording. It was no small task, to say the least. So, with some creative eyelet punching, and a good pair of scissors to supplement those tough spots, I set to work and got the last step done!
It was actually a very easy project, with just a bit of patience even the most basic, beginner sewers can make this. Not to mention, it is very period correct for italian and pretudor corsets, the cording gives a much softer line in the torso and still cinches and supports. For bustier women it will give that pretty italian curve in the bust and for flatter women (like myself) it can help for cleavage issues and it's more comfortable than boning. The cording allows you to bend and flex, while still maintaining the shape and keeping you all tucked in. But, it worked perfectly and fits just as well as my steel boned corset does.
I missed a set of eyelets towards the top, hence the bulge in the closing. But after fixing that mistake it laid flat, I just didn't take another picture, I was feeling lazy after getting this done.
All in all, I'm very happy with this corset and it's definatly a project I'm going to do again. I would suggest this over a boned corset any day!