Corsetry Workshops

Update: Another Corset Workshop on Sun 8th April 2018. An all day free social event in Hatch End, London. Materials available at the workshop for penny prices. Contact for more details. It’s gonna be fun with lots of tea and cake.

Introduction to Corset Making… by popular demand.

Are corsets really hard to make?

Answer: No. Any one with a small amount of machine sewing experience is capable of making a corset with a bit of step by step introduction.

There are 2 levels of complexity we cover in the workshop:

Level 1.
I love love love a waspie! Intermediate level and anyone looking for an easy achieveable first corsetry project can make a Waspie Corset. Essentially this is an underbust corset as pictured in the event title image. Easy to pattern draft and fit. No scary bust fitting to deal with. It’s also easy to make something fab and versatile that you can co-ordinate with fancy outfits.
waspie corset sewing

waspie corset sewing

 
Level 2.
Over bust corsets. For the ambitious. The techniques used are actually exactly the same as the Waspie
corset it’s just a little more advanced to fit but we will make up a twarl in the workshop.

overbust corset

overbust corset sewing

The corset making method taught is the same as how they are made for period dramas, theatre/opera and the heritage industry in the UK.

A lot of people just want to make what i call ‘fashion corsets’, aka. they don’t do much, they just look awesome!

If you do want to nip in that waist, the advised aim of a corset is to reduce the waist measurement by 2″. Any more than that and you will get unsitely buldges (muffin tops). I must state that I have absolutely no medical knowledge when it comes to corsets. The corsets I have made have never reduced by more than 2″ and have all been incredibly comfortable. I can comfortably wear a loose fitting waspie all day over an outfit.

corset busk sewing

Materials used:

1. Strong stiff fabric (cotton drill, denim, specialist corset fabric or similar) or good quality close weave fabric and something strong to back it with.
2. Ridgleen boning (plastic nylon boning). Unless you have metal boning already that you want to use up it’s really not necesary to buy expensive metal for your first project. This is available in bulk at the workshop for penny prices.
3. Bias binding for the top and bottom edge of your corset.
4. More bias binding for the boning channels. Remember you can easily make bias binding from the main fabric of your corset.
5. Eyelets…again available in bulk at the workshop
6. Lacing. 2m is a good starting point.
7. Matching thread (not cheap stuff that snaps easily in your hands).

inside corset lacing sewing

Topics discussed in the workshop

  • Suitable fabric
  • Adapting historical patterns (e.g. from Corsets and Crinolines by Norah Waugh)
  • Sizing patterns
  • Different types of boning
  • Different types of channel
  • Different loops and eyes.
  • Bias boning channels
  • Jean seam boning channels
  • Eyelets channels
  • Eyelets and loops
  • Busks
  • Gussets
  • Finishing top and bottom edges with bias
  • Lacing
  • Ridgleen boning
  • Plackets

corset lacing sewingcorset lacing sewing

Norah Waugh Corsets and Crinolines
pattern taken from Corsets and Crinolines by Norah Waugh

Best Banana +Stuff Bread recipe

Emilie at work asked for my recipe, so here you are Emilie! x   (It’s a cake really.)

Banana bread loaf recipe
I make Banana Bread because I always have frozen bananas in the freezer (peel before you freeze). And I always have paper loaf tin liners in the cupboard so there’s no phaffing around greasing and lining. This is by far the fastest laziest cake I can make and it’s scrummy. It’s an easy one to throw together for visitors or as something to take into the office.

Let’s quickly talk about the + Stuff. You can stick pretty much whatever you have going spare in this cake. Dried fruit, chocolate, seeds, chopped nuts, old sweets. I discourage from spontaneously adding dried coconut as I find it tends to dry out batters and this cake is best  moist. I save random chocolates for throwing into baked goods – cheap chocolate that doesn’t taste that special on its own is lovely as chunks in a cake.

Banana bread recipe
The example pictured here has sultanas, pumpkin seeds and some random leftover chocolate box chocolates that were won in a raffle (I used all the truffle/nut/fudge ones and binned the strawberry/coffee creams because they really weren’t going to work in banana bread).
Banana bread recipe

Ingredients

300g self raising flour
pinch of salt
75g butter/coconut oil/vegetable oil (I tend to use a mixture)
100g soft brown sugar
1tsp vanilla
3 eggs
2 large/3 small bananas mashed

+ Stuff
e.g.  handful chopped chocolate
handful sultanas
handful chopped nuts
handful seeds

 

1/   oven = 180*C fan

2/   cream fats, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl. Beat in eggs. Stir in mashed bananas.

3/   work in dry ingredients

4/   stir in +Stuff

5/   put liner in loaf tin and fill with mixture

6/   bake for 30min in middle of oven and then test for moist crumb.

7/   bake for an additional 5- 10min at a time as required. If you’re worried the top might burn, cover with a bit of foil and continue cooking in the oven.

Banana bread recipe

If you’re a terrible person you can spread nuttela on it.

 

I also have a really good flapjack recipe on my About page. Don’t bother making it if you’re on a diet.

 

Frilly Pillow Bag

I’m involved in running the Otome Sewing Bee Summer Sew Along and this season its all about handmade bags.

lolita bag pattern

Of the 3 patterns we are featuring (above), I’m in charge of the Frilly Pillow Bag.

Its a great practicle sized bag that holds A4, so is bound to be useful.  These style bags are a solid trend in Japan at the moment amongst Larme brands like RoseMarie Seoir, Katie and Maison De Fleur.

 

Here are the instructions and pattern.

PDF – How to make the Frilly Pillow Bag 1

PDF – How to make the Frilly Pillow Bag 2

 

The publication that inspired this project is Eternita, which I can not recommend enough. Gorgous mook.

 

For those wanting to have a go at the gothic cross closure, here’s the pattern. (Instructions to be added at a later date).

Ta da!


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