Sunday, May 8, 2011


Sorry I haven't written in a while - it's been a pretty busy week for me.  My body wear muslin critique was Thursday (I'm super pumped about how they're turning out), and then I had to write an English paper.  On top of that, I'm in the hand-stitching stage of Nathalia's graduation dress which is slow work!  But if there's one project I'm really excited about at the moment, it's our newest draping project - a corset.

Unfortunately when I hear "corset" I think Frederick's of Hollywood or some tacky Halloween costume made of really cheap plastic boning, puckered satin, and far too few seams to do anything flattering to the figure.  But after a (lot of) online searching, corsets redeemed themselves to me and got me really motivated. 

My corset will be made of a baby pink canvas with a nude lace overlay.  Any time you construct a corset, there must be a stabilizing fabric underneath - in traditional or historical corsets, coutil, a very durable and thick fabric, is used.  So what about all those lacy and satiny corsets?  They have a stabilizing fabric underneath the fashion fabric. 

There are many ways to make a corset.  For mine, I will be letting all the boning channels be visible.  For a one-layer corset, twill tape is used on the wrong side for the boning, and the stitching shows through to the right side.  For a two (or three or four) layer corset, the boning can be attached to the inner layers and fed between them, or attached via twill tape, or can be sewn through stitched channels that go through all the layers of fabric - this is what I will do.  I love the complexity of the channels when they are visible, so I want to use that in the design.  I have 60 steel bones in the mail in their way to me (including a while and gold busk) and I plan on using almost all of them ... I will also be putting cups and underwires into the corset, as George, my draping teacher, mentioned that for those of us who are "less fleshy", the corset isn't going to do much of anything.  So, I'll make it do things.

Now while corsets may not be the hugest thing on the runway right now (the lingerie trend is very very slowly leaving us), corsets are far from forgotten.  The majority of fitted dresses and gowns have a corset built in to the foundational layer.

Dolce & Gabbana Spring 2010 - see the boning channels?

 Christian Dior Spring 2010

More updates to come!

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