Corset update… …and a busy weekend

Sewing the boning tape on over the flat-felled seams has actually gone OK. It doesn't look like the world's biggest mess, as I feared it might, though I think there is room for improvement. In fact, this is my first 'lesson learned' of this project. I compared my seams to the ones on my existing (purchased) corset, and noticed that they'd flat felled the seams in a different way. When I did it, I sewed the seam allowance down very close to its edge, as far away from the actual seam line as I could, which looks lovely, and is the way it's done on trouser seams and the like. However, the black corset shows the seam allowance stitched down much closer to the seam line. This has two advantages in this case:

  1. You don't get two lines of stitching very close to each other when you sew the boning tape over the seam. So if you're not perfectly parallel, it's not so noticeable. You do get a line of sewing pretty close to the seam line (which shows as a fold on the right side), but that's OK because it's not that close to it, and also you can actually see the seam line when you're sewing down the seam allowance, so you're likely to be more accurate anyway.
  2. It would be easier on curved seams, because of the difference-in-length issue mentioned in the last update. The closer to the seam line you stitch, the less the difference is, so the easier it is to get it smooth.

On the down side, the seam won't look as delicious on the wrong side, but that's OK because it gets covered with boning tape anyway.

I actually tacked the boning tape down before sewing it, on both edges. This is significantly more prep work than I usually do before sewing things together, but I think it was worth it. I don't think I'd have got the stuff lying neatly and smoothly and (mostly) in line with the seam if I was trying to wrestle it into place as I went. It took about an hour to tack the tapes down, then about an hour to do the machine sewing and pull the tacks out, for each half-corset. I only had to unpick one line of stitches for not behaving properly, which I think is quite an acheivement.

I then got confused. I was pinning on the boning tape for the casings that are in the middle of the panels when I came to the conclusion that I didn't have enough bones. Huh?? My first thought was that I'd lost some, so I did a search round the project bags. Yep, I currently have about three shopping bags worth of fabric that I consider to contain 'current projects' – pieces in various stages of cut-out-ness and assembly. They weren't there, so I checked the kit description on Vena Cava. Hmm, according to them I have the number of bones that I should have. So is the kit wrong?? I was part way through emailling Vena Cava to query it when I had the brilliant idea of reading the back of the pattern envelope, and the pattern agreed with the folks at Vena Cava. After a fair amount of discussion, head scratching and pencil chewing, I finally decided that everyone was right except me. The mid-panel casings are marked on the pattern pieces as solid lines – and so is the point that the back facing folds back to. This forms a bone casing at a later stage, but is not to be done yet. So effectively, I was counting that line twice, so I have enough bones. Which pleases me, phew.

I didn't get as much sewing done as I'd expected over the weekend, as we were unusually sociable. I thought I was being very organised for the dinner party we had on Saturday, until I cooked the world's ugliest cheesecake on Friday, and therefore needed to make backup pudding on Saturday. I then ran out of bread flour at a crucial point. Dough that you can stir with your finger when you should be kneading it is not good. So we had a Mission Impossible style dash to the Daily Bread for more flour, hoping that whilst we were away the 'dough' would not run off the counter and onto the floor, and also that we'd be back in under ten minutes as the crust for the backup pudding was in the oven and I didn't want it to burn. We managed it. Everything went beautifully, even the ugly cheesecake (which was disguised with a thick layer of cream and tasted great). And thanks to the ugly cheesecake, the chocolate pie and James's helpfulness/vote of no confidence (not sure which; he bought a backup backup chocolate cheesecake from Tesco's), we started Sunday morning with more pudding in the fridge than it usually sees over the course of a month. Or two.

Sunday, therefore, was the day of Cafe Otter. People came round, drank tea/coffee/fizzy water and ate lasagne/toasted sarnies/desserts. And watched Lord of the Rings. We still have excess pudding. Or we did when I left the house this morning; J might have finished it by now…

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