Now that we had a corset pattern that fit Rene, I was, at last, ready to make a "real" corset .. one with coutil. I had quite a bit left over from the corset class, as I had purposely bought more than I needed.
I used two layers of coutil, so that boning channel tape wasn't needed and the inside would look finished. From my stash, I had a limited amount of 100% cotton Winnie the Pooh fabric in a toile-looking design leftover from some other project. Knowing that Rene loves toile and Winnie the Pooh, I found that I had just enough to make a fashion fabric layer for the corset.
From my garment making days, I know, design-wise, that matching fabric patterns and motifs is a sign of good technique and skill. While I was fortunate enough to be able to match the design across the center front busk, there simply wasn't enough left to match any other seams.
For this corset, I didn't want the fashion fabric layer to be marred by the boning channel seamlines, so I chose to have it float. Because there are no seamlines visible on the front, it looks very sleek and the fabric motif isn't disturbed. To add interest, I topstitched 1/4" red satin ribbon over every seamline. White grommets were set and white lacing tape was used to lace up the back. [Note: in this picture, you'll see some extra lace motifs at the center back. These were later removed, as Rene didn't want them .. but at the time the picture was taken, I didn't know this .. and I'm too lazy to truss up my mannequin to take a replacement picture!]
A modesty panel was made with Winnie the Pooh fabric on one side and red taffeta on the other. The taffeta matched the "Rhett Butler" petticoat I had made in 2005. (In "Gone With the Wind", Rhett buys Mammy a red taffeta petticoat but Mammy isn't sure if Rhett is honorable or not at that point. She declines to wear it. It isn't until near the end of the movie that we learn Mammy has accepted Rhett as an honorable man and wears the petticoat ... since this is a red taffeta petticoat, it naturally must be called the Rhett Butler petticoat.)
As an extra element of decoration, I used my embroidery machine to create the lace scallops across the neckline edge. This free sample design from Lizanne-Creations can be found at Oregon Patchworks as part of the #22 Lacy Borders 1 collection. I stitched these lace scallops on one layer of Solvy (film-type water soluable stabilizer), overlaid with a layer of white tulle, and used Coats/Clark trilobal polyester thread. The digitizing is *wonderful*. Although they are not free-standing lace elements, the tulle enabled the design to be used as a free-standing element. After the Solvy was dissolved, the remaining scallop was delightfully soft and drapeable. Based on this sample, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend designs from Marie, the digitizer, of Lizanne-Creations.
It was after Rene had already worn the corset in a can-can revue that I made the lace scallops. Therefore, I had to hand stitch them to the neckline, on top of the bias binding instead of applying the bias binding over them, as I normally would have done. Since the scallops were pre-digitized, they were of a certain size. They are the kind of complex design can can't be resized at all .. you simply have to use them as-is. I stitched out 4 scallops per corset side but they didn't quite go from center front to center back properly; there was some space between the end of the last scallop and the center back. I had thought to use another lace element at the center back to compensate for the gap but Rene veto'd the idea.
Here is how the corset looks with the Rhett Butler petticoat ..from the front and from the back with the contrasting modesty panel.
The Winnie the Pooh corset also has my 'Jolly Rodgers Creation' ribbon label.