The last post ended with the corset ready for hand-basting along the seam lines, which gets all the layers lined up the way they should be. Without doing this step, shifting would occur when I sew the channels for the spiral steel bones, and the corset would have places where the fabric would bubble and bunch up, creating uncomfortable lumps for the wearer, and unsightly stitch lines that would wander away from the seams. Making corsets is a good exercise in finding the right balance between obsessive-compulsive behavior and knowing when to let go. Here’s a picture of the hand-basting:
After the basting was done, I folded over and sewed the center back. The easiest way I have found to line up the edges:
1. Machine baste on the lining layers 1 1/2 inches from the edge (the amount of the seam allowance I added to the center back)
2. Iron the lining layers right side out along the baste line.
3. Line up the outside layer with the lining layer, fold the outside over the lining and iron the outside layer. This makes the outside layer slightly wider at the finished seam, so the lining doesn’t show.
4. Separate the layers and refold them so that the raw edges are on the inside, then stitch at the folded edges through all layers.
I then stitched the channels for the bones. I first stitched 3/8″ away from the seam lines
I then removed the basting and stitched directly in the seams. I also made channels on either side of where the grommets will be installed at the back – this gives extra stability to a major stress point when the corset is laced.