I decided to use the embroidered material for the bust section, and the main fabric for the corset is a lovely rusty coloured taffeta edged in a plain brown cotton. The corset has boning to give it more shape, encased in orange ribbon.
My last post covered applying the trims to the bra. In this post I’ll take you through how I put together the belt.
We’ve already made the pattern for the belt and cut out the fabric ready. A sturdy base for the belt was made using interfacing, and the outer fabric was then stitched to it, this ensured that the belt doesn’t twist and sag under the weight of the kuchi coins.
I worked layer by layer using the same techniques as for the bra trims after which I began work on the metal coins and gathered silk flowers.
The last thing to apply before the lining was the velvet scoops around the hips. The pattern was made by draping the fabric and pinning in pleats to create the scoop. This was a process of trial and error until I had a shape I was happy with. Then the fabric was carefully unpinned marking all pleats and curves onto pattern paper.
I cut and lined each scoop stitching curved lines across each section to ensure it didn’t stretch too much. The pleats were added to the belt. At the front the belt needed a way of closing it securely to the body. It was decided that ‘D’ rings and ribbon were the best option for this as it allowed for a give in size as apposed to hook and eyes which are fixed.
The rings are positioned under the gathered flowers and are only just visible. The lining is cut using the same pattern as for the belt and stitched to the back. The belt and bra are now all finished.
No matter how well sequins are stitched on they do have a tendency of falling off or working loose, I usually tie off the thread every three to four sequins to reduce the risk of this. This will also keep any repairs that are needed in the future to a minimum.
Most importantly when stitching sequins and especially the heavy coins and metal work use a good quality strong thread (I use gutterman or moon threads). To strengthen the thread again with out adding more strands run the thread across a block of beeswax this will help stop the thread from knotting and reduce friction so trims don’t wear though so easily.
While stitching the overlapping sequins I found they moved around a lot making it look messy, so I thought it was best to stitch an additional line invisible thread over the top of the sequins making them much more secure- invisible thread being transparent looks much nicer for this type of top stitching, as you can’t see it. Transparent thread does tend to knot easily while stitching an become loose while stitching as it has a certain amount of stretch. My only advice would be to use it in short sections and persevere, because the finished look will be worth it.
In the center of the bra there needed to be a hanging heart and chain loops.The heart just needed to be stitched securely, and the chains after deciding how long to drape them it is helpful to measure each point they are going to be attached to and how much chain will be in each loop.
The last trims to apply were the Kuchi triangles and gathered flowers. The triangles needed to again be pinned in place and adjusted until they were even, I stitched these down securely but left the chains at the bottom to hang freely.
Although these steps are the most rewarding, as you can finally see the costume coming together, they are the most time consuming. I have now finished all the bra trims and will in the next few posts take you though a few of belt trims as many are the same as the bra before we finish with the linings and finishing touches.