|It is essential, if you want a perfect fit, to make a corset from ‘scrap’ fabric before you make the real thing. The purpose of this is to check the fit and enable you to make tailor made adjustments accordingly. Obviously with a corset, fit is very important as you will want the waist to be reduced enough for good definition whilst allowing for everything else to be pushed up or down. This is the "squidge factor" and allowances may have to be made by simple adjustments to the bust and hip area. This is where your toile or 'mock-up' comes in. Look at it as a practice run. You not only get to see the fit, but you can figure out construction methods along the way.
These are just a few basic guidelines to making a corset mock up. Some of these points are also extremely relevant for making up the real thing.
You will need:
Cut your fabric pattern* pieces according to the instructions given in the pattern. Look at hints and tips on how to do this HERE
On each side, press the centre back edge in by the seam allowance and stitch 10mm from the edge creating a channel. Sew a re-inforcing line of stitches next to this.
Mark eyelet holes at regular intervals 5mm away from the second edge seam on both sides - make sure they match horizontally on each side.
Make holes where you have marked with a tailors awl
There are several ways to secure bones in a toile. Either, press out the seam allowances and sew down the raw edges on each side to form bone channels on either side of the seam, or sew the seam allowance together forming a pocket as shown, or, simply press the seams apart and stick the bones down on the inside with masking tape - it works a treat.
Add as you feel necessary but at least one on each seam
When your bones are in the toile, it's ready to try on - you may need somebody to help lace you in.
The waist line should have a crease running right through it. If this is the case then the corset is in the correct position. If the crease appears elsewhere on the corset, either pull it up or down until it feels comfortable - the marked waistline should have the crease running through it, if not, check that it was marked properly. If the waistline was not marked on the pattern/toile it will be where the crease is. Mark the toile accordingly.
Note: On Sew Curvy patterns, the waist is always marked and this is the matching point for all seams. I always advise that a waist tape is used in the toile in order to avoid stretching if using calico.
The gap at the back should be 2 inches wide all the way down. ie: the back edges should be straight. If they are curved inwards or outwards the corset is either tied incorrectly or it does not fit.
You can adjust minor fitting problems by letting out the seams or taking them in as appropriate and where there is strain or space in the corset .. either pin and tuck or slash and spread.
If your corset has a very small waist, and large hip/bust spring, then inserting gussets may help with shaping. Cut a line where you wish the gore to be, insert a peice of calico behind the cut, and pin out a gusset shape in situ to make the extra space required.