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Frequently asked questions from customers about products and services.

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  1. At Sew Curvy we have quite a large range of bust forms.  We have them in various sizes, colours and types.

    There are the regular fabric style bust form which are quite 'round' in appearance and are made of a moulded fabric which feels a little bit like a fine felt.  And we have the 'swimwear' version which are more flexible in feel and I think, more realistic in shape.
    photo 


    The regular bust forms can be used in dressmaking, the swimwear bust forms can obviously be used in swimwear and bikinis (or even corseted swimming costumes?)  and both types of bust form can be used in corsetry.  What would you do with them?  You can either use them to make a 'modest' cup under a sheer panel - ie, the panel will still look sheer at the bust but you won't be able to see the 'naughty bits' - or you can insert them into the bust in dresses and corsets for more shape or dimension, or you can use them as a mould for cupped corsets.  The range of uses for these marvellous things is actually quite limitless.  Just think about it.  Use a bust form to drape a cup pattern for your cupped corset.  Once this is done, attach your covered cups to an underbust corset pattern.  Experiment, explore, have fun with them!

    The regular forms come in the cup sizes you may be familiar with but are a bit on the small size, and the swimwear cups come in small, medium or large and look out for a cupped corset masterclass at Sew Curvy HQ, in the Spring with the wonderful Alison Campbell of Crikey Aphrodite!

  2. For good corsetry, you need two part metal eyelets with a wide'ish collar - not too wide so as to look clumpy and bulky, and not so narrow that the fabric soon works its way from under the rim and the eyelet falls out, ruining the corset.  Also the shank of the eyelet must be not too long so the eyelet is loose when set, and not too short so that the eyelet cuts the fabric when set.  It's a fine balance !

    You need two part eyelets because the washer part of the eyelet, sandwiches and encloses the fabric safely and ensures a smooth finish to the inside of the corset.  One part eyelets which do not come with a washer,  are not strong enough for corsetry.  One part eyelets are commonly used for leather work - in belts or as a decorative feature, or in paper craft.  They are made of softer metal and when hammered, the back of the eyelet shaft collapses and can become jagged.  This will not only feel scratchy against the wearer and possibly cause injury or damage to other clothing, but it will certainly decrease the life of the corset substantially by causing wear to the fabric of the corset around the eyelet. 

    My favourite eyelets for corsetry are 5mm wide  however, not all eyelets are created equal!  You need different dies to set different eyelets. Dies are the little tools which help to set the eyelets properly either by pliers or by hammer.   Prym make it easy by providing an all inclusive eyelet kit which includes a set of dies that fit the separate Prym pliers which in turn do a marvellous job of not only punching a small hole for the eyelet, but setting them too, with hardly any effort.  However, these pliers only work with Prym eyelets and the same is true of all other eyelets - they only work with the die's that are made for them.  Annoying, but true.  Therefore, in order to make a good job of setting your eyelets, you do need the correct set of dies.

    Find your Prym Eylets in the shop here:  Prym Eyelets and pliers for corset making.

     

    eyelets

  3. Sew Curvy corset lacing is specially made for Sew Curvy in a British Factory.  It 100% cotton and woven in a flat tube 7mm wide. This flat tubular weave provides maximum strength and durability.  Sew Curvy lacing is used by the world famous Cirque du Soleil for their trapeze artists' costumes - they like it because it is strong, yet flexible and soft.  

    roll of laces
    Because the lacing is cotton, it can easily be dyed to match the colour of your corset.  There are instructions on how to do this in the Tutorials section of the website.  Try using tea or green tea to dye your laces a 'natural' colour.

    I do not supply finished laces, that is to say, with metal ends in given lengths.  Why?  Because those laces are exactly the same, but cost at least three times as much. However I do supply it either by the metre, or in a whole roll of 100m.  Continuous lacing is economical.
     
    Ends can be finished with a knot - which will be invisible when your corset is laced, or you can whip the ends with embroidery floss or stitch on special cord ends or aglets.

    For corsets, you only need one length of lacing which is tied in the middle via 'bunny ears'.  I would recommend 4m for a short underbust corset, and up to 7m for a long overbust.

    Click here to buy corset lacing.

    how to lace a corset

  4. I often put a little freebie into my parcels going out to regular customers - only something little as a token of appreciation for their continued support of my business.  I bought a big bag of seam rippers from my wholesaler, to sell on the site, but also to use as a little free gift.  However,  so far, haven't put any of these into a package unless they have been ordered.  Why? I  am frightened people might get the wrong idea about my opinion of their sewing! - a bit like giving someone smellies for Christmas .. 

    The thing is, a sharp seam ripper is an absolutely vital tool for any seamstress or corsetiere.  Believe it or not, seam rippers get blunt very quickly.  The better you are at sewing, the blunter your seam ripper is likely to be.  It's a sad fact but I probably use my seam ripper, more than my sewing machine! 

    Now these seam rippers are the best I can find and the cheapest!  They cost £0.50p.  I don't believe in spending lots of money on a seam ripper because you do have to replace them so often.  Before I bought in bulk, I would buy 4 or 5 of these seam rippers at a time from my local haberdasher.   I still always make sure I have a personal stock of these and mark my current one with a blob of nail varnish - this way, the new sharp ones don't get used until the current one is blunt and in the bin. 

    If you get into the habit of using a sharp seam ripper, you will soon know and appreciate the difference between a sharp one and a blunt one - a sharp seam ripper will unpick your stitches faster and with much less risk to the rest of your sewing.  So! If you haven't replaced your seam ripper for a while, I urge you to assess the situation and replace  your seam rippers frequently for best sewing results. And if you do happen to get one from me that you didn't order, it's a gift but not in a bad way ;)

    seam rippers