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  1. If you follow my Social Media this wont be a surprise to you and I'm writing here because I need to delineate some space and step forth into a new phase.

    Sew Curvy is currently going through tough times and I've spent the last month evaluating how to proceed in an increasingly difficult and hostile trading environment.  Since 1 July this year, the Brexit dividend has been paying out in spades, which basically means that many of our EU customers have vapourised.  A small business such as Sew Curvy does not have the resources to tackle the toll this is having on the UK in general.  Along with our dead pigs, bankrupt farmers, empty shelves and absense of lorry drivers, are the small businesses who cannot afford to take on European accounting services in order that they can set up subsidiaries, and/or pay VAT to 27 EU states with ease.  The will of the people was not that we commit this monumental act of self harm but the will of our corrupt government, says it is to be so.  

    We are all paying and for the last month or so I have been trying to figure out a way forward not only for the business but for my own mental health and happiness.  I am faced with the choice of either trying to compete with other businesses which can discount arbitrarily, apparently regardless of the need for profit, or change my business plan considerably.

    It's hard to admit defeat after all this time, but luckily I have other irons in the same fire. I'll still run Sew Curvy but on a scaled down level. Orders will be sent twice a week on Mondays and Thursdays, and this will enable me to concentrate on other areas of the business. I'd love it if you could still support me on this journey - I really don't have much choice. I've even read my tarot cards twice (two decks!) and used an oracle deck to make sure! All say "transform, re-evaluate, move on" ... So that is what I shall have to do.

    In the first image is the beginnings of a corset pattern. I have at least two books to write - one on patterning, the other on super duper professional corsetry tips and techniques to maximise your profits and bring your corsetry to pro-level very quickly. The methods transformed my business and will transform yours too! I'm also doing my online course, and there will be more patterns. There is A LOT to do and a lot i can do, but It's very very hard to let go of my baby which is the shop and the foundation of my business, in order to make space for that. A true leap of faith! Pic 2 is from The Druid Animal Oracle a card that I drew this afternoon "Adder" meaning transformation - I had an Adder tattooed on my spine 20 or so years ago when she first led me down this path - a path which led to Sew Curvy. It's time to follow her once more.

  2. Corset Mock Ups

    I've written a detailed tutorial on making and fitting a corset mock up on the Tutorials page of this website.

    You can find it HERE.

    How to make a corset mock-up

    This is a supplementary blog post with a few extra pointers following questions i've seen in online groups and in my inbox.

    Use the best type of fabric for corset mock-ups

    cotton calico for corset making

    Fabric should be non-stretch.  Idealy Coutil.  If you can't make it from coutil, then a medium weight non stretch calico will do the job just fine.  This is only a mock-up.  You want to check fit and shape once.  That's all.  Calico is all you need.  Unless you're fitting a client, then only coutil will do.

    Fabrics NOT to use:  Any and all types of linen, upholstry fabrics, stretch fabrics, twill unless it's herringbone twill, drill, denimn (especially upcylced), poplin, ripstop, nylon, scuba, synthetic fabrics such as a thick satin unless it's corsetry cotton backed satin.

    Fabrics I personally wouldn't use because I think it's too thick:  Ticking, canvas

    What is Coutil? And why should you use it?

    corsetry coutil fabric
    Coutil is a special fabric made especially for corset making.  It is very densly woven, but very smooth and light.  Plain cotton herringbone coutil is ideal for making a mockup.  At under £10 a metre it's not that expensive. You'll only need half a metre for most size of toile if you cut carefully.

    Follow the instructions on the corset pattern

    sophia pattern instructions

    All indie corset pattern brands are owned by professional corsetieres.  They all have different methods of pattern making.  Their metrics are all different.  They all include very specific instructions with their patterns, on 

    1. Measuring
    2. Making a toile
    3. How to alter it.

    Read the instructions in your pattern through several times before you start.  Make notes.  Highlight important parts.  Corset patterns are not the same as dress patterns and if you're a first time corset maker, trust me, you don't know how they work on your body.  Follow the instructions, make the toile.  Take each step one at a time.  Remember, all corset makers are different.

    Note:  Don't even think about using a corset pattern from a commercial company if you want to make a real corset.  Just don't.  There are plenty of explanations as to why this is in the blog post linked above and in other articles on this website.

    Eyelets and Facings

    corset toile on the inside

    You need facings on your corset mock up at the centre back.  You don't need metal eyelets.  Remember this is only ever going to be worn once.

    Having said that, your lacing panel does need to be strong enough to withstand pressure for that one time fitting so use your facings.  That's a double layer of non stretch fabric for your centre back panels where you will then cut the holes for your lacing to go through.  If you want to make it a triple layer, then do so.  

    A single layer will rip as soon as you start pulling the lacing in, so double or triple face and you're good to go. No point wasting corset grommets or eyelets, they're not re-usable.

    I personally am not a fan of lacing strips.  They are innacurate, they look untidy and they get in the way.  Just make your back panels, add a 'seam allowance' of 3-6cm, fold it under once (3cm) or twice (6cm), et voila! automatic facing with no extra sewing.

    Seams

    corset toile with marks

    Personally I'm a fan of sewing a corset toile more or less as I would sew a corset, with a few shortcuts.  This means that I do use boning tape.  And the reason for this is because it's good practice!  Yes, i'm sewing all the time, but you can never know everything, and you can always improve.  So I don't use lacing strips, I don't use busk strips (these seem to be a new thing!), and I don't use lacing tape either.  Getting to know a corset as it goes through all of it's stages of development is in itself, an essential tool in your mental toolkit and will ensure that the final item is really tip top.

    One more tip.  If you don't stitch your bones in the channels at either end, you will get wrinkling as the corset bones force their way out of the channels under the pressure of you wearing the corset mock-up.  I was absolutely horrified to read a corset making book which gave the reason for these wrinkles as a sway back or an asymetry whilst at the same time showing a picture of bones poking out of the top of their channels.  If your bones are not secure in their bone casing, then you will get wrinkles, so stitch them into the corset mock-up at the top and the bottom before you try it on.