I would like to begin by saying that a corset is a garment with structural integrity, and when you take away the boning and make it from muslin, you end up with a limp rag. I have many issues with mockups, including;
Luckily, I survived the ordeal with LOTS of starch (YAY FOR STARCH!). I make my own starch and it's the best thing since sliced bread. I don't use a recipe; I mix water and a little cornstarch (approximately 1tsp per cup of water. I eyeball it, so I couldn't say exactly) in a pot and cook it until the water goes from foggy to opaque. It's a very obvious shift: it bubbles sort of like a syrup, and is slightly thicker than water. If you dip a spoon into the mixture, it should coat the back. Obviously, you can always add more cornstarch if your starch isn't strong enough. But my small batch of starch is usually very strong. It's really incredible stuff. It makes the whole experience of sewing with plain weaves so much better and neater.
Anyway, I put the muslin together. The gores were a little tricky (maybe I can do a brief tutorial in the next post). I didn't understand the pattern directions, so I just sort of made it up as I went along. Luckily, they all turned out alright.
It was a train wreck, to put it lightly. Trying to fit the limp mockup was awful! I tried to use some crappy Jo-Anne's boning to give some support but it just made it worse, curling inwards and poking me. That stuff is awful! 10/10 would not recommend. I finished my work that evening by throwing it on the floor in defeat and taking this photo for my Instagram feed:
It stayed there, crumpled in a little ball for about a week while I pondered what to do (and by ponder, I mean procrastinated by making other fun things). But I finally came back to it, this time armed with starch. Oh, magical starch! I picked up the mockup, took my stray pins and boning out, and starched and ironed the hell out of that thing! Plus, I added a zipper at the front. I did this with my last corset and it worked very well. Unfortunately, the first time I worked on the mockup I had no zipper, which was part of my downfall. This time went swimmingly! I was able to put it on and fit it without too much trouble at all. And it looked gorgeous!
Now I'm just waiting on my fabric and busk so I can get started on the real thing. Fingers crossed that with a load of starch and some hard work, it will come out alright!
Until next time,
My name is Rosalie Silliman, I'm a history enthusiast with a love for sewing and costumes.