Monday, July 13, 2015

A quick-n-easy way to store pre-cut corset boning is... not what I'm supposed to be working on right now.

Getting ready for a big costuming con is always a maddening thing.  It seems like the to do list gets more things added to it than get crossed off.  And my attention flits from one project to another so often that I feel like I'm always working, and yet never getting anything all the way done.  Plus, I never get around to taking the time to take any good pictures, so even the stuff I'm getting done doesn't get shown off.  I suppose that when I'm quiet around here is probably when I'm getting the most things done.  I just can't seem to share any of it until after the con has come and gone.

The Sunday breakfast at Costume College has a Regency theme this year, and my only Regency piece was a ballgown.  So, something new had to be made.  And with the ballgown I wore a pair of wholly inadequate short stays, so new stays were on the docket.  And a new chemise.  And perhaps a day cap.  Ok, so I was building an entirely new outfit from scratch.  My sanity is clearly in question.  Here, have some ridiculous fitting pics to giggle at.  The chemise is straightforward, and the cap is exactly as ridiculous as I intended.  Once I get a nice, clear photo of it, I'll put it up on the Historical Sew Fortnightly group for the Accessories challenge.

Collapsing bust cups.  Not groovy, yo.  I went back and put some corded channels over the bust to give a bit of added shape, then put in an additional boning channel.  Not extending over the hips made the stays super comfortable and way easier to fit.  Back looks good, except for the boning is too long going into the straps.  I either need shorter boning, or I need to learn to hold my shoulders back, because when I pull them back, it looks fine.  An extra snug bodice on the dress might aid me in that respect, but I might try to shorten the bones, anyway.

Anywho, so of course, my brain decides to take a little detour on a a quick-and-easy side project that: fit an immediate need, used up a bit of stash and was started and a finished in a matter of hours, making me feel like I'm at least accomplishing something.  While trying to figure out what boning lengths I had and what I needed to order, my frustration level with my current mode of storage for corseting bits reach critical mass.

Seemed like a good idea at the time, but hella hard to dig out the lengths I'm looking for.

The concept came from the ideas for rolled up storage of knitting needles and crochet hooks that I've come across over time.  There are no pictures of the pieces, but it's pretty straight forward.  Cut two rectangles of the cotton canvas left over from the stays project; wide enough for one inch per number of differing lengths of boning I'm likely to have on hand and tall enough to accommodate my longest bones, plus a few inches for seams and wiggle room.  Lay the two pieces on top of each other.  For the top piece, cut it in half at an angle, on a line drawn between marks 2 inches shorter than the shortest and longest bones.

Bind the angle cut side of the 'top' piece with bias tape from the Grandma stash.  Lay canvas pieces together and sew 1 inch channels through both pieces.  Lift the needle and skip over the top of the channels, but go ahead ans sew across the bottoms.  They're going to get bound, anyway.  Cut the loose threads at the top of the channels on the right side of the project, but...

Leave the threads on the back of the project in place to prevent unraveling.

Sewing across the bottom of the channels, within the 1/2" seam allowance of the binding.

Lay the two layers of cotton on top of a fashionable outer fabric and sew
together with binding around all four sides

Add a ribbon to one edge for securely tying the rolled case.

And the genius moment, use up the leftover bits of bias tape by making a loop for hanging and...

Viola!  Store hanging up to keep boning from sliding out and free up space in the drawer.

You like that striped yellow cotton?  Me too.  I picked it up from the Scrap Swap at Figments & Filaments this year.  The other 5 3/4 yards of it is getting made into the Regency day dress that goes with the foundations pictured above.  I like how the projects pair up like that.  Makes me smile.


  1. I nominated you for the Liebster award , which you can accept or refuse , detail on my blog about this

  2. Excellent way to store those boning pieces! Genius, even! I made something similar for my double-point needles (which didn't fit into my big knitting needle case). I love this idea, though, and now I'm thinking about a few other things I can apply it to (never thought of it for anything but the knitting needles). Thanks muchly for the ideas! :D My craft room will eventually be organized!

    BTW, just got back from the San Diego Comic Con. Here's the costume I was working on (still not entirely finished; LEDs need to be added to the wings, and the legs need a bit of tweeking). I know fursuits aren't your thing, but you are one of the few people whose opinion I value. :)