Corsets make more than great lingerie and costumes. Corsets adorn wedding dresses, nice jeans, and swimsuits. Like stilettos, corsets inject a va-va-voom effect to plain outfits through creating a balance between the expression of sexiness and soft femininity merged with edginess and taboo through fashion. One-piece swimming costumes especially benefit from a corset style. Not only does a corset-style swimming costume enhance the appearance of traditionally dull one-piece swimming costume, but corset swimsuits help any woman camouflage common figure flaws.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Sewing machine
- Fabric scissors
- Swimsuit pattern
- Cloth measuring tape
- Chlorine resistant swimwear fabric or Lycra sateen fabric
- Coutil or swimsuit lining
- Bra underwire
- Bra pads
- Bra straps
- 10 grommets
- Steel or plastic boning
- Bone casing
- Corset lace
- Swimsuit brief
- Fabric pen (optional)
Take accurate measurements of your figure with cloth measuring tape. Wrap the measuring tape in a circle around the smallest part of your waist. Next, wrap the tape around the fullest part of your hips and take that measurement. Measure your entire bra size by measuring the fullest part of your bust as well as your bra band size, which is located underneath your breasts and around your back. Finally, measure the entire length of your torso.
Record the five measurements (hips, waist, bra, bra band and torso length) of your figure on a separate piece of paper and check your measurements against your pattern size. Your measurements should match the measurements of your paper pattern as well as the size of your swimsuit brief.
Lay the corset paper pattern on a flat table. If the paper pattern is not separated, cut the paper pattern into individual pattern pieces. Most corset patterns consist of four to six main pattern pieces with a separate section reserved for the bust area depending on the pattern. Note that in between each pattern piece there should be an area allocated for the steel or the plastic boning insertion.
Number each piece of the paper pattern in numerical order to keep track of the order in which the corset will be assembled. This step also ensures that the corset is not sewn backward.
Cut the swimsuit fabric and the fabric lining to match the shape of your paper pattern using fabric scissors. Trace the paper pattern to the fabric and to the fabric lining with a fabric pen. Cut the fabric and the fabric lining slightly larger than the paper pattern leaving at least 1/4 inch of extra space for adjustments.
Determine the difference between the inside and the outside of the swimsuit. Place the fabric lining behind the swimwear fabric to face the front or outside front section of the swimsuit.
Sew the fabric lining to the swimwear fabric using the sewing machine and strong thread. Use the be pieces of fabric that match the same shape as the paper pattern of the corset, since the lining should now be a part of the swim wear fabric.
Sew each of the individual swimwear fabric pieces together along each of the seams. Between each piece of fabric, reserve at least a 1/4 inch section for inserting the plastic or the steel boning by sewing two seams close together, as if leaving space to insert a straw.
Insert the plastic or steel boning into the boning casing and place the casing with the boning inside the 1/4 inch section for the boning insertion.
Create a swimwear bra to attach to the corset swimsuit using the sewing machine. Insert the bra under wire in boning casing and sew fabric around the casing. Align and sew the bra pads inside the swimwear fabric and the fabric lining. Then, sew the fabric enclosed bra under wire to the fabric enclosed bra pads creating a semi-strapless bra.
Sew the strapless swimwear bra to the unfinished body section of the corset with the sewing machine.
Attach the bra straps inside the edge of each of the bra cups with the sewing machine. Position the back of each bra strap with the boning for the back of the corset, so that the bra straps should appear in a position to the side like tote bag straps. Now, the swimsuit should appear as a semi-complete full corset.
Attach at least five grommets on each of the side panels of the corset fabric, beginning at the bottom of each of side and back panels of fabric. Space the grommets apart by 1/2 an inch. Make sure the grommets are positioned evenly on each side of the corset.
Insert the corset lace and loosely tie at the top of the corset. The corset lace will be tightened once no further adjustments are needed for the corset swimsuit.
Sew the swimsuit brief at least 1/4 to 1/2 an inch above the base seam of the body section of the corset to finalise the one piece suit. Try on your corset swimsuit to determine whether additional sewing adjustments are needed. If no further adjustments are needed, close all of the outer seams with the sewing machine by wrapping and sewing the extra 1/4 of an inch of the swimwear fabric inside the lining of your swimsuit. Tighten the corset lace to your comfort level.
Tips and warnings
- You can use sewing needle or sewing pins to keep your seams straight as you sew with your sewing machine.
- Take accurate measurements in both the metric system and in inches, since some patterns are based on metric measurements. The wrong measurements will prevent your fabrics from lining up properly.
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