16 April 2011

Bustier versus corset

I am taking Kenneth King's bustier class at Pattern review, and am learning some very interesting things.  First, the most important thing: the difference between a bustier and a corset!  The second thing I am learning is ... I don't really want to sew a bustier!  Third (and this was well worth the cost of the class!) why my Kwik Sew 3850 bustier-made-corset-style flopped ... which relates back to the major difference between corsets and bustiers.

Before signing up for the class, someone had asked on the message board class pre-registration Q&A thread if any of it was applicable towards making corsets, and KK replied "Yes."  I am happy to report there is "truth in advertising" here ... I am picking up some really good tips for construction.  I just don't feel it would be ethical for me to post them, because KK earns money from both his class and his CD-book.  However, I will say that for me this class is worth the fee.  Then again ... I've been the adventurous newb frustrated by lack of info available for free on the web who has been learning by mistakes ... err, "learning opportunities".  As y'all recall, I had quite a few of those with the KS 3850 bustier-corset ... and hadn't figured them all out on my own.

I suppose with enough Googling and reading, the difference between a bustier and a corset can be found on the web ... it's a small but important difference in patterning.  A bustier is designed to have zero ease ... lay against the skin like a second skin.  In contrast, a corset has negative ease and shapes the body with more solid and more support (boning).    The bustier takes its shape from the body with no wearing ease, whereas the corset shapes the body (even just smoothing things out is a form of shaping).

Which brings me to the second thing I've learned ... since a bustier doesn't shape the body, I am not actually wanting to make a bustier.  Which means my Kwik Sew and the new McCall bustier patterns will need to be modified on a fundamental level before using them.  I like the looks of both KS 3850 and M 6325 ... but I don't have the body to pull off either one as a bustier.  Time for me to learn fundamental theory of corset-drafting ...

Which brings me to a more informed analysis of why my KS 3850 bustier-corset flopped - other than the fact that bustiers and corsets aren't quite the same.  Along with the over-engineering in the bust cups, I didn't have near enough support in front (unlike my denim mid-Victorian) combined with too much ease despite it hugging me through the waist.  For a corset, zero ease is still a bit too much.  Also ... and this may be a biggie ... I am not sure the KS bustier can be made strapless.  From wearing mine a few times (granted, I didn't follow the instructions for it!) it does feel like it hangs from the shoulder straps ... whereas the McCall's bustier pattern has two of the four views as strapless.  Ideally, a bustier should have enough support to do strapless, and not hang from the shoulders.

I am kinda-sorta-not really sewing right now ... a nasty storm front hit us Thursday night and I am still hearing thunder now on Saturday afternoon.  Today I've been playing with my embroidery machine a bit, and also discovered the "air dry" fabric marker I used Sunday afternoon was not a good idea, as most of the marks have disappeared because I've taken so long to get back to it.  Oops ... new note from Sergeant Obvious: Don't use the air dry fabric marker unless you are certain you will get back to the project before the marks "dry" away!  Yup, live and learn ... and pics will need to wait until tomorrow because it is just so grey again today.


Rebecca said...

It seems like we're having the same weathers, its been storming here too. :]

dfr2010 said...

Wouldn't surprise me, Rebecca ... this storm front is huge according to the weather sites I check. I do need to say I am relived I am south of the ***ice/snow*** line (my sympathies to those getting the evil white stuff this late in spring!).