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All tied up with the Great British Sewing Bee

Simplicity 5006 - as made by the GBSB contestants - the ultimate corset Simplicity 5006 - as made by the GBSB contestants - the ultimate corset
Wow, corsets as a first challenge. That was a fantastic challenge and the results were stunning. We appreciate that May and Patrick have to be picky because there has to be a winner, but the striped one was fab, also loved the Moulin Rouge version and of course the winning corset.   Best of all, Simplicity has the perfect pattern for this type of corset, Simplicity 5006, sizes 6-20. It is the ultimate corset with the lacing at the back and beautifully curved body hugging pieces for that ultimate tight fit.  
New Look 6480, a fab corset without the tricky eyelets and lacing New Look 6480, a fab corset without the tricky eyelets and lacing
If you want to make a corset top
Another New Look design (6242) with boned corset style top as well as skirt and trousers Another New Look design (6242) with boned corset style top as well as skirt and trousers
without the eyelets and lacing, then try New Look 6480 which has the same curved seamed pieces to create the shape, but without the lacing or New Look 6262.       There is also a fun corset pattern in the Costume selection of Simplicity, number 1345, sizes 6-22 – so really, there is no excuse – corsets are go!  
A selection of fun corsets in different styles, Simplicity 1345 A selection of fun corsets in different styles, Simplicity 1345
  The most important thing when making a corset is accuracy cutting out and then in the seaming. Because there are so many seams, being just 2-3mm out on each could result in a too small or too large corset! And remember, you will often make a corset with laces slightly smaller than your measurements so that you can lace it up and create this wonderful slim hourglass figure!   If you want to use spiral steel boning or pre-cut metal boning as the contestants did, you need to measure the channels you create with the seam allowances – deducting seam allowances for each end so that they fit perfectly. Of course, you can use plastic boning equally effectively and this can be cut to size. Do put the little end caps on though – which helps prevent the boning poking through the fabric with wear. (Hemline do a lovely range of boning and end caps).  
Another design with a corset in it. Do look at costume patterns, such as this one, Simplicity 1248 Another design with a corset in it. Do look at costume patterns, such as this one, Simplicity 1248
The contestants on the GBSB also had a great eyelet machine to make the eyelets easily but obviously we don’t all have one of these in our sewing rooms! But Hemline and Prym do a great of eyelets in kit form so you can make your own at home. If you use eyelet pliers you can cut the hole and then insert the two part eyelet with the tools provided. One tip - do work on a solid hard surface when snapping the two parts of the eyelet together, you need pressure and force to clip them into place.       The kilt challenge was also awesome with great results. Whilst I couldn’t find a kilt pattern in the range, I do think that Burda 7049 would make a good kilt like skirt if you do want to recreate this look.  
Burda 7049 is kilt-like, with the pleated back and straight front wrap Burda 7049 is kilt-like, with the pleated back and straight front wrap
Kilts have knife edge pleats around the back, which means the pleats are all folded in the same direction (in this case, left to right). To ensure all pleats are the same size, if you can’t follow a dominate line in the fabric weave, you can make a rectangular card template which is the width of one pleat and the gap between. For instance if the pleat is to be 4cm and the gap between pleats 5cm, then have a card of 9cm wide. Mark the outer edges as the fold lines and then mark 4cm from the right edge as the placement mark. Transfer these marks to the fabric as you move the card along the edge to be pleated. Then bring the fold line to the placement line each time. The gaps and pleats should be even and perfect!   Next week we’ve been promised leather and lace! There are some great patterns in Simplicity, New Look and Burda for these specialist fabrics, so we will be watching!   NB: My blog will be later next week as I am away at the Spring Knitting and Stitching Show in Olympia. But I will blog on my return.

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