Welcome to my first Sew-Along!
Over the next four to five weeks I’ll be walking through McCall’s Yaya Han Overbust or Underbust Corset. Released as part of the Cosplay by Yaya Han line which keeps growing each time I check the McCall’s site.
This will be the first time I make this pattern, and the first Yaya Han pattern I work with so I’m going to be reviewing I as I go. I have made a number of corsets before working with this pattern, but this will be the first time since the very first baby corset I made that I follow a pattern for it instead of doing the duct-tape method.
I decided to start with the cupped corset because there’s a handful of costumes coming up that are… how shall we say… ‘not bra friendly’. So the idea of a corset to keep everything in place was pretty appealing.
I’ll be making some adjustments as I go to fit the neckline I want, but I’ll be sure to point those out when I get to them.
Part 1 – Prep work
Let’s hear from our Senior Lion correspondent, Scar.
Thanks Scar, before we start any pattern we need to measure ourselves to know what size we are where.
Hoard your supplies What you’ll Need
- pens in different colours. (I use whatever’s handy, long as it’s not black/blue)
- a sharpie
- a clear/pale plastic table cloth or a clear shower curtain (either can be found at a dollar store)
- non stretch fabric for making a muslin or two
- The pattern!
I know that I don’t have the Yaya-esque boobs, I also don’t have the hourglass figure that the corset is initially made to fit. Neither of these are particularly difficult to work around, since the pattern takes into account your dress size measurements and cup size separately. Based on that alone I’m pretty excited that I won’t have that soul-crushing moment of mocking together a ‘large’ corset and then look down to see the cups be as big as my head.
Look up the sizing
On the back of the pattern, (or flappy bit of the envelope) note which size you’ll need to use on the pattern.
Since this is a corset I didn’t bother writing down the multiple sizes for shoulders/waist/hips, like I would for a dress or coat. I’ll just fit it to my body once I have mockup #1 done.
Write down the pieces you’ll need
Note: I’m adding padding to the corset to help achieve a bustier look for the costumes I plan to wear it with. As a result, I’ll be cutting out two sets of pieces: one for the fashion layer and interlining as the D cup and one for the lining layer as an A/B (they’re grouped together)
Sorry it’s a blurry. I’ll replace the image with a sharper one shortly.
Trace out the pattern
Okay. For those of you with ‘helpers’ who are way too helpful, this is where you lock them in a room they can’t escape from for the next ten to twenty minutes and put on loud music to drown out the sorrowful cries.
Pictured: Too Much Help
Open your pattern and lay it out on a clean flat surface, (I use the floor) and then open your plastic tablecloth and spread it out on top of the pattern. You’ll be able to see through it easily to the pattern underneath.
Smooth out the plastic and place weights in the corners to keep it from shifting. I use my phone and whatever’s around cuz I’m all professional like that. take your sharpie and start tracing out the pieces you’ll need.
It’s going to shift a bit as you move from piece to piece, but as long as you keep the plastic still while tracing out each singular part, you’ll be fine.
Then, trace out the pieces. The added benefits to using the table cloth are that you keep your master copy of the pattern in one piece, unmarked. Also, you can make any alterations in size on the plastic. Say if you know you’ll be a size 16 waist but a size 20 at your hips, or you need to add/remove an inch to the waist, this is a perfect time. Sadly, I forgot that I am a giant, and did not add the extra waist inch, and had to do it later.
Remember to mark:
- What number the piece is
- What part – side front, middle back, boob cup A, etc
- The grain line – those arrows you can see
- notch marks
- any deviant seams – hur hur deviant
- matching marks – the squares and circles
- Deviant note: Since some pieces I’m cutting out twice, I also marked if the pieces were for the D cup or the AB.
Be sure to check off each piece you’ve traced on your list from earlier. That way you won’t forget any and have to go back later.
When you’re done, fold up your paper patterns (oh look they fit back into the envelope!!) and let the poor helper get free. Pets, treats or just general apologies encouraged but not required.
There is one downside to this method however… but rubbing alcohol takes the ink off if you really can’t deal with stains. Just be sure to moisturize after.
Cut out your Muslin #1
Now that your copy of the pattern can withstand helpers, pin it to your muslin fabric and cut it out.
Since corset pieces can get a bit confusing to remember which is which, I follow up by writing in pen the name of the piece (Side, front, etc) and draw an arrow pointing ‘up’. Since I’ll be writing all over the muslin, it doesn’t matter much how much info you do or don’t put on. This is just what helps me.
And that’s it for the Prep work, next week we’ll be ready to put the muslin together and then start adjusting it to fit our bodies.
See you next week!