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Breaking Ground Tour- Fashion Corset

When Melissa asked me to join one of her blog tours, I had to say yes. She's so well organized and great to work with. But then when ...

When Melissa asked me to join one of her blog tours, I had to say yes. She's so well organized and great to work with. But then when she said it was a "Breaking Ground Tour" well, I started to get nervous. The goal of the tour was for us to branch out, try something new. Something new? <Cue heart palpitations>

I waffled back and forth for a LONG time. You know me, my creative process comes on like a freight train, but I have to be ready to jump on, or else I'll lose interest. So on a random Wednesday night, I got the urge to make a fashion corset. My husband brought home a stack of patterns for me to put together and I instead went and printed out the bodice portion only of the +Sew Over It Rosie Dress.

Prior to this, I had never sewn a Sew Over It Pattern. This London based designer appeared to have some cute stuff, but more importantly, she had a bodice that called for sew in boning. I'd never used sew in boning, so I hopped on ebay and ordered a roll (it was cheaper to order a lot than just a little).

image from
Once upon a time, when Ti was very young and also incredibly over confident I did attempt to make a fashion corset. I used Simplicity 6480. I decided that I was going to skip all the things I thought were too hard and just use a single layer of fabric. Looking back, I can't believe I thought that would even work. Suffice to say, it definitely didn't.

I wish I could say this project was a redeeming success. But honestly, it just wasn't. 😕  And I should have known just from measuring the pattern pieces, but I was too excited.

So what's the problem? I made ZERO adjustments to the pattern pieces. The muslin bodice ends at my natural waist. Why is that a problem? The average seamstress is not 5'1". No where on the shop page or pattern did it say this was drafted for a petite woman. AND, not only does it hit me at my natural waist, but the bodice does not come up to my armpits the way it is pictured on the images if I keep it at my natural waist. When I picked the pattern by my full bust (39") and used a size 14, there was a LOT of ease. But worse, the instructions all talk about how there isn't a lot of wearing ease in these patterns! The height of this bodice at the side seam is 8 1/2" WITH the 5/8" seam allowances. Subtract out those seam allowances and the side seams are 7 1/4". My side seam from armpit to waist is 9".

A few notes about the sizing. After using a size 14 and failing miserably, I tried again. I made the size 10 bust to 12 waist. The 10 bust is supposed to be for a 35" bust. My bust is 39". I found that the bust shaping was close enough, but the upper bust was too loose! My upper bust is 35". I had to take in the side front by 1 1/4" on each side. That is 2 1/2" to get it to match my 35" over bust. The finished measurements for a size 10 are supposed to be a 36" bust. There is no amount of movie magic to get a 39" bust into a 36" dress. But I was able to put on my muslin AND zip it.

I was so hopeful for this project, but it just didn't work out. But I did sew the completed fashion corset if for no other reason, practice. It won't be getting worn, ever.

In general, I don't think I'll be buying another Sew Over It Pattern. I couldn't get the fit right, and that really says something to me. You should be able to trust finished measurements and these failed me. Maybe it was my fault. But my 1" square is correct and I know how to read well enough. There isn't a single review of this dress on and even their own pin board for the Rosie Dress only has 2 other models and both look to be very thin women.

BUT, all is not lost. I'm still on the look out for a great fashion corset and I'll tell you all about my next attempt on Friday!
Here's everyone that's blogging along on the Breaking Ground Tour for Monday!
Anne-Mari Sews, Sewing By Ti, Musings of A Seamstress, Tenille's Thread, Couturious, Embrace Everyday, Sewing A La Carte

Be sure to check back with Mahlica Designs to get EVERY stop on the tour!

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  1. I'm glad you finished this dud anyway. Maybe your girls can add it to their dress up box.

  2. My experience is you learn a lot from failing projects. Looking forward to your next version on Friday.

  3. Well...even though it didn't work out for you, at least you learned something (Sew Over It patterns don't work for you.) That's too bad. I like that dress a good bit. I'm looking forward to seeing your next attempt at corset making.


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