Underbust Corset

I absolutely love corset making! I have made several over the years, and while they can be a challenge I always consider them a fun endeavor and a great addition to many costumes.

I recently picked up the book Corset Making by Julie Collins Brealey, and I really enjoyed it. I used the techniques described in her book to draft my own underbust corset pattern. It turned out great! I highly recommend her book if you would like to draft a corset pattern specific to your body measurements.

After completing my corset several of my students expressed interest in making a corset of their own. So, I decided it would be fun to share the techniques I used with everyone! This is just a simple costume corset and is not intended for tight lacing. I also used budget-friendly easy-to-find materials. For beginners, I think it is important to see if you enjoy the process of corset-making before investing in some of the more expensive materials and tools. I find corset making very rewarding, but many find the process frustrating and would prefer to purchase a ready-made corset instead.

But for those willing to face the challenge, who love corsets as much as I do, this tutorial is for you!

What are the most important skills in corset making, you ask? Organization and precision!

Unfortunately, in corsets, errors are often amplified. There are SO many seams, that a small discrepancy in cutting or sewing can leave the size of your corset off by an inch or two. As a result, I make precision a priority and cut the pieces out in a single layer. Corsets have tons of pieces. Those pieces often look very similar. It is super easy to get them mixed up. As a result, I like to label all of my pieces with significant markings, piece names, and top edges. This helps me ensure that I don’t get pieces mixed up while I am sewing.

For similar reasons, I like to lay out my pieces in the correct order prior to sewing so they stay in the proper position as I put them together.

This corset is constructed by assembling a fashion layer and a structure layer and sandwiching them together. Boning casings are made by sewing the two together. No separate casings are needed!

The trick is to ensure that those two layers are the same size so the seams align!

I tried two different pressing methods for my corset. Pressing the seams open and pressing to the side. Watch the detailed instructional video to see what I liked best!

I used zip ties for the bones in my corset! I have always wanted to try them out, and while I found that a lot of them weren’t perfectly straight, they worked great! It was simple to grab a package of zip ties and some pet nail trimmers at Walmart. No waiting for shipping or delays. While they may not be the best option, they worked surprisingly well, and I wouldn’t hesitate to use them again for simple costume corsets.

Rather than eyelets, I used grommets with washers in my corset. These are a bit stronger and last longer. I used a grommet press, but grommet setters that use a hammer are also available.

To finish off the corset I made coordinating bias binding. You can see my skill-building tutorial for how to make your own! I just love it when the binding actually matches your project!

I like to finish the binding by hand to give it a nice finish.

Supplies: (Actual quantities may vary depending on size and style)

Tools:

  • Basic Sewing Supplies
  • Sewing Machine
  • Grommet Setter (and hammer) or Press
  • Awl or Grommet hole punch (I use a small sharp awl and a tapered awl)
  • Rulers
  • fabric marking tools
  • Plastic boning trimmers (I used pet nail trimmers. Sturdy scissors often work for thin plastic boning.)
  • Protective Eyewear
  • Sandpaper (optional)
  • Sewing Clips (optional)

Patterns: PATTERNS INCLUDE NEGATIVE EASE! There is an intentional 2-inch gap in the back. Corset will be smaller than the measurements given. (Measurements indicated are the body measurements, not corset measurements, with the exception of height.)

Measurements are in INCHES

SizeUnderbustWaistHigh HipWaist to HHHeight at Center Front
Original302934.53.59.5
C26.423.929.749
D2825.531.349
MORE SIZES COMING SOON!

Size Original: (UB 30, W29, HH 34.5, W to HH 3.5, CF Height 9.5)

Size C: (UB 26.4, W 23.9, HH 29.7, W to HH 4, CF Height 9)

Size D: (UB 28, W 25.5, HH 31.3, W to HH 4, CF Height 9)

More sizes coming soon!

Quick Overview:

Detailed Instructions:

Happy Sewing!

Sloth Plush Video Tutorial Part 2 and Backpack

Part 2 of the Sloth video tutorial is finished and ready to share! I hope you are excited to complete this project!

Sloth Supplies:

  • 7 x 48 inches Faux Fur or Fleece for body and legs
  • 4.5 x 18 inches of fleece for the face and claws
  • Scrap felt for face details
  • Two 16mm Safety Eyes (You could also use felt circles or buttons if you prefer)
  • Embroidery floss
  • Magnets, Velcro, or Snaps (optional)
  • Scrap fabric to cover magnets (optional)
  • Coordinating Thread
  • Poly-fil Stuffing

Helpful Tools:

Files:

Sloth Quick Overview:

Sloth Video Detailed Instructions PART 1:

Sloth Video Detailed Instructions PART 2:

BACKPACK

When I made the sloth plush project I always intended for there to be accessories to go with it. So, here is the first!

This is a tiny little backpack that is just adorable on the sloth project!

It could easily be adapted for other dolls and stuffed animals by adjusting the elastic straps.

You can choose to make the backpack out of a single layer of fabric (like my denim example), or you can make it with lining (pink example). There are also two different options for the lower straps. Loops that go around each leg, or a single strap that goes around the belly.

Overall, I was really happy with how this one turned out. I hope you enjoy it as well!

Supplies:

  • 4.5 x 18 inches of Main Fabric
  • 4.5 x 18 inches of Interfacing (optional – I used Pellon SF101)
  • 4.5 x 18 inches of Lining Fabric (optional)
  • 1.75 x 4 inches of fabric for the trim
  • 3 inches of 1/4 inch wide ribbon (optional)
  • One 7 inch Zipper
  • 3/4 yard (27 inches) of 1/4 inch wide elastic
  • Coordinating Thread

Files:

Backpack Video Instructions:

Sloth Plush Video Tutorial PART 1

The sloth plush has been one of my posted free projects for quite some time, but I thought it was time to make a video!

I absolutely LOVE this project! It is so cuddly, which just makes me happy! It does take a bit of time, especially if you choose to work with fur, so the instructions for this project will be in two parts.

Supplies:

  • 7 x 48 inches Faux Fur or Fleece for body and legs
  • 4.5 x 18 inches of fleece for the face and claws
  • Scrap felt for face details
  • Two 16mm Safety Eyes (You could also use felt circles or buttons if you prefer)
  • Embroidery floss
  • Magnets, Velcro, or Snaps (optional)
  • Scrap fabric to cover magnets (optional)
  • Coordinating Thread
  • Poly-fil Stuffing

Helpful Tools:

Files:

Video Instructions PART 1:

2 Layer Face Mask with Filter Pocket

I am constantly trying the think of new ways to improve face masks. I am going to be wearing these every day to work like many of you and I hope to create masks that are both comfortable and functional.

After making the 3 layer mask with a filter pocket I thought I would give this one a try. I was very pleased with the results.

3img_1925

This mask uses my regular contoured face mask pattern, but cut at the pocket line, so it is a bit more narrow. This actually is nice because it’s not as hot since it doesn’t extend as far toward the ears.

1img_1931

The channel for the nose bridge wire is optional, but is simply a row of stitches attaching the lining to the exterior fabric.

1img_1952

I didn’t use any interfacing on mine, and I really like how lightweight it is, even with the filter.

1img_1947

I also tried strap adjusters with this mask. They are handy and are quite easy to use. I like that they are small and not bulky.

Supplies:

8 x 10 inches Main Cotton Fabric (Dimensions work for all sizes. You may need less fabric for smaller sizes)

8 x 10 inches Lining Cotton Fabric

Straps (I used 1/8 inch elastic)

Filter (Optional)

Nose Bridge Wire (Optional)

Strap Adjusters (Optional)

Free Pattern:

Contour Face Mask Pattern with Filter Pocket by learncreatesew

DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS:

FACE MASK KEY CHAIN CASE:

The face mask key chain case is always a fun project πŸ™‚ It’s a little tight fitting the nose bridge wire, and you have to fold the filter, but I like to store my mask in the case when it’s not in use, without the filter and wire. I find it keeps my masks nice and organized.

Contour Face Mask with Nose Bridge Wire and Filter Pocket

If you are looking for a face mask that provides additional protection, then this may be the mask for you. Nose bridge wire allows for a more personalized fit, and a filter will make your mask more effective.

1img_1287

This mask uses the same basic pattern shape as my regular Contour Face Mask, but has additional features. The updated pattern, with pockets, is linked below.

1img_1261

Adding nose bridge wire will let less air escape from the top of the mask and will force more air through the filter. I have heard it also helps minimize the fog you get if you wear glasses.

1img_1291

I made a size Medium and my purchased filters that I found on Amazon fit quite nicely inside. The filters are 4.72 x 3.15 inches. Smaller sizes may need filters or filter fabric that can be trimmed.

1img_1303

Supplies:

These dimensions will work for all sizes. Actual size needed may be smaller if you make a smaller size.

About 8 x 15 inches Main Cotton Fabric

About 8 x 15 inches Lining FabricΒ (I used cotton)

About 8 x 13 inches of Pocket Fabric (I used cotton)

Elastic, Ribbon, or Fabric for Ties.

Nose Bridge Wire (Mine is 9mm wide.)

Filter or Filter Fabric

Here is the free pattern:

Contour Face Mask Pattern with Filter Pocket by learncreatesew

DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS

Contoured Face Masks

I really like the look of contoured face masks! Making a pattern has been on my to-do list for several weeks, and I am happy to share it with you today!

1img_1172

With many of the patterns I tried, I found that the mask would move around a lot when I spoke. This drove me crazy, and as I result this project sat at the bottom of my stack for a while. But this week I found new motivation and tested it out again.

1img_0969

Lo and behold I made a pattern that works! This mask has a great shape, but allows me to talk without worrying about having to adjust my mask every two seconds. Since you are supposed to touch your mask as little as possible, I think this is a big plus!

This pattern makes two different styles of mask. Masks with either fixed ties or masks with adjustable ties.

FIXED TIES & ELASTIC

I have to say,Β  I definitely prefer fixed ties. Maybe it’s because I have made so many masks that I know exactly what size works for me, and since the ties don’t move I feel like I always get a really good fit.

1img_1041sm

Even with fixed ties you still have plenty of options for the ties that work best for you. There is the single tie back mask, elastic, or the basic two tie option. Also, with fixed ties you use less elastic, so if you have a limit supply, that is something to consider.

1img_0896

ADJUSTABLE TIES & ELASTIC

While fixed ties are my favorite, there is no question that there are definite advantages to using adjustable ties. If you are planning to use elastic, and you want to donate the mask to a charity, friend, or relative, adjustable elastic is great as the wearer can adapt it to their preference and size.

1img_1170

You can also make a single fabric tie that is adjustable.

1img_1165

While this option looks great, I found this to be one of my least favorite options, as I had a hard time tying the mask to fit just right, but I know a lot of people prefer this design.Β 

You can also use two basic ties on the side to tie behind your head or ears. If you are planning to tie behind your ears, I would definitely choose a thin ribbon.

3img_1180-1

All of the masks fit in my key chain carrying cases, which I always love πŸ™‚

MY FAVORITES

My overall winner for comfort and fit was the single tie back mask. I don’t know what it is, but it is just comfortable! I never have to worry if it is going to fit right.

1img_0933

For convenience you can’t beat either of the elastic masks. They are still really comfortable if you make the elastic the appropriate size, and so easy to use. There is nothing better if you need something that is a quick on and off. Plus you don’t have to worry about the long ties when storing or washing.

 

Supplies:

These dimensions will work for all sizes. Actual size needed may be smaller if you make a smaller size.

About 8 x 15 inches Main Cotton Fabric

About 8 x 15 inches Lining Fabric (I used cotton)

About 8 x 15 inches Interfacing (Optional – I used Pellon SF101 for some of the masks. The black and gray mask has no interfacing.)

Elastic, Ribbon, Bias Tape, or Fabric for Ties

Here is the free pattern:

Contoured Face Mask Pattern by learncreatesew

FIXED TIES – DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS:

 

ADJUSTABLE TIES – DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS:

 

FACE MASK CASE:

 

Hand Sanitizer / Lip Gloss Key Chain

I am so happy with this project!

1img_0729

I have been wanting to make a lip gloss key chain for a while and finally had the chance to do so. I LOVE IT! They turned out just the right size πŸ™‚ I was very pleased.

1img_0745-1

Once I had the lip gloss version done I was very happy to find a similar size spray bottle that works perfectly for liquid hand sanitizers! It would be awesome for perfume as well.

1img_0704

Once I had this key chain ready, I couldn’t resist making another size for larger hand sanitizer bottles. This works great for many 1 oz flip top bottles that usually hold gel hand sanitizers.

1img_0783

Since this project is so small, I used my purple thang a ton while sewing.

1img_0800

I used them for the first time today and I already love them. Perfect to add to your key ring or purse. These are also super cute as gifts! And since they don’t take much fabric, they are very affordable.

1img_0628

Supplies

1 key ring

2.5 inches of 1/4 inch elastic (for wide version)

6 x 10 inches of cotton fabric (or scrap fabric)

Here is the free pattern:

Lip Gloss Hand Sanitizer Key Chain Pattern by learncreatesew

DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS:

QUICK OVERVIEW (FLAT POCKET):

QUICK OVERVIEW (ELASTIC POCKET):

Needle Book

This is a cute fun little project. It is super fast to make, and handy to have around the sewing room, especially if you do a lot of hand sewing. These also make really cute gifts.

1img_0209

It doesn’t take much fabric, so it is a good way to use up your scrap fabric!

1img_0286

I love the little pockets. You can store thread, needle threaders, needle grips, and even tiny travel scissors.

This book measures approximately 3.5 x 2.625 inches when finished.

Supplies:

Scrap Cotton Fabric (or 1/4 yard)

Felt

12 – 14 inches of narrow ribbon (I used 1/4 inch wide)

Featherweight Fusible Interfacing (optional)

Cotton Batting (optional)

Here is the free pattern:

Needle Book Pattern by learncreatesew

DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS:

QUICK OVERVIEW:

Fun Size Backpack Tutorial Part 2 Now Available

I finished the instructions to the backpack!

1img_0140

I hope you enjoy making this project! I have added a quick overview as well if you just want a peak at the project.

DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS PART 2:

QUICK OVERVIEW:

Free Pattern:

Please note: This pattern has been updated. There was an error on the original pattern. The bottom pocket gusset should measure 12.75 inches in length. Sorry for the inconvenience!

Fun Size Backpack

I absolutely LOVE this backpack! This is my favorite size backpack to take to amusement parks. At 9 x 11 inches it is smaller than regular sized backpacks, but large enough to hold a lot. I’ve stuffed this thing with water bottle, snacks, extra sweatshirt, wallet, keys, notebook, first aid kit, and more. However, it’s not so big that it gets too heavy, as regular sized backpacks can.

It even fits in a lot of the ride compartments at Disneyland. That is it’s best feature in my book!

3img_0172

It is constructed with a layer of cotton overlaying duck canvas. I used bias tape to bind the seams.

1img_0090

I’ve made six or seven of these bags using a variety of fabrics and interfacing. I’ve used vinyl, suede, plain canvas, fusible fleece, and even satin. The cotton covered canvas, with woven interfacing is my favorite combination! It is nice to work with, strong without being bulky, and holds its shape very well.

3img_0056

I love the pocket in front. While it takes patience to construct it’s not too difficult once you know the method.

1img_0039

This bag also has adjustable straps depending on how you like to wear your backpack.

Supplies Needed:

1/2 yd 41” wide Main Cotton Fabric
42 inches 19” wide Interfacing (I used Pellon SF101)
3/8 yd 58” wide Canvas (I used duck canvas from JoAnn)
One 20 inch zipper
One 13 inch zipper

1 pkg Extra Wide Double Fold Bias Tape
75 inches 1” wide Strapping
Two 1” wide Rectangle Rings
Two 1” wide Tri-glide adjusters
One “Handmade” Metal Tag (Optional)

This project takes a bit of time and patience when working with multiple pieces, zippers, curves, and interfacings. Difficulty 7/10.

Approximate Finished Dimensions (inches):

Main Compartment 9 x 3.75 x 11, Pocket 7 x 1.5 x 5.75

DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS: PART 1: Fabric, Zippers, Pocket

DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS: Part 2: COMING SOON!

Free Pattern:

Please note, this pattern has been updated. There was an error in the first version of the pattern, the bottom pocket gusset piece should measure 12.75 inches in length. Sorry for the inconvenience!