After a pretty full on start of the year making bridesmaids dresses (pictures coming soon) plus my own dress for the wedding, I took a well earned break in lovely Westport with lots of lovely food, sun and couple of cocktails too. Now I’m back into the swing of things with a new commission for a fun party dress. An underwired corset covered in yellow silk with a tulle skirt, this design is flattering to most shapes. The bra style top is tailored to your cup size and shows off the waist whilst the full skirt suits every leg shape. More time goes into a made to measure dress than an off the rail style and even more when it’s figure hugging, because fit is everything. A corset with cups has the same amount of options as a bra between the band and cup sizes. Shown above are the cups being pinned in and prepared to sew. Sewing curved seams can be tricky so pins and temporary stitching hold it in place for precision. I use contrast thread so it is easy to spot when removing after machine sewing. I love bright colours so I always use colourful threads for this. It’s the little things that make the job enjoyable. Once the corset is constructed, spiral boning and underwire are inserted in order to hold up the dress without straps. There are many ways to do this, the most popular being plastic boning but this is not long lasting and only moves forwards and backwards on the body. I prefer spiral boning which moves in all directions with the body and lasts a lifetime. It can be found in many vintage dresses. The pliers are used to cut the wire and tape is placed at either end to prevent any escaping wires. The cups are put together like a bra and also contain underwire to hold the bust a place. Here is the corset before and after the spiral boning and underwire. The next step is to cover the outside and line the inside. As silk is a light and delicate fabric, I have backed it with flannel to reinforce the seams and to prevent the thick seams of the inner structure from showing through. Silk can have a life of its own under a sewing machine so taccing the seams first holds them in place. You can see this above, using the bright thread again and my trusty snips. Snips are basically mini scissors but make the job much quicker than having to pick up the fabric shears every time. The next step is to sew all of the silk panels and start to cover the corset .