Sew a Versatile Corset Top with Simplicity Patterns + Cricut




Hello there!

Welcome back! I've been working real hard over the weekend on this strapless corset top and I'm so excited to share it with you guys.  I've partnered up with Cricut again and used my time-saving Cricut Maker to cut, and mark, the pattern pieces for this top.


Cricut has joined forces with Simplicity Patterns to offer hundreds of sewing patterns that work in perfect harmony with Cricut's included, easy-to-use, software, Design Space and the Cricut Maker.
This means that in addition to the Cricut's capabilities for thousands of craft projects, it's now getting even better for us apparel sewists! The Maker not only cuts out beautiful, neat, pieces (out of hundreds of types of fabrics) but it also marks all the notches, darts, and pattern markings for you. This saves so much time and means you can get to the fun part of sewing your project even sooner.




** You will notice that my final garment is a different color than the fabric used in the following tutorial. I ended up dyeing my corset with Rit dye to achieve a color I liked better. If you would like to know more about dyeing, or have questions about how I did it, please be sure to comment below! I'd be happy to answer any questions you have. **

Eyelet fabric from The Tin Thimble
Shorts are McCall's 6061 in seersucker.

Fitting the Pattern


The Simplicity + Cricut version of this pattern is for a size 10 (that's a pattern size 10, not a dress size 10) and it does not state the ease anywhere on the pattern pieces or the instructions. After making it, I'd say it has about 1 1/2" of ease. The pattern is supposed to fit bust 32.5", waist 25", hip 34.5". My measurements are bust 34", waist 28", hip 37" and I was scared that this pattern was going to be too small. I ended up sewing the whole thing with 3/8" seams (instead of 5/8) initially, to free up some room. After trying it on, it was a tad large on me, so I went back and resewed the seams with 1/2" seam allowances.

Because the Cricut version of this pattern is 'fixed', meaning we can't make any adjustments to the pattern pieces before they're cut, we have to fit it after we've sewn some pieces together. As always, making a muslin first would be a good idea so you know if it will fit and what adjustments will need to be made in the process. 

Although I used the Simplicity + Cricut version of this pattern, it is available as a paper pattern here if you prefer that. Paper patterns are great, and I use them all the time, but I have to say just how nice it was to have the Cricut Maker do all the marking + cutting for me! I am excited to see the range of patterns (and sizes!!) grow in Cricut Design Space. 

When I shared some early details of this post over on Instagram, I had a question from a reader about the difficulty of the bust adjustment and any potential shortening. There is a shorter version of this corset available in the paper pattern, as well as for the Simplicity + Cricut version. However, if you like the longer version, but need it shortened for your torso, it would be easy to do. The corset is relatively straight across the bottom 1/3 of each piece, and you could certainly shorten the corset through there. In terms of bust adjustments, the corset has 5 seams in total. One center seam, one seam directly over each boob (side/front), and one side/back seam on each side. This means there are lots of places to make adjustments and I think this would be a fairly simple pattern to make bust adjustments to. There are also four darts, two at the center front, and two at the side/back seams, which would allow some alterations to be made in the fit as well. 

Personally, I am very small around my chest, directly under my arm pits, so I had to take in the very top of the corset, using the side/front seams. I took in about 1" on each of these seams at the very top, and using a french curve, graded that 1" back into the side/front seam near the apex. 


What You'll Need


- The pattern: Simplicity 8130 designed for the new Cricut Maker.
- 1 3/8 yards of lightweight fusible interfacing (I used a woven cotton fusible interfacing)
- 3/4 yards of 45" or 60" fabric for the exterior of the top and the bow (I didn't do a bow, and therefore I only needed 1/2 yard)
- 1/2 yard of 45" or 60" fabric for the lining
- 5 buttons
- 1 1/4 yards of 1/4" boning
- Rotary mat & rotary cutter 
- Pins
-Scissors 
- Cricut rotary blade
- Cricut marking pen
- 12" x 24" Cricut FabricGrip mat
- Thread to match your fabrics


Load the rotary blade and the marking pen into the Cricut housing. Be sure to push the marking pen all the way down into the housing. It makes an audible 'click' when it pops into place. I made the mistake of not pushing it all the way down once and was very disappointed when my markings weren't there.


Let's Begin


Cut exterior, lining and interfacing to the correct sizes. According to the instructions we'll need...

From the interfacing: Two 12" x 24" pieces. One 12" x 14" piece.
From the lining: Two 12" x 24" pieces with the grain running parallel to the 24" side of the Cricut cutting mat. One 12" x 24"piece with the grain running parallel to the 14" side.
From the exterior fabric: One 5" x 20" piece of fabric for the bow with the grain running parallel to the 20" side. Two 12" x 24" pieces pieces with the grain running parallel to the 24" side. One 12" x 14" piece with the grain running parallel to the 14" side.

Unsure about grain? This post will help you!


Once you have the pieces cut to the appropriate sizes, place each piece right-side-down on a mat and let the Cricut do the work for you! 


Remove the beautifully cut pieces and sort them by exterior, lining and interfacing. 


Corset Construction


Ok, so now here's where I deviated from the instructions a bit. You knew I was going to, didn't you? :)

First of all, for the sake of simplicity and clarity, the next few steps will only show the left side of the corset. You'll then want to repeat the steps for the right side. 

Because I'm working with eyelet, which is sheer, and I didn't want to be able to see the glue-side of the interfacing through the eyelet, I pressed the interfacing onto the wrong side of my lining fabric.  You may also choose to do this, or you can follow the instructions and apply the interfacing to the wrong side of the exterior fabric. It's up to you. Just note that if you're following this tutorial, you're going to see the interfacing attached to my lining pieces.

So, press your interfacing onto whichever you've chosen, just make sure you apply the interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric.


Next, follow the diagram on the instructions and stay-stitch your lining and exterior pieces.


Next, sew the darts in your lining pieces. There will be three darts in total, one on each piece.


Next, pin the corset side/front (piece #1) to the corset side (piece #2) with right sides together.


Then, pin the corset side (piece #2) to the corset back (piece #3) right sides together.


Sew the two seams with 5/8" seam allowances. 


Clip the curves. This means to make small cuts in the seam allowance near the stitching without (!!!!) cutting your seam. These clips help the curve stretch to fit the contours of your body.



Repeat the steps above for the other side of the corset and then sew the center seam together.

Ta-dah! Your lining is now complete. 

At this point, I would recommend trying on the lining and making sure it fits. Make any necessary adjustments and then take notes of them, because you'll need to make those same adjustments on the exterior pieces. 



Repeat the steps all over again to construct the exterior of your corset!



Congrats! You've made it this far and your top is really starting to look like...well, an actual top!

Now, place the exterior of your top right sides together with the back facing you. Fold the edge of the right side over 5/8".



Ok, sorry about this dear readers, I photographed this next one in the wrong order. Don't let the bones confuse you!! 

Now place your lining wrong side up and fold over the right edge 5/8".



Now Let's Insert the Boning


This is good ol' plastic boning that you can find at JoAnn, Walmart, and most smaller sewing supply stores. If you have them, I prefer metal bones, but I didn't have any on hand.

Cut the bones to the following lengths:

- two pieces the length of the side/back seams
- two pieces the length of the back darts
- two pieces the length of the front/side bust seam below lower notch + 1/4"
- Two pieces the length of the front/side bust seam above upper notch + 1/4"

I chose not to put the boning above the upper notch because after sewing it in, I didn't like the way it formed the bust curve, or the way it fit, so I removed the boning and was much happier with it. You may choose to put in these pieces of boning or not, it's up to you and how you like the fit.


*It helps to number the boning pieces to their corresponding seams to keep everything organized. For example, you may want to number the seams 1 - 5 from left to right, and then number the correct pieces of boning 1-5 so you know which piece of boning goes over which seam.*

Next, slide the casing down to expose the end of one piece of boning. Using scissors, trim the following amounts (Be sure to trim ONLY the plastic! Don't cut the fabric casing, because you'll need this to be 'empty' at the ends to attach the boning to your corset.

7/8" from each end of the side seam boning pieces
7/8" from each back dart boning pieces
7/8" from one end of side/front upper, and 3/8 from the other end of the boning pieces
7/8" from one end of the side/front lower, and 3/8 from the other end of the boning pieces



Round the ends of the boning, if possible, as you cut it.


On the side/front upper and lower, and the back dart boning pieces, fold over a bit of the fabric casing and hand sew it. These ends won't be sewn with a seam into the garment, so this hand sewing prevents the ends of from fraying and your boning from slipping out.


If you have an adjustable zipper foot, get it out! I don't have one, so I used a regular zipper foot and it worked fine, but my seams are not nearly as neat and pretty as they would have been if I had an adjustable zipper foot.

Pins will be hard to use here, so, going slowly and using your fingers to keep the boning in place, sew the very edge of the cotton casing, all the way around to attach the boning to the lining.

**Note that your boning should be at least 5/8" away from any outside edge of your corset! If your boning is closer than 5/8" from the edge, it will get caught in your final seam and make it impossible to turn your garment right side out. As you are attaching the boning to the lining, check the distance from the edge of the lining to the end of the boning. If it needs to be trimmed, now is the time to do it.**


I started with with the back dart and attached my first piece of boning. Here is what it looks like completed. Note that the top of this piece of boning is finished, and that the bottom of the boning is more than 5/8" away from the bottom edge of the lining.


Continue with each piece of boning until they have all been attached.

Finishing Up

Now, lay your exterior corset right side up. Place the lining over it, right side down.


Pin all the way around, leaving the right side, where your edges are turned over, unpinned.


Sew around all 3 pinned edges. Again, be sure to leave the right side of the garment, where the edges are turned in, unsewn.


Here is my corset all sewn together. Note that the end closest to you in this picture has been left open.


Clip the center front, all curves and trim the corners carefully. 



Next, reach your hand into the opening you left on the one end. Grab the garment on the inside, on the opposite end of the opening, and pull it right sides out. 


Poke out the corners gently with a knitting needle, chop stitch, point turner or whatever tool you have.

Press the entire garment. Where the lining and exterior have been turned under, press them, and whip-stitch the opening closed by hand.


Sew the buttonholes. I have a tutorial on buttonholes here, if you need help.


Then sew on your buttons, and you're done!!


After dyeing my corset red, and sewing on the buttons, here is what it looks like!





Bonus Post!

I've also put together a bonus tutorial from this post on how to create a detachable peplum! 





Thanks for reading and spending some time in this little corner of the internet today.

As always, feel free to ask any questions in the comments section. Happy sewing!

-Hannah

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

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