So I had a request to perhaps make a simple tutorial, and as I figured this could help me as well as others… Your wish is my command.
**Warning: this post is in centimetres, because that is how I measure. I have found so many posts in inches, and decided to fight back, as I am bored of having to get out my calculator to convert inches to centimetres every time I want to copy a pattern. 😉 **
1. I cut out my pattern pieces in 3 layers: the lining is linen, because it doesn’t fray too badly and is light and breathable; the interlining is the same coutil as I used for my Victorian corset, and the outer layer is a cotton from an old bedsheet.
2. I then cut the gusset slits on the front pieces. Two on each individual piece, means four for one layer, which is twelve gussets to sew in total! Eugh, but they’re not too bad once you get the knack of them. I have made gussets before, but this time I used the instructions from Sense and Sensibility’s Regency Underthings instructions. It goes like this:
a) Cut along the slit as marked in your pattern. I made mine 6 cm long, but the length is variable to your breast size.
Sense and Sensibilty advises to do your interlining ( middle) layer first, in case you make a mistake and so no one will see it. Good advice!
At the bottom of your vertical slit, cut about 5mm to the left and right. This is so you can fold your fabric over to create a clean edge.
3. Next you have to make the actual gussets. It’s very simple. I cut a triangle of fabric, with a straight bottom out of linen. I decided to use linen for my interlining gussets because I figured that sewing through three layers of coutil would be torture for both my fingers and the needle.
My triangle was 5cm wide at the top, and at the 2.5cm mark, I drew a vertical line down of 7.5cm, to give me some room. The bottom was flat.
It doesn’t matter if your end gets aren’t completely straight, as the likelihood is that you will trim after sewing anyway. It is better to be on the safe side that have to recut the fabric.
4. Pin the gusset to the silt, with the gusset overlapping the inner edge of your slit, where you folded over the fabric. Make sure that the top of your gusset is in line with the top edge of your stays.
5. Sew along the edges, using a running stitch, and make sure that you sew so that you catch the fold. To do this, sew quite close to the edge. As this is the interlining , it doesn’t take really matter how near you are, but it’s good practice to be as neat as possible.
Depending on your fabric, I would reinforce the bottom edge with a second row of stitching.
Trim your gussets to size, so you don’t have too much excess fabric.
6. Repeat on the lining and then the outer fabric, trying to keep your stitches as small and neat as possible. I understand that this is easier said than done!
You may or may not be a be yo see, but I reinforced the linen with small over stitches at the bottom. This area is under quite a bit of strain, so you don’t want it to fray or tear.
That’s all for now! Please do comment and like. If you have any suggestions then do tell me. Feedback is much appreciated.