Tuesday, December 9, 2014

[Battle] Tauriel Cosplay - Waist Cincher and How I Made It

So, that project I showed you guys' in last week's post and video... well, I finished it today, and am I so excited to show you how it turned out. :D

But I'd like to show you how I made it first.

So. This was my first time making a corset -- more specifically, working with boning.

It's kinda funny: on each of the three costumes I've made for Hobbit premieres, I've done at least one thing that I hadn't before. On my version of Arwen's blood red dress for An Unexpected Journey, I used a sewing pattern and worked with grommets for the first time. Then, I got to work with upholstery leather for the first time on Tauriel for Desolation of Smaug. And now, with battle Tauriel, I've been able to try out my corsetry skills! ;)

Just one of the many reasons why I love cosplay -- you're always learning and gaining new skills! I mean, if I didn't cosplay... I don't think I'd ever have decided to try make a corset... o.O ;D

Done with the little rabbit trail, now on to the details of the making-of:

I started out by getting the fabric in the mail, and really really not liking it. I was wanting a more metallic silver, like the brightness of my pop-tab chainmail. So I was kinda bummed, because I love the pattern of the fabric, and the different ways the pattern catches the light.

So, I sat on it for a few days (not literally), to think over it some more.

I then decided to go ahead and make a mock-up out of it, and if I ended up liking it for the real thing, then cool. If not, I've got a mock up. So, it was a win-win situation, and I began to brain storm, cut, and pin the monstrosity together.

At this point my oldest sister Alissa saw it, and remarked on how gorgeous the fabric was. It was actually already starting to grow on my, and I grudgingly liked how it looked against the dark blue of the dress part of the costume. And so, hearing this from Alissa whose opinion I of course respect, ;) I decide to use the fabric for real, and make this mock up actually be the real thing.

So then I sewed everything up, and, after over coming a few hiccups in the process, I was ready to figure out the boning aspect. I had seen an idea on Pinterest a while back to use heavy duty zip ties in place of boning for DIY corsets, and recalled this from my memory now as I went down to my dad's garage/work shop to see if he happened to have any.

Sure enough, and to my great delight, he did! Stuffed on an old shelf was a bag of super long, *very* heavy duty zip ties. Just what I needed! :)

All trimmed down to the correct sizes and ready to go!
Next up was sewing the channels for the "boning" to slide into. I had seen *another* idea on Pinterest when I was doing a bit of research on making the corset, that you could use the seam allowance of the seams for the boning channels. Simply fold them over to one side, sew it up, and slide your boning in. This idea was border-line brilliant, and saved me a lot of hassle.

So, after ironing the seam allowances down to one side, I pinned and sewed the channels, which were 10 in all, and then slid the zip ties in. This was probably my favorite part of the whole process, because at this point it kind of hit me: you're really making a corset, Beth! ;)

Next was just hemming the edges (which ended up being harder then I had originally thought). I was thinking of doing bias tape, but I decided it'd just be simpler to hem it.

The final thing to do was put the grommets in for the back lacing. I sewed an interfaced lining for where they would go to give the fabric a bit more strength. No, I didn't line the whole corset (do I ever line my costumes..? Uhm no... xD), but the fabric is nice and thick, and I'm only using the corset as a costume piece, so it just wasn't necessary.

And after putting these in, tick tick tick tick BOOM my medieval/elven waist cincher/corset was done! ;) Unless I find some ways to improve it within the next week... ;D

Which also means... I am now 100% ready for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies premiere!!!

8 days left in the countdown...

PS - The final post on the making-of Battle Tauriel will be up within the week! Hint: it's concerning my pop-tab chainmail. Time has altered my ideas for it... and this altered product look so much better than my original idea with the full costume. :D Until then!


  1. Glad to hear that you respect my opinion--it's a pretty good one, if I do say so myself ;) And the fabric really is GORGEOUS and looks so good with the dress!

  2. So awesome!!! It looks great!

  3. I've never sewn a corset, they seem so intimidating, love how it turned out, just to mention the boning channels looks perfectly align. Great job. :)

  4. That's awesome! Love the material! Can't wait to see your whole ensamble!

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