Sunday, August 05, 2007

Silk Corset by Ms. Modesitt

Lovely silk corset designed by Annie Modesitt is finally done. I used Debbie Bliss Pure Silk, about three skeins and a little bit more for this version. It is not the best yarn one could choose for this project, though: It pills as you knit. Once finished and washed, it looks okay, but not fabulous. I am now knitting version two with Fiesta La Luz Multi, also a pure silk yarn, and the superb quality of Fiesta yarn is staggering.

The smallest size available on the pattern is XS and it is for bust size 90cm. Now, my measurement is nowhere near 90cm. So, I began knitting XS with tighter tension than usual. It did not work out: too small for me! The whole thing was then ripped and I re-started with size S and loosely knitted. That's what you see in the above. See the nicely scooped neck line? It is very important to cast on loosely. Otherwise, the whole look of the corset would be distorted.

There are several changes I made and will follow them on my second version. No I-cord cast off and cast on was used for armholes. I tried the method once but the result did not look as nice as I hoped. Also, I was not sure how big the armholes ought to be and wanted to be able to adjust once the whole garment is knitted up. So, I just used waste yarns to save stitches for armholes, and used cable cast on, done very loosely, to continue underarm sections. The waist section seemed rather short on me and it was lengthened somewhat. It could be even longer I think. The zigzag pattern was made to be symmetric, although it is not in the instruction. Instead of using single crochet to neaten the hem, I used backward single crochet, which is my favorite crochet finishing. Lastly, I sewed the front opening shut. Completely shut. There is no way I would fiddle with 20 buttons every so often, like every second. After all, the fabric is very stretchy and the neck opening is rather wide. Oh, one more thing. The armholes were finished by one additional knitted row and regular cast off done very loosely. Here is me wearing the top.

(I learned that there is an update to the pattern and much smaller sizes are now available. Not that I need them.)

As for Margaret Tudor, I found an old silk buttonhole thread in exact color I needed. All the beads are sewn on the knitted pieces finally.


  1. Your corset is absolutely fabulous! It must feel like heaven close to the skin due to the yarn you used!

  2. This looks gorgeous!
    Your knitting skills are just as perfect as your sewing skills!
    Now I'm even more curious to see Margaret finished.....

  3. The corset looks lovely on you and must feel wonderful too. Knitting another version with the Fiesta yarn must be a real treat, the quality of their yarns is always such a pleasure to work with.

  4. Very beautiful and the fit looks fantastic. I can't wait to see the next version.

  5. The corset is amazing! Thanks for all the comments about your modifications. It's very helpful if I decide to tackle one myself.

  6. Both the corset and M. Tudor look gorgeous may - as always! I think the silk yarns are tough - on some, the fibers seem to "leak" and pill more than with other types of yarn - too bad, since it feels so amazing.. tks for your comments about Maya, too. Maybe someday she'll follow in your girls' footsteps!

  7. the corset is gorgeous and your margaret tudor is stunning!