Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Planning for yet another corset

The edwardian corset just finished was my second corset ever and the improvement from the first one is substantial. Next on my list is a victorian corset to go under a future bustle dress. Since the victorian corset has the silhouette that most modern ones are based on it probably wouldn't be too hard to find a finished pattern to use. But why make it simple? A challenge is always fun and historical accuracy is something we aim for. So why not use an original pattern?

I went to this website with original pages from an old fashion magazine from the Netherlands. In 1884 they included the pattern to a corset I would very much like to recreate:

I like the overall look of it, and especially the gores. It would be interesting to see if it is physically possible for me to reduce my waist (my previous corsets suggest otherwise) and for that I have understood that space for the bust and the hips is essential.

I found the pattern and went ahead to make a small paper mock up. Here it is seen from the side and I must say that I am absolutely digging the curves. The pieces suggest that there is seam allowance added to them. It is not easy to make sense of it all when the instructions are to small to read and in dutch. So to scale it up will prove difficult.

This is the fabric that will be used. It is the same herringbone coutil as in the edwardian corset but dyed burgundy. I have no idea if this colour is historically accurate, but lately I have had a thing for it.

There are a lot of questions when dealing with this corset. How much seam allowance is added? How will I scale it up, are all the bones marked on the pattern, will I make single or double layer? As soon as my exams are over with I am going to find out.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Finished Edwardian corset - HSF 19

 "What might a decent Edwardian woman possibly be doing in the woods wearing only her underwear?" you may wonder. Well, her own home was a bit futuristic and not suited for the photo shoot.

After a lot of work and difficulties it is finally completed, my 1903 corset. A few weeks ago I decided that it indeed would fit within the Historical Sew Fortnightly nr 19: Wood, Metal and Bone. That really motivated me to finish it.  

I am very happy with how it turned out, I think it is beautiful. I had hoped that it would reduce my waist somewhat more but the measurement ended up matching my natural waist perfectly. I am starting to believe that I cant reduce my waist with flat steels and to get the look of a nipped waist I had to change the bones in the side seam to spirals. My next corset will have only spiral steels so that will be interesting to compare.

 The garters were fun to make and made the corset feel much more complete. They were put together using a very nice tutorial from Bridges on the Body.

The shoes are a pair of imperfect Gibsons from AmericanDuchess. Beautiful and comfortable.

Front view. The lace is handmade by myself.

Back view.

Side view.

 Inside. Most of the boning channels are made from strips of brocade coutil. I simply couldn't fit as many bones as the pattern called for so some of the channels are single rather than double.


Hip pad and bust pads placed to go under the corset.

The Challenge: Nr 19 - wood metal and bone

Fabric: White herringbone coutil

Pattern: TVE01

Year: 1903

Notions: ½ meter of coutil, busk, 7 m flat steel, 1 m spiral steel, 3-4 m red satin ribbon, laces,  26 grommets, 1 ½ m elastic band, 4 garter clips, cotton fabric and stuffing.

How historically accurate is it? Concerning pattern and materials, I would say very. The things I do have doubts about is the red colour, the garter clips and the lace. Mostly machine sewn with polyester thread. 85%?

Hours to complete: This is the second version of the corset, and I would estimate that I spent around 20h.

First worn: I walked with it under my coat to the forest to take the photos.

Total cost: Very hard to say, I have not been keeping tabs. Probably more than 500SEK/80USD.