Sunday, December 04, 2005

Victorian Corset, 1891

Finished corset. Late Victorian, 1891, Harper's Bazaar pattern reprinted by Challenging to make since Victorian sewing patterns barely used instructions but they're pretty helpful at Ageless Patterns.

Something like 36 pieces of 1/4" steel, varying lengths, 4 pieces of 1/2" steel at the sides and back.

Comfortable to wear, if I'm standing or sitting on something tall like a barstool. Forget sitting down in a car for very long, since the steel comes down pretty low on the hips.

All the decorative flossing was a serious pain in the ass. I hate embroidery, so that took longer to do than the corset itself. I like how it looks, I just hate like hell doing it.

I haven't decided whether to knit up some lace trim for the top like in the pattern. I would either have to use the same color embroidery floss & make tons of knots or waste a lot of time finding some matching pink yarn.

Made from heavy-duty cotton coutil ( and lined with some lighter weight cotton broadcloth print I had lying around. One eight yard corset lace. Satin edging. Two-part steel grommets. This thing probably weighs in at about 75 pounds.

I must have broken like seven heavy-duty sewing machine needles stitching through all the layers of fabric, and three embroidery needles.

The sixth corset I've sewn and I think from now on I'll stick with reprints like this. The newer patterns I've used are pretty useless for figure training unless you really redraw the waistline, plus I'd rather have the really authentic stuff. What's the point of making a corset if it doesn't actually do anything? Next corset using this pattern will be a couple inches shorter between the waist and hip.


EGJ said...

That is pretty impressive work - I've been trying to keep from commenting and just stalking this blog, but seriously - wow. I agree about corsets actually filling their intended function too, although I usually use them to lend some stability to my wobbly back. The figure shaping is just an added bonus. Bonuses are good though...

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