Monday, 30 June 2014

Vaguely 1880's Blueish Grey Corset

It has been far too long since I've made anything for the Historical Sew Fortnightly.
This was a school project, so it technically wasn't made for the HSF, but I finished it recently and it fits this fortnight's challenge.
Here is the pattern. We started with the basic bodice, had a fitting and took the corset pattern from it, then mocked that up in canvas and had another fitting. I tried to base my pattern on an 1880'a corset, but due to all the guidelines of the project it didn't turn out very historically accurate.
The CB is on the left and the CF is on the right.
I didn't bring my camera to school, so I don't have photos of the entire process. I suppose that's just as well, because the method we had to use wasn't a particularly nice one. We had to put piping in all the seams.
The two ticking layers with the boning channels drawn on them.
The corset is made of two layers of ticking, one layer of flannel, and one of fabric. There is an outrageous amount of stitching holding the two ticking layers together.
Lots of tedious laminating.
All the seam allowances are folded in and stitched to the ticking, which is fairly difficult to push a needle through.
There are two boning channels on each CF and CB edge, and one on either side of each seam. The ones on the seams are spiral bones and the ones on the edges are plain spring steel. The flannel layer goes in between the ticking sandwich and the outside fabric to hide all the ridges.
The CF edge.
It was so nice to put eyelets in with a machine instead of hammering them in.
My fabric is a cotton print that I got several years ago. I wish I had gotten more of it because it's one of the most gorgeous quilting cottons I've ever seen. The piping is silk that I got at my college store.
We had to finish the top and bottom edges with piping instead of binding them.
Here is the outside.
And the inside.
I am disappointed in the fit. Even though I shaved a considerable amount off the middle of the seams, it doesn't change my waist measurements at all. At least the fabric is pretty.

The front looks so awkward.

At least the back half looks nice.
The Challenge: # 12, Shape And Support

Fabric: Flannel, quilting cotton, cotton ticking, silk satin.

Pattern: Drafted by me.

Year: 1880's, sort of? It did not turn out the way I pictured it.

Notions: Cord, grommets, spiral bones, coated spring steel bones.

How historically accurate is it? Unfortunately it is not very accurate. The fiber content is, but not much else. I really wish the assignment didn't have such rigid guidelines, but it did. Oh well.

Hours to complete: 46:05

First worn: June 4th, 2014

Total cost: About $ 20, for the fabric. Most of the notions were provided by the school, but we'll have to pay for our own next year.

Some day I might pick this corset apart, take in the seams and put it back together without the piping. Maybe then it would have a more 1880's shape. For now I'm just glad to be finished with it.

In other news, I gave my liripipe hood away because I will most likely never wear it. It just doesn't go with the sort of clothes I want to wear at all.


  1. The back looks REALLY nice!

    What you might want to consider next time is to not just shave down the pieces at the waist, but to add more than you think you need in the hips and at the top in the back. You'd be amazed at what that does!

  2. Agree with Cassidy that the back is great. But the shape in the front kind of fell apart. Not a fit for you at all. Your independent creations were a lot better than this school assignment. That's a pity because the fabric, as you noted, is very nice. I'm sure that if you re-do it, it will be vastly improved. Your earlier stays were really well done.

    I was surprised that you gave away your liripipe hood, but I think you can make another one easily enough, and I seem to recall that you had wanted one with a different edge; inward curves instead of scallops. And black.

    1. The front is awfully crummy, isn't it? Boobs are so difficult to sew around. I'm going to see if Fabricville has any more of that print left, though I doubt it.

      My giving away the liripipe hood shouldn't be that surprising. I did say that it wasn't a "me" garment. Green and brown aren't my colours and I have no occasion to dress in medieval things. If I do make another liripipe hood it will indeed be black, and have a different kind of hem.

  3. It might not fit perfectly at the front but everything , good or bad, is a learning experience. Natalie