Musings of a Lady

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Le Modiste: New corset finished!

I started an 18th century corset last fall and well...you know, there was no immediate need for it.  So, procrastination, procrastination...and then badda bing I needed it!  So, I put it together and finished the week before  http://www.norcalpiratefestival.com/treasure.htm Pirate Fest in Vallejo, California.  There I was to join a group of like-minded folk to improv as early settlers in Nasau as a part of the government's (British government) to bring piracy under their profiteering control.  :) 

I used the JP Ryan corset pattern http://www.jpryan.com/details/hbstays.html . that I bought at Costume College 2009 http://www.costumecollege.org/

Laying out the pattern last fall.




I used white coutil, fashion fabric and interlined all the pieces with a stiff organza.  I didn't want a heavy corset and this particular style is lightly boned.  Additionally, I am not a large person but busty and without hips so I need support and a little shaping.
Putting it together - fashion fabric seen.  The back has not been added yet.
The fashion fabric is a twill canvas in aqua-teal with a discharged overall Jacobean pattern which is looks creamy beige.  Once the corset was sewn up (I had cut it out last fall and done all the marking) I got the boning fitted in and put eyelets (00 grommets) down the center back and tried it on.  Dang it! It was a bit large at the top because once laced the two center back  met pretty easily at the top.  :(   The problem that came up is that this particular corset pattern has the boning right up against the seams so if I took it in by the seams it would completely disrupt the stay channels.  Given the time factor - I needed it in a week - I decided to take in darts.  I took up 4  darts (one each at the side fronts and center back).  It worked and the darts didn't dig in at all.  Phew!

Next came the binding...okay machine or hand sew?  I learned last time that though it is a tedious process and takes for blinking ever, hand sewing is the only way to go and using anything heavier than dress or shirt weight silk is a nightmare.  So, I use a scarf weight silk, cut in bias stripes for my bindings.  In hindsight this was a bit thin but it was very easy to manipulate.

Getting the bias strips around the outside edges - lots-o-pins!


Getting around the inside corners I used a separate needle and thread to gather the strips to fit then pinned.
A section finished...hours later!
Almost done...
Done...This isn't fitting well in the mannequin but looks great on me.  Sorry no pics of that.

Back.  I lace with a loop at waist area to get myself in the corset.
What I like about the corset is the lightly boned frame.  Again, I am not a BBW but I am busty and I really need the support in that area but a little shaping as I have no hips per se. Another feature I like is the straps tying in the back.  The previous corset I had tied in front and I was constantly battling the peeping ties and straps when fully dressed.  Once a friend adjusted the back ties on this new corset I never had a problem with the peeping straps.  I did wear this out at Priate Fest, it was a warm day and I did all right in it.  I had the shape, the structure and support and not the heavy, caged feeling in a full blown set of stays.

Again, I didn't follow the sewing/construction instructions to the letter so there may have some things I should have done to make this perfect but as it is, it works for me.

My next set of stays will be Tudor/Elizabethan.  I haven't made one in years but plan to do something like:
http://www.jpryan.com/details/hbstays.html 

Thank you Gwendolyn-Eugenie Costumes for this image.


Thank you  - go to above link for original image and explanation.
I want it to lace up the front, as I have to dress myself.  I will probably use the Reconstructing History pattern http://www.reconstructinghistory.com/products/rh203-elizabethan-corsets-1 and possibly http://www.simplicity.com/p-1576-costumes.aspx 
then cut it to lace up the front.  This is the drawing board plan...now to get cracking on it. 

2 comments:

howlgirl said...

Gorgeous work! Tudor Tailor also has a stays pattern. http://www.tudortailor.com/tb.htm

Angela said...

Thanks Cynthia. I will check out the pattern. Have you used it? How is it different in making up from Reconstructing History? Thanks love.