Musings of a Lady

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Le Modiste: New corset finished!

I started an 18th century corset last fall and 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 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 . that I bought at Costume College 2009

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: 

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 and possibly 
then cut it to lace up the front.  This is the drawing board to get cracking on it. 


Anonymous said...

Gorgeous work! Tudor Tailor also has a stays pattern.

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.