Saturday, January 10, 2009


I spent all day today making a new corset. I sew perfectly well, mind you, but making a corset is like sewing your own bra. Who does that? In fact, during the time period there was a specific name for the people who made such things for a living: corsetier or corsetiere.

I'm sure a good corsetiere was worth her weight in gold. My 1860s corset fits like a dream, but looks terrible under my 1806 dress, just like a modern bra doesn't work with the darted, vintage blouses of the bullet-bra era. Hence the need for an 1806 corset.

I'm making this corset from Past Patterns. That's her drawing to the right. Her patterns are quite easy to follow, well made, and come with tons of documentation. She's pretty much the gold standard, in my book.

That's not to say I didn't need to make alterations. As with most women, the dress sizes of my bust, waist, and hip do not match. I had to adjust the seams to even out the difference. I also had to shorten the pattern 1.5" to make up for being short waisted.

It took all day to make a mock-up, adjust the mock-up, cut the pattern pieces, and baste them together. At the very end, I got two of rows of back stitching done, enough to hold one piece of reed.

This could take awhile.


Rachel said...

Are you stitching by hand? You're stitching by hand. I know you are. I don't even have to ask. My wrists ache in sympathy.

Anonymous said...

She is stitching by hand. I'm sure of it. Perhaps she'll do it in the car today and listen to Emma. At least it'll make the time pass. As it would never do if she were actually wearing the beast. ; )

7-letter Deborah, never a Deb said...

I love it that this entire conversation has established that I am, in fact, stitching it by hand ... while listening to Dracula. When it's done, some time in 2020, I'll show it off.