September 17, 2010

starting on 1844

I still haven't found the 1650's bodice foundation. I was sure I would have found it by now, but I'm starting to think I may have to start again from scratch. I haven't given up finding it yet and hopefully I'll stumble across the bodice while working on the next corset on the list.

The pattern on page 77 of Corsets and Crinolines, is described as "pattern for corset; to be boned on each seam (1844)." This is the pattern I used to make my very first corset. I'm confident this version will turn out much better than that learner's permit one. Here's the pattern enlarged to full size.

I believe the corset would have been constructed from two layers and the boning sandwiched between the layers, not placed in separate casings. However, the boning on the pattern looks like it straddles the seamline so maybe not? Thoughts anyone?

I want to make this corset the way a home seamstress might have way back when. My guess is most women didn't have the luxury of extra fabric to make a fitting toile with, they would have already made several garments fit to their body already and had a fairly good idea what their figure needed, so for this one there will be no mock up. I'll cut the pieces with extra wide seam allowances, sew it up, make alterations, and live with it. It is stressful just thinking about making it that way, but that's exactly why I'm doing it. You know, trying to conquer sewing fears and all.