Edwardian S-shaped corset – inspiration

Latley I’ve been studying the late 19th/eraly 20th century s-shaped corset. The created shape is faschinating, beautiful and seems just a tiny bit uncomfortable (more the other corsets, of course).

I will now show you some of my inspiration for my latest project – a 1900s s-shaped corset (hopefully compleated till next post).

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An Innovative Corset

For the HSF nr 3 this year: Innovation, I knew I needed to make something usable for the up-coming bal. And since you can’t make a balgown without the right foundation wear, I decided to use this challenge to make a 1880s corset.

I re-used the 1880s corset pattern from Nora Waughs Corset and Crinolines. (I prevously made a black corset from this pattern for my sister). 1880 waugh

I started by adding some extra widht to the pattern to bring it closer to my measurments.IMG_4330

Then I cut it out in a sturdy cotton bedsheet,IMG_4335

sewed it together and tried it on.

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It fits suprisengly well. The only thing that needs to be changed is to take out a bit on the top back, to get a more even lacing, and to re-shape the bottom front to make the curve over the stomach nice and smoot.IMG_4359

Then it was time to bring out all the fabric and notions. (here I got: a cream cotton sateen, a cream cotton interlining, a busk, lots of plastic bonning, thread, the pattern, grommets and lacing cord).IMG_4368

Then I cut the fabric, basted on the interlining and marked the space for the piping, and sewed them in.IMG_4364

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Close-up of the piping, sewn in green button-hole thread.IMG_4377

Then I sewed the pieces together twice – for strengt.IMG_4370

Setting the busk using awls to get the studds through the fabric without ripping it. IMG_4387

And leaving holes while sewing to get the eyes through.IMG_4381

I made lots of self fabric bias trim to use as boning chanels.IMG_4397

Sewing them on from the outside.IMG_4400

And snipping the seam-allowence on the inside.IMG_4403

When the gromets, the busk and the boning chanels (no bonning yet) are done, its time for the lining. I choose a light green cotton lining from my stash.IMG_4411

Corset with lining sewn on – before turning.IMG_4416

The lining sewn in. (One side turned and pressed, and the other one still in-side-out).IMG_4422

Now it’s time for the boning. If you put them in to early you will have big trouble with lining and sewing.

This is what I used for boning. (Left to right: Heavy pliers, methal pipe cleaners, electrical tape (to cower the sharp edges on the metal), plastic cable ties, siccor and plastic whale bone).IMG_4438

As you can se I used all of my three boning options on different parts of the corset. Using the strongest (metal) ones close to the lacing, and the regular cable ties in the boning chanels, and then using the softer syntetic whalebone in between.IMG_4444

Then I grabbed my finishing/decoration kit (green cotton bias tape, white cotton lace, green button hole thread and cord for  piping (which I did in my first few steps).IMG_4436

Cutting the un-even top and bottoms of the corset, IMG_4426

and then attaching the bias tape.IMG_4431

At this point it was time for me to stop working on the corset, and leave it for a couple of weeks.

You see, I started this project begining of december, since I needed to have the corset to be able to start on my opera gown. And since the HSFs rules says that no item should be finished more then 6 weeks before the challenge du date, I needed to paus sewing for a while. And since it was only the decorations left, the corset was fully functional and could still be used to build my gown upon.

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So, last week (3 days before the grand bal) I finaly had the time to finish it.

By now I had tried it on several times, and had realised the bust needed to be re-shaped to get a smoother look. So I ripped some of the bias tape of, re-cut the top and stiched the bias tape back on.IMG_4716

Then I decorated it with the white lace and some green flossing.

And finaly Finished:IMG_5281

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Just the Facts:

Challenge: nr 2 – Innovations

What: A 1880s Corset

Innovation: The 1880s was known for it’s innventions (actually the whole 19th century was). My item can both represent the whole era, or the new style of hourglas figure and bustled skirts made fashionable and  avalaible thue to both the steel manufacturer, and the comercial sewing factories. Some relativly new innventions in the 1880s corset was: The split busk, the metal gromets and the steel boning – all innvented during the 19th century.

Pattern: Nora Waugh “1880s corset” from Corset and Crinolines.

Fabric: 0,5 m ivory cotton sateen, 0,5 m ivory cotton lawn and 0,5 m light green cotton.

Notions: A 33 cm planchett, ivory thread, green buttonhole thread, 30 silver gromets, 4m cotton string for piping, 4 m ivory cotton laces, ca 10 m of boning (2,5 m steel, 8 heavy duty cable ties and 3 m syntetic whalebone), 2 m green biastape and 1 m ivory lace.

How Historical Accurate: Pretty good. The pattern’s correct and the sewing machine was widly used by this time, even though I’m not sure of the right assebly tecniques. The material used are accurate, part from the plastic bonning. So maybe 7/10.

Time: About 10 hours

Cost: 400kr (44Usd) (all those notions make it so expensive).

First worn: On January 25 for a grand bal (Oskarsbalen), and then a few days later for a photoshoot.

Final Thoughts: It tured out great. It’s quite comfortable (even after a couple of dancing hours) and stil gives me the desired hourglas figure. I think this will be my “go to” corset for many costumes.

A 1700s Corset UFO

And so it’s time to present the last (of my old, prevously compleated) HSF entrys. The Challenge nr 2: UFO – Un Finished Object.

As a novice in costuming I didn’t had many UFOs laying around. But I did however have a costuming piece, not yet started but, promised to my sister.

A 1700s corset.

I’ve already made her one in the previuos year, but it was noting but a mess. Lets take a look at my very first atempt at historic corset making.

I used a pattern from Jill Salens book “Corsets”.

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The fabric is a lovely cotton print (which I still love, by the way).IMG_4055

I even made her a design sketch.img235

Then I started to sew.

And this is what I came up with.CIMG5938

Ok, its not that bad for a first try- if you ignore the gromets.CIMG5951

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It acctualy look pretty decent…IMG_4044

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Until you realises how extremly smal it is.IMG_4053It wouldn’t even fit my size 36 dressform.

My sister is not particular big, and even after some serious skwezing the darn thing still didn’t fit her.

We did get some pretty picture though.ghf

DSC_0777 And the minute we where done photograping, the whole thing whent straight into a box in the basement.

The pocket hoops are made from Waughs pattern and still works perfectly.1760 pocket hoop waugh

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Now back to the UFO.

After I’ve promised my sister to make her an other corset, that would actualy fit her.

We trashed the old pattern, starting from skratch, and drew her a new one using Waugs “Corset and Crinolines” – 1790s corset pattern, and modified to fit my sister. I also took away the front lacing, and added tabs at the waist.

So I made a toile, fitted it and started on the corset itself. Since me and my sister lives in oposite sides of the country I didn’t have the chans to try it on her until it was finished.

Looking much better.halloj-116

But it is still to smal!halloj-119

This time I fixed it by ripping it open and inserting some godgets at the back seams.

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The finished corset.IMG_1827

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Just the facts:

Challenge: nr 2 – UFO

What: A 1740-1780s corset

Pattern: Jill Salen “Corsets – 1780s corset” re-worked.

Fabric: 0,5 m of cotton print and 1m of white cotton lawn.

Notions: gromets, thread, lacing cord, cable ties and purple bias tape.

How Historical Accurate: Not really. The decorative printed corsets didn’t exist until 200 years later, and the sewing and construction are all modern. It does however give her the desired body shape. So maybe 2/10.

Time: 25 hours.

Cost: 200 Sek

First worn: At the photoshoot in february 2013.

16th century Corset & Shirt

For the HSF Challenge 3: Under It All, back in february, I decided to start the foundation on my planed 1550s dress (which I still haven’t gotten around to make).

So I decided to make a corset similar to theese two.

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Using the corset pattern from “The Tudor Tailor”. I printed the pattern and made some changes to match my mesurments.

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Then I cut the fabric, interlined it, and stiched the corset compleatly on the machine. I inserted the bonning, set the gromets and sewed on the bias-tape.

Unfortanly I didn’t think of documenting the steps while sewing (this was before my bloging days) so there are no construction photos.

But there are finished ones.

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One thing I didn’t accounted for was the amount of fabric the bonning would “eat”. While inserting the bonning the corset shrunk quite a bit, and I ended up needing to do some piecing to make it fit properly.

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When the corset was finished I decided to also make a shirt to wear underneath.

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I used a lovely cotton voile, and sewed the shirt compleatly by hand (and still didn’t take any construction photos).

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Finished Shirt and Corset.

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Just the facts:

Challenge: Nr 3 Under it All

What: A 1550s Corset and Shirt

Pattern: Shirt – Janet Arnold “Patterns of Fashion 4 – c.1600-1610 smock. Corset – “The Tudor tailor” Dorothean bodies.

Fabric: Shirt – 2 m of checkered cotton voile. Corset – 0,5 m of leftover golden/yellow curtan-fabric, 1 m brown cotton for lining and interlining.

Notions: Shirt – Thread. Corset – Thread, Bias-tape, gromets, boning and lacing cord.

How Historical Accurate: Shirt – Completly hand sewn, but the cotton tread and fabric is not correct for the period. Corset – Not realy. The achived shape is just about right, but all the sewing and material is modern.

Time: Shirt – about 8 hours. Corset – 3 Days of work.

Cost: Shirt – 150Sek (16Usd). Corset –  300 Sek (40Usd).

First worn: Only at photoshoots so far.

1810s Layering

Last weekend when dressing for the “Mikelsmäss” I spent 1 hour on my hair (curling, styling and tying the turban) and the remaining 10 minutes to get the rest of the costume on.

This was not a good way to do it, since I usally count at least 30 minutes for the dressing. So I ended up going “half dressed” to the event, and needed help with getting the fichu right and to close the dress when I arriwed.

The reason why it takes so long getting dressed, are of course the many different layers of clothing you need to get the right look of your costume. And tying a back laced corset on your own takes both skills and time.

So here is an other “un-dressing” post – Regency style.

IMG_2256Lets start fully dressed in: Gown and fichu, whit a headress (turban) and some accessoares like mittens and a shawl.

You could also wear a open robe or a spencer over the dress, and a few more accessoares like a riddicule (bag), muff, fan or a parasol.

IMG_2264Lets take away the accessories.

By now you could call yourself dressed and be on your way. But you would need some small items/accessoares to compleate the look of your costume.

IMG_2266Once we take the gown of, we reveal the complete fichu, the petticoat and the some of the corset.

The fichu is a pice of sheer fabric shaped as a rectangel or a tiangel. Ladies used it to cover the neck and bust, and pined it on before putting on the gown.

IMG_2273Removing the fichu we now view the top part of the corset and the petticoat.

The regency lady could also have worn an extra under-dress on top of the undergarmnents, to prevent see-througness in verry sheer gowns.

IMG_2278And then we are down to the underpinings with the corset, chemise, stockings and shoes.

The chemise are worn to keep the swett and dirt from the body away from the corset.

 The corset could also be in a short style (ending right below the bust), or in a wraping style.

It is important to remember to put the shoes on before the corset – since it is very difficult to lace or attach buckles while fully corsetted.

Wood, Metal and Corsets

As the 19th HSF challenge Wood, Metal and Bone past by I feelt I needed to make something a bit more challenging then the Suffragett brosches I finished just in time.

An with a regency event coming up swifty, I decided it was time to make myself the 1820s corset I’ve been wanting since I bought a wooden busk half a year ago.

Here are some inspiration pictures:

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And the pattern comes from the trusted Norah Waughs “Corset and Crinolines” – A 1820s corset.

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I bought 0,5m of cream colored cotton sateen, and found some plain cotton sheet for the linnig and interlinning in my stash.

I dafted the patten, made some changes to the sizing and made a mock-up.

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I needed to raise the cups 1,5 cm and take them in 2cm a the top. And lenghten the shoulder straps.

IMG_2181I also needed to add 4-5 cm to the back pieces.

After drafting the alterations on the pattern, I cut and interlined all of the pieces.

I sewed the bust and hip gores, the boning chanels and set the gromets on the back pieces.

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Then I started on the decoration.

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By now I feelt I was running out of time (this was just a couple of hours before the event) and I needed to decide which ones of the decoration seams was the most neccessary – regarding both prettynes and function, though to the strengtening quality of the stiching.

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Then I made and attached the lining and putt the boning in to the chanels. I used bias-tape to bind the edges, and put a drawstring into the bias-casing in the front of the corset. Making it adjustable over the bust.

I finished sewing just in time, since I straight away needed to hurry to get dressed and on my way.

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Just the facts:

Challenge: 19 – Wood, Metal and Bone.

What: A regency corset

Year: 1800 – 1830s

Pattern: Nora Waughs “Corset and Crinolines” – a 1920s corset.

Fabrics: 0,5 m of cream cotton sateen, 1 m of white cotton sheet.

Notions: One wooden busk, bias tape, thread, gromets, boning (cable-tie and plastic whalebone), lacing-cord and ribbon.

How historical accurate: Machine made with gromets and polyester thread. Butt the pattern, shape and the color are correct. Mabye 5/10.

Time: 10 hours (the evening before and the same morning as the event).

Cost: 200 Sek (22 Usd)(50 Sek, not counting stash).

First worn: On 28 sep “Mickelsmäss” (celebration of the harwest) where I was part of the dancing entertainment.

Final toughts: The corset do what it is supposed to (bust-wise), but I’ts not that comfortable. I almost got a cramp in my side/waist sitting in it for two hours. Mabye I need to change the fit.

1750s Layering

Often when I talk to people who are not that familiar with historical costuming, I get askt about what I’m wearing underneath my dresses.

All you people who already do historic costuming know that it’s the undergarmnent that makes the outfit (and takes the longest time while dressing), and without the right support and stuffing you would get nowhere.

Most people know about corsets, but not that much more. So I tought it would be fun  to “strip the lady down” and reveal what hides beneath.

The undergarmnent changes with fashion and will be constructed and look differently depending on time period, wealth of the wearer, and personal taste. But the overal layering will remain somewhat the same through the 16th to early 20th century. Only changing in name, siluett and constuction.

This time I will do the 1750s noble woman.

IMG_1905We start fully dressed in: pet-en-l’aire (jacket), skirt, hairdo and accessoares. (She would also sometimes wear a neck-cloth and some lace-cuffs at the sleeves. And of course some kind of headwear.)

IMG_1909Then we remove the accessoares and the pinned on stomacher – reveling part of the corset underneath.

IMG_1912Then the jacket it-self is taken of.

IMG_1916And then the skirt, revealing the petticoat. You would wear as many petticoats as neccesary for warmt, and to hide the sometimes sharp shapes from the undergarmnents. Sometimes as many as 5 petticoats on top of each other.

IMG_1922Now we are down to the under garmnents:

The shift/chemise is being worn closest to the body, is made in an light, washable fabric and has the task of collecting the dirt and swet from the body.

Then there is the costet – made to shape the torso into the desired fashionable form, and to provide a solid form to drape the clothes on.

The pocket hoops or “pocher” are smal and cresent shaped and ties at the waist. They are what gives the skirt it distinct form. The hoops comes in many different shapes and sizes and often makes the hips 3 times the waist measurments.

The stockings are above knee lenght and secured with ribbon.

This is just one of the many ways to dress as a 18th century lady, but I hope it give you a better understanding of the amount of items needed in the costuming closet, exept for the pretty gown…