Thursday, May 11, 2017

Yep, Another Corset!

The weather this week! Just. . .ugh. I had a lot of plans for the yard this week but it's been drizzly and grey for what seems like forever. And now it's hot and humid on top of that. It's fantastic growing weather but. . .I haven't planted much yet. I pray fervently for a drier weekend! You know they say to plant after Mother's Day, so I'm still on proper schedule if the weather cooperates!

So I decided to get my new corset out of the way since I've had to spend that time inside. I really didn't want to make this but I'm glad it's done. I love making corsets but the problem is that I loved the last one I made and I am not ready to say goodbye to it! But my mistakes when making it have at last proved true "you reap what you sow" (in this case, sew!) and my last one has become really uncomfortable to wear for extended periods of time since it laces completely shut. 

Corsets can be scary because you have to really address what your body looks like, become very familiar with any and all irregularities, lack of symmetry, measurements, squishy flesh vs. firm flesh and all those kinds of uncomfortable things that, I'm sure, the majority of us would rather ignore. Add in a body that has gone through six pregnancies, six c-sections and six breastfeeding babies and. . .yeah, not a fun thing to do (OLORD WHAT DID THEY DO TO ME?!). A woman's body goes through so many changes. I finally lost the last of my baby weight late last year and although I was happy to reach my goal (after 10 years!) I am still trying to get used to different shape/proportion/measurements and dealing with approaching corsetry from a different angle - trying to help boost and shape things rather than squish it all down! Haha. It can be depressing. If it's not one thing it's something else! 

So I wasn't excited about this project at all. The only sort of interesting thing about it is the corded underbust sections. I have always wanted to try this feature but was always in such a rush to get my corset done I never took the time to do it. I tried it this time around and am happy with the additional support it gives. It's decorative, as well. I am not sure if this type of cording was really popular in the 1860's as I see this far more frequently on later corsets (1880's on up) but since I will be using this for a bustle-era dress anyway I went with it. I don't know if it really affects the look of the corset or the dress that is worn over top, but it does feel nice to wear since there's additional stiffness and support. For me, I have found I have a really small ribcage/underbust measurement (a 28 band size is no fun and bras are freaking expensive) compared to a more average bust and the cording helps pad out that area below the bust just a little, so the boobies don't slip down and get smashed inside the corset. ;)

And I have a much better lacing gap! I'm happy about this! This makes the corset way more comfortable than my last one, which didn't have much of a gap at all and towards the end was lacing shut. 

I made one other thing this week: earrings! I had a few beads left from Anne's new necklace so I tried making a simple pair with some cheap headpins and hooks from the craft store. I like them. I want to make more. Of course, I hardly ever wear earrings so there is no need to make more but the process was fun! 


  1. It looks fabulous, and give such a beautiful shape! I love the cording. It's subtle, but the extra bit of texture seems to add so much dimension to the top.

    Would you ever consider a blog retrospective on the mid-19th century corsets you've made? I've been following your blog since the two eldest were in diapers, and it seems like you've made a LOT of corsets over the years. I remember that you've previously mentioned liking some more than others, and it seems as though you've tried a broad array of techniques in pursuit of a better fit. If memory serves, you've also used most of the commercial patterns available at some point or the other. Your insights on your personal corset making journey would be really interesting to read! Particularly since you've got the benefit of even more experience now, and may remember details about why you made certain changes from one corset to the next.

    Just a thought! I'm sure you've got plenty of demands on your time as it is without random blog readers suggesting more work. :)

    1. Thank you so much! I am happy with the shape, too, and think it will work pretty good for both CW stuff and bustle stuff (I CAN'T WAIT TO GET THE BUSTLE DRESS DONE!! :D)

      That is a great idea for a future blog post and I will keep it in mind. Thank you for the suggestion! I've made quite a few, many bad ones and a few okayish ones but have stuck to the same few patterns over the years. It has been interesting to look back and compare various fitting methods for different weights and shapes and the weirdness pregnancy and immediate postpartum brings. They all require slightly different features. On the other hand, maybe I just obsess over the details of corset making too much, haha. ;)

  2. I second Thread-Head! It would be great to compare all of your corsets. I for one would learn a lot from that.


Thank you for your lovely thoughts!