Caroline's corset blog

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  1. I have ventured on to the coutil and made up a single layer according to my tweaked pattern. I didn't have to do much - just elongate the torso to ensure the top of the bust line is sitting where it should be. The original pattern states that panel 5 is corded horizontally at the hip, vertically at the waist, and horizontlaly again from the waist to the top. I tried it out on one side and left the other as plain coutil. The corded panel did not sit very well but I quite like the texture that cording this mid panel brings to the design. Anyway, I took the corded panel out for now whilst I decide what to do. Here is a picture of the (non boned) coutil when I tried it on last night for fit. The fit is OK, I just need to decide on detailing now.

    sym coutil 1  sym coutil 2

    I decided to cord the sides as per the original pattern. A very time-consuming frustrating process, but I'm getting there slowly;

    sym 1v2

  2. I thought I would try a Victorian pattern first and then if have time, go for an Edwardian. The first one I chose is from 1894, has 8 panels per side, and incorporates cording to 2 panels.

    The first part of this project involves transforming the image supplied courtesy of Leicestershire County Council's Symington collection into a workable pattern. The download is a jpg image file which I inserted into AutoCAD as an x reference and traced around the lines. I scaled the entire drawing up according to the busk length which I made 30cm. I wanted to retain all the proportions for the first toile.

    Here is an image of the pattern that is printable on 4 sheets of A4:

    IMG_7143

     Here is how the first toile turned out:

    sym toile 1 portrait  sym toile 2 portrait

    The pattern is a demi bust I think, but it's still too short on me - I need to lengthen the corset by about 3cm. The fit was not too bad but I need to take a little off the bust/underbust and hip area as the corset at these places was touching at the back, but gaping in the middle. The centre front was also too low and interfering with sitting, so I need to move the busk upwards. I didn't like the way the bottom also turned outwards - it was obviously drafted for a spoon busk so that would have cupped the underside of the belly more. I need to decide whether to try and change this part of the design for a straight modern busk or be true to the original design!

     

     

  3. Waists are a negligible quantity

    In this final part of my blog on the E Hume 1913 patent I will make up the final garment using a coutil base layer and 100% wool fashion layer using the fabric-turned-over-fabric technique. You can the beautiful lines coming together in this photo;

    pic 10

    The final garment was a good fit but I didn’t like the crease created when siting down in it so I slipped in some plastic boning in front of the steel boning but made sure it extended all the way to the bottom of the corset. It really helped reduce the unsightly crease line. I also inserted some synthetic whalebone behind the busk and curved this around my breast area and into one of the boning chnnels at the side to give the garment a modern twist. I covered this with a tube of fabric to match and made up the bias binding to bind the corset.It was a bit trickier binding the corset as I had to circumvent the synthetic whalebone addition!

    pic 15

    A final bit of flossing at the bottom of the boning channels completed the corset.

    pic 11pic 12

    pic 13pic 14

    I was concerned about the lack of waist definition but on doing some research it transpires that in Feb 1919 ‘’waists are a negligible quantity; there is rarely a suggestion of one, and most new models are cut on straight lines’’. Even when E. Hume initially drafted this patent in 1913, corsets were already elongated and had a ‘straightness of line’ – it’s a perfect shape for my non-curvy body and it was nice to be able to fit this type of corset well.