Caroline's corset blog

Musings and progress from Caroline - projects she's working on, tips and tricks, and thoughts on corsetry

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  1. The pattern itself is not that difficult however it did take quite some time to perfect in terms of wrinkle minimisation and optimum silhouette. The main part is a circle split into concentric circles that splay over the body with gussets forming the negative space within the splayed circles.


    The points of note for this design were;

    1. Two outer target roundels joined at the mid section (two inner roundels can form a double layer and hide internal seam allowances and boning channels)

    2. The circles were cut on the straight grain at the centre front and centre back with bias being introduced elsewhere in the round.

    3. A substantial amount of boning was required across the roundels to stabilise the bias stretch - satin coutil was used which is particularly unforgiving.

    4. Each concentric circle had its edges stabilised with a line of stitching just inside the seam allowance - this minimised stretch when sewing the two opposing circle seams together.

    5. The hip spring was achieved by the two gussets at the mid section - once the two targets were joined these gussets could be manipulated to create slightly varying silhouettes.

    6. The rib shaping is conical.

    7. No binding was necessary

    8. A double layer with 4 target roundels in total gives the best result with boning channels in double layered tape to ensure the bones do not snag on the circle seam allowances.

    9. A waist tape was necessary to ensure no stretching of the complex bias fabric interactions.


  2. It's funny where inspiration comes from. At the moment I am laid up with a broken leg - I  have a lower leg brace on that has 4 velcro straps and is set at a movemet of 60 degrees. I haven't been able to get the word 'brace' and 'strap' out of my brain these last 2 weeks and so embarked on a kind of study of splayed concentric circles on my mannequin. I love the clothes of the Mod movement and the Mod roundel was also in the back of my mind;


    I am totally making it up as I go along. The negative space is mesh and it basically consists of a front and back joined at the mid section at the waist and with a brace at the under-bust and hip. The curve achieved is all about that splayed negative space. It's a fun but time-consuming project!

  3. I'm not sure why I haven't explored simple Regency-style short stays as everyday bra wear before - they are surprisingly comfortable;

    Regency style bra

    I joined the strap to the front of the bodice with a short piece of elastic (covered in the same fabric) to allow a slight give across the shoulders. I like a firm shoulder strap but do feel restricted in movement if there is no stretch at-all. From my research into this era I have found that they did use stretch panels that were made from metal coils, however these were not added to straps I don't think. 

    I would like to reproduce some more of the extant examples of stays and corsets from this era, including those with elastic panels. Here is an example from the Kyoto Costume Institute;

    KCI stays

    © The Kyoto Costume Institute

    I can't find any photos of the front of the short version, annoyingly!