Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Foray into corsetry

Apologies to those attempting to read this, the post editor won't change the font colour to black even though it's selected. So I've tried to change the background colour to make it legible.

This is my interpretation of the 'Gold Exotic Corset' in Jill Salen's Corsets. Its made of two layers of heavy linen, which are boned with cable ties of varying widths, and an outer layer of blue dupion, bound with blue silk. The belt is made of the same blue silk embroidered with peacock feathers. Salen says that the belt on the extant example was attached all the way around by a series of eyelets punched through all the layers of the corset but looking at the photos of the existing piece, I don't think thats true. The eyelets have an even spacing while the boning is irregularly spaced, and you can even see through a couple of the eyelets to the corset layers underneath. I believe the belt is only attached at the ends and the eyelets are decorative only. The belt on my corset was painstakingly fitted to lie flat but not tight against the tightened corset and is only attached at the front and back closure panels.

I'm really happy with the shape this gives me, couple of things I'll do differently next time. The front bust gapes a little so I had to add the purple ribbon drawstring at the top. The back (no pictures sorry) gapes at the hips but meets at the top so I will have to modify the pattern a little. Overall, its really comfy to wear and shaves 3 inches off my waist. Some of the silk at the front was sewn a little loose so it bags a bit but the rest looks pretty good.

To go over the top is this lovely red velveteen 1874 casque jacket with gold braid. I still have to do ten buttonholes by hand (grumble grumble) before I can finish the front braiding. There will be more braid on the collar, pockets and back seams.

 The braiding does actually meet at the bottom here but looks wonky in this picture
 This is what the front braiding will look like all the way up
Shoulder detail with buttonholes