Friday, 6 January 2012

Beauty and strength: construction notes

So today is all about getting on with my Edwardian style corset in peach satin and black lace...

The busk is in, that's the metal hook and stud closure at the front of a corset, and the boning is in the back. There is a special bow detail I want to put in the waist so I have just basted the rest of the corset together to give an idea of the final shapes.

Edwardian corsets are my favourite of all the corset styles, and they are also the most extreme and highly engineered. Most of my newest designs are based on Edwardian features. This is a typical advertisement of the time:
As you can see the features of this period are a prominant bosom and bum, tiny waist and a tipped forward stance, more commonly defined as the S-bend. Seamlines are diagonal, curved and complex, whilst boning was positioned mostly vertical. I don't plan on staying entirely historically accurate because my intention is to make a wearable corset that won't cripple my customers whilst still bearing the design features that I like the most about this period of corsets.

So, to recap my progress with this corset:

I have previously made a corset, based on Edwardian features to test construction and pattern fit: It doesn't fit on the tailors dummy entirely correctly because a dummy is not soft and pliable like a real body.

From this successful design I have changed my pattern to the new design and begun construction. This peach broche corset is a single layer corset, similar to Edwardian ones, and is strong enough on it's own to withstand much wear...but the materials I am making the new corset out of are not, so I am having to build a seperate outer and inner layer...which is problematic just from the point of view of matching up all 40odd seams but also that the seams cannot become bulky even though they have 6 layers of fabric in them.

This is fabric engineering!

So this is where I am now at:

It is coming along very nicely, just have to wait for my delivery of black silk so I can finish it off, yippee!

If any of you are thinking of trying to make this style it is definatly one of the most rewarding things to do and I have a few tips to make your life a bit easier that I found out as I was going along. I'll be doing a propper construction blog on this style of corset when I have a bit more time to properly devote it, but anyway in the mean time my quick advice tips are:

  • double stitch all seams
  • reinforce potential weak points
  • use the correct boning
  • build in a waist stay

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