Friday, 5 October 2012

Corset analysis research C2, 4th Oct2012

Yesterday I went to view 4 corsets of the Symington Collection at Leicestershire Museums resource centre.

I had specifically chosen to view the French plunge front corset C2 that I  discussed in a previous post: French Plunge corset 1905. As discussed in my previous post I would like to recreate this corset, but after examining the corset I feel that I may have to modify the original design to accommodate a larger bosom that the original corset would do. I discussed this particular design with the corset expert Sarah Nicol and we both agreed that the design must flatten the bust considerably as there is little shaping in this area. I am now torn between making a modern version using more allowance in the bust or create a straight re-make.

Decisions, decisions.

Besides that particular conundrum, here is some of my research for all you corset buffs should you want to follow my progress...

So, this is the C2. Isn't she beautiful?

Apart from the gorgeous plunge front it has some more notable details such as the unusual busk in which each 'hook' is different from the last. On closer inspection you will notice that the top and middle 'hook' are pointing away from each other whilst the bottom one is fully closed. It has two beautiful frilled elasticated suspenders which are very pretty. 

I love the filigree look to these suspender regulators.
And just look at all that work on the inside!!!

The boning was most concentrated on the front part of the corset, from the side backwards there was only one thick bone per seam but at the front there are at least eight bones that support the front. The other thing that struck me with this corset is how light it is. It is made of only 2 layers, of reasonably light fabrics: cotton satine and cotton twill.

Also of note, in terms of the silhouette, the hip ratio is very generous....which leads me to conclude that this corset was not designed to alter the hipline, but mainly to create a tiny waist and thrust the bust up to the front. This is further supported by the diagonally crossing bones at the side bust which probably attempt to force the breasts foreward away from the underarm.

 The label forms part of the waistband and is present only from the side seam to the back lacing facing.

This corset (above) is made to the same pattern from the same company, but is made from a damask style cream broche. All the boning has been removed from one whole side which makes drafting the pattern easier. Although, it is almost impossible to discern the true pattern piece shapes without taking it all apart and drawing round them it does make my job a little easier.

I'm very much looking forward to giving this corset a crack, promising the wonderful Sarah Nicol that I would send photo's of it actually being worn since a great deal of our conversation concerned the merits, or lack thereof, of the pattern cutting and bone shaping in the front.

I will not know until I make it....that much is for certain.

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