Thursday, June 20, 2013

New Corset

Once upon a time I decided that I needed a new corset (amongst a few other things, more on that later). I had bought one a few years ago at the local Renaissance Faire that was intended for being worn on the outside of clothing and then it ended up on the inside of most of my outfits after being bitten by the Victorian sewing bug. At the time, it was my first corset so there were a lot of things that got overlooked in my excitement. For starters, it didn't fit exactly (liveable at the time), but had great support (wow, there's no such thing as slouching in this thing), and did exactly what it was supposed to do (yay, my waist is eight inches smaller!).

Fast forward to about two years later. I've had dabblings in corset making at this point, seen a few originals for reference, and while my original corset has become well seasoned, the bones were starting to come out and the whole not fitting exactly thing is starting to get to me.

I ended up purchasing most of my materials and fabric in the summer of 2012, but only got around to sewing it this spring after it was determined that I would need it for attending a conference and for properly fitting some of the new dresses I would make. The end result though was I had a corset that was halfway finished when I went to conference. Out of time and running on only a couple hours of sleep, I simply wore it as is.

Now I've been home for about three weeks and it sits on the top of my sewing pile quietly calling, "Finish me!" All right I will, you demanding little thing.

The corset I made is inspired from an original 1880s corset in the Kyoto Costume Institute collection made of blue silk satin with lace and embroidery work. The pattern comes from Truly Victorian and has minor alterations to better fit my body (because no matter how much I want to try, I will never have Victorian lady curves).

KCI 1880s Corset

While the finished corset will be decorated, it will not have as many frothy frillies as the KCI original. I found some lace at the local fabric store that I liked against the blue and as soon as my bias fabric is sewed down completely, I will work on adding the lace as well. 

My corset in it's unfinished glory
Lace to go along edge

Perhaps the only thing I am not looking forward to is the task of hand sewing the lace on. I've examined all sorts of possibilities, but this seems to be the best method for attaching and making sure it lays correctly at the same time. For the official record, I hate hand sewing. There may be some mumbled curses coming out of northeast Ohio over the next week or so.

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