Tuesday, July 1, 2014

HSF14 Challenge #12 - Shape & Support

My choice for Shape & Support was made early; by Challenge 6, I knew I'd be making a 1910's gown for the Yellow challenge.  But it would be my first garment for that era, so I would be needing the foundations first.  So my choice for shapewear was easy: a 1910's corset.  I initially intended to make the 1911 corset from Corsets and Crinolines, and I remembered there being a sew-along for this corset a while back.  I managed to find it again at bridgesonthebody.blogspot.com.  Instructions were provided for both the Norah Waugh pattern, and a post-Edwardian corset drafter by the blogger herself.  I decided to go with the latter of the two, since it had no hip gores and would likely be a bit easier for someone new to the era.  Jo (the creator of the sew along) provided ample and detailed instructions that I was glued to every moment I wasn't sewing.  I don't have much to add to from my own experience; I highly recommend this to anyone looking to make a similar corset.

I suppose I should add that there are a number of "firsts" in this garment for me.  My first corset of this era, my first time using all steel boning, first time using coutil, first time using a front busk closure, and first time flossing.  Why so many firsts?  Well this would be the first corset I've ever made that I don't expect to be fighting in.  No rolling around on the ground, swinging swords, or flipping over people's heads.  And thus I am finally able to make a corset using proper techniques.

It's a pretty basic corset, nothing too fancy.  It took me about six tries to stitch around the tapered busk, and I pulled out the flossing more times that I can count.  The fabric pencil I used to mark the grommets didn't entirely come out, so there are some unsightly pink splotches at the lacing.  I also somehow mismeasured my grommets, so there is an extra on one side.  And despite multiple fittings that seemed perfect, on modeling the corset for photos, I couldn't get an even lacing gap.  Still I'm pretty happy with it.

The pattern

With alterations

The mockup

Tapered busk (because I wasn't smart enough to stick with a simple straight busk) and flossing.

Lace detail on top.

Other side of busk

The finished product

The back, with the weird lacing gap.

The Challenge: Shape & Support

Fabric: Herringbone cotton coutil
Pattern:  Post-Edwardian Corset: Pattern
Year: 1910-1914
Notions: Steel boning, bone casing, grosgrain ribbon, bias tape, and grommets*
How historically accurate is it? The pattern was drafted from an antique corset, and I used period-appropriate materials. 
Hours to complete: Couldn't say.
First worn: Not yet, except to model.  
Total cost: About $60, give or take.  Most everything had to be special ordered.

*I used grommets from corsetmaking.com, and I never will again.  These were not good grommets.  My usual source is Landco Leathercraft, and I will be sticking with them from now on.

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