January 17, 2014

The Edwardian Corset

Corset 1905, MET
When I first saw the perimeters for this years Your Wardrobe Unlocked competition I knew exactly what era and design I wanted to conquer. I had never attempted Edwardian costuming before and though I have been making corsets of varying degrees of accuracy and success over the last perhaps eight or ten years (yes I learned to sew young), I had never undertook a corset with a busk or with the level of historical accuracy as I was about to attempt. Knowing I shouldn't try and just wing it when it came to the pattern I ordered Truly Victorians 1903 Edwardian Corset pattern. When I had the pattern pieces cut out I was intimidated.

The pattern turned out to be brilliant, the size (size E in my case) was perfect and the instructions were easy to follow as I hung onto every word trying not to screw anything up. I decided to make a mock-up out of muslin to try inserting a busk, as I had never done it before, and to better understand how the pattern fit together so i wouldn't screw up on the real one. This was super helpful and made putting together the real corset so much easier and a bit less nerve racking.

The muslin corset mock-up
After the success of the mock-up I cut into my real fabrics, a peach cotton sateen that I had gotten for free at school a long time ago and a sturdy cotton twill from Denver Fabrics. I decided to baste these two layers together to make sewing the panels together less evil.

note my sticky notes numbering the pieces so I didn't get confused
Then I began to sew everything together which was stressful only because I was determined to sew everything correctly and yet also quickly as I am on quite the time crunch for this whole project! Luckily because of the muslin everything went together just as before and well. I cannot recommend this pattern enough!

by this point I was really loving the peachy sateen, even though I don't normally like the color peach it was just perfect for an Edwardian corset
I set in the grommets after the extra stressful sewing in of the boning channels and also the waist tape, I had never done a waist tape before and couldn't really find any instructions on how to so I just did my best and I think it came out okay but not perfect
sewing on the bias binding was satisfying beyond belief knowing I was nearly done!
Then suddenly, after two days of careful sewing, the corset was finished! The last steps were finishing the top edge with some pretty cotton lace I found at Denver Fabrics and a gorgeous floaty silk ribbon I bought on Etsy especially for the finishing touch of this corset. I love this corset. Not only am I just super relieved it came out well but it fits perfectly and looks great on, what a fun new silhouette for someone used to 18th century stays! I will have pictures of the finished underwear set for you soon, I managed to finish the corset, chemise/slip and petticoat all in four days and so now I have dove headfirst into the gown to go over-top everything else. This will be my first time entering the contest at Your Wardrobe Unlocked and I am so excited but wish I had given myself more time of course!


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