It seems that the corset covers of our Victorian counterparts were much like the camisoles we have today. Worn over the corset to smooth over some of the lines from the boning or busk, as a layer of modesty under gowns of more transparent fabrics, and even perhaps as another layer of warmth when central heating had yet to have been invented, corset covers were another essential item of undergarment for Victoria ladies. They also would come in handy if say you wanted to wear a colorful corset with a white gown, which is exactly why I'll be making one!
As I have mentioned, I want to make a frilly white cotton bustle dress this year, but as my late Victorian corset is black, I'll be needing a corset cover to help hide the dark shade of the corset under my future white gown. Having never made such an item before I wanted to do a little research before I cut into some more white cotton and got to work. So what do antique corset covers look like?
Well, they look like this mostly! White or ivory cotton, center front buttons, sleeveless, and with varying amounts of lace or eyelet. The seam lines seem to follow the fashionable silhouette of the bodice which would have been worn over them. Perhaps it would work to draft a pattern for such an undergarment using the bodice pattern as a guide, which is what I will be trying out this next week! I have a stash of little shell buttons and white cotton which will be perfect for making such a garment, but I have have to pick up some cotton lace too!
Have any of you made a corset cover or other Victorian undergarments before? This seems like it will be a simple project but one never knows with costuming! I'll show you my results soon )