Dienstag, 18. Februar 2014

1876 Corset - #4 Under it All

Finally challenge #4 "Under it All" is here!!!
I have been waiting for this one ever since I started in the HSF and had a lot of time to think about my project. I am particularly fond of the natural form era and so it is no wonder that I decided to make a natural form gusset corset. I started my project last year, but I never quite finished until last week.
The pattern used is from the dutch magazine "De Gracieuse" which can be seen on the internet.

The Challenge: #4 Under it All
Fabric: 6 metres of cotton jean. Don't worry, the fabric width is only 30 centimetres
Pattern: "De Gracieuse" 2/1876
Year: 1876
Notions: Spoon Busk, spiral steel, steel boning, twill tape, grommets, corset lace, silk threat for flossing, ribbon and lace for the decorative part
How historically accurate is it? My lace and ribbon are both synthetic, but everything else is accurate. I am giving myself 97%
Hours to complete: Many... I couldn't guess
First worn: At home
Total cost: about 60€ for new supplies + a lot of stash material

Bottom left corset of "De Gracieuse" issue 2, 1876


Work in Progress...

Since I started last year, there are not too many process pictures, but I did my best to collect some construction pictures.

This corset is a one layer, so the boning can not be fixed between several layers of fabric.

Sewing on twill tape to form the boning channels on the inside of the corset. One tape is wide enough to form two channels.

 Preparing the opening for the gussets.
 Usually I would press the fabric at this stage, but the jean is so firm I simply folded it by hand.

Inserting the gussets. I used pins to mark the seam allowance.

 The most challenging part of the construction was joining the side seams including bust and hip gussets. These seams are supposed to be boning channels as well and since the fabric is so stiff I had difficulties to turn under the seam allowance and still have enough space for the boning. For the next corset I shall have more seam allowance on the gussets.

How stupid can one be, really??? How am I supposed to insert boning into the channel on the middle piece? I must have been sleep-sewing...
God bless historical sewing. One becomes very patient doing such things and so I opened the seams and fixed this, of course.

And here we are... Please excuse the bad selfies to follow...

 I wanted to be flexible wearing this corset, so I didn't use too much boning. This way I end up having some wrinkles, but so be it.

 It is a bit better with the flossing, but surely nor perfect. Since this was my first flossing I used a rather simple flossing pattern, but the outcome is quite nice anyway. The colour of the silk is supposed to be the same as the lace.
Flossing takes ages!

 Pinning the lace into place. I found this lovely lace on ebay and purchased 10 metres straight away. You will be seeing more of this...

Attaching the lace was very time-consuming as well. The silk kept tearing apart and since I wanted the stiches to be invisible on the front side I had to do many stitches on nearly every knot on the lace...

First side finished!!!
I am so proud on my flossing!

A detail on the gusset flossing below.

My finished corset on my dress form....                            ....and on me. I have a waist!!!



 With bow...                                                                    ....or without?


The round binding on the bottom is giving a fanatsic shape and is absolutely comfortable! I also like the spoon busk shape very much, although it was a challenge to insert.

My new favorite corset!!


  1. With bow, just with shorter tails! Lovely job!

  2. I have a small question concerning the busc spoon. I am going to make a new corset, certainly on 1880. I shall like knowing of what you thought of it of the pose of the busc. Your difficulties and ease.

    Thanks to you:)

  3. So beautiful! I am to trying to make a corset with a pattern from the same source (1884 though) and it would be very interesting to read about the changes you made to your pattern.

  4. The detail with the flossing is fabulous. I am inspired.


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