Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Blue 1876 Corset Finished

Well, the corset is finally finished. A month after the February challenge due date, but oh well.
I'll probably post another entry about the mockup process later, but for now:

The Challenge: February - Blue
Fabric: Cotton herringbone coutil, factory cotton (lining), cotton twill (boning channels), silk taffeta
Pattern: this one, from the De Gracieuse archives
Year: 1876
Notions: Flat steel boning, a few cable ties, steel busk and grommets, white silk embroidery floss
How historically accurate is it? 85%? There are a few plastic bones where flexibility was needed, and the original likely contained whalebone rather than steel, which, although period-correct, is not really ideal for the curves of this shape. Additionally, because I had to use black coutil, I had to line it in factory cotton, which I have never seen in an original.
Hours to complete: Too many.
First worn: Today, for photos, in my living room
Total cost: About $30 for the bones and busk, and $15 for the silk.

Here, at the Museum of London, is my inspiration corset (there is a whole post about this further back, including a description of the changes I made to the pattern and my reasons for using an 1850s inspiration with an 1850s pattern).

And here is my corset:

Please ignore both the Frankenlacing and my slightly odd posture in this photo;
I had limited time to get in place before the camera timer finished. =P


I forgot to measure my waist while it was on this morning, so I have no measurements for you. Woops. But here's a comparison with my 1890s corset, which has an outside waist measurement of about 24" and an inner measurement of 23", with my natural waist being 26".

As you can see, my ribs are far less swoopy in this corset than in my red corset: a conscious choice. The next project I have in mind for this corset is an 1840s gown, and I wanted to see if I could get the very long, straight torso that I see in fashion plates. I don't know if I'll repeat the experiment; I like having more breathing room. But I actually find the lower waist more comfortable, so the next corset will likely combine the blue corset's lower waist (especially in back) and added hip flare with the red corset's wider ribs.


  1. The differences between the two corsets is very subtle but so important. Thanks for sharing.

  2. It's beautiful!

    I wasn't sure if I was imagining the extra long torso before I saw the comparison to the 90s corset. It makes sense now.

    1. Thanks! Yeah, there's a big difference, right? The blue one is actually closer to my natural waist. The red one is fine at the sides, but at the back the waist is too high and gets uncomfortable.