January 7, 2011

1844 fitting round 2

I decided to pin the godets in place so I could do the second fitting without fabric flopping open.

Then I tried on the mock up. It turns out that pretty hourglass shape I liked from the first fitting was the result of excess fabric.

Too bad. It looks like I pinned out a little too much from the top near the shoulder blade. But other than that the back looks OK. Now from the front.

I can see I need to blend the reduction at the side hip all the way to the waist to give a smoother line. And there still is a gap at the bottom that is even more visible from the side.

Maybe removing some from from the bottom of the second panel and blending to the waist will help? Maybe standing straighter? I'd swear I was standing straight, but clearly I'm not. I also think that the busk I'm using is too rigid. The illustration in Corsets and Crinolines shows a slight indentation at the waist. By drawing a line on a piece of vellum and laying it over the drawing of the corset it's easy to see.

The busk on mine makes such a hard line that it pulls out from the waist. That shouldn't be, right? Any suggestions?


  1. It almost seems as though you have more material on the left side of your corset than the right. That may be why it's skewing to the right side of your body on the front view.

  2. I was wondering if I should mention that skew. I have one hip larger than the other so that pulling happens with all my corsets and it's super noticeable on this mock up. I normally don't make any changes when mocking up, but when constructing the final I stitch inside the seam allowance on one side and outside the seam allowance on the other so I can give a subtle fix. I'll should post side by side pictures of the mock up and the final to see how well the correction works. Stupid asymmetry.

  3. Would a spoon busk help at the front?

  4. the addition of a good strong waist tape might help to pull the busk inwards at the waist, depending on how tight the pattern is at the waistline.

    i've also seen people use pliers to put a permanent bend in a busk to curve it inward or outward at the ends.. while i haven't tried this myself, there doesn't seem to be any reason a permanent bend wouldn't work in the middle.

  5. I agree with faitavec: re: shaping. In as much as whale bone was organic, and may have had some give, do you think 1/2" wide spiral steels would work here? (I'm not sure what's in there presently, so is only a suggestion.)

  6. I don't know if that helps, try using a spoon busk? That actually should be one way of getting rid of the gap in the front. It's described in this book: http://www.amazon.de/Basics-Corset-Building-Handbook-Beginners/dp/0312535732/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1294594431&sr=8-4
    I could scan you the page, if you want. Just let me know.

  7. Spoon busk is the way to go my dear, you can get them at farthingales.com. I would get the new busk and install it before doing other modifications!

  8. My Valkyrie corset was a very similar pattern to this, I used a straight opening busk at the front, and though I didn't really notice it at the time, looking at the pictures it also seems overly rigid and vertical, especially at the very top. A spoon busk would most certainly have worked better.