December 22, 2011

1911 - a Warner's 1912-14 corset up close

One of the benefits to working in a museum is the opportunity to see the objects up close. I was given permission to snap a couple pictures of one and share them here.

Kent State University Museum, accession number 1983.3.117

A Warner's corset from 1912-14. Even though there are no extras, like flossing or lace, it shows how simple does not mean boring. Here is a closer look.

The black satin is so sleek. Let's take a quick peek at the interior.

The black silk was fused with white cotton and sewn as a single layer. If you look closely you'll see the cotton is not a herringbone coutil, it's a plain weave. The bone casings are made with cotton twill tape. There is no waist stay on this corset. Norah Waugh indicated a stay on the 1911 Corsets and Crinolines pattern so I'll be including one on mine, but if you decide not to sew one it's still period correct.

This Warner's ad, found in the March 28, 1912 edition of the Jasper News, features a corset with the same cut.

Good luck to everyone who entered in the 500 follower celebration giveaway! Entries are now closed. The winner will be announced tomorrow. I've enjoyed reading all your comments and am thrilled to see you many of you are participating in the sew along!


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  2. OK, that means I've choosen the right technique - I'm gonna use a combination of pale yellow jacquard silk and herringbone coutil. But I have a thousand doubts.
    Preshrink. The silk I have is so delicate and soft. Should I go to my local dry-cleaning to prepare it for cutting or I could do something at home?
    Seams. Of course coutil is a strong fabric but it stretches a little bit anyway. I'm afraid that silk is going to go bad along the seams being stressed.
    Anyway I have to try this to make conclusions

  3. That means I can try twill tape as my casings then. Something I was going to do anyway as I don't have enough fabric to make casings. I'm not normally bothered about authenticity I do feel better now I know it was done in 1912! The shape of the warners corset looks more like mine than the ticking one, even though I'm using that pattern. Weird, no?

  4. @Max - you can hand wash silk, it will likely shrink a little and may affect the sheen or the hand of the fabric but since it's a light color you don't have to worry about color bleeding.

  5. Thanks for advice Ryan. I found several sources and all of them demand different water temperature for silk shrinking - from 30'C till almost boiling water, I'm confused as I've never worked with genuine soft silk.
    And frankly speaking I don't wanna make some experiments with a piece of cloth that worth a good money - wanna be sure it will survive the first wash not becoming into a waste