March 9, 2009

ground rules

These will not be historically accurate reproductions. I don't feel obligated to hand sew eyelets, but I do want to experiment with the various materials and methods used to produce different styles.

So silhouettes and fit can be directly compared all corsets will be made for the same body, mine. All corsets will be made with the same waist measurement. In Appendix I of Corsets and Crinolines it states, "Corsets should be cut two inches smaller than the actual bust and waist measurement to allow for tight lacing; they should never quite meet when laced."

Experience has taught me a corset cut two inches smaller than the actual waist measurement will lace closed almost instantly; forget about never quite meeting. This project isn't about waist reduction, it's about pattern, materials, and technique. Still, I just can't do two inches. I'm going to reduce the waist another inch when I pattern. So all corsets will be cut three inches smaller than the natural waist measurement.

One last regulation.

I gave myself a sewing rule this year that I can only buy fabric if I use a pattern I already have. And I can only buy a pattern if I use fabric I already have. The only out is if I go through the work of drafting the pattern myself then I can justify some new fabric. Likewise, if I manage to weave the fabric myself a new pattern is in order. Seems fair. I'll be drafting a lot of new patterns for this project but I am not going to use that as an excuse to to buy fabric. The goal of the sewing rule is to have less fabric in boxes and nicer clothes in my closet. So for each corset I'm going to go through the fabric I've accumulated to try to find something I can use before I even think of buying anything.


  1. Yeah, two inches ain't nuthin'!!! Am I right ladies?

    I love this blog, it's so good!!! I can't wait for more.

    I feel horrible someone beat me to posting a comment first, boo me for waiting.


  2. lucky you! i can't stick to those rules. i'm a fabric and pattern junkie. when a new pattern comes out i shop the hancock and joann sales. when a fabric i like goes on sale for a steal i just gotta have it. but i do have to say that there have been times when just the right fabric came along for a pattern i already had, and also the right pattern for fabric already in my stash. sometimes the cart gets built before there is a horse!

  3. Yeah!
    My next corset will be one out of this book! Found this blog minutes ago and asked myself why the heck I didn't come up with this idea :P Superb! And those rules are inspiring me for sure to do it too! ;)
    Looking definitely forward to this journey!
    I love *love* it!


  4. You mistook what he was saying. He said to make it 2" smaller than the size you normally wear a CORSET at, so you can tightlace an additional inch (or almost 2) when desired. :-) So that would be 4-6" smaller than a natural waist.

  5. I am fascinated by this site. I love learning new techniques. Only have one question - what do you do with all these corsets?

  6. I love your fabric/pattern mantra. I may need to borrow it. Sometimes I wonder what possessed me to buy a particular fabric.

  7. Also just discovered this blog and now I'm thinking that I should buy the book and get to work myself. I don't know if it's practical, but it sure looks fun.

    This blog was a wonderful idea, thank you so much!

  8. Absolutely love this. I'm too working my way through all the fabric I have accumulated over the years. Depending on the fabric - I almost always try to also make a corset of each fabric as well as other projects.

  9. So, I've just found your blog. I love the premise! I'm very keen to find pictures of them all. Is there any chance you might add something akin to Lauren Lladybird's "Lurk My Closet"?

    Also, this rule about patterns and fabric - it is both exciting and terrifying. I shall consider instituting it. It may take extended consideration.