January 5, 2011

1844 fitting

Warning. Fitting this corset without the godets at the bust is not pretty.

Oh my. I had to cut the fabric at the bust to get the corset to sit properly, I only imagine it would have looked worse if I had cut the space for both gores. But I can see the shape of the corset starting to show, and I think it will make a very nice silhouette once the alterations are made so it fits correctly. Here's how it looks from the back.

Not too bad. Very Man Ray Violin d'Ingres don't you think? And if you look past the giant seam allowance near the lacing you can see a nice curve along the center back.

I've pinned away the excess across the belly, and a little bit at the side seam near the top. I don't think I'll need the extra inch I added at the top and bottom edges, but I'll wait until I've sewn the alterations and start to fit the bust gores before I make that call.

I was second guessing my fabric choice as I was sewing. It was so floppy it just didn't seem possible that linen napkins could get the job done. But after trying it on I believe using two layers will work fine. Plus, the linen should make this corset super comfortable in Summer weather. It felt cold when I put it on, cool air came right through the t-shirt I had on. Has anyone else made a linen corset and experienced this?


  1. It does have a Man Ray appeal about it! Very shapely!
    I haven't tried a full linen corset yet - but I did line a Tudor one with linen. Linen was a traditional corset fabric, but I have read on other people's journals etc, that linen has a tendancy to stretch a bit (but that could be more to do with the weave of the linen chosen...)

  2. It's one of the typical effects of linen. Thats why (well, at least one reason)the old egypts used linen, it has a cooling effect.
    It's light and pure, lets your skin breathe. It's the same with hemp, although hemp is even cooler.
    Nice choice for a summer corset :)

    I'm asking myself right now how you alter a corset. I made some too.. but I think I do it more complicated and time consuming as probably needed. Could you show a post on how you alter corsets and fit them?
    I'd be very interested!

    Greetings from Vienna

  3. I like the back, verry femenin.(:

  4. VandE, I hope the linen doesn't stretch! Maybe I'll cut the other layer on the straight grain then to counter any distortion.

    Mae, I've never altered a corset that was completely constructed, but I can show how I alter during fitting. I've already stitched the changes I made for this pattern and if they work I won't need to do any more alterations. But that is something I'll keep in mind for the next one. More detained alteration posts. Got it. And I don't know about you making corsets more complicated and time consuming. They're complicated!

    The back is ultra feminine isn't it Anna? I love it and hope it stays that way when it's all finished.

  5. you forgot to use coutil to give corset strength and structure

  6. Not using coutil was a conscious design choice. Many extant corsets I've seen from this era were not made with coutil so I thought I'd experiment with the linen. So far so good!