civil war corset: nearly done!

finally got a thread rack today.  now there is some semblance of order, instead of the chaos that was the cardboard box I had up until now been tossing all my spools of thread haphazardly into D:  that creature there is Guido, my “sewing robot” (according to my mum.)  he sits up there and watches me work, and laughs when I do something ridiculous, like sewing two left halves of my corset.  (in my defense, it was early and I was tired and it’s a wonder I could even cut a straight line, let alone sew a corset.  I don’t know why I thought starting that project right then was a good idea.)

my civil war corset is nearly finished.  I spent most of the day today working on it.  last week I got as far as piecing together the inner layer.  the pattern, by the way, is Simplicity pattern 2890.

the first thing I did was to make a mock-up.  it was unclear from the picture on the package whether the stays were meant to be mid-bust, or if the model just had a rather small chest (I think both,) but what was obvious was that my chest was never going to fit into that the way it was.  the measurements fit me in all other aspects, so what I tried first was simply to add an inch to the top of the corset, extending the bust.  on the muslin, this ended up fitting really well, so I went with it.

the pattern was meant for a corset with one layer, but since I wanted to have two layers, I put the boning channels in on the “wrong” side.  you can see my raw edges; I didn’t bother with the because they were going to be on the inside of the corset.

the second picture is with the outer layer attached, with busk in.  at this point in the process, I was starting to be afraid that this corset was going to turn out tiny.  I had allowed for extra length at the back of the corset, like I always do, just because I know that things go wrong a lot.  I don’t know where that extra length went; by the time I was going to mark my lacing holes, there was precious little space left to do it.  you can see in the picture where my original holes were set.

adding grommets, and the final result.  as I’ve mentioned, there was a good deal less space between the back boning channels than I’d anticipated, and I was worried the grommets wouldn’t even fit.  luckily they did, but I probably could have gone with a size smaller grommet.  I laced it with yellow ribbon because that’s just what I had on hand, and also, it’s yellow! 😀

forgive my shitty in-the-mirror pictures.  it was a little snug in the end, but, well, it is a corset.  (ignore my jeans, and the pile of junk behind me.  sewing room, my ass!) the pattern gave two inches for a lacing gap, but when I put it on, mine was more like three inches.  I figure it’ll stretch with time, and if it doesn’t, I don’t care that much.  the pic from the side is horrid blurry, but you can see just how much volume (for lack of a better word) my chest takes up in this corset.  even with the inch added all round the top, it ends up coming to mid-bust on me.  sigh.

overall, I’m happy with this piece.  the pattern was good, even if the instructions weren’t all that clear.  I still have to do the binding but I’ll save that for tomorrow.  right now there’s a Doctor Who marathon calling me 😀


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