green silk 1860’s corset and shift

I’ve finished the corset and the shift.  Yay!  I feel quite accomplished.  I didn’t get the petticoat done, only because the fabric I ordered for it hasn’t arrived yet (it should get here tomorrow but I’ll have to wait until next week to start working on it.)

I took fewer pics of the second half of the corset, sorry.

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After I got all the boning channels sewn on, I inserted the busk.

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I decided to do the flossing next, as just handling the corset enough to do the busk and grommets was enough to make the bones keep sliding around inside.  The first pic is my first two channels done – not so great.  I got the hang of it pretty soon, though.  Still, the flossing is nowhere near perfect on the whole, but then again, neither is my embroidery.  I just don’t spend enough time on it for it to be that good.

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My mum’s cat, being ever so helpful.

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I had this nice, sheer striped cotton that I was going to make a lining with.  Specifically because I planned on making a full lining, I wasn’t bothering with making the inside of my corset look nice, and it was quite a mess, to be honest.  The pattern instructions advise making this corset from one layer of fabric and tacking down all the raw edges by hand, and now that I’ve tried to make a lining, I think I understand the appeal of the other way.  I tried three times to construct a lining that fit properly and for some reason just couldn’t make it fit.  In the end, I just used strips to cover all my raw edges (which were just the one side seam and around the gores) but the inside of the corset looks quite ugly to me.  I’d like to give lining it another shot some time.  I think I just need time to fiddle with the gores because I think that’s what was giving me trouble; every time I adjusted one to fit, another would be out of place.

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Lastly, I bound the edges with bias strips of green silk, and voila!

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I say this all too often, but pardon my terrible pictures.  My sewing room is a sty again (all those bags you see behind me are filled with fabric I have yet to organize and put away from recent shopping trips.)  I wanted to post about this finished corset this week and I just haven’t got the energy to move all that stuff around just to take pictures.

I’m perfectly happy with the way it fits; during construction, I was afraid it was going to be too small, but it fits nicely and laces to a 2″ gap quite comfortably.  I didn’t try lacing it tighter (I was using twine because I could not find my lacing cord) but I think it could go about an inch tighter.

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Here’s the shift all on its own; it’s made from the same pattern, Simplicity 2890.  It’s a bit big for me, actually.  It’s made of cotton voile from my stash, and is extremely sheer, hence why I’m wearing my underwear underneath in those pics.  Quite soft and nice to wear, though.

Next week, I’m aiming to get the petticoat done and hopefully start working on a pattern for a dress bodice.

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