Make yourself a Victorian corset!
You need our French-style corset pattern based on an original pattern from the 1880s. Fits busts 28" through 48", waists 20" through 40" and hips 30" to 50" with instructions how to alter for larger sizes.
All sizes are included in one pattern. Detailed instructions, period tailoring directions, embellishment suggestions, and historical notes are also included.
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Notions: thread, stay tape, boning, busk, eyelets
Yardage Requirements: 1 yards at least 45 wide
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Below is an excerpt from the historical notes you will receive as part of this pattern:
When one thinks of corsets, the inevitable image conjured is that of Scarlet O’Hara clutching a bedpost, demanding that Mammy pull her corset more tightly so she could achieve her 18” pre-childbirth waist. This, of course, is a scene from a Hollywood entertainment, not a documentary on real corset use in the 1860s. And yet, it is what most people recall when they hear the word “corset”.
In the 1910s, the corset was quite a different thing from those Victorian waist cinchers. By the era of the Great War (1914-1918), corsets were no longer designed to support the bust and to reduce the waist. Matter of fact, many teens corsets did not cover the bust at all. Instead they were more along the lines of what we would term “girdles” today. The fashionable silhouette of the early decades of the 20th century was long and columnar. The 1910s corsets were designed to create this silhouette by smoothing the waist and hips.
In addition to the length and lower body position, another change from the classic corset shape was the addition of suspenders for holding up one’s stockings. Up until this time, stockings were held up by being tied around the knees with garters. In the 1910s, elastic suspenders were attached to the bottom of corsets and gave the first incarnation of what has become the garter belt today.
As the 1910s carried on, the rebellious trends of the 1920s took center stage and the corset as a universal undergarment would soon pass into memory. But among the not-so-young and the not-so-trendy, corsets remained an essential part of dressing.
Bradfield, Nancy. Costume in Detail 1730-1930. 1997: Costume and Fashion Press, New York.
Sorge, Lynn. “The Engineering of Stays and Hoops: Laying the Foundation for the Eighteenth Century Aesthetic.”
Waugh, Norah. Corsets and Crinolines. 1954: Routledge, New York.
Waugh, Norah. Cut of Women’s Clothes 1600-1930. 1964: Routledge, New York.
For more, purchase this pattern.
This information © 2011 Kass McGann and Reconstructing History