Oops! Apparently I've accidentally deleted all of my images. I'll see about fixing that soon.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Skulls Corset Finished... ish

So, it's been a while since I shared anything about the corset I was working on. You probably have forgotten about it, or thought that I did. Well, I didn't forget; it's just more that I never completely finished it... on purpose.

When last I left you hanging the corset was ready for flossing and grommets.  The grommets went in without incident. I had to do the flossing on the back bones before adding the top and bottom grommets as they overlap the edges of the bones slightly.  I do this on purpose to maximize stability.

I did a decent job making the flossing look good both front and back (sometimes)

I grabbed a few pictures of myself in the mostly finished corset to share with you. It is surprisingly difficult to take photos of yourself without a tripod, so please excuse  the oddness of the pics.

Here you can see that there is a nice wide gap in the back as I had originally envisioned.  You might note that the gap is also not perfectly parallel; there are a couple of reasons for this. 

(1) I'm wearing jeans, so I had to loosen the bottom half a bit (I made this to be an undergarment, so in normal wear this is not an issue at all)

(2) the front buts area has issues (which I'll discuss later) which I can temporarily relieve by loosening the top half a tiny bit. 

(3) I was feeling a little chunky that day. oh well...

I did floss some of the other bones, just a few at the front.

Where I flossed the bones there is actually relatively little wrinkling, so I'm pretty happy with that.

But.... that's where I stopped flossing.  The remainder of the bones are held in by a couple of light stitches only.  By the time I had flossed the front bit I had worn the corset a few times and was sure there was a problem with the fit of the bust, so I didn't bother to add the lace, either.

A break from my whining about what's wrong for a second to say what I like about the corset:

I really like the look & feel of the covered busk. I feel like I don't catch the posts on things as much, which is really nice. I love the back support it gives me. The day I took these photos I didn't have the corset laced as tight as I do most days, but I'm still really happy with the amount of hipspring I get from it. I like the shape/ shaping of most of the pieces/ design and think I finally have a good starting place for myself for all future corsets. 

Ok, back to nitpicking my work :)

You can clearly see here in the front shot that everything pulls to the sides badly at the bust.  I've tried a variety of shapes/ patterns to fix this over the years but again I have ended up with something that squishes flat and doesn't cover properly. Furthermore, my brilliant plan of having no edging (an idea stolen from one of the people in the corsetmaking group I follow on LJ) really creates a mess over the bust. It's all lumpy and pulls in just below and juts out at odd points. Ugh.

I've also found that I need just a little more room in the front hip bone area. It's not terribly uncomfortable, but it shouldn't be uncomfortable at all, so I'm going to have to fix that as well.
So, of course I've already started redesigning a new corset based on this one, but fixing some of the fit issues. I'm going to try a cupped corset this time.  I've not wanted to do one before, but I think at this point, to get a modern silhouette along with the fit I need elsewhere, it's the only option I really haven't tried, so I am willing to give it a go.

defining where things *should* lie
And I'm thinking of making some major changes to the construction.  Up to this point, with the exception of my very first corset, all of my corsets have been 3 layers: a strength layer, a lining, and a fashion layer.  Most of my corsets have had the seam allowances pressed open and the boning was either sandwiched in between layers or inserted into bone casings on the outside layer.

Earlier this year I really enjoyed watching the sew-along of a 1911-style corset on the blog Bridges on the Body.  I loved the idea of doing a single layer (or 2 layers treated as 1) with flat-felled seams. I've been wanting something to reduce the bulk and this may be an acceptable alternative.

The other thing I'm going to try from the 1911 pattern is the length of the corset.  While I love the profile of my current corset, and it indeed works well with dresses and skirts, I wear pants quite often and move around a lot. This means that the various edges of the corset, while I stretch and bend and sit and reach, sometimes un-tuck themselves from my pants creating a sudden wardrobe problem that feels unprofessional to have to fix in public.  I'm hoping that extending the lower line of the corset (but not the boning) downward the extra fabric will act like shirt tails and help keep my undergarments where they belong: under.
EDIT: Since this originally posted in April of 2012 this page has had nearly 400 hits, far outweighing any page on my tiny blog. It seems this pic is the only thing drawing people. Since no one will say why they want it you can go find it at its original location instead.

As you can see in this timeline, by 1910 the hemline on the corset was well down over the hips.  Also, it's just a fascinating look at a tiny snapshot of the recent history of ladies' undergarments.

Well, that's all for today. Hope your week is going well. :)


  1. A corset is on my very long to do list. Alas I cheated on my latest expo outfit and bought one. How ever I did make the chemise part.
    I do like your fabric choice, very cool.

  2. Thanks. If you ever have the time, it's totally worth it. I really should make a proper chemise or 3 but I usually just end up wearing a tank top or a lightweight shirt of some sort underneath instead. Welcome back, btw, you kind of disappeared for a while! I saw you posted but I haven't had a chance to pop over & read it yet.

  3. Just curious, this page has been getting a ton of hits lately off of the search for fashion timeline. Is there a class or something that needs a fashion timeline? What is everyone looking for?


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