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Corset design

I’ve been working hard with my very talented aunt-in-law, Anne Mountifield (she’s doing most of the hard work to be fair), on designing a costume for a period piece flight needs and I’m pleased to say we’ve almost finished one of the most important components; the corset.

Corsets are a hard part of historical design to get right, they changed very frequently through the ages and there are very few really good examples of them left from each era. Fortunately Anne has an old workwoman’s guide on making clothes from that era and I had one made for me for my wedding from a similar era to what we needed.

Here’s some photo’s of the work in progress:

Here’s me wearing the inside layer, each strip down the side is where we placed a steel spiral bone. The big seam down the front is where the hooks and eyes, to get in and out, will be sewn in.

There are 16 eyelets down each side of the back with thinner flat steel bones both sides of the eyelets for strength. A vanity panel will also be attached behind those to hide any skin that would otherwise show if the corset wasn’t laced to a close.

A top layer of black cotton will go over all this hiding all the bone lines beneath it and allowing us to print or embroider patterns on as we desire, though for historical accuracy the one used for Flight will just be plain. Corsets have only recently begun being worn on the outside of clothing rather than as underware so there did not need to be any patterns on them, with them being hidden at all times.

I’ll post some more photo’s when the whole thing is finished, with top layer and all the laces.