Tuesday, 1 January 2013

The 1873 corset continued...

Well, I've had the lurgy!  Woke up Boxing Day with itchy ears and it all went downhill from there... good thing about the enforced rest though is that I have had plenty of time to think and google, plot, play and plan the new corset.  And, I made a great discovery, the beautiful Before the Automobile blog and, in particular, an amazing version of the 1873 corset; oh, to have even a smidgen of M's talent.

In addition to being a very talented seamstress, she is a generous lady who answered my email full of questions about redrafting Norah and it's construction.  Armed with her tips and advice I, very randomly, found myself making my first muslin mock up yesterday.  It was all very unplanned and haphazard, no planning or photos etc., and I spent the majority of the time telling myself that you can't just suddenly decide to mock up a corset as intricate as this with no planning or real forethought (on New Year's Eve no less) and it not be an utter waste of time... I was a lucky lady, the fates were on my side.

The corset is surprisingly easy to sew together, not construct - that will be a whole other story, but piece together based on the annotations on the pattern.  I was expecting some serious head scratching but, apart from the obvious amendments that I still need to make to the pattern, it was nice and straightforward.

Based on M's advice, I lengthened the corset but decided not to add anything to the the width and, as it happens, the front of the corset fits perfectly.  I will need to add approx. 2" across the back, which I will divide equally across the side and back panels.  What was immediately obvious was that the panels on the bottom that form the shape of the hips need to be adjusted.  The front one, which should be a single, sweeping piece, I had to extend and will need to redraft.  I also need to lengthen a couple of the other panels and, am thinking of extending them all a little more as I am looking for quite an exaggerated shape.

As I pinned the mock up to Miss G I made notes on the main pattern, measuring and redrafting as I went along.  I will then unpick the mock up, add in the new pieces and, with any luck, have a finished pattern within a couple of attempts.

In the meantime, I have filled an Evernote notebook with web clippings of various fabrics. What was immediately obvious, from M's corset, was that the cording would not work with my original idea of a canvas top layer.  I have been looking at different, softer canvases and also at Aida's but also found, in the googling, some rather lovely fabrics and am now utterly undecided as to what to do... I feel some sample ordering coming on.

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