A bit of background: I bought the original for this at some convention or another that is lost in the mists of memory. The seller had said something derogatory about "tube corsets" but the original fit me and laced closed, and I thought the button detailing was too interesting to pass up. It sat in my collection for a long time, and then Laurie Tavan of Daze of Laur took it down and made a pattern draft from it. It turns out that draft was enough that I was able to make another one!
|Approximately 1910 to 1914ish. Such simplicity.|
First off, the original was factory made of a single layer of plain twilled coutil. I cannot imagine why I missed this myself, but my decision to make mine of a fashion fabric interfaced to herringbone coutil was... ambitious. I regretted it while I was razoring bulk out of my seams. I *also* realized that while the original corset had been made whole and then dyed, I was going to have to make-do with materials of all sorts. So I spent a good week hand dying, lightening, and overdyeing notions in a bucket in the bathtub until they were approximately the correct shade of salmon pink to match the pink striped stuff I picked out of my stash. ProTip: RIT dye in bright pink + sunny yellow = salmon. Not an appetizing color or one I would've ever picked, had the original not been that exact shade. They're blotchy though, which makes me sad. Oh well. I also couldn't find pink decorative elastic, pink garter clips, a matching binding tape, or perfectly shaped buttons for the side front closure, so I used what was at hand. I am not thrilled, but I suppose I am... content with this.
|Hand dyed lacing and elastics.|
One thing that was incredibly nice was having the original (in my collection!) on hand to refer to when wondering what I was doing. (Which happened unfortunately frequently.) One thing that was incredibly frustrating was that this corset had clearly had at least four, if not six, different industrial machines used in its construction. Nothing I could hope to make with a single-needle machine would ever be so neat.
|And just in case there weren't enough visual cues pointing to the crotch...|
I also matched my stripes across the button loops. Oh yeah, I am crazy. But those are so pretty...
|Probably the most crazymaking part of this.|
The best irony here is that I did this button-front type (instead of converting it to a more traditional busk style) because I thought it would be less work. Well, I was clearly wrong. Even if I figured out a better way to make and place all of those button loops, the buttons themselves were a crazymaking job to line up, straighten, and then knot and baste in so I could actually then sew their protective panel down over them. I really want to know how this was originally done, because I was just making shit up here. I don't want to know badly enough to take apart the original, however.
So there we have it! And maybe, when I've actually put together the combinations I cut out on Saturday, there will be pictures of me *wearing* it. It's not the prettiest thing, but it'll certainly do the trick.