I'm wearing the corset with the self-drafted combination undies that I made last year to wear under my Titanic dress.
The Challenge: #3: Under it All
Fabric: less than 1 yd of white cotton coutil, small amount white silk taffeta for binding and garters
Pattern: Truly Victorian TVE01 — I can't say enough good things about this pattern. It was easy to follow, well-drafted, and the sizing was spot on. The only major adaptation I made was in the seam finishing. The pattern calls for the curved seams to be unfinished. I wasn't entirely comfortable with this so I flat-felled them instead. I wish I had added a waist stay tape, but I didn't think about it until it was too late to do it without taking the corset apart. I also left out the extra padding that the pattern calls for, since I have all the built-in padding I need to obtain a true Edwardian shape.
Notions: size 00 grommets, lacing cord, white spring steel boning, garter clips, 40" of 1" wide elastic, 2 yds white silk taffeta ribbon, 40" of white cotton lace, 40" of 1/4" white silk satin ribbon, silk thread for flossing
How historically accurate is it? Very historically accurate. Truly Victorian patterns are very well-drafted based on original examples. In researching trimming and embellishment, I came across several period examples that had very similar shapes and seamlines. My construction methods were all based on what I was able to observe from period corsets. Even the flossing pattern I used is consistent with originals.
Hours to complete: approximately 20
First worn: will be worn in April 2013
Total cost: around $100
This corset is going to be the foundation for my turn-of-the-century evening gown, so the silhouette was the most important consideration for me. This corset pattern gives a lovely curvy shape that gently adjusts the wearer's posture to give the fashionable S-bend silhouette of the period. It achieves this by allowing the bust to settle into a soft, rounded shape, while pushing the ribcage forward and the hips back. It does all this while being surprisingly comfortable. The frilly embellishment was just icing on the cake, but it certainly helps me feel more like a true Gibson Girl.
Here is one historical example I looked to for guidance on the embellishment:
1903 Corset from the Metropolitan Museum (more pictures here)
The one technique that was new to me was the construction of the garter straps. They were easy to make, but gave the corset a very professional and period-correct finish. I'll be posting a tutorial soon!