Corset time

So, as all costume creators know, the key to a proper silhouette is proper undergarments. For 1850s, that includes a corset. For my Danse Libre dress, I fitted over and wore my corset from Dark Garden.

Of course, everyone has something nonstandard about their body. And although I paid a nontrivial amount for the Dark Garden corset, it realllllly doesn’t fit that well. I am kinda cylindrical, so my waist is large compared to my bust and hips. What this means, is the bust comes up way high and doesn’t sit against me. In order to get the bust tight enough, I either have to have a non-even lacing or lace the waist much tighter than is comfortable. Moral of the story, non-custom corsets just don’t work that well.

how I feel about that corset now

TLDR; I signed up for a 2-day corset class at Lacis in Berkely. On Saturday we cut initial mockups and planned the fitting changes.

1 mockup front2 mockup backWe used Laughing Moon 100, the Dore corset. The front actually fits quite well; all the wrinkles and seams are where they should be.

The back is where I need the most changes. The gap is too big now, since it will be bigger in fashion fabric. The teacher wanted me to add an inch to each side by adding 1/4 inch to the back, side back, and side seams. Or, she said I could do it the fancy way, and split the pattern pieces down the middle and add the extra there (this is how you scale up a pattern). The benefit there is it leaves the seamlines the same, so I don’t have to rejigger those. I’ll be doing this.


By next Saturday, I need to make the changes to my pattern, and cut out all my fabric in preparation for the final fitting and initial construction. Currently the plan is for a 2-layer corset in unbleached coutil, with a little bit of lace and ribbon trim. Kinda boring, but a) historically accurate and b) fewer layers to cut out and deal with, since I also have to finish that 20s dress by Friday. The duchesse silk satin remnant in my stash can wait for corset #2.

This entry was posted in 1850s, Corsets, Undergarments, victorian corset. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Corset time

  1. costumecarol says:

    Molly! Hello, has it been 6 years since that class at Lacis?! I’m living in Vermont now, running the costume shop at a college, and about to teach corsetry to college students. I’m wondering if I might use your two mock-up photos for my handout on fitting. They are such a good example of what a mock-up should look like! I hope you are surviving insane 2020!
    Carol Wood

    • avantgarbe says:

      Wow 6 years? I’m actually just finishing up on my third corset ever (silk satin and cording and flossing yum! Wish there were more in the past 6 years though).

      You are welcome to use those pictures! I wish I could take more classes with you!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.