Nana’s Corset – beginnings

Remember how I posted that I wanted to finish a corset so I could make shorts so I could make panniers?  Well, you have seen the shorts, the panniers are done but yet to be posted about, but the corset isn’t quite finished.

But it looks pretty amazing anyway, and here is a sneak-peek:

Curve happiness

This corset is my long planned, long awaited version of the Nana corset for me.

Manet's Nana, 1877 (detail)

I’m never going to achieve quite as many curves as Nana (and also, I’m not a teenage courtesan who destroys the lives of every man she encounters – but Manet didn’t know that) but I’m pretty pleased with how I look in it.

I have a waist! And hips! And a bust!

The images of me in the corset are courtesy of Mrs C, who kindly took photos on her camera at a sewing night at her place when I stupidly forgot to bring a memory card for my camera.  D’oh!

I’ve been working on it since the sewing night, and the corset is almost done.  I just need to finish the binding on the bottom of the corset, add the straps, and bind the top of the corset.

Bound bottoms, top and straps still to do

The fabric is a gorgeous silk duchess satin, the same fabric as I made Ninon’s 1660s dress out of.   When I posted about that fabric, Josephine of the Silk Futures (awesome blog name!) mentioned that she had picked up some of that silk in the same sale in pale blue.  So I begged and pleaded and she agreed to sell me half a metre.  Lovely sweet Josephine!

The pattern is based on what you can see in the painting (the hip pieces are quite evident), and strapped corsets of the 1870s and 1880s.   I have a whole pinterest board of inspiration.

Blue duchesse satin and white sateen lining

13 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Amanda says:

    You’re sewing impresses me yet again! I’m looking forward to seeing it all finished up :D

  2. Elise says:

    That’s my favorite blue. What a wonderful garmet!

  3. Lynne says:


  4. I’m not usually a fan of shiny pale blue, but this might just win me over…your work looks beautiful and just like the painting!

  5. SueC56 says:

    Wow, I’m impressed!

  6. Josephine says:

    This is perfection! So glad I could help you out

  7. Hayley says:

    Oh that colour is just heavenly! Can’t wait to see it with ruffly straps as well.

  8. Amber says:

    Woohoo! We’re finishing up our 1880s corsets at the same time! It looks splendid! That blue is breathtaking :)

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Meet the Dreamstress

Leimomi Oakes is the Dreamstress, a textile historian, seamstress, designer, speaker and museum professional. Leimomi is available for educational and entertaining presentations, textile and fashion advice, special commissions and events. Click to learn more

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