If you’re a longtime reader of my blog, you’ll remember Theresa: she’s a former Wellingtonian, and every time she comes back for a visit, we dress up and do a photoshoot together.
We’ve done ca. 1880 (one and two), 17th & 18thc yellow (one, two and three), hoopskirts (one, two, and three), and Regency (one, two & hair), but Theresa has been asking for a 1900s photoshoot for ages.
To do 1900s properly, first I had to finish the two S-bend corsets I’ve been working on for well over a year.
This is the second TV1901 corset that I’ve started, but they were both finished at the same time. The first one got abandoned for a long, long time due to frustration when I realised how much the sizing was off. I’ll be covering that in more detail when I blog about my original attempt, but basically, the sizing doesn’t work in smaller waist/bust measures unless you also have a very small ribcage as well. This particular corset is 3 sizes larger than Theresa’s recommended measurements, and while it could be a size smaller (it laces fully closed), it’s still nicely snug. And Theresa has an average ribcage!
Despite the headaches with fit, I’m very pleased with the end result. There is still no space for hip padding, and only the tiniest space for bust padding, and overall I’d like a more exaggerated shape, but it was very comfortable to wear.
Before the main photoshoot, we got these images of the new unders, along with my new-old 1923 Singer sewing machine.
Felicity naturally showed up to investigate the excitement, so I picked her up for Theresa to pose with. Felicity was not impressed. She behaved very well, but she clearly doesn’t trust that Theresa isn’t going to drop her!
This was finished the day of the photoshoot – 22 December, so it’s perfect for a very-slightly-early start to the 2017 Historical Sew Monthly
What the item is: a 1901-8 corset
The Challenge: #1 Firsts & Lasts – this is the first piece of a really fabulously frilly 1900s outfit that I want to make.
Fabric/Materials: 1m of ribbed cotton, op-shop find ($2)
Pattern: Truly Victorian TVE01- 1903 S-Curve Corset
Notions: cotton thread, a busk ($30), grommets ($5), synthetic whalebone ($20).
How historically accurate is it? I chose to do flat felled seams, rather than leaving them open, and while I think I’ve seen this done in-period, I can’t find my references on it, and I may be mis-remembering. My fabric is close, but not a perfect match to any fabric I can find used in a corset of this period. I used a weird mix of threads, because I kept finding myself away from home, with only this to work on, and not exactly the right white cotton thread, so it’s a bit of a mish-mash if you look very closely. I’m going to say 70%
Hours to complete: Oh dear…. 30+
First worn: For a photoshoot, 22 December.