All posts tagged: corsets

Corset reproduction, circa 1905, thedreamstress.com

A 1900s touch of blue corset

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 …

The Black & White 1916 corset

On Monday I’m going to start living as close as I can to a 1916 lifestyle for two weeks. Naturally, this means I need a wardrobe.  A whole wardrobe post is coming, but for now, let’s start with the item everyone is really interested in: corsets. Based on my research, the average middle-class NZ housewife in 1916 had between 1 & 3 corsets at any given time: 1 or 2 for everyday wear, and possibly a fancier, more constricting one for dressing up.  Two corsets is ideal for everyday wear, because it means one can be airing while you wear the other. I’ve decided on two corsets for my experiment.  One, based on a slightly earlier cut, that Leimomi circa 1916 might have had in her wardrobe from before the war, and this one, reflecting the more recent mid-teens cut: Previously all of my 1910s corsets have been based on my personally fitted draft of the 1911 corset in Janet Arnold’s book.   However, very few women in NZ would have had personally fitted corsets.  The …

An 1890s corset

There are historical costumers who like making corsets, and there are those who don’t.  I am definitely in the ‘likes making corsets’ group. I love making corsets – I love the fitting, I love the precision, I love the scope for playing with really lux fabrics that you couldn’t afford for a full garment.  I love that they don’t have sleeves, and I love that even the fanciest corset is usually pretty minimalist – the trim on finished garments is really where I get bogged down.  Most of all, I love them for what they do to your overall look.  A corset is a foundation garment; it is the foundation to your outfit.  Without the right corset, your outfit just won’t look right. I’ve made many corsets over the years, mostly from my tried and true personal corset pattern, which does 1870s-1890s well.  However, I always love trying new patterns, and there is one pattern I’ve long meant to try.  Well, not one pattern, one specific style of corset.  There are a whole swathe of …