All posts tagged: corsets

The ‘Madame Monet’ underbust corset

The inspiration for this corset was Claude Monet’s portrait of his wife, Camille, in a kimono against a background of Japanese fans, reflecting the mania for all things Japanese that was sweeping Europe in the wake of Japan’s opening to the West. I’ve like way the underbust corset echos both an obi and the Western fashions of the 1870s, playing on the influences in Monet’s painting.  And I love the fabric I chose and the way it also echoes the blend of East and West: using traditional Japanese motifs and weaving techniques for a fabric that was intended for the very Western practice of quilt making. I lined the corset in some fabric left over from my Ice Cream Banana blouse, and bound it with some vintage polished cotton.  I wish the front busk was gold, to match the gilding on the fabric and the gold grommets and aiglets, but gold busks are almost twice the price of silver, and take weeks to order in. For the photoshoot I pinned all of my Japanese fans to …

What size should your corset be, and how tightly should you lace it?

I get a lot of questions about corsets. Costumers ask what size they should make their corset.  Consumers ask what size they should buy their corset.  Those with corsets ask how tightly they should lace their corset. Finally, people ask “Isn’t that horribly painful?” The answer to that question is  an emphatic “No“: not if your corset is well made, properly fitted, and properly laced. To help with the last two, this is my rough guide to corset fit and lacing.  It’s not based on anything more scientific than things I’ve been told, things I’ve noticed in sewing and making corsets, and things I’ve noticed in fitting lots of models in corsets.  It’s going to vary depending on the corset style, and on your body.  There is no one-size-fits-all in corsets, and no one-answer-fits-all, because there is an infinite variety of bodies. These guidelines are intended to give a comfortable silhouette with a defined waist and supported bust: something that would be reasonably historically accurate for the period from 1860 to 1900.  None of the …

The P.D. Corset Manufacturers box

I’ve had an image from this corset box as my avatar for years now, but have never properly shown you the box.  So here it is! I came by this box in a rather interesting way.  It all started when I bought a beautiful early 20th century fan off of TradeMe (eBay for NZ).  I paid for my win, and awaited it with great anticipation.  My parcel arrived wrapped in layers and layers of bubble wrap and brown paper and tissue – very safe!  When I unwrapped it all, it revealed this box.  A corset box!  So exciting!  What an amazing surprise! Unfortunately, when I opened the box, the surprise wasn’t nearly so good.  There was no interior bubble wrap or tissue paper, and the fragile fan had rattled around in the much-too-big-for-it corset box, and a number of the sticks were broken!  Much sadness ensued. Luckily the seller was very honourable and we came to a mutually amicable settlement regarding the damage to the fan.  So I didn’t get a pretty fan out of …