20th Century

A 1903 corset for Emily

I realised I can’t call my 1903 straight fronted corset to go with Emily’s dress ‘Emily’s corset’, as I already did another corset for a different (far more fabulous) Emily.

So, I need to have another name for it.  And I think I have an idea, inspired by the fabrics I’m using.

The outer fabric is an oyster coloured silk shantung.  It’s a gorgeous fabric: almost no slub (the usual shantung problem, which makes it of dubious historical value), and it glows like a pearl.

Oyster silk shantung outer

The story of how I got the fabric is adorable.  My mother in law gave it to me, on my birthday, but she stressed that it wasn’t my present (she also gave me something else, all gorgeously wrapped), it was just something she had lying around that she wasn’t using.  Why wasn’t it a present?  Because that would be like giving me work for my birthday.

Awwww.  Hehe.  I still haven’t managed to convince my darling MIL that really, I would love getting fabric for every birthday.

The lining fabric was also a sort-of-present.  I was cutting out the corset at Mrs C’s house, and didn’t have a fabric I like for a lining.  So she let me raid her stash of quilting fabrics.  I fell in love with a floral fabric with little rosebuds in the same pink as Emily’s dress.

Pretty little pink rosebuds among the brambles

Isn’t it sweet!  It’s reminds me of Sleeping Beauty – it’s all briar roses, waiting to be awakened and open up.

Of course, once I sewed it up I realised what else it looks like.

It's camouflage. It's pretty, rose sprinkled, girly, CAMOUFLAGE.

OMG.  I made a camouflage lined corset.  A camouflage lined corset to go with the girliest, pinkest, frilliest dress ever.

Let's go hunting. Let's catch a man. He'll never see me coming.

Obviously, I’m not going to call this the camouflage corset.  I’m calling it the briar rose corset (though it could also be the fairy godmother corset courtesy of Mrs C and MIL, except it is turning out to have serious thorns).  And I will try to pretend that I never noticed that it hides everything.

Shhhh.  Don’t you dare tell!


  1. I love it, the camouflage corset. That fabric is gorgie, girlie camo for sure. Lucky you having a friend like Mrs. C., I hope I get to meet her one day. I am constantly amazed by how much sewing you get done.

    • Oh, you must come to Welly and meet Mrs C. She is the best friend to have!

      I have been sewing a lot lately. I need it to balance all the lecturing I am doing!

  2. Stella says

    It’s beautiful! I love the creamy silk. I did mine in blue and purple striped silk, so the stripes break up across te pattern pieces and it looks like a cubist painting. I just had a plain cotton lining though, no cool camo. Now I feel the urge to make a camo corset. 🙂

  3. I have always loved that you too line things with the coolest and most unexpected fabrics 🙂

  4. This post is such a hoot! Especially your image caps.
    For what it’s worth, I would never have thought of camouflage.

  5. Judi says

    I once bought a beautiful, filmy, fall-inspired georgette top that I fell in love with on the spot, only to notice months later as I hung it on a rack in the laundry room that it held a striking resemblance to my son’s camo print shirt! I had a hard time wearing it after that.

    If only I had thought of embroidering tiny pink rosebuds onto it!!

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