Remember how I told you about the process of developing an underbust corset, and how I went through a lot of prototypes to get my formula just perfect? That means that I made A LOT of underbust corsets. I’ve given some away, torn some apart and recycled the pieces, but still have quite a few to show you.
I really love this one, but I’m still tempted to call it the ‘Not Another Underbust Corset’, because I’m afraid that is really how I felt making it.
It’s made of vintage post WWII synthetic brocade, which was called ‘Kyoto silk’ at the time to make it sound a bit fancier. The fabric was a gift from my honorary aunt Artie. The piece was just big enough to make the corset.
It’s lined in a fabulous printed houndstooth craft cotton in aqua and black. I love the contrast of the bold lining and the delicate pastel outer.
The houndstooth lining was a fairly recent purchased, picked up at a 50% off sale at Arthur Toyes.
Like all my later, more successful, underbust prototypes, this one is boned on either side of each seam. Not only is that a much easier way to do boning, it creates a much more balanced aesthetic, and gives better fitting. Wins all around!
I’ve used a silver busk and silver grommets for this corset. While you can get gold coloured busks, they are much more expensive than the silver coloured ones, so I rarely use them (especially not on prototypes). Luckily there was no aesthetic compromising with the busk and grommets in this corset – the pale blues really called for silver.
Grommets, on the other hand, come in a number of colours – silver, black, brass/gold, and white, but I have found in teaching corsetmaking that 50% of students pick silver coloured grommets, 20% pick black, and 15% pick brass/gold or white.
While I’m very happy with the construction of this corset in most ways, there are a few little things about it that bug me. First, I’m not convinced the bright aqua cotton binding is the right colour. I was in a hurry to finish this, wanted to finish it exactly as I would have the students finish it, wanted the binding to be obvious so it would be easy to see and study, and wanted to use fabrics that I had in my stash. Hence the binding.
It fills all the practical requirement perfectly, and it looks fantastic with the houndstooth. From the front though? I don’t love it. I think it would have looked better with a self-fabric binding, or in a much softer blue with a bit of a sheen to it. Maybe if I find reason to keep the corset in my stash I’ll re-bind it one day.
I also don’t love the black ties. I liked white even less, and black went with the lining beautifully. What would really be fantastic is a dull silver.
Still, it’s a pretty corset, it makes a great demonstration corset, and it was done. And I’m too self critical! (says she, self critically!)