Saturday, March 1, 2014

Underneath It All

I thought I would have my entry for challenge number four done in no time at all, but here I am posting about it the day it's due! I did finish it two days ago, so I'm still trying to keep up my momentum of early finishes, but I'm becoming a little worried about my schedule for the next two challenges. Procrastination was my biggest problem with this challenge entry, and once I finally got back into sewing I found it taking a lot longer than I had planned. It's time to get back on top of my sewing projects!

For the Underneath It All challenge I made my most historically accurate corset yet. I've made a little over half a dozen corsets now starting all the way back in high school when I made my first corset from the Civil War era Simplicity pattern. Boy was that corset a sight! I had no idea what a busk was or where to find one so I used large hooks and eyes for the front, and plastic boning all throughout. My skills have improved quite a bit since then and this corset really shows it.

I'm calling this the Valentine's corset because of the deep red color and the lace trim at the top having little hearts patterned into it. This was my first attempt at flossing a corset and my roommate pointed out that the pattern I chose almost looks like little hearts too! I had also thought I would have it finished by Valentine's Day but that didn't happen.

This is my second corset made from the Truly Victorian pattern as the hips were too small and the fabric too weak and warped on the other one I made. I also went down a size in the bust which I'm realizing might have been a mistake but I can go back and add darts if it bothers me too much. The large gap in the back is because I've been gaining a little weight and I'm hoping to start waist training to reduce my waist back to where it was. Wearing the corset at meal times is already helping me stop overeating. The corset is also fairly stiff still so I've only been able to cinch it in a couple inches.

As far as historical accuracy goes this corset is getting pretty close to perfect. All of the materials are cotton including the trim and the thread for the flossing. The bones are metal and it is machine sewn but both of those are acceptable for the 1880's. The only thing I used that is not historically accurate is a pair of lacing bones. I always seem to rip the eyelets out of my corsets, I guess I'm a little too rough on them when lacing. The lacing bone will prevent the eyelets from ripping and you can't really tell it is there when viewing it, so it is still aesthetically accurate.

The Challenge: #4 Underneath It All

Fabric: Cotton twill

Pattern: Truly Victorian 110

Year: 1880's

Notions: Busk, metal bones, lacing bones, cotton floss, cotton eyelet lace, bias binding, thread

How Historically Accurate is it? About 90%

Hours to Complete: maybe 8-10

First Worn: two days ago

Total Cost: Bones and Fabric came from the stash, the rest cost maybe $25


  1. What a beautiful job you did! I think it would take me all year.

    1. Thank you! When I started the flossing I did think it was going to take a year hah!

  2. Your corset is very lovely! I love that shade of red and it is perfect for a corset! Very well done!


    1. Thank you! I made a corset out of the same color a long time ago that doesn't fit too well anymore but I loved it so much I decided it was time to make another one!