Adventures in Corsetry!/Follow up

In January of this year, I wrote about a new adventure I was embarking upon- trying my hand at making a mid 19th century gusseted corset. Until a few years ago, corsetry was something I avoided like the plague. And up until now, I had never made a gusseted corset. Not wanting to attempt to draft a gusseted corset pattern myself, I opted for a commercial pattern instead.

The pattern:
Martha McCain’s Simplicity pattern #7215.�
The Results:

Here are some of my final thoughts on this project:
The good-


A few of the issues I had when I originally starting building this corset have been resolved. Remember, those minor fitting issues I ran into? (The bottom front of the corset wants to protrude outward a little. This is a result of the flat steel busk not wanting to round itself over the belly area. I think using a spoon busk would correct this, but at this point, I am not willing to take this corset apart and try to insert another busk.)

I fixed this by 1. wearing the corset and allowing it to conform to my body (also known as “breaking the corset in”) and 2. gently bending the end of the steel busk inward. I also doubled the amount of grommets down the back of the corset and added additional lacing to increase adjustability in certain areas of the corset.

The bad-


The very back of the corset wants to roll a bit. A friend of mine is a professional corsetier and uses a great deal of poly boning in her work. However, she always uses steel boning at the very back of her corsets. I can understand why. This part of the corset needs more substantial body support than what poly boning can offer (even if you double it). She also suggested that the hip area may be too narrow and might also be causing the center back to roll.

In conclusion, I think�in future corsets�I will use steel boning at the very back. However, I am still convinced that poly boning works quite well in corset bodies- just not at the center back.

About Susan

Hi! My name is Susan and I am a historian, seamstress, teacher, mother, and wife. My passion for history has manifested itself in the art of recreating clothing from different periods of time. Growing up in the American South, I am heavily schooled in the art of recreating clothing from the 19th century. After nearly a decade of immersing myself primarily in the Victorian period, I found the need to branch out and explore other periods of time. However, it is my connection with the American South and the clothing of rural America that continues to be the driving force behind my designs.

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