07 July 2014

One Night In Bangkok...

Today's post title is the fault of my BFF.*

SO ANYWAY I finished the corset I started in March (here, and here).  Finished it June 29th, actually, but it's taken me until now to locate my camera data cord so I could bring you some finished-product pics:

The finished corset!

Fabric: cotton damask, drapery-weight
Lining: cotton calico
Interlining: 2 layers of lightweight buckram
Boning: stiff boning of bamboo baking skewers; flexible cording of heavy upholstery welting cord

Trim: black linen (over finished edging, not structural, purely decorative)
Lacings: 4-strand braid "viking whipcord" made from cotton crochet thread.
Eyelets: stitched by hand over aluminum backing rings, with DMC embroidery floss.

A note about the fit: as is evident in the first picture, the front piece is about 2" longer than the side pieces.  It's actually not; I had it laced incorrectly.  I unlaced them and moved the side pieces down, like in the diagram here - which does NOT look like it'll fit nicely when laced, but which actually fits perfectly when on my body.

The things you learn.

Things I will do differently next time:

 This is my very first corset...er...discounting the renfest corset that I tore down in order to start work on drafting the pattern for this one.  I LOVE the way it fits, however, for the next one:

  • the front bustline needs to be just a skoch lower, as it peeks up above every dress I put over it
  • The front waistline is too long for sitting comfortably for very long time periods, at least, with the bamboo boning in place.  I either need to shorten the length of the boning in the front, so that it doesn't go all the way down, or I just need a shorter corset in general - or to go the opposite way and make it long enough to bypass the tummy pooch that this corset stabs when I sit. 
  • I will probably leave a small pocket in the front for a busk (and for my e-cig, hehe)
  • the angle of the top pieces of the back result in a bit of a point at the center back, which I think I'll remove on the next try
  • The straps are about 1" longer than I'd like, now that I've worn it about a bit;  and the origin point for the straps, on the back pieces, needs to be moved inward towards the center about 1.5" so that they sit correctly on the back of my shoulders  (i.e. I now understand why the famed "effigy corset" is shaped the way it is (Mine is NOT supposed to be an effigy knockoff, nor even remotely contemporary to that one. It's far earlier, and no, for the record, not 100% period in design. This is just an exercise in corsetry for me, my first serious foray). 
  • The pieces (1 front, 2 sides, 2 backs) were designed to allow for a LOT of size adjustment, since I've been losing weight and gaining muscle like crazy for a while now.  I knew I'd have to take this in, and change some of the angles.  Turns out, enough of that has already happened since I drafted the pattern and began construction in March, that the corset is already laced all the way closed, and if I lose ANY more weight, will already be too small!!  I'm mulling over ways to keep that from happening again on my next corset, without resorting to just making it too small to begin with and hoping for the best. 
  • I will make SURE, before I start sewing eyelets, that I have enough of the same color floss to complete that phase of the project!  This corset's eyelets are four different blues, and one green.  :/ 

You may recall...

The brown linen Italian dress I made for myself last year.

This is what it looks like without a corset.  (I.e. a stack of brown pillows, and shoulders that fall off).

Sooooo much nicer.  

One final note:  yes, the chemise here is my Italian camicia,  which I adore.  I DO plan on making a second one, with longer sleeves and more frill; as well as a second, actually-period corset, now that this one is done (I'll likely sell this one), and another couple of late-15th-C Italian kirtles to be worn with various other [new] sleeves.

In the meantime, though, I have a to-do pile stack list as long as my arm, and a couple of projects for other folks that I'm finishing up.  More on that soon!


* To wit: