December 15, 2010

titanic era corset and pattern


This is the corset I made and wrote about for Foundations Revealed this past June, enough time has passed that I can share some of the images here. Yea. I started with an old corset in terrible condition found on ebay, and after drafting a pattern from it this is what I came up with.


Here is a picture from the auction listing.


Not pretty. In addition to the general grubbyness seen here, the garter grips were rusty, bones were poking through casings, and the steels along the center back were bent. I probably would have been disappointed if I paid more than the $20 I bid. There was no information about the corset when I purchased it, so to help date it I made a timeline that illustrates the changing silhouette from 1900-1919.


The shape of the corset is almost exactly like the silhouette from 1911 on the timeline. Based on that, on the cut and construction of the original, and allowing for the fact that the corset's owner may or may not have been on the cutting edge of new trends, I'd say the antique corset I bought was produced between 1910-14. The original was made of plain cotton drill, but I spiffed mine up a bit by using cotton mattress ticking and the prettiest cotton lace ever. Because I like to show my work, here is a view of the interior of the corset.


I was so happy with the way this corset turned out. I'd been wanting to experiment with mattress ticking for awhile and it worked quite well. Here is the pattern if anyone is interested in constructing this corset.


This pattern will fit on an 8 1/2 x 11 piece of paper and is a high enough resolution that it should enlarge well without pixelling up. If you do sew a corset from this pattern I'd love to hear how the pattern worked for you. And to see other interpretations!

42 comments:

  1. this corset is so beautiful!!!I would like to sew this Kosett, but I think that I would fail :)

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  2. One question: Do you sew for other people or just for yourself? :)

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  3. Wow what a great find, and great result! I love the style. I'd love to try making one, if i do I'll be sure to let you know!

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  4. Thanks so much for posting this! It's beautiful and immensely helpful. I've found only one other 1910's corset pattern that I like (Ageless Patterns), and now I can compare it with this one. Definitely high on my list of projects. Thanks again!

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  5. Lovely! I have a 1909 corset pattern that makes up beautifully, but now I really, really want to try this one! And mattress ticking is on my play list too!

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  6. Thanks for the compliments!

    Frieda, this one is as about easy as corset patterns get, if you decide to go for it I'm sure you'll do well. And no, I don't do much sewing for others, I have enough trouble finding time to sew for me!

    Vivcore, you make some beautiful garments, I bet you'd take this pattern and make something spectacular!

    Angela, have you made the Ageless Pattern 1910 corset? I'd be very interested to hear how you think this one compares to it. Please keep me posted!

    Hello Dreamstress! The mattress ticking worked so well! It was very easy to work with and the stripes were the perfect weight for this corset. What are you planning to whip up with it?

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  7. Holy Frijole it's absolutely STUNNING! This is incredible, really!!!

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  8. The corset looks wonderful... thanks for sharing the pattern! This will be on my sewing list for sure.

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  9. I love your corset and it has actually inspired me to buy some striped fabric to make a this kind of corset with, sometime. :)

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  10. I would love to see a photograph of this corset on, to see where it sits on the body. To me it looks like the corset sits below the breasts, so the corset cover or camisole would have supported the breasts, with the corset supporting the corset cover underneath, if you know what I mean.

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  11. I love the fabric you have chosen, the stripes look great. You are such an inspiration, your work always looks so amazingly neat and professional.

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  12. I am SO, SO impressed with your site and with this corset, especially. I have just begun my foray into corset making. I have produced 4 custom so far, which turned out beautifully and actually FIT my clients. However, they were all the same basic pattern and I was desperate for inspiration. Thank you so much for including patterns. I am thrilled and am printing your pattern as I post. Thank you again! Can't wait to finish exploring your site!

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  13. Thank you Anonymous! Let me know how the pattern works for you when you get around to sewing it.

    And thank you too Piroska! I was a bit worried about the stripes, but I used the reverse side of the fabric as the face to tone them down a bit and they came out wonderfully. Now I want to make a striped corset that fits me!

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  14. My compliments on your lovely site and fabulous corsets!

    I have set out on a journey to make some of my own period patterns available to the public and was wondering if you draft your patterns by hand or using a computer program. I've been doing mine all by hand, the old fashioned way, but I really want the end product to be more proffesional looking. My father the engineer is attempting to teach me CadKey... I have managed a pattern or two on it, but quite frankly it's melting my brain and what I really need is a shortcut to get this ball rolling!! Any suggestions??

    Thanks!!

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  15. Hi. Have already done a mockup on the titanic era corset. Am thinking that a 14" straight or angled busk would be correct. Am I right? Or should I go with a shorter busk? Is is correct that the bottom of the corset should sit about mid thigh? Also, have you double boned the seams? Sorry to ask so many questions, this one is just so cool! One more thing: is waist tape appropriate for this era? Well, two things: The bottom is bound with tape, correct? How did you do this? Any answers would be really appreciated!

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  16. So . . . waiting on the busk and need to grommet, but hopefully this one will be finished soon! So excited. I hope it looks half as good as yours. P.S. I did alter the pattern a bit on the front side panel to allow for fitting (bigger hips!) Can't seem to figure out how to do the elastic garters. And if you know of any suppliers who provide period appropriate garter clips, please share. :)

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  17. Go with a shorter busk. Even though the center front is 15 inches the busk is only 9 1/2 inches. The bottom of the corset should cover the top of the thigh, it doesn't extend all the way to mid thigh. All the seam are double boned with 1/4 inch wide flat steels except the one between the side and side back pieces. That one has a single 1/2 inch wide steel. that's the way the original was so that's what I did. There was no waist tape in the original corset so I didn't put on in since I was trying to make mine as close as possible to the original, but they were used during this era so you wouldn't be breaking any period laws by putting on in. The bottom is bound with bias, I'm amazed that I haven't explained that for any of the Corset and Crinoline corsets. If you send me an email (the link is in the upper right) I can send you some detail instructions. I have not been able to find any suppliers of the larger garter clips since I purchased mine a while a go. I'm glad I bough several pairs, but I'm worried, what am I going to do when I use them all? I explain how the garter are assembled at this post,

    http://bridgesonthebody.blogspot.com/2010/04/garters-assembled.html

    and I'll be happy to explain how to attach them to the body of the corset with the binding instructions. I hope the pattern worked well and let me know if I can be of any more help. You have to send a picture of your corset! I'm dying to see how it turned out!

    Jo

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  18. I tried printing off the pattern but it cuts off 1/4 of the page. Any idea how to fix it without making the pattern any smaller?

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  19. Thank you Jo for helping so much! Thank you too for explaining the busk size. I ordered 5 different busk sizes yesterday, so hopefully I ordered one that size! lol Am having a little trouble with the top width. When I mocked it up and made some changed to the bottom of the 3rd piece, apparently I changed the way the top fitted too and now it's a little too big. I have already seamed and boned it with a lining so I really don't want to take that all apart again. I had read that sometimes they would insert a ribbon or cord within the top binding for adjustment for top width. Is this appropriate for this period? Or do I just have to rip it apart and suck it up? lol I will send you my email asap.

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  20. I found these garter clips. Are they in the right era? Or not at all?

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  21. Oh no! I'm not sure why 1/4 of the page is being cut off. That shouldn't happen. Before you print is there a page set up option? You should be able to change the image size by printing it at say 80% instead of 100%. If that doesn't work please contact me (the email link is to the upper right) and I'll be happy to send you a PDF of the pattern.

    I can't see the mystery garter clips so I can't tell if they are from the correct era or not. But the ones used back then were around 1 1/2 inches wide. If you found wide ones you have to let me know where because the source I used is no longer selling them. Boo.

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  22. Thank you for posting the pattern for the corset! It's already on my current list of future projects!

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  23. Can you make me a corset just like this one but in solid white?

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  24. I really love this corset. I was wondering if you could make this corset for me? However it would have to be a little bigger, or do you have a pattern for this corset?

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  25. How nice of you to ask, A Touch of Twilight! I don't take commissions, and remote fittings would de difficult. But thank you for asking. The pattern is not a difficult one to sew. It would need to be graded up to a larger size, depending on how much larger it needed to be that could be solved by just slashing and spreading the pattern pieces. YOu should give it a try yourself!

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  26. A pattern! thank you so much, patterns for this era are so hard to find.
    Do you have any tips to make it over bust? (i have a large bosom and a small under bust)

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  27. Hello Rosel,

    Hmm, if I were to try this as an over bust I'd probably cut a mock up with an extra couple of inches on the top of the first three pieces, then do a fitting to start getting the bust shape. If you try this let me know , I'd love to hear how it works for you!

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  28. I've been looking for a pattern for this type of corset! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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  29. I was wondering if you could get this patternnor corset to fit a waist between 36"-40"?I would really like to get this corset already finished but not sure where I would be able to get it...could you suggest a place to me?

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  30. Thanks for being so generous and giving us your pattern, that's wonderful, I will so be a part of the challenge!

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  31. Can I ask how far down the boning goes in the back? Does it end at the usual spot as standard corset, and the fabric just goes further down over the posterior?

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  32. The boning at the center back extends the full length of the corset, but I've seen examples where it stops a couple inches shy of the bottom edge.

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  33. Stunning work, I love it! The ticking with the burgundy is gorgeous. Bravo!

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  34. Hi, I absolutely love this corset and it has a simple pattern. I was wondering if you would be able to email me the basic steps for putting it together. I have been sewing for some time but i have never done a corset. Some info or tips regarding the boneing etc would be greatly appreciated.
    My email address is Mistyview2809@gmail.com

    Many thanks, Toni

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  35. This looks so stylish. I don't think the long line would work on me but it's worth a try. Thank you so much for including the pattern design.

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  36. Hey there Jo! My blog url changed, so I thought I'd add a link on how to enlarge your pattern with Powerpoint. As an added bonus, I added a desktop video of me actually going through the steps.

    http://costumingdiary.blogspot.com/2012/04/print-sewing-pattern-with-powerpoint.html

    Oh, and my corset got ooh's and aah's in the Costume Con 30 bathroom. :)

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  37. I love the fabric, I don't see a point in fancy fabric unless it is to be seen and may tear if worn too often. I see it will add to the stiffness and help with support and keep the "fat" from pushing through if softer fabric is used. Corsets are meant to keep things hidden and together. Busts were not meant to be held up the were meant to be held in. It wasn't till women became so active the their busts moved so much and got in the way that we needed them up and in.
    I did find a catalogue for corsets, the year is unknown (around 1900's) but it provides the different types you might want depending on your body type. Some women did not want the high bust but may have like the low or medium bust, and it shows those at the end with rather large bust wanting a type that was low waisted but aloud for the bust to dip towards the center of the corset. So I thin it is each person desire how they like to wear them.
    http://archive.org/stream/catalogwbcorsets00wein#page/16/mode/1up

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  38. What would you recommend doing to grade the pattern up? I wear a 28 in underbust corsets usually, so I'd have to get this up a few sizes XD. But it's beautiful! Does this also cover the hips??

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    1. Hi Jennifer, This corset does cover the hips. If you need to grade the pattern up a few sizes I'd start by slashing each pattern piece down the middle and adding 1/2 inch. I have a more detailed explanation here http://bridgesonthebody.blogspot.com/2012/01/1911-slashing-and-spreading-pattern.html
      Have fun!

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