1880s style coutil corset: mock-up & construction testing
I’m working on this new 1889s style corset for a client. The final corset will either be in natural or a fleshtone coutil with coutil boning channels. I’m tempted to add a lace top edge to the final corset. But until then I’ve drafted up the pattern, constructed the mock-up and decided to try out bias cut coutil boning channels.
Here is the sampler of possible colors for the project:
Here you can see the panels cut out and the spoon busk. I do not have a long enough spoon busk in stock so I’ve ordered one for the final but until then I’ve substituted what I have for the mock-up with a secondary bone under the busk to extend it up to the top of the corset. I’ll sneak in some grommets so it can be laced shut to show how a clasp would hold the front together. This should be sufficient for the mock-up (and look pretty to boot!).
Beginning main construction. The panels are seamed together but boning will not be put into the seam but be in applied boning channels in a contrasting white:
Here you can see the curve under the arm and the beginning of the shaping of the corset:
I’ve pinned everything together to check that both sides are identical:
Checking top and bottom edges:
Then just for fun here you can see how everything lines up perfectly when I place the corset up against a window with one side mirrored over the other (this is both corset pieces):
Even without any boning you can already see the shaping taking place just by the cut of the panels:
You can see this natural domestic coutil is prone to wiggling! I imagine it will smooth out much more once bones tesion the fabric from top to bottom. Without any boning to anchor the corset it is collapsing.
Planning boning channel placement:
Here you can see the antique corset example I used to plan the front boning placement. Since we decided to go with a high back instead of straight across like the inspiration corset, I’ve improvised and did some diagonal boning channels in the back as well. I have seen boning done on this angle in the back in other antique corsets but didn’t directly reference one for this placement.
And then some lace that keeps wanting to be on the corset:
Like always, if it is something new I never do it first on a clients final corset. So here you’ll see me testing out my ideas first on a mock-up. I am really liking how smooth the bias channels turned out. I think they may take the extreme curved much easier than the pre-made straight grain boning channels. I’ll be finishing it up this week and can’t wait to see it on my client so we can make alterations and move onto the next step!
I *love* this! It’s going to be beautiful :-)