Monday, May 12, 2014

Historical Sew Fortnightly Challenge #9 Black and White

Do you have difficulty asking for help?  Thinking that with enough time and effort you can make it through anything?  Tough out any sewing project?  I certainly do!  And some things will sit forever waiting for me to admit I just can't do it alone!
So it was with the dreaded C..O..R..S..E..T.   Made me shiver just to think of it!
This was my first costume project in October 2007.  Mary Poppins with.....wait a minute...what's that....a mini corset?  A waist cincher made with a Truly Victorian pattern.  Grommets, boning, lacing.  Just following the directions and ta-da!  But make an actual foundation?  Impossible for me!

I thought I made a step forward several years later when I purchased a kit from Farthingales which included the Laughing Moon corset pattern and everything I needed to make a finished corset.  I was excited as I laid everything out on the table and then froze.  So much hardware!  So many pieces!  So many steps!  Everything went back in the package and in a dark corner of the closet.
While I have an amazing Victorian corset custom made for me by an incredible seamstress, this year with the Historical Sew Fortnightly and Costume College I will need an Edwardian corset.  I vowed this was the year I would make my first corset.  Through Facebook I learned that Historical Sewing offered an online corset-making class with video tutorials and handouts and a Facebook interactive group.  I signed up that day and promised myself I would make the corset.  I was going to use all the materials previously bought, some stash fabric and trims, and each week I "went to school".  I also started a Pinterest board for corset inspiration including flossing techniques.  This is the link:  Pinterest Corset Inspiration
The first steps in the class are making the mock-up, fitting, and pattern alterations.  Here are some pictures of the progress after those steps are complete.

A finished corset ready for trim.

Sewing on trim with a curved needle.
A trimmed corset!

The corset fits beautifully and is super comfortable due to the mock-up assistance given in the online class and Facebook group.
The Historical Sew Fortnightly Details:
What It Is:  1880s Victorian Corset
The Challenge:  Black and White
Fabric:  Coutil, silk dupioni
Pattern:  Truly Victorian 110
Year:  1880s
Notions:  Busk, boning, grommets, corset lacing, organza lace, satin ribbon
How historically accurate is it?  Very.
Hours to complete?  12 hours
First Worn:  Today for photo, next for a Victorian Underthings Tea and Demo using dressform
Total Cost:  $75 for online class, $15 for pattern and shipping = $90, remainder from stash
Thank you, Historical Sewing, for a wonderful class!
Love always,


  1. I love that! Especially in black. I didn't take the class, but I did use the same pattern and downloaded Jennifers workbook. She really makes things very clear.

    1. Thank you, Tracey! She has a way of de-mystifying things, doesn't she? I'm so glad I found her class!

  2. This came out great, brava! Points for getting over the corset fear (I still haven't gotten over mine!)

    1. Thank you, Gabriela! I took it just a step at a time and then had to walk away once I made one successful part. You can do it!

  3. It turned out fabulous Jeanette! You make me want to make a black silk corset now too. :-)
    Glad to have you in class.

    1. Thank you, Jennifer! Could not have done it without your class! I admit, the black silk is pretty. I wanted to do lavender and then saw someone else was, so I changed. Next - lavender!