Sewing an Edwardian corset

July 31, 2020

Hello lovelies,

sorry for my absence. I was on vacation and even though I was "only" at home, I had other things on my mind. We refurbished the kitchen, I sewed an Edwardian corset and played Assassin's creed odyssey most of the time.

But can you believe it? I finally finished my Edwardian corset after my first four attempts didn't work out. I used flimsy material or the wrong size and it somehow never fit me. You have no idea how happy I am, that it finally worked out and it fits me.

It all started out when we cleaned our sewing room/guest room and I found two Edwardian corsets in different stages and decided to toss them and make a new one.

The pattern was in a plastic bag next to the two corsets, bless past me for being so tidy, and I checked my size again, as the top and waist part was a size C and the hip a size E. I had traced them from the original pattern "Truly Victorian TVE 01: 1903 Edwardian corset".
My sizes all were still correct and I pinned the pattern to the fabric. I decided to not go for any trim or fashion layer because if this attempt didn't work out either, I didn't waste too much fabric.

a piece of white handmade linen fabric

The linen fabric I used was medium-weight and I bought it at a market in Vienna, it was handwoven from weavers in east-Europe, either the Ukraine or Romania, I can't recall which one it was.

cut pieces of an edwardian corset made from white linen

close up from the edwardian linen pattern cut out

three pieces of the edwardian corset sewn together

I am really proud how pretty the bust gore looks.
close up of the bust gore from the edwardian corset

I didn't go over the sides with a zig-zag stitch, which I usually do, because it was not mentioned in the pattern and I rued it in the end because the fabric frayed so much.

Inserting the busk was done in a day, I already made a few corsets so this was nothing new.
busk insertion of an edwardian white linen corset

other part of the edwardian corset with the hooks
 I stamped the hooks onto the fabric by colouring them with my pink soluble pen.

awl on a piece of a white linen edwardian corset

white linen edwardian corset with half of its eyelets stamped into it

Edwardian corset with all of the eyelets punched into it on both sides

the front part from the edwardian corset is closed with the hook and eyes

backpart of the edwardian corset with pins

When I did the first fitting I could almost close the top and waist. Weird! I should have done a size B at the top and the waist, as it seems like my body is really squishy. I kept it as it was and moved on.

first fitting with a mirror selfie so the back is visible
I used wide cotton tape for the boning tunnels and inserted the bonings but it was clear, that it was not working out and the second fitting showed that it was still "big".

the edwardian corset is sewn together and laid out

machine sewing the ribbon into the edwardian corset

I was unsure of what to do because I had almost finished the corset but I decided to re-open it and take away 1cm on each side and it worked like a charm. The corset fitted much better.

re-opened back part of the edwardian white linen corsetto make it smaller

 As the project was quite unplanned, I didn't have enough boning for the corset and had to go and buy some. I am so lucky, that there is one shop in Vienna that still sells corset making supplies and haberdashery.

The worst part was filing the edges of the metal. I could feel that my wrist was not all too happy with it because it got the blunt force off the vibration from filing. I had to stop after doing one side and continued with the other side the next day.
Of course, I also had nothing to cover the raw edges. I used tape the last few times but it was not in my corset box so instead of that I used glue. Hot glue, to be precise. And it really worked out well. It is not historical at all but better than nothing and rust.

file and metal boning

rounded tip of the metal boning

hot glue coveres the metal round tip of the boning

I bound the corset with cotton twill tape and went over it with the machine. I wasn't careful and hit the metal boning two times, killing two needles. Oops.

twill tape sewn onto the edwardian corset

machine sewing the twill tape onto the corset

I was done after exactly seven days, working on it a few hours per day. I really like the outcome and over the moon that I finally have an Edwardian corset.
edwardian corset on an edwardian dress form

side view of the edwardian corset on an edwardian dress form

back view of the edwardian corset on an edwardian dress form

back/side view of the edwardian corset on an edwardian dress form
So, what next?
I definitely need a complete Edwardian underwear set, and then a blouse, skirt, and a dress. At the moment I am working on a chemise with smocking, pintucks, and ruffles.

Have a nice weekend,

Auris Lothol

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