Monday, February 22, 2010

1860 Silk Corset

You may remember my adoration for THIS Gold Silk Corset worn in the movie 'Owl Creek Bridge'. I had long wanted to make a silk 1860s corset - even though my research shows that most 1860s corsets were white. I probably won't wear this one very often. I just think they're so pretty! My original intent was to use royal blue silk, but when that was not available, I decided to use this gold silk that I already had in my stash.

I patterned the corset off of a Beth Miller reproduction corset that I had worn for years. That corset was purchased second hand and since I'm long waisted I had to add quite a bit of length to achieve the correct fit in my reproduction.

Past Patterns #213 Victorian Corset would be an excellent pattern to use to achieve a similar look.

This corset has two layers of cotton coutil (purchased from Needles & Thread in Gettysburg). I also made a white cotton coutil corset, so that has just two layers of coutil - one is the outer fabric and the other is the lining. The silk corset has the silk and outer layer of coutil treated as one piece.

If you're new to corsetry and you'd like to make your own corset, I would recommend attending the Genteel Arts Corset class. A friend of mine attended this class and left with a beautiful reproduction corset.

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  1. oh so pretty! can you tell us more about the horizontal lines at the top - is that decorative, or hemp cord in there for support?

  2. Very pretty! And good thing you didn't go with blue - it was assumed to be quite risque for underclothes in the 1860s!

    I love your hair too. So gorgeous!

  3. I *think* the horizontal lines are for support. I'm not positive. They were on the reproduction corset that I was copying that I'm sure was copied from an original corset. I like the decorative look of them.

    The horizontal lines are five rows of narrow piping sandwiched between two pieces of cotton. There is a line of stitching between each row of piping. The piping can be created as one piece and then cut to size to fit the corset.

  4. You really done great job. I love it. And the color is also beautiful, who said it has to be like they all wear it back in 1860's. This is your personal touch.