1860's Silk Satin Corset

It's felt like 1860's all the time around here lately, with several custom corset projects and our new Gored Corset pattern launch. We recently finished this custom 1860's corset, based very closely on a corset at the Victoria & Albert Museum.  Alyssa (full time assistant at Redthreaded) completed 99% of the cutting and sewing on this corset, and I think she did a phenomenal job. And a big thank you to our client for choosing such a pretty inspiration piece.

The corset is a single layer of coutil with silk satin fashion fabric, roll pinned for smoothness. It is boned throughout with 5mm synthetic whalebone, except for two steels at the back. We used wide strips of coutil to create wide interior bone casings for the multiple rows of synthetic whalebone. 

This repro gave us the opportunity to try out a new technique. If you look closely at extant corset flossing, you will see that it was sometimes stitched *through* the bones. This was easily achievable with whalebone but not so much with steel.

Synthetic whalebone can be simply punched or melted. We opted to melt holes with a wood burner tool. This made a smooth hole that was big enough for the multiple passes of thread. 

Prepped bones

The really great thing about the V&A corset is that it is VERY similar to our 1860's pattern.  I only had to make a few adjustments. These are the main changes, in addition to a few style line details:
-Shift bust gores towards CF about 1/2", and lengthen about 1/2"
-Blend lacing strip pattern onto Back piece
-Re-pattern hip gore into two, with the Side Back piece extending to the hip in between the gores (this is as simple as cutting the hip gore pattern into three pieces, and taping the center piece to the bottom edge of the Back piece).
-Re-draw bone layouts
Now that our 1860's pattern is available for sale, you can do the same! 

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