brown drill 1868 corset: 1 layer or more?

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Deeble
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brown drill 1868 corset: 1 layer or more?

Postby Deeble » Sun Dec 02, 2007 11:50 pm

Has anyone ever made the "brown drilling" 1868 corset on page 350 in "Reconstruction Era Fashions"?

I am currently working on a twill muslin for this pattern. It has a section of the front panel marked "pleat," which flummoxed me slightly, especially since it's a curved pleat! I've gotten the pleat to come out ok so far in the one layer muslin, but I am concerned it may not work so well in 2 layers, whether flatlined or separate. I cannot tell whether the original in the picture is supposed to have 1 layer of coutil, or more (looks like just one). I was planning to splurge on some coutil and do the structure layer in coutil instead of twill and do the lining in more coutil or flannel, but as this is the first gored corset I have tried, the pleat and the gores have me concerned about whether (and how) to do the actual corset in 2 layers.

Is 1 layer of coutil strong enough for this corset? If not, should I flat line somehow and sew as one, or make separate inner/outer layers and sew together at the seams, hoping I can get the gores and pleats to match up on both layers before attaching together? (the latter is the method I have used with past corsets but matching straightish panels seems a different beast than matching gores and curved pleats!)
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Postby Heather » Mon Dec 03, 2007 12:54 am

I have seen that pattern, but never made it up. I was always amazed they did that curved pleat. It seemed to me that it would be a lot easier to make up if it was just a seam, and not a pleat.

Anyway, a lot of corset were only one layer, so the sewing techiniques usually work best with that type of construction. I think that making an inside and outside, and then trying to match them up is the only way to go as a two layer. Unless you just flatline the fabric and then sew it all together as if it was one layer.
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Postby unfinishedprojects » Mon Dec 03, 2007 9:50 am

I just finished the Simplicity 7215 corset which is also gored, has a curved dart in the front and is in 2 layers. You may want to go buy a copy of this just to refer to the instructions. If you decide to do yours with 2 layers, there are a few things you can do to make it easier on yourself:

Choose similar fabrics for the exterior and lining so one doesn't stretch/shift more than the other while assembling. 2 types of coutil will work, but coutil and a flannel may not.

Lay out your 2 fabrics wrong sides together and cut each pattern piece from both layers. This helps ensure that the lining matches the outer layer when the two parts are put together later.

Once the 2 layers are assembled and put together, baste along the pleat lines through both layers and then treat them as one to make the pleat.
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Postby Deeble » Mon Dec 03, 2007 10:39 pm

Thanks for those tips, Unfinishedprojects! Interesting to know there's a curved pleat/dart in that pattern too. I have the 5967, but did not look closely at the 7215 when I was starting to learn to sew my first corsets (the gores scared me!)

Heather, thanks for the backup that 1-layers can work for this. That would def. make it easier, though I may have to work past my association of multi-layers with strength and quality.

I was always amazed they did that curved pleat. It seemed to me that it would be a lot easier to make up if it was just a seam, and not a pleat.
I agree! I was thinking to myself, "maybe I should try that as a seam sometime...."


I got the first muslin made up of the enlarged pattern done, and it looks like it's too large (funny, I was positive it'd be way too small in the waist because the enlarging was straight from the pattern at 100% without pre-alterations. Nope! I can close it all the way without much work/compression. And I am not a small gal- an average modern size 12-14, 31'' waist. Interesting...)
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Postby unfinishedprojects » Tue Dec 04, 2007 9:33 am

I got the first muslin made up of the enlarged pattern done, and it looks like it's too large


Double check the finished measurements of your muslin vs. the pattern- it may have stretched. The heavy twill that I used for fitting stretched enough that when I made the corset up in coutil (no stretch), it was too small. Also, does the pattern sizing factor in the back gap?
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Postby Miranda Miller » Sat Jan 05, 2008 2:42 pm

wow..... i would never dream of doing that. Good luck!
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WHew.

Postby Deeble » Fri Nov 28, 2008 7:44 pm

I am soo close to finishing the second try at this corset.

This was meant to be a wearable version, and I suppose it could be, but.... It's taken me almost a year to get to this point, and along the way the gores and boning channels and missing thread spools have all made me go mad, so it's a mishmash of several thread colors and gore-set methods. You can't see them too well in these pics- I couldn't find my camera so I had to settle for my computer cam.

First I need to figure out how to get the cups to sit smoother- they are slightly baggy on the lower edge. I think I may have to take in one gore by a bit or make the seamline less curved. Second, I am not sure whether there should be that much angle to the front out from the abdomen- should the line be straighter? Yes, I have already added a few more bones to fix the wrinkly back. ;)

If I decide to wear this, I need to cap the bones and clean up the edges. I'm not sure whether I want to spend that effort though when it's not so neat and tidy... I've been planning to make another in coutil with a single layer sometime, so maybe I will just go straight to that. But augh! I am so sick of corsets! I wanna start the actual dress already!

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Postby valleyviolet » Mon Dec 01, 2008 2:54 pm

It looks really pretty over all. I love the color you chose. :)

I think you'll find that once you have the binding on it the top and bottom edges will behave a bit differently. You probably do need to bring in the curve over the cups a little bit though. The angle over the abdomen looks natural to me (based on the rest of the corset lines). Folks didn't get into really flat squished in stomachs until like the 1890's. ;)

Also... you might want to look more closely at the back before you just add bones. It looks to me like there might be slight fitting problem, since the wrinkles are all clustered in just one area. possibly the bottom of the corset needs to be let out a bit in the back for your derriere? (I have that problem...) Ah well, Heather can probably diagnose it far better than I can! :D
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Postby Heather » Tue Dec 02, 2008 8:55 am

I'm sorry not to comment sooner. Unfortunately, I am not familiar with this style of corset. And those areas you are asking about are hard to see in the photos.

I think the back creasing that you are seeing is just a lack of boning. It might also be cause by the out fabric being slightly eased onto the lining fabric, so rather than stretching, is it bunching. Especially, on the right side, where the lining looks about 3/8" taller than the fashion fabric. Often this can be cured by a good pressing, shrinking the fabric to fit.

For the angle of the front, I am not really sure. It might help to make the hip gore a bit smaller. That should pull the tummy region in a bit.

For the bust cups, you will need to experiment with the cup shape a bit. I don't think it looks bad now. But if you have have a specific issue that you want to fix, the cup shape is where to fix it.

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