|Left side – boning, strength additions, and padding. I still have wrinkling, but it’s better than it was.
Right side – no boning, no strength layers, no padding.
I can make a mean pair of 18th century stays, but when it comes to Victorian corset making, I’m useless.
I don’t even know how I ever made any of my previous Victorian corsets. I can only think that I just followed the directions, wore them with pain, and was happy with that. However, now I know about hip spring, bust gussets, and comfort needs…and now I can’t seem to make a Victorian corset to save my life.
Which of course means practice, practice, practice.
First up, this coffee n’ chocolate, Steampunk-intended, gusseted corset, made from one layer of pretty heavy twill, and a layer of muslin for lining, with bias tape as the boning channels, and a twill waist tape (the first time I’ve used a waist tape).
|It’s starting to look like a decent corset. I still have buckling on the waist, though. This sheds new light on the seaming used on Edwardian corsets with large hip gussets, and also on the corset “belt” you see on some originals.|
Easy, right? I’ve made corsets and stays out of random materials before, with no problem.
Except this twill has some stretch, turns out, and that just messes everything up in a tightly-laced foundation garment.
|The side without boning, padding, or the extra hip gusset added in yet. A wrinkled mess, and way worse on an actual body.|
Trying the corset on last night I had some serious fit issues, and huge wrinkling problems. My solution to the fit issue was to cut another gusset in the hips, which were being restricted, inhibiting any further reduction to the waist, and skewing the back lacing.
My solution to the wrinkling problem was to add some strength to the waist and one of the side panels, by fusing two pieces of non-stretch twill in a “T” shape. This is an after-the-fact stab at the strength layer I didn’t put in. It ain’t pretty, but it’s working. Next time…strength layer!
|Left side – the “T” shaped strength additions, fused to the interior. The right side, just the stay tape.|
- Don’t use a stretch fabric for any part of the corset unless it’s mounted to a non-stretch fabric
- Don’t skip the strength layer
- Spiral steel is your friend (learned this in an earlier battle with corsetry)
- Gussets. No really (also learned in an earlier battle, but still need to make them bigger than I think)
- Try Try Again
- Keep trying
- Try more