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Author Topic: Making Corset - Need Fitting Advice  (Read 1082 times)
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Ginger Lane
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« on: August 21, 2016, 07:25:17 PM »

I'm a very experienced seamstress, and I've made a variety of stays for earlier periods (1690s - 1810s). I have not actually made a mid-Victorian corset for myself yet (although I've altered one I already had). This one definitely needs work - but I'm not sure where to start. That's what I'd really like help with.


First, I already have a corset from Kay that is quite comfortable for my regular corseted waist of 28". I would like another corset for a very fashionable impression, though, going to 27" or 26". My Kay corset won't do that, since there's not enough room in the hip - which is 43".


So this is the corset from the Mme. Sebille patent, from 1863. Its major distinguishing characteristic is the flared hip gore.  Just from the first mockup I'm sure it will work great! There's plenty of flare and ease even as it's fitting right now (which is not ideal).



Confessions: I used a wooden busk for the center front.
My lacing strips have only one piece of boning at the edge; I should have used two, and I should have secured the ends of the boning (duh).
The angled boning at the sides of the bust gussets is straight steel, so it's not flexing as is ideal. (I'm planning to use the German plastic/artificial whalebone in the actual one.)

Also, the gussets are a Hot Mess.  Cheesy  I was teaching myself a machine-sewing technique, and the gussets as provided in the patent totally don't fit right. I also managed to put in two the wrong way around (including cutting the tip) before I fixed it, so they're pretty wonky at the points. Seam allowances there are pretty approximate. Wink










The biggest issues that I see:

1. Waist too big.
The diagram was scaled up to give a 26" waist with a 2" spring (i.e. 24" across). When assembled, it measured about 25.5" without spring.  As worn, the waist is 28" and barely 1" of spring. 
--> Best way to narrow? I was hoping not to have to mess with the overall size too much, because I want to leave the hip gore as originally proportioned.  Maybe just adjusting at the side, and taking an equal-sized cut or pattern dart out of the gore at that point?

2. Gussets.
Granted, the insertion was pretty sloppy. But I really don't think the shape as-is will work. The overall width at the top is okay, but they definitely are either too long or too wide. There's a lot of buckling, partly from my non-flexible boning, but there really is excess material.
--> Should I re-draw these gores according to the pattern piece? I can try a shape similar to the ones that work in the Kay corset.


Again, I'm an experienced seamstress, and I know I can figure this out eventually. But I admit I HATE mockups, especially fiddly and time-consuming ones like these.  So I would greatly appreciate advice on the way to approach this! Thank you!




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Elizabeth
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« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2016, 09:01:56 AM »

Some of the things I see: the hip is probably going to need some additional shaping seams, and expansion; it's folding and rolling at the seam, and that's telling me it needs more curvature over the hipbones than it has right now.

I would definitely shorten the gussets, and raise the sides under the arms about 2".

With the shape, really the only alteration point for the waist is the side seam; that'll have to be more angled to leave you with room in the ribs, and a more snug waist, since you're wanting more compression. Taking out room at the waist will require a different shape in the hip panel (which is why I think it'll need more seaming and more arc.)

I think it's going to look cook and be pretty comfy--I had one with a similar hip panel, and LOVED it (I need to dig that back out, honestly.)
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Elizabeth
Ginger Lane
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« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2016, 10:28:35 AM »

Thank you, Elizabeth! This is VERY helpful.

I think the hip folding you're seeing is more an artifact of how too big the body is.  When the corset wasn't snug there was no folding; reducing the spring pulled the gore too far to the back.

Gussets will be adjusted! Cheesy
I'm curious about raising the side height.  It's actually very close to my Kay corset as-is, which is an excellent fit and shape.

I had to ponder what you meant about angling the side seam.  Wink  You actually mean both (1) taking in the entire seam to increase the back spring and (2) tapering into the waist for a smaller measurement without compressing the ribs. Right?   Grin

And yes, it will mean reshaping the gore. I'm thinking darting out the excess; I don't want to reduce the length of the outer curve, since it felt just loose enough *before* I closed the gap as much as possible.


Despite the lumpy, foldy look, it felt remarkably comfortable even like this!  I'm kind of fascinated by the *ideal* and what TOC did to achieve that. This hip flare, especially as quilted in the original, would give a nice foundation for ladies with less than 15" of waist/hip difference. Bonus for me is that it fits without having to deal with doubling more modest hip gussets. Wink

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