Tuesday, 1 July 2014

1860s Corset Cover Project

I have just completed the first item for a customer for whom I am making an 1860s mini-wardrobe (8 blouses, 4 girdles/waists, 1 paletot and 1 corset cover). It is an 1860s corset cover, with piping and eyelet lace:-

1860s Corset Cover Project
My customer asked me to use the Heidi Marsh pattern, which was based on a corset cover (or petticoat body as it is described in the original) from 1862, below:-

Heidi's pattern was only loosely based on this pattern.You can see that the seam lines and darts are placed quite differently.

As patterns go it was fairly straight forward, with only a little tweaking needed on the toile I sent to her. She wanted the sleeves included, which I think look lovely. It does fall off the shoulders a fair bit, which is why I couldn't photograph it on my model.

The front has a false hem with original antique mother of pearl buttons, and hand-sewn button holes.

Peterson, 1862

The cotton we used was quilter's cotton. Here in the UK I find it very difficult to source good quality cotton, and have come to the conclusion that the only way I know that it is decent it to purchase it through online quilter's fabric shops such as Cotton Patch.  The neckline and the sleeve seams are piped, which was always satisfying to do. The lace she chose, and is very pretty.

I kept the seams as flat as possible, so that they would be more comfortable against bare skin (she is not going to be corseted).

For reference, here is an 1860s antique corset cover of mine:-


I am really enjoying learning about the 1860s. I have to admit that it was a decade that I didn't know much about. Now I am starting to fall in love with it a little bit, and can't wait to make the blouses and waists to complete the look. 

Next though I have a paletot to make for her out of a gorgeous dusky pink wool with silk lining; that is on my list for next week.

I am off to catch up on the tennis!!