Thursday, 5 February 2015

1890s Late Victorian 'Bolero' Corset Cover

I had had this unusual Victorian lingerie item for a while, before I stumbled across what it actually is a couple of months ago...


1890s Bolero Corset Cover

On page 27 of “Butterick’s 1892 Mertropolitan Fashions” (Dover reprint – 1994), you will see an advert for a pattern similar to the item above.




No.4587.- Ladies’ Bolero Corset-Cover. The engravings picture a corset-cover developed in nainsook, with embroidered edging for decoration.

{Nainsook is a type of cotton muslin.}

There are 3 different views/styles of corset cover with the above text. My one here didn’t have anything to join the two pieces at the centre, so I have simply threaded through a piece of cotton ribbon. It is mostly hand sewn, although there is a very delicate narrow piece of embroidered trim just above the lace which has been machine stitched (!?) on.

I'm not quite sure how something this little and flimsy would protect you from the corset's metal parts though. I do wonder if it was made to be worn with the 'corset waists' of the time, which were softer and more gentle to wear, with buttons instead of metal clasps.

Naomi x