Wednesday, March 12, 2014

1911 Edwardian corset is almost done

I really can't believe that I'm almost finished with the 1911 Edwardian/Titanic corset I started two years ago for the Bridges in the Body corset sew along. It wasn't hard to make, but for some reason I just worked on it in fits and starts. Now one half of the corset is completely done except for the lace trim. The other half just needs grommets, and then I can finish the top and bottom edges with bias tape and lace.

I finished inserting the bones and sewing the bias tape to the top and bottom edge of the finished half last night and while at lunch today I pulled out my stash of antique and vintage lace to try and decide which one to use to trim the top edge.

Here are the options:

Lace 1
This tatted lace is too delicate to use on anything that has to be washed. Plus, it's a monster to iron.

Lace 2

Pretty! But I think a little too wide, and too busy of a pattern. It fights with the corset.

Lace 3
This is three yards in one continuous piece. I think it was meant to trim a petticoat.

Lace 4
I love the way this looks. And these pieces are already the perfect length for trimming this corset. The only problem is that the color is slightly too "off" for blending into the corset. I'm not sure if I can get them whiter or not.

I've seen lace very similar to this as cuff and collar trim on many Edwardian and late Victorian gowns.

Lace 5
This is very similar to Lace 4, except narrower. I think it's too narrow for the top of the corset. But I love the off-white against the brown of the corset.

Lace 6
Crochet trim. I don't think this is antique, whereas I think that Lace 1, 2, 3, and 4 truly are Edwardian. That's just my gut feeling. But it definitely is very very vintage at least. It was in horrible shape when I bought it.

This was a monster to iron, which is why it's a good candidate for a corset. Those little scallops at the bottom shrivel up in the wash.

Lace 7
More crochet trim. It's not as wide as it looks--there are remnants of fabric attached to it from where it must have been cut off of a dress.

Maybe the pattern is too bold to complement the corset. It kind of takes over.

Lace 8
Very similar to Lace 7. Pretty, but it doesn't do much for me here.

As I look at these pictures, I find myself leaning towards Lace 1 and Lace 4.

Lace 1 looks almost perfect. It's much more striking in person than in the pics. And really, I can't think of a better use for it than as corset trim.

I am in love with Lace 4 though. I'll have to stare at it for a while tonight to decide if the color will work well enough for the corset.


  1. Wow, that's looking great! I agree completely with your choices. 4 is stunning!

  2. Thank you Jessica! I think I am going to go with Lace 4. It's period-appropriate and it just looks so good. :-)

  3. Yea! No. 4 was my choice, too. I definitely like the ecru better than a stark white!