This weekend I finally finished my Edwardian corset!! I didn't end up using any of my antique lace because I didn't have enough of the Irish crochet lace (it was about half an inch too short to go across the top), but I found this cream-colored pleated lace at Hobby Lobby and immediately knew it would be perfect.
I'm very happy with the way it looks on me, though I did learn a few things in the process of trying to tighten the laces by myself.
1. I only set every other grommet, except for at the waist. When I was tightening the corset, the edges of the lacing strips bowed out around the curve between my waist and hip. I think I now know why the grommets are so closely spaced on the pattern--because it helps the distribute the tension on those areas more evenly.
Now, this could be because I couldn't tighten it evenly from top to bottom, but I really think I need to go back and put more grommets in. I'm thinking this shouldn't be a problem, I'll just undo the stitching on the bias binding on the bottom, take out those two bones on either side of the grommets, and stick a few more in there.
2. If you lace the corset to have those loops on either side of the waist, you really can't tighten the corset yourself because there's no way to hold the loops and tighten at the same time.
3. If you've torn your rotator cuff in the last six months and are trying not to put too much stress on the joint so that it can heal, trying to tighten a corset by yourself is a really good way to aggravate the injury. My shoulder had been feeling almost all better, and I've screwed it up again because I couldn't wait to try the corset on. But what can I do, since I don't have anyone to help me. My ex said he would have helped me, but I think that would be weird.
So I only have a few pics from the front, since I couldn't lace the back properly. Like I said, I'm really happy with how it looks. I was afraid I would look like a chunky sausage in this thing.
The underbust and waist fit quite well. I'm not sure if I'll be able to maintain parallel edges of the lacing strips all the way down though. I just can't get a feel for how it will fit over my hips when it's laced properly.
I can see that this style of corset isn't meant for waist training or creating any kind of an hourglass figure. It's meant to create a columnar silhouette for those long, lean styles of the 1910s-onward.
I think it's very interesting that girdles in the 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s kept the same form as the Edwardian corset. I'd kind of like to experiment with making some girdles of my own because I like that kind of thing and I have a problem with getting very bloated sometimes--I can never predict when--and I have to wear loose clothes all the time because of that. I would love to have a corset/girdle to wear under my work clothes so that I don't have to worry about looking okay in my dress in the morning, only to appear to be 5 months pregnant later in the afternoon because my GI tract is so touchy.
Too much information? I'm sorry. But, it is a problem that a lot of women have.
Anyway, yay for my first REAL corset being finished!!