Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Victorian corset part 3: I think this will do

Over Christmas break, I decided to give Simplicity 2890 one last try, and I think this one will work. I meant to raise the upper edge of the corset to give my bust a little more coverage but I forgot. I think it'll still be okay even though I really wanted a corset that cupped my bust more than this. I might try another Victorian corset pattern, but definitely not doing one with gussets again no matter how pretty I think they are.

I had a sobering realization some time after making the pink corset of doom that I needed to lose some weight. That perhaps the corset wasn't working because I was no longer the pattern size I'd always been. I looked at the pictures, and I took a good hard look at myself in the mirror. I started counting calories on Feb. 7 and I've since lost 6 pounds (though I gained back two pounds last week after too many indulgences). Hooray for me! These pictures were taken after I'd lost about four pounds. It doesn't sound like much, but I'm short, so five pounds is an entire clothing size on me. Five pounds makes a huge difference in how my clothes fit.

Without further ado, here is my latest corset. Click on the pictures to enlarge.

I wonder if anyone can weigh in to let me know if my bust looks right in this? Is it too much like shelf-boob? My bust gets pushed up when I sit unless I'm sitting stick straight. Is that normal? I'm sure the bust fit will improve as I lose weight. I don't tighten the laces much on top, to avoid squishing my bust.

I didn't really try for any waist reduction. I just wanted my waist measurement when laced up to be the same as when it's unlaced, which required enough tightening to make me uncomfortable because the corset adds girth. I'm happy with the way my waist looks in the pics. I don't know how people can stand lacing tight enough for waist reduction of the standard 2 inches, but maybe I'm being a wimp.

I probably should just get one made by Kay Gnagey while she's still doing custom corsets, but I don't have the money for it right now and I'd already spent the money on the supplies for this pattern so I felt like I had to keep trying to get it right. Boning and busks are expensive, mainly because of shipping costs. I didn't want to have thrown my money away.


  1. Looks great! "Shelf bust" is pretty normal for gusseted corsets on larger chests. It's the perfect shape for 1860-1890! If the angles bother you, wear a corset cover to smooth everything. It's what our ancestors used for just such occasions. I just use a modern cotton stretch tank top but there are patterns for period-correct ones. You might want to tie your corset in back, too. It will help hold the tension better and won't pull the bones into a () shape, so your corset will last longer. Honestly, your looks as good as the professionally made ones and gives the same shape. It's so pretty! I love the colors.

  2. Oh my gosh, thank you so much for commenting! I absolutely LOVE your blog and have learned so much from you about all kinds of historical costuming stuff!! I'm planning to try doing a hedgehog hairstyle when I wear my new costume to ren fest and I'm going to use your tutorial with the straws. Wow, I'm just blown away that you would notice my lame blog!!!

    Thank you for reassuring me about my corset and your kind words about it! I am still worried about how it pushes my bust up when I sit but if you say that's normal I will just go with it. When you wear your tank top with your corset, do you wear it OVER the corset to help smooth the lines? I appreciate your advice about tying the corset in the back. I don't even know why I didn't think of that! I'm just worried about um... peeing on the strings when I go to the loo, haha! And thank you for your compliment about the fabric!! I had this remnant in my stash forever and always loved it and finally was inspired to use it. I think it's a reproduction of a historical print.

    Anyway thanks so much again for your comments!! I can't wait to make something to wear with this. I wonder if I could come to one of the Dallas Costumer's Guild events some day? I don't know of any costuming groups in Austin but if you know of any you could tell me about, I would really appreciate it! You are so fortunate to have such a talented group of ladies to hang out with! I follow many of the DCG bloggers.