This corset is a plain coutil, tea-stained late Victorian overbust corset, for use as a foundation in Victorian re-enactment. We had originally envisioned a hip shape much more like that of the cream silk corset with blue embroidery, but instead what worked best for this customer was a much higher hip on the side. This is due to the very short distance between her natural waist and point of hip, the long distance from the top of her pelvis to her hip joint, and the fact that the high and lower hip measures are identical.
The short distance from the waist to the top of the pelvis meant the hip spring had to happen quickly, or I risked pinching on the top of the pelvic bone. From there, if the hip on the sides had continued lower, I would have needed to draft the panels to go straight down. This could be done, and would be comfortable, but not terribly flattering. By stopping just a bit below the top of the pelvis, it should create the visual illusion of more hip width, rather than emphasizing a straight silhouette.
The customer also has a small bust, so rather than squishing it away with a normal sweetheart, it’s a mid-bust design with a slight descent to the busk to create a sweetheart shape. This shape should lift the bust slightly, enhancing her assets instead of hiding them. Since this corset is to be used as foundation for costuming, there is no fear of nipple-peeking.
This is the scale pattern and concept sketch before drawing up the final pattern. I did make a couple small changes at full-size, including bringing the sides of the hip up just slightly further.
Pattern drafting tip: Once you have your scale pattern drawn try to create an assembled concept sketch from the pattern. It is critically important when drafting from scratch that you visualize the placement and shaping of the panels when created three-dimensionally. Practice makes perfect, so if your sketch isn’t accurate the first time, don’t fret. Just examine where your sketch differed from the real corset (or mock-up), and sketch it again.
Fabric: Two layers of corset coutil, tea stained
Boning: 1/4″ flat spring steel and spiral steel bones
Piecing: Eight panels per side
Busk: 12″ spoon busk
Canvas surtout – 100% done (no photos yet)
Adjustable underbust corset – 100% done (no photos yet)
Tea-stained Victorian overbust with spoon busk – 100% done (photos above)
Victorian silk overbust corset – 0% done
Partially boned silk renaissance corset with wooden busk – not started yet
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