Drafting Woes

Mood: Semi-frustrated
Audio: Co-Optional Podcast #51
Drink: Iced Apple Cider Chai w/ honey whiskey [because it has been that kind of day.]
Snack: N / A

Designing/drafting this ‘modernized’ stay pattern has proved to be the more difficult than I anticipated.

The Problems?

How to make way for hips.

The way the Victorians got over this ‘hurdle’ is really varied no matter the decade. Hip gores are most common but the variance in size, shape, and placement are just as wide. After some deliberation I have decided to base my hip gores off of the ones found on the  ‘Khaki Corded Corset’ (p. 62-65 of Corsets: Historical Patterns & Techniques by Jill Salen). It features one gore in the front that extends all the way to the side and another more traditional triangular gore in the back. While Salen states ‘that this corset was worn because convention dictated that a corset be worn,  not for reasons of control…’ I believe the style of gores would work well to accomplish the desired shape: a smooth front and a back that is allowed to do its ‘thing’.

The mock-up I made from my initial patterns has been laced and tried on without bones with some truffle shuffling. But until I can find my zip tie cutting scissors (which are either 200+ miles away or have the ability to teleport from box to box whenever I’m close to finding them) I won’t know for sure if it really fits. From the psuedo fitting I can tell I’ll have to add a bit more room overall since, once the boning is inserted, they will shrink horizontally.

The construction of the mock-up went without much of a hitch and the hip gore insertion, which was my biggest fear, turned out to be relatively painless. The front gore shouldn’t give me any problems until I go to flat fell it and the back gore needs to be trimmed down along the bottom and put on a slant before it will fit into the slot. But I’d rather trim it down before binding the edges than having to rip it out, re-cut another longer gore, and insert it again.

And now for some progress photos:

But before you reach the last photo and go ‘Heeeeey, I thought this was a back lacing only corset.’,I’ll tell you that while I was shimmying the mock up down over my head with the help of no one [the dude was at work], I had the bright idea that maybe I should make it front lacing only or have lacing in both the front AND the back. But as much as I really love the aesthetic of front lacing stays, I know I won’t be happy with the finished product because it isn’t part of the ‘vision’. [Trust me, I’ll make a pair of front lacing stays eventually when that’s the original intent.] That and a stomacher is just another piece I’ll be scared of losing.


[I was premature in my outlining but at least you can see how the pattern has evolved.]





2 thoughts on “Drafting Woes

    • Thank you very much for the sweet comment! While drafting a corset is a rather involved process, I think it’s something everyone – beginners and experienced alike – should attempt. It’s a good exercise in getting to know the body, how it’s shaped, and how to go about manipulating it. There are a lot of tutorials floating around the internet for where to start, how to fit, and how to put it together for just about every type of corset out there. But the one I used as a jumping off point is this excellent tutorial I found on Marquise.de for a pair of 18th century stays: http://marquise.de/en/1700/howto/frauen/18corset.shtml

      Happy Sewing!

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