corset

C1941/1942 AVRO LACED BACK CORSET WITH BELT (UTILITY) PART 2

This is the second part to a two part series for C1941/1942 Avro laced back corset  with belt (utility) focusing on the pattern and construction. The first article can be found here.

The garment was traced off the original garment before being digitised into CAD software. This will be the first pattern available for digital download from my new Etsy store. I made two versions of this corset. The first to replicate the outer part of the pattern using the same construction techniques as the original vintage garment. This would be my test run of the pattern pieces. The second version I would adapt to my own measurements and use it for my design brand Twilight Siren.

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VERSION 1: This version is made following the same construction as the outer part of the corset. Two part corset comprising of 5 panels either side in a single layer of coutil. It has a split front busk and lacing at the centre back supported each side with two bones of flat steel. The centre front and centre back panels are faced. Seams are backed with single casings of herringbone weave tape encasing the boning. The top and lower edges are bound in a ribbon tape.

The centre front/ side front and side front/side panel seams are constructed using the felled seam method to encase the seam allowance. Bone casings are positioned more vertically up and down the corset rather than following the seam line. This sample can be purchased through my Etsy store here.

Measurements as Follows: Waist 26″ Hip 32″

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VERSION 2 (OSTARA) I adapted the pattern to my own measurements

The corset is constructed from a silk taffeta backed with coutil (pin rolled pieces). Centre front and centre back casings also made with silk backed with coutil. I adapted the makeup slightly from the original garment (joining all the seams right sides together and placing the bone channel to the inside of the garment enclosing 2 bones). I also chose a longer length busk to go the full length of the garment

For this sample I omitted the underbelt seen on the original 1940’s garment focusing on cut and shape over making a historically accurate reproduction.

The corset is finished with gold hardware including the busk and eyelets contrasting nicely with the silk- a little out of my comfort zone as I don’t tend to work with gold.

The corset is decorated with gold tone hand cut lace applique and finished with bead and sequin embellishment.

OSTARA - purple silk & lace longline girdle front - Twilight SirenOSTARA - purple silk & lace longline corset girdle back - TWILIGHT SIREN

The Sample can be purchased through my own shop TWILIGHT SIREN here

THE PDF PATTERN CAN BE PURCHASED HERE

DOWNLOADABLE FILES:
PATTERN PIECES
GARMENT INFORMATION PACK: INCLUDING LOTS OF PHOTOS OF THE ORIGINAL GARMENT (12 PAGE PDF)
CONSTRUCTION NOTES: STEP BY STEP GUIDE ON MAKING UP THE GARMENT, NOTIONS (3 PAGE PDF)

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LACED:UNLACED- HISTORICAL CORSET PATTERNS- SHOP OPEN

I am so pleased to announce the launch of my online Etsy store earlier this week LACED UNLACED PATTERNS for historical corset patterns.

The first pattern available is the C1941-42 AVRO LACED BACK CORSET WITH UNDERBELT here

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This is a 10 pattern piece corset pattern taken from a 1940’s corset girdle from my personal collection of vintage garments. It features an inner support belt which you can choose to include in making up. Original Article here

The pattern comes in the original vintage garment size ONLY.

WAIST 26″
HIP 32″

DOWNLOADABLE FILES:
PATTERN PIECES
GARMENT INFORMATION PACK: INCLUDING LOTS OF PHOTOS OF THE ORIGINAL GARMENT (12 PAGE PDF)
CONSTRUCTION NOTES: STEP BY STEP GUIDE ON MAKING UP THE GARMENT, NOTIONS (3 PAGE PDF)

SKILL LEVEL: INTERMEDIATE

The pattern is provided in PDF format ready to be printed on A3 paper. You will need to print the pattern to the actual size. A scale is included. This pattern could be printed on A4 and stuck together carefully.

The pattern does include seam allowances. The pattern and construction guide advises on the seam allowance but do not feel you have to follow it strictly if you have your own preferred method of make.

A Toile could be made to check the fit of the pattern. The pattern can be used as a basic block to amend to your own size requirements. Check the length of the Pattern. It can be lengthened or shortened at the waist line if required.

The pattern can be drafted to your measurements for an additional fee if you do not feel confident in drafting your own pattern.

Patterns are for personal use and may not be copied, published, resold or distributed in any form.

NOTE: This listing is for the pattern only and does not include the physical garment.

C1900-1905 CHILDRENS CORSET

C1900-1905 CHILDRENS CORSET: SYMINGTON CORSET COLLECTION RESOURCES CENTRE (BARROW-ON-SOAR, UK)

Museum Ref: A48

Summary
Dated 1900-1905

Button front children’s corset constructed in a single layer of dove grey sateen coutil. Double back lacing supported with flat steel bones on the outer edges of the eyelets. Seams are covered with single casings of coutil encasing the boning to the exterior of the garment. The top and lower edges are bound and the top edge features a lace trim. The button to the lower sides of the corset would have held up other lingerie items such as drawers stockings or petticoats.

Most children wore stay bands until around the age of 8 years, when girls would go to specifically designed corsets. The Double laced back panel and adjustable over the shoulder straps allows for some growth and development of the body. Almost all corsets for children would feature adjustable elements. Although the corset appeared heavily boned, there was no attempt to define or create a waist reduction for the wearer. The emphasis was on supporting the body.

C1900-1905 CHILDRENS CORSETC1900-1905 CHILDRENS CORSET SYMINGTONC1900-1905 CHILDRENS CORSET SYMINGTONC1900-1905 CHILDRENS CORSET SYMINGTONC1900-1905 CHILDRENS CORSET SYMINGTONC1900-1905 CHILDRENS CORSET SYMINGTONP1040716

Dr. Balls perfect fitting Misses' corset as seen in Sears catalogue

SEARS CATALOGUE: Dr Ball’s Perfect Fitting Misses Corset, an ideal for growing girls

C1890 Corset Advert Ferris Bros. Good Sense Corset Waists

C1890 Corset Advert Ferris Bros. Good Sense Corset Waists

C1892 Corset Ad Ferris Bros. Good Sense Corset Waists

C1892 Corset Ad Ferris Bros. Good Sense Corset Waists

1897 Ferris corset waist for girls advert

C1897 Corset Ad Ferris Bros. Good Sense Corset Waist

References

Olian, J (2003) Children’s Fashions 1900-1950 As Pictured in Sears Catalogues. Mineola, N.Y. Dover Publications

C1890-1900 THE ATHLETIC CORSET: PART 2

NOTE  *This article was originally published January 2017 for Foundations Revealed. The link can be found here.

In part 1 I worked with a pattern developed from ‘The Athletic Corset’ as featured in ‘A practical guide to corset cutting and making’ by William D.F. Vincent.

Now I’ll go on to create my own corset.

Given both its likely date and its function-over-fashion design, this corset could have been constructed using a single layer of coutil, keeping it lightweight but durable for wear during sporting activities. For this reason I chose a black broche (a heavyweight coutil with a subtle dot pattern) and a strong powernet (in place of the elastic webbing)

The Athletic Corset pattern

1

The corset was cut as follows:

  • 2 layers of broche to sandwich the busk: CUT 2 PAIRS CENTRE FRONT
  • 2 layers of broche for centre back eyelet panel: CUT 2 PAIRS CENTRE BACK
  • Single layer of broche for the rest of the plain pieces: CUT 1 PAIR FRONT, SIDE BACK, BACK
  • Single layer of powernet used in place of the woven elastic panels: CUT 1 PAIR SIDE FRONT

 

Preparing the Boning Channels

I decided to sew the corset seams wrong sides together, using external bone casings to cover the seam allowances. The pattern also indicated the placement of additional exterior channels, most of them down the centres of the panels.

I began with 27mm wide strips of broche, cut parallel to the selvedge, and used a 12mm bias tape maker to create  single bone casings for the channels covering the seams.

For the other channels I wanted double bone casings, so I cut those channels 52mm wide and used a 25mm tape maker for those. When applying them, I stitched close to the edge either side, and then added the dividing line of stitching down the centre to create the twin channel.

2

Inserting the busk

The pattern used a simple flat steel busk. The two CENTRE FRONT pieces were placed right sides together and stitched in order to insert the busk in the usual way.

 

Preparing the FRONT panel

Following the marking on the pattern, the shaped dart in the FRONT panel was stitched closed before joining to either the centre front or side front pieces.

 

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A double bone channel was also needed on this panel. This will be the only one applied before the main construction, since it seems to disappear into the FRONT/CENTRE FRONT seam.

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The angled placing made positioning tricky as I tried to make the sides symmetrical. I was concerned about whether making the channel end in the seam would create awkward bulk, and whether I would be able to stitch down another channel to overlap the seam.

8

Assembling the front section

I stitched the FRONT/CENTRE FRONT seams wrong sides together, and then the FRONT/SIDE FRONT seams in the same way. This was the seam where the broche met the powernet, so I used a secure stitch on either end of the seam to control the powernet whilst stitching, and stop it from slipping.

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CENTER BACK panel: Boning channels

I created the centre back edge by stitching CENTER BACK broche sections right sides together, then turning to the right side and pressing. I used the side of my sewing machine foot as a guide to create three equal channels for the eyelets and flat steels.

10

Assembling the back section

I stitched the BACK/CENTRE BACK seams wrong sides together, and then the BACK/SIDE BACK seams in the same way.

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Joining front and back sections and applying bone casings

The front and back sections were joined wrong sides together. Again, secure stitches were used on each end to help control the powernet.

 

Applying the bone casings

I trimmed the seam allowances and pressed them down. (I turned the seam allowances in the powernet back onto the broche reasoning that stitching the boning casings onto the power net might cause the seam to crack under pressure). Then I applied the single bone casings over them, on the outside of the corset.

Then I applied the wider double bone channels to the centre front panel and side back panel. I should have used a double channel for the back according to hte pattern, but I found that the panel wasn’t wide enough, so a single casing had to make do instead.

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Boning

I used spiral steel boning throughout most of the corset, with flat steels either side of the eyelet channel in the centre back.

Binding

I wanted to use the broche for binding, but found that it would cause difficulty when sewing, especially at the ends. Instead I chose a satin finish pre-folded bias binding. I first machine stitched it to the right side and then flipped it over and top stitched in place.

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Eyelets

Finally I inserted twelve pairs of eyelets, as marked on the pattern.

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The Finished Corset

I was pleased with the finished corset. I love the textural contrast of the mesh to the broche fabric. My choice of a sheer mesh allows the undergarment or skin to show through, adding interest to an otherwise fairly plain design.

Having worn and tested the corset with lots of bending and stretching, I felt that it was supportive, yet the stretch mesh panel provided me with some freedom of movement. The corset could be laced closed, reducing the waist but not being too restrictive.

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I was pleased with the cut of the corset around the cup shape and under the arm. It was cut low, allowing full movement of the arm, yet still had good coverage of the breasts. The pattern could easily be adapted for use as a fashion corset.

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The corset is cut short at the back, allowing the wearer to bend and sit comfortably.

I liked the idea of the double bone casing, providing both additional support and an eye-catching feature.  A contrast colour could be used to make them stand out.

I would probably remove the dart from the pattern for future use, and instead take the fullness out of the front panels from the sides. It could be tapered a little more at the centre front/front seam, bringing the corset closer to the body.

Vincent’s Athletic Corset does perform as advertised. It’s a comfortable, everyday corset, providing control and shape for the wearer whilst allowing considerable freedom of movement.

 

This sample is available to buy from my ETSY store.

C1905 BACK SUPPORTING BODICE: SYMINGTON CORSET COLLECTION RESOURCES CENTRE (BARROW-ON-SOAR, UK)

Museum Reference

C210

Summary

Dated: 1905

Back supporting bodice designed to alleviate upper back pain and shoulder stooping. There are 48 flat steels for support from the side and around the back. The bodice would have been worn over a camisole or bust bodice. The eyeletted straps extending from the back and over the shoulder cross over and wrap around the front attaching to the heavy duty brass hooks down the front edge. To see how it would be worn follow the link.

Construction notes

The back supporting bodice is cut as one panel of cotton with darts used to create bust shape. The garment is strengthened with bone casings containing groups of four 6mm flat bones. The bodice is bagged out and finished with a double row of topstitching.

The centre back of the garment features 9 sets of eyelets spaced 2cm apart with flat boning used on either side for support.

Dimensions

Centre front depth 37.5

Centre back depth 20cm

1905 symington back supporting bodice

Back view showing bone positioning. Hooks on front for straps to attach to.

Back Camera

Eyeletted straps from built up high back

 

Back view sketch with garment dimensions

 

 

Front view sketch with garment dimensions

 

C1941/42 AVRO LACED BACK CORSET WITH BELT (UTILITY) PART 1

Summary: Avro laced back corset with belt

Maker: Avro

Model: UB902F Utility 1941/1942

Place of Origin: Britain C1941/42

Materials and Techniques: Cotton Coutil, rayon elastic inserts, metal eyelets, steel

Outer: Two part corset comprising of 5 panels either side in a single layer of coutil. It has a split front busk and lacing at the centre back supported each side with two bones of flat steel. The centre front and centre back panels are faced. Seams are backed with single casings of herringbone weave tape encasing the boning. The top and lower edges are bound in a ribbon tape.

Inner: The corset features A deep underbelt with wide elastic panels attached into the side seams of the outer corset. It features a hook and eye fastening at the front that sits directly beneath the busk.

The underbelt is constructed with a double layer of coutil which sandwiches the woven elastic panels. The additional underbelt in the garment would have been constricting, providing firm support to the abdomen and flattening the stomach.

The corset features 2 sets of 28mm suspender joining the outer and inner corsets with metal suspenders and adjusters.

21.5cm Busk

19 sets of eyelets spaced 2cm apart

Construction:

The corset is machine stitched  (13 stitches per Inch). The panels are joined together using the felled seam method encasing all the raw edge and pushing the seam toward the back. The seams have a double row of stitching. 18mm bone casings are applied to the inside of the garment. The front two bone channels do not follow the panel shape stitched down vertically instead.
The corset is boned using flat steels either side of the eyelets at the centre back and wide 9/10mm spiral steels in the bone casings. The spiral steels do not finish the entire length of the bone channel providing some ease of movement for the wearer

Dimensions

Cf depth: 34.5CM CB depth 37cm

Waist circumference 26″: Hip: 35″

Label:

UR170G, Avro Corsetry- UB902F, Laced back corset with belt, Specification 9033, Type 3, Size assortments, 26 x 32, 33 x 36

UTILITY CLOTHING

The Utility scheme was introduced toward the end of 1941 in response to the shortage of raw materials and labour for the war effort. Utility clothing was marked with the CC41 ‘controlled commodity’ mark. The mark meant the item met the governments austerity regulations and assured customers that the clothes were reasonably priced and of good quality.

The board of trade sponsored the creation of several ranges of utility clothing which were subject to austerity regulations. They restricted the amount of cloth, type of decoration and also the amount of time for manufacture. (Limitation of supplies cloth and apparel order 1941).

These restrictions also applied to the manufacture of corsetry. Steel that would have been used for corsets was used in favour for munitions. As men went to war women replaced mens roles in the the factories and the demand for practical clothing grew.

With regulations in place and CC41 marked clothing became popular skirts hems rose. Waists were nipped in conserving fabric for the war effort. Slacks were also worn made popular by the film star Katharine Hepburn. Silk and wool were highly uncommon. Silk was used for parachutes and wool for soldiers blankets. Cotton was also rationed though not so heavily. Rayon became the number one choice of fabric for the 40’s as it was readily available and relatively inexpensive.

To further economise, the Making of Civilian Clothing (restriction orders) was passed in 1942. This forbade wasteful cutting of clothes and set list of restrictions that Tailors and dressmakers had to work to. For example, dresses could have no more than 2 pockets, 5 buttons, 6 seams in a skirt, 2 inverted or box pleats or 4 knife pleats and no more than 4 metres of stitching. No unnecessary decoration was allowed.

The term ‘Utility’ became synonymous with austerity shortages and rationing.

(1900-1910) CORSET ADVERTISEMENT: ROYAL WORCESTER & BON TON CORSETS

 

Corset adverts are a great visual source for understanding the corset silhouette and individual panel shapes that are often hard to determine in garment photographs.

The Royal Worcester Corset company of  Worcester Massachusetts was established in 1861 by David Hale Fanning and flourished until his death in 1957. The company were makers of the famous Bon Ton, Royal Worcester and Adjusto corsets understanding that women required different styles depending on body frame.

The following adverts and illustrations are for the Bon Ton range.

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“BON TON corsets are the truest expression of every corset virtue- the highest achievement in the art of modern corsetry. Every wearer of the BON TON corset is the proud possessor of a wealth of style, health, comfort and symmetry.”

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“THE PRINCESS HIP: Assures correct fit in gowning giving also grace and comfort 

DOWAGER Style 600: The only corset made that will properly reduce stout figures to correct proportions”

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Further Information

D.H Fanning corset patent No 208517 date 1878 here.

D. H Fanning corset patent No USRE8663 Date 1879  here.