coutil

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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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

1878 H.S. STRAUSS PATENT 208049

Initially when I came across this patent found here, I liked the simplicity of the pattern pieces with the multiple rows of stitching and bone channels used in the bust area. I was most intrigued however by the unique shaped bone pocket (seen in figure  9) that would be applied to the exterior of the garment.

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PATENT OBSERVATIONS

PART 2: THE LETTERS

  • In the drawings, Figures 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 represent the several patterns of which the base of each half of the corset is composed. Fig. 8 represents one-half of the corset expanded, but without perspective shading, the dotted lines indicating the seams. Fig. 9 represents the hip-piece cl enlarged, and also a portion of the piece (1 broken away, showing the bones and the under seam.

CUTTING INSTRUCTIONS

  • Each half of the body of the corset is composed, first, of seven patterns, as shown in the drawings, numbered 1 2 3 4 5 6 7. In cutting these patterns, Nos. 1 and 7 may be doubled by folding the material on their outer straight edges. Nos. 2, 3, and 6 consist of two pieces each, cut to the same pattern, while No. 208,049, dated September 17, 1878 application filed June 26, 1878.
  • N 0s. 4 and 5 may be single or double, as de sired. The pattern Fig. lhas the usual hooks, and the pattern Fig. 7 has the usual eyelets.

CONSTRUCTION NOTES

  • When the pockets are formed in the several patterns 1 2 3 6 7 all the several patterns are sewedtogether. The best way of sewing them together is as follows: The edge of Fig. 2 (shown inthe drawingnearest to Fig.1) is sewed to Fig. 1 on the edge nearest to it. These pieces Figs. 1 and 2 are laid together sothatthe sides of said pieces which are on the inside of the corset when the corset is finished will face each other, and the edges of the parts are thus on the outside of the corset when the parts are expanded, and the inside of the corsetis smooth, the seams being what are called hidden seams. All the patterns are thus sewed together, the edge of the piece of each higher number (shown in the drawing nearest the lower number) being sewed to the edge of the lower number nearest to it. When all the The pockets formed in the 5 seven patterns Figs. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 have been thus sewed together, the shape of the whole forms one-half of a corset so shaped as to make the form desired.
  • The hip-piece d, Fig. 9, is a narrow strip, with its sides parallel about one-half its greatest length, with a gore-shaped or flaring lower part, having pockets for bones of decreasing length, as shown in Figs. 8 and 9. This piece at is sewed over the outer side of the corset, so that the seam connecting patterns Figs. 4 and 5 comes under it at or about the heavy dotted line shown in Figs. 8 and 9 by the letters 0 o. This piece, while giving shape to that portion of the corset, also serves as a protection or shield for the hips, upon which the outer garments may lie.

HISTORY

CORSETS OF 1878

1887

American corset found at the Metropolitan Musuem (USA) is dated at around 1878. The upper edge is cut flat across the bust and the front lower finishes over the hips slanting to a deep V shape. The corset similarly to the patent appears to feature multiple boning by rows of parallel stitching creating the channels. Bust gores give this corset extra shape.The decorative stitches (flossing) at the lower edge prevent the boning from forcing its way out of the channels. The corset is finished with a deep lace along the upper edge.

light blue silk corset with flossing 1870-1885

American corset dated 1870-1885 found at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston USA (Accession number 201:616). Constructed from light blue silk the corset features a straight busk front with double gusset at the breast. Heavily boned all the way around the corset has multiple rows of stitching sandwiching whalebone between the layers of fabric. The gussets also appear to be corded providing additional shaping and support to the bust area.  Decorative flossing is used in white contrast thread to hold the bones at both upper and lower edges.

Pattern Draft:

My  first pattern draft based on my measurements. I enlarged the pattern pieces of the patent as a rough base for the piece shapes amending each piece accordingly. I renamed this pieces as follows from left to right CENTRE FRONT, FRONT, SIDE FRONT, SIDE, SIDE BACK, BACK, CENTRE BACK

I realised when I made up a toile of the pattern I needed to increase the body length of the entire corset pattern from the over bust to waist by 2cm. I extended the pattern from the waist and reshaped the pieces.

PRE CONSTRUCTION
Prior to commencing construction there were a few preparation stages (not photographed) beginning with the fabric cutting. I chose a dove grey spot broche coutil. I liked the sturdiness of the fabric which would be suitable for the single layed panels.

  • Cut a double layer of coutil for the CENTRE FRONT/ FRONT/ SIDE FRONT/CENTRE BACK  (2 pairs)
  • Cut a single layer of coutil for the SIDE/ SIDE BACK/ BACK (1 pair)
  • CUT a single layer of coutil for the additional bone pocket (1 pair)
  • I prepared all the bone casings. I cut strips of the coutil of approx 36mm wide (following the selvedge) I Used a tape maker to make 18mm bone casings. 5mm spiral steel boning would be used in the double channels

CONSTRUCTION

Inserting the busk: I decided to add a modesty panel behind the busk to stop any flesh showing through the gap of the fastenings. This was created by using a panel of folded coutil and inserting it into the studded side busk seam.

The seams were then joined wrong sides together of the CENTRE FRONT and FRONT panels (double layer together)  The seam was covered externally by the bone channels.  These were positioned centrally over the seam. I edge stitched on either side before using the edge of the foot as a guide to stitch down the centre of the casing to create a double channel.

I then machine stitched rows of channels approx 8mm wide as indicated on the pattern pieces.

The panels were joined in the following order. All the seams joined wrong sides together so seams appear on the garment outer

  • FRONT/SIDE FRONT (double layer of coutil). More rows of stitching creating bones channels following the pattern.
  • SIDE FRONT/SIDE
  • SIDE/SIDE BACK
  • SIDE BACK/BACK
  • BACK/CENTRE BACK

Close up where you can just see the rows of stitching for the bone channels in the front and side front pieces

 

Creating the bone pocket: The bone pocket (figure 9 in the patent) was an additional panel that would be placed over the top of the seam between the SIDE and SIDE back panels. This would strengthen the corset whilst maintaining lightness- using just the single layer of fabric for the SIDE/SIDE BACK/BACK pieces. I developed the pattern by drawing the shape on my initial toile, cutting and retracing  to get the shape.

Toile of the bone pocket. Channels stitched to figure out the number of bones to go in the pocket.

The seams were pressed under on either side before the panel was top stitched into place. Rows of stitching creating channels were made following the front of the pocket.

Rows of stitches were created in the pocket for the boning channels using the machine foot as a guide parallel to the front of the piece.

Boning: Spiral steel bones were cut to length and tipped before being inserted into all the channels. Flat steel bones were used either side of the eyelet channel to provide stability.

There are a total of 50 bones in this corset. A combination of spiral steel and flat steels at the centre back. Over 8 Metres of boning is used.

One half of the corset. A close up showing the boning inserted into the channels.

FINAL CONSTRUCTION STAGES

Binding: I chose a silver raw silk slub fabric binding for the upper and lower edges. The binding was made cutting the fabric on the bias grain and pressed using a 18mm tape maker.

Eyelets: Finally the corset was eyeletted using silver metal eyelets to match the busk. 12 pairs of eyelets were used in keeping with the patent illustration.

THE FINISHED CORSET 

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