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.
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Olian, J (2003) Children’s Fashions 1900-1950 As Pictured in Sears Catalogues. Mineola, N.Y. Dover Publications
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.
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.
Centre front depth 37.5
Centre back depth 20cm
Back view showing bone positioning. Hooks on front for straps to attach to.
Child’s stay band from the Symington collection of corsetry. Constructed from red sateen with hessian interlining and cotton twill lining. The stay band has an adjustable wraparound strap and fastens using hooks and eyes. The front and back of the garment are corded for support as well as providing additional warmth for the infants body.
Stay bands would have been worn by both sexes from babyhood through early development. They were flat panels of cloth that wrapped around the body and fastened with straps that passed through slots at the front. They were typically made from cotton and interlined with hessian and corded or quilted at the front and back. Whilst there was no shaping or restriction to the stay band, the garment supported the body and believed to prevent deformity of the spine. Children wore stay bands until around the age of eight when boys were breeched and girls would begin to wear specifically designed corsets. Almost all children’s corsets had adjustable features to allow for growth of the body.
Front view shows vertical cording either side of the centre
Opened stay band shows further sections of cording around the garment in vertical strips
This corset is constructed in two parts made from white open weave cotton and printed with blue mock chain stitch circles. The cotton net was lightweight and breathable allowing air to pass through the holes and kept the skin cool when worn making the corset suitable for summer wear.
This long line style corset is cut under the bust line and finishes over the thigh with a dipped hem at the back to sit over the buttocks. The actual waist line was lifted higher than the natural waist so that extreme restriction could not be achieved. Corsets from 1910 featured a straight front but their function was not to compress the waist. The S- bend corset was cut low freeing and no longer supporting the breast. It pushed the stomach and pelvis in, hips and buttocks back and the shoulder and bosom forward creating the pouter-pigeon mono-bosom that was popular with Edwardian fashion.
The corset fastens at the front with a 10″ flat narrow split busk that does not run the full length of the garment. The bottom is left open at the front. The corset is firmly boned with flat steel double bones encased in channels at each seam. Even though the cut of the corset is long the bones only finish part way down the channels to allow some ease of movement to the lower half of the body though still providing support and control. The corset features 4 x plain adjustable suspender.
Trimming is minimal on corsets of this period, most only having lace around the top edge. This corset is finished with a layer cut from the cotton net applied to the upper edge and is bound at the lower edge with twill tape.