utility 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.

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.