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03 August 2018 @ 10:04 am
1876 Corset Mock-up  
Hello all. I’ve been a longtime lurker(learned so much here) but this is my first post.

So I’m using an original period pattern from Gracieuse Archives. This is going to be my first corset(though I did do several mock-ups for a different pattern about a year ago, but just couldn’t wrangle it into shape).

I made a whole bunch of adjustments from the first mock-up, and I’m feeling encouraged by how well it seems to be going.




I know I need to raise the top line at the bust, let out the hips some more, and a few other things. The problem I can’t figure out how to solve is fat from my ribcage is being pushed up into my armpits. I had the same problem with the other pattern.




It seems like my boobs might also be pushing into my armpits. As you can see from the back picture, the lacing gap is even, and the top is actually quite loose at the back; it even gapes a bit at the lacing, though you can’t see it in the picture. Any suggestions on how I might fix this? ATM I don’t have a picture of the pattern pieces since I altered them, but I will include a pic of the original pattern before I altered it just so you can see the general layout:

Also if anyone has any other suggestions for improving the fit in general, that would be invaluable to me.


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virginiadear: LaBellavirginiadear on August 4th, 2018 05:59 pm (UTC)
You may need a bit more room in the ribcage and bust areas of your corset (without increasing the waist measurement, if it's good for you as it is now.)

If this makes you feel any better, though, "in period," or during the Victorian era, there was an unavoidable bit of "ridging" or "roll" present even on women lacking the smooth, plump shoulders considered so desirable at that time, and for that matter even on thin, bony ladies, due to the top lines of corsets and snug although not tight lacing, and dresses were made with something to conceal it: a bertha, flounces, ruffles, something like that. Later in that century, dresses contained pads which eliminated the hollow between the armpit and the bust, which is how a perfect and perfectly smooth hourglass top half was achieved on the front of the figure. Those pads, however, weren't used in the 1870's (as far as I know; others on this community may have different or more current information.)

So, it may be that what you need or will want will be adjustments to the embellishment of the dress.
bridgetclancy on August 6th, 2018 06:42 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for taking the time to respond 💕

To test whether letting it out at the outer bust area would help, I split the mockup at the seam between pieces 3/4 and 5 and added a quickie “gusset”(really just a strip of fabric sewed in).

That really helped! So in altering for the next mock-up I’ll probably just widen pieces 3 & 4.

Re: actual corsets in period, yep I’ve seen plenty of photos with ladies with corset ridges visible through the dress. That’s what corset covers were for! Actually since(as I understand, correct me if I’m wrong) many if not most women wore off-the-rack/mail order corsets, it’s surprising there aren’t more extant photos of women in obviously ill-fitting corsets. I guess it’s as you say, the dresses they wore could cover a multitude of sins.
virginiadear: LaBellavirginiadear on August 8th, 2018 01:45 am (UTC)
Very glad you've found a solution! :^)

Actually I don't know how many ladies were buying ready-made corsets, what percentage had their corsets custom-made, and what percentage made their own stays, at home.

I thought the corset cover was meant to cover the ridges caused by the corset or stay boning, and in the interest of decency (had to have something between the corset and the frock, as if a corset cover interfered with others' X-ray vison.
Whaleboned stays or corsets, though, had a tell-tale creak when the wearer moved enough or moved in certain ways, which gave away the presence of this foundation garment.
What I was meaning, specifically, was the tissue which gets displaced toward the armpit or the top of the shoulder blades, or toward the thighs and hips.


helenatroy on August 10th, 2018 08:38 pm (UTC)
Just want to say, it's been so long since I've seen any delicious eye-candy in this community and even as a mock-up, this is lovely. Looking forward to seeing the finished piece!
bridgetclancy on August 17th, 2018 04:22 pm (UTC)
Why thank you! I will certainly do so. You may see more of it before that as well. I’m having a heck of a time trying to fit the bust so it pushes up, but not into the armpits, and doesn’t give the dreaded quad-boob :S