1670 Corset – Front Trim, Construction Progress

I am very, very excited because today, after about ten million years of working on it, my corset is corset-shaped! I finished stitching the satin ribbon to the front, placement based more or less on the extant piece at V&A, and I decided to ditch the idea of tie-closed shoulders, and stitched them. As nice as it would be to be able to adjust the fit, the shoulders are going to be bearing the weight of my bosom (which is a herculean task), so I thought it might be more stable and less apt to come untied at inconvenient moments (by itself or with the help of drunk and debauched campmates) if it weren’t tied at all. I’m going to dig in my fabric and see if I have any canvas left with which I might reinforce the seam on the inside to help further stave off potential wardrobe malfunction, although the non-stretchy seam binding will also help keep the seam in place.

Without ado (and without the placket), the corset:

I’m thrilled to see it coming together to this point.

On a less exciting (but still VERY exciting) note, the skirt that matches the corset, made of the same set of recycled bedsheets, is pleated in the back, but not the front, because my (very late night) math was shoddy and I realized halfway through pleating that if I continued pleating all the way around, I’d have to lose about 12 inches off my waist. So I ended up with the back half pleated and the front section smooth. I thought this surely was not period accurate, and I’ve been trying to figure out how to use it without having to tear it open and start again.

And then I discovered evidence as early as the 14th century of pleating just the back of skirts to give the lady a more bootylicious silhouette. So my skirt (which does indeed result in a bootylicious silhouette) is completely passable. The lines aren’t quite wide enough to match the period of the corset, but it’s way less incorrect than I thought, which is good enough for SCA.


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