1670 Corset DONE! Completely, totally, finally done!

Almost.

Today I couched the very last eyelet and exultantly tried on my beautiful pewter-and-jet hand-stitched replica corset for the very first time!

And I KNEW I was going to have to lace it tight instead of the period wide lacing, because I’ve lost 15 pounds since patterning…

But I didn’t realize losing that much also meant I needed to take in the shoulders. I’ve gotten less wide, not only in the waist, but also across the shoulders. Back fat. Who knew? So the straps don’t so much sit ON my shoulders as halo gracefully around them. Which would be rad if that’s what I was going for (or if I had decent looking lining).

I MIGHT also add gores to stabilize the tabs, which is accurate to the original, but I’m still up in the air about.

But it’s definitively done until I decide for sure that I’m not done futzing with it, and that’s still an overwhelmingly good feeling. This is hands-down the longest, most ambitious creative project I’ve ever actually completed.

In addition to the zealous excitement of having finished something that took me this bloody long, I’m also equally excited that my first EVER corset actually fits well. It flares precisely from the natural waist, laces properly (although it does pucker a little, so I might have to remedy that with a little extra boning) and it gives me a period silhouette while also being surprisingly comfortable. The hemp boning is sturdy enough to give shape and support and flexible enough that breathing isn’t a chore. I’m really looking forward to actually wearing it to an event.

All said and done, this corset required:

  • about half a yard of outer fabric. Mine was a recycled bed sheet (free)
  • about half a yard of lining. I used cotton lying around (freeish)
  • about half a yard of duck cloth. $4?
  • Two spools of 1″ ribbon for trim, plus a spool of 1/2″ for lacing. $5
  • Thread and embroidery floss, both of which I ran out of midway through. $3.
  • Wooden busk. Mine was recycled from a corset I would have cut open just for fun by that point.

And… time. But all said and done, my cash investment in this corset AND the skirt that matches it was barely over $10.

Ubiquitous shitty cell phone picture:

And the inspiration piece, for comparison:

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