Corset Report

November 17th, 2011

I’ve been neglecting my blog lately. But I have some good excuses. And this is one of them.

On Wednesday, November 9, I took part in CINCHED: Historic Corsets & Modern Corsetieres. It was a production of the New York Nineteenth Century Society, with six corset makers, one master of ceremonies, one very efficient organizer, and an audience of more than 60 delightful (and hopefully delighted) onlookers. We each took turns, in chronological order from 18th through early 20th centuries, describing corsets that we’d made and detailing their historical backgrounds.


In addition to helping organize the event, held at Swift Hibernian Lounge (our favorite local bar), I also hand sewed a nearly perfect version of the 1855/57 corset. In purple silk!! Okay, I know purple silk isn’t historically accurate. Though I did find a very similar mid-century corset in white silk. I just couldn’t resist that purple. And it was wonderful to work with after six versions made from canvas duck. The fit is getting so close. In fact, I think I may have cracked the code with a new shape in the side seam — more on that later. For now, it just needs a few tweaks (mostly adding the extra half inch I shaved from the hip at the side seam into the stomach gore) and it will be a very wearable garment.

I guess the back needs a little work too, smoothing the remaining puckers. But it’s still close. Best part about wearing this at the event? One of the other corsetieres, and a professional designer, gave me some tips on making the gores fit better!

And yes, that’s me, parading around in my underwear in a bar. Again.

Photographs courtesy of Nidal Nasr, who generously volunteered his time and talent to document the event.

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