June 23, 2011

Sara's Civil War Corset

We used Simplicity 9769
Sturdy cotton bottomweight from Joann Fabrics
Grommets, boning, twill tape, bias tape, and lacing all from corsetmaking.com

The Side

Sara goes to Civil War reenactments from time to time and has a pretty nice get-up, but her lime green corset had plastic boning and didn't give much support, so she decided to order the materials to make her own metal corset.  She got it into her head somehow that I'm really good a sewing, and so she waited till she would be staying here for two weeks to make it.
The Back
I had the pattern and getting fabric from joanns was no big deal, so we set to work.  For some reason I had it in my head that making a corset was hard.  I guess the victorian ones with all the gussets and things might be, but this one?  nothing could be simpler. :-)  It was tons of fun.
Everything was straight-forward.  Putting in 30 grommets and the busk was even fun. :-)

I got a blister from lacing her up 4 times that day...just for fun.  But what can I say?  We're nuts.  And now I want one for myself. :-)

We got it laced almost completely shut later, as the fabric stretched, but this is pretty much where it should be.  Look like fun?

Here it is with her hoop-skirt.


  1. Fun! I've always wanted a corset... as little girls, my closest friend and I would dress up in "olden days" clothing every time she came over. We made a "hoop skirt" out of this one feather comforter, tied around one of our waists with a bath robe tie. Our corsets were more bath robe ties cinched. Good times :)

    Thanks for posting!


  2. How neat! The only (little) experience I have with corsets is a short stays for a regency gown. And it didn't turn out so well, because the craft-store lady told us plastic boning was better tan metal...BIG mistake. :)

    One question - do you know what material is used for the hoops in a hoopskirt? I have always wondered, and thought you may know.

    Thanks so much!

  3. Aren't corsets, like, REALLY uncomfortable?

  4. Celine,
    How fun! We played dress-up all the time when I was little. I wish I could do it more now. :-)

    That's too bad! You'll have to make another one. I have been wanting to make one of those for a while. Did you use Jennie Chancey's pattern?

    No not terribly uncomfortable. They were the piece of clothing that offered support back in the day, and in that way they were just part of regular life. Unfortunately, people would lace them super tight to change their body shape and it messed up organs and stuff. If you aren't used to sitting up straight it could get pretty uncomfortable and tiring, but I don't think they are really as bad as people make them out to be. :-)