Self indulgence through sewing.

Moving Up: Corsets and Bloomers, Oh My!

Working on the bowtie and bolero for my wedding had been a great kick start project for reteaching myself how to sew. It had gotten me to blow the dust off my inherited Bernina 1130 sewing machine, and reacquainted me to reading sewing patterns.

To set the stage, it was early October, 2010. Stu and I had just returned from our Honeymoon – we rode the Rocky Mountaineer Scenic Railroad from Calgary to Vancouver, BC.  It was fantastic and very relaxing, but by the time we got back I was itching for another sewing project. (You can take the girl away from sewing but you can’t take sewing away from the girl?) I didn’t want to accidentally stop sewing for another 5 years like had happened when I left home for college.  🙂

Conveniently, Steamcon was only a month away!  Steamcon is a Steampunk convention, held once a year outside Seattle, Washington. My friend Jean had just finished up making her first corset for the convention using the TV110 1880’s Corset pattern from Truly Victorian. Jean’s corset looked fantastic, so with a bit of help pinning and fitting, I set to work on making one for myself.

Ta daa!  I didn’t even have to make any pattern alterations after measuring myself and making a muslin mock up which is very rare and super fantastic. I used home decorating fabric from Jo Ann’s for the outside of the corset, lined with cotton denim for strength, and edged in light yellow ribbon. At the time I didn’t know how to make or use bias tape to finish edges, so I made due.  🙂

The chemise and drawers were made using Simplicity 9769. This pattern was great in terms of long term strength – there are no raw edges on the chemise because every seam is flat felled, but I do wish the sleeves were handled differently. They’re lovely, but they have a lot of bulk. I may make a new sleeveless chemise someday.  The lace is actually multiple pieces layered on top of each other to make a wide band around the neckline and sleeve cuff.


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