Showing posts from October, 2014

1860's Corsets: My First Attempts


Corset making can be a difficult challenge, but with patience and willingness to fail the first few times, an amateur at sewing can make one. My first corset was a quick, poorly done project, using cotton broadcloth, zip tie boning, and hook and eye closure. I actually made it as a bodice for my prom dress; it looked great then, but later I altered it to add the open laced back. After taking it apart to re-make the bodice into a corset, I didn’t finish it properly. The zip ties bent and poked me and it hurt. I’m not sure why the zip ties didn’t work, as they are the same as plastic boning, but maybe I didn’t put enough boning into this corset and expected the existing boning to support too much. The pictures here are of the second corset that I made.

About five years ago, I made this corset with Past Patterns #703 1863 Dayton's Skirt Supporting Corset pattern, altered a bit for the look I wanted. It is made with four layers of cotton duck cloth, something that I would never …

1920 Suffragette Costume (Part 1)

My cousin asked me to make a circa 1920 costume for her volunteer work at the Susan B. Anthony house. This is a great learning experience for me as I am new to sewing for other people. Thanks to my wonderful cousin, who is so patient and helpful, I am learning how to do commissions. It's going slowly since we live pretty far away from each other and I have lots of other things going on in my life, but hopefully it won't be too much longer--I started this project in January (yikes!).

So far, I've completed the blouse and am currently working on a suit coat and skirt. We did a lot of research to decide on the look and what patterns to use. My cousin did a fantastic job choosing patterns. For the blouse, she ordered Past Patterns 400 ( and chose the view without a downturned collar and winged cuffs. I made the blouse in white cotton shirting. Since it is not a closely fitted garment, I did not make a mock-up but rather used my cousin'…