Drafting & Fitting Victorian Corset Mockups on an Asymmetrical Figure [Corsetmaking Part 1]

Drafting & Fitting Victorian Corset Mockups on an Asymmetrical Figure [Corsetmaking Part 1]

– Foundations are everything
in historical dress. Without the proper support garments, no amount of authentic stitching technique or historically accurate
natural fiber material, will make a garment behave as
it might have done in history. So, it goes without saying
that for my present mission to build a historical recreation
of a lady Sherlock Holmes, a proper 1890s corset it
is absolutely essential. We have a slight problem though that is, that my spine has conveniently
decided to do this, which means that for
many years growing up, I wore one of these,
and it has left my body looking something like this. Aside from the general
inconvenience of asymmetry, there is this slightly more serious matter that this asymmetry was
created deliberately in order to stop the curves
in my spine from progressing. Bending myself into a symmetrical corset, or putting any sort of pressure
on the curve of my spine, which most conveniently happens to be right at the waist area, is probably not going to
be the wisest thing to do. Fortunately, I have a
theory on how to solve this, and a theory which I think
despite the highly personal nature of my own corset making journey, will be perfectly
applicable to anyone else on a similar quest to recreate
historical silhouette. You see, everybody is unique,
and very few of us today actually have that perfect
Victorian silhouette. Spoiler alert, neither did the Victorians. The debate over the
existence of the modern body is one well discussed
particularly at length by Luca Costigliolo in
Patterns of Fashion 5, in which he asserts that
there is no such thing. The basic composition of a
modern 21st century person, is pretty much the same as someone who existed
in the 19th century. When you examine extant garments from the Victorian and Edwardian periods, they’re all almost
ubiquitously full of copious amounts of dress padding. That’s right, you know what
happens when you start to pad your Bust and hips. Your waist starts to look pretty tiny, no tight lacing involved. It is precisely this theory
that I’m hoping to build upon for my own corsetry experiment, to play with these historical
methods of padding the corset, as well as probably some of
the outer garments as well, in order to try and achieve a convincing Victorian silhouette without any physical waist reduction. Disclaimer, although padding
was very common historically, it was still common practice
to lace down at least little, although for aforementioned
medical reasons, this is something I’m trying to avoid. For a more in depth analysis on the extent to which these women lacing down as well as busting some modern myths associated with said practice, I have made a separate video discussing all of that information, which I will put a link
to round about here. So in this first part of
my corset at making quest, I’m going to be playing around
with getting the right shape. This is going to involve a lot
of mock ups, a lot of trials, a lot of reworking, a lot of
padding and a lot of patience. I’m going to be focusing
less on the actual construction technique for now, and more on the experimentation,
the draft, the fit and the shape of the corset, whereas part two, we’ll
go into more detail on the actual process of
sewing the final corset. I should let it be known that
I have never actually made a proper 19th century corset before, so to help me along with
this daunting endeavor, I have teamed up with my
dear friend Cathy Hay, who runs the online corset and costume makers resource, Foundations Revealed. she’s not sponsoring me
to do this by the way, I just figured that if I’m embarking on this corset making journey I would be a really garbage friend, if I didn’t take a minute to shout a bit about her glorious creation that played such an important role in the process that you are about to see. Basically, if you don’t already
know, Foundations Revealed is an online community/magazine/generally
useful resource, featuring an archive of over
a decade of helpful articles on all aspects of sewing
and of corset making, as well as mentorship from a team of very, very knowledgeable
corset and costume makers. If you’re just interested in
learning some of the basics of corset making Cathy is
actually running a series of free online workshops this week, which I will put a link to in the description box down below. I highly highly, highly
recommend checking that out if you’re interested in
learning some actual stuff, about corset making, after
watching my amateur flailing. So where does one even
begin with this process? As with all of my projects, my first instinct was to go
immediately back to the history. In this blessed day of modern internet, we are very fortunate to
have a wealth of information at our fingertips, including the Leicestershire
County Council Museum’s digitized collection of
Simonton corset patterns. Basically, the Simonton company
was a corset manufacturer from about the mid 19th
century all the way up through the late 20th
century, and a massive archive of patterns and samples survived, some of which have been digitized
and made available online. So after spending way
too much time examining the possibilities of various
ship number of panels, boning arrangement, flossing
design, amount of cording, preferably as little as possible, I finally settled on
reference number 23940, which I shall put a link to down below. And with that it is time to get started. Before I do the thing where I make clothes out of actual fabric,
I’m just going to test my understanding of the pattern and the three dimensional shape,
by cutting out the pattern pieces and taping them together. This will hopefully give
me a clear understanding of where all the curves are sitting before I go into actual fabric. And will just generally
help me wrap my head around the pieces. I photocopied the pattern so
that I have to have each piece, then I’m just taping it all together, so that all the pieces line up. (gentle music) All right, and here we have
the beginning of our corset or paper toile, I should
say everything is cut out. I have absolutely no idea
how this is going to work. So what I’m going to do first,
is I’m just going to tape it all together just to
make it three dimensional, it’s not going to be pretty
and it’s not going to behave quite like the corset will
behave in actual fabric, because paper obviously
does not have a grain. But this is just a very quick and easy way to get a basic sense of
the scale of the pattern, if the shapes work. If I need to lengthen or shorten
or widen any of the pieces, just proportion wise
see how everything works before I actually start
cutting the first probably of several toiles out of actual canvas. So yeah, let’s get started. (gentle music) Okay, so here we have
the completed paper toile of this corset project. One thing I want to point out that I think is very,
very important to note, is that look how much
shape this course it has. It’s got no bones in it. I mean, the paper is quite
stiff, but it’s not like rigid, it’s got no bones, no
lacing, and yet it already has such incredible shape out of it. It doesn’t want to lie flat at all. And this is all just
coming from the shaping of the pattern pieces, which I think is really,
really important to note, because there’s such a strong
belief that tight lacing comes solely from these heavy whale
bones or spiral steel bones and the waist shape is only
achieved by pulling the laces very, very, very tight. As you can see, that is just not true. So yeah, modern evidence that these things were not really torture
devices that Hollywood and modern belief often
make them out to be. Alright, well, this is
what we have so far. It’s a little bit difficult to get a sense of what the shape of this is going to be, only because it’s paper
and it doesn’t have lacing in the back. One thing you will
notice on these Victorian late 19th century corset is
that the bust sits very low. And that’s intentional. All of this up here is
done with a lot of padding on the garments. This is obviously not
something I will be able to do on the corset, just because
there is nothing up here, to attach the padding to. As I was putting together
this paper toile, I measured the waist. So the waist is about 21 inches, which is obviously a little
bit smaller than I am. However, it is much more
commonplace for 19th century corset not too close, fully in the back. I’m not entirely sure to what extent the backs were left open,
whether I can leave it open about two and a half to three
inches, if that’s acceptable, or if I should just get over
this little lingering fear of grading corset panels and try to widen them just a little bit. My dilemma with this is,
do I just do the waist. Because I do have very, very,
very much room in the bust, and the bust point in the
back, will actually come fairly close to closing much
more so than the waist points. So my instinct would just
be to add the same amounts all round to the panels,
just so that I preserve the original shape of the pattern. And I’m not skewing the pattern into, “Oh, but now the bust is out
of proportion to the waist,” but I feel like if I
make the bust any bigger, we’re gonna have some
proportional issues on me. So I think what I’m going to do, is I’m just going to go ahead
and take apart this pattern, and transfer it to actual pattern paper, so that I can make proper notes and stuff. And then I think I’m just
going to go right into fabric, and see what happens because
this isn’t really giving me any clues as to the fit and proportion, I just now know that the pattern works, and I do not have a much
better understanding of how it goes together. So this was definitely a
very, very useful step. Also, here are the combinations
from my previous video, I love them so, so, so much. I want to just wear them
around the house all the time. Now you can see why I
was talking about wanting some little bit of extra fluff up here, because this will help just
to smooth out the neckline of the corset where obviously
I don’t do that naturally. So yeah, let’s go over the corset. Now that I have a vague understanding of what we’re dealing with,
which still isn’t much, I’m cutting apart the paper toiles that I can trace my pieces
on to clean pattern paper. (gentle music) And of course, tracing the boning channels on to the new pieces. But autofocus doesn’t seem to think that’s nearly so interesting
is that chimney, whatever. I’m then laying out my pieces
onto the marker material, which here I’m just using
a heavy cotton canvas. To do this, I’m referencing
the original layout of the pattern since they’re
drafted on a slight curve so that the grain turns suddenly
from one piece to the next. Because as with the vast majority of historical stays and of corsets, the panels are not all
drafted on the straight grain. If there’s one thing I’ve
gathered from my researching and all this corset making business, is that the grain plays a huge role in the shaping of the corset and the way it sits on the body. So it’s really something
to pay close attention to. According to the layout
of the original draft, the straight edges of the
center front and back panels, are on the straight grain, but the rest of the side and hip panels deviate ever so slightly. So I’ve just tried to replicate that whilst laying out my pieces. Hopefully, I’ve done this right, but we’ll find out otherwise, if we see any wrinkling
happening on the finished mockup. (gentle music) I also have approximately 9,000
boning channels to cut out. So I’m just now measuring
how wide to cut these strips. I’ll need a bit of extra
width on either side to fold underneath the channel, not only to hide the raw edges,
but also to give the channel two additional layers of strength. It might have involved making a chart. (gentle music) Well, hello there. It is the next day I have
all of my pieces cut out, and I’ve gone ahead late last night, and just traced on the
other side of the piece that I cut out these lines. Because I cut this double
obviously if you cut it like so, you only really trace around the top side, so you have to unpin them and
then trace your outer lines on the underside piece. I don’t think I will be doing this method for the actual corset,
just because there always is a little bit of risk
when cutting double of the fabric underneath not
being entirely exactly on grain sliding just a little bit not
being quite in proportion. It’s not so bad with heavier fabrics like this heavy cotton canvas, but as I will be working with
a silk for the actual corset, I think I will cut them
each piece out individually, just to ensure that everything is very, very precisely on grain. My task now is to pin
these pieces together, and stitch them together. For the actual corset project, I will be using my Antique
1891 Singer machine, and I think I’m actually going to also use that for this mockup as well, because it’s a hand-turn machine. There is a little bit
of an adjustment to it, just because you have to operate
the machine with one hand, so you only have one
hand on the other side to guide your pieces through the machine. It’s a little bit of an adjustment, and I just want to go ahead and get myself re-acclimated to that before
I actually have to go ahead and stitch on the actual silk. Nothing about the rest of this process is historically accurate necessarily, but the objective here is
just to get my own head around this whole corset making business, and then we will focus on
the history in part two. Okay well I got about this far, before I realized that you probably don’t just stitch together
the entire corset, but there’s actually quite a
bit of work that you have to do to the panel’s before you
stitch it all together. What started this whole
train of thought was that, I thought, “Oh, maybe it will be easiest, “to put the busk in first, so
that I don’t have to wrestle “the entire corset with the
busk under the machine.” And I started wondering, “Well, how can you put a busk
into a single layer corset?” Because there’s obviously
nothing to encase the busk. So I go into a little rabbit
hole of reading articles on Foundations Revealed to
figure out how people do this. And meanwhile, I learned a lot of things that I probably should be doing before I actually start all of this. First and foremost, I think
is to put in any cording to any of these panels
before seaming them together, because I do get three little
rows of courting at the top, and then of course I got to wondering, how you put cording into
a single layer corset, because there is again
nothing to encase the cording. I know single layer corsets
did exist historically, and that’s what I was trying to go for with this whole endeavor. However, I think these
single layer corsets maybe didn’t have cording and had a facing for the busk pieces so that the facing could turn over the front
edge and in case the busk. So I think my theory that
this is a single layer corset is actually incorrect. So I will have to go and place
an order for some coutil, which will be the
essentially like flat lining that will go behind the silk
and will provide a layer for this cording to exist. My issue now is that this canvas is already a little bit
heavier than the silk that I plan to use. And so I don’t really want to
put two layers of this canvas on the mockup, only because I feel like that’s not going to make the final mockup behave quite as similarly
to what I will end up with the silk. So I may just go ahead and,
it’s not a really terrible idea just to do an extra facing
layer for these hip panels, so that I could put cording in, and then just leave the
single layer for now. We could try that. I still haven’t decided
whether or not I’m actually going to put the busking beforehand. I feel like I had read that somewhere that it was handy to do that
before attaching this panel to the rest of the corset. However, some of the other articles that I was just reading
now, do the busk at the end. It may it may just be a
personal preference thing, and as I have not done this before, I have no personal preference right now. But in any case, right now, I think my plan of battle for the moment is to cut another piece
of this little hip panels so that I can put in the cording. Also, it has occurred to
me that I conveniently do not have eighth inch cotton cording. So I will also have to
place an order for that, for the final corset thing. And I think perhaps for the mockup, I will just find something
that will suffice for the meanwhile. So, I’m just starting off by putting in a bit of cording here according to the original pattern. Then I should probably
take a moment at this point to explain that this video
is not going to be addressing the details of construction. So a lot of these techniques
are ones that I’m trying out here for the first time myself, and don’t yet feel comfortable explaining. Or worse, allowing
anyone to mistake these, as valid instructions to follow. So construction steps are
going to be glossed over a bit for now as we focus on the bigger picture of fitting mockups,
experimenting and seeing if we can work out a proper
late 19th century shape. Whereas in part two, hopefully by then I shall
feel a bit more confident with these techniques in
order to fully explain exactly what I’m doing. (gentle music) Okay, well, it isn’t the
neatest busk placement that the world has ever seen, but it’s in. I think typically this is
done with a zipper foot, to which I believe did start to exist by the end of the 19th century, I however do not have a
zipper foot attachment for my Antique machine. But I was doing this with my
regular foot probably not wise. So I think when I do
this on the real corset, I’m going to based this
in very, very carefully before I actually take it to the machine. But this is what mockups are for, to figure out all of the
things that can be improved, before you actually
start on the real thing. So I’m going to go ahead and start getting this actual course it together,
I think I can do that now. I think this is the appropriate
stage in the process to start doing that. And then I think I’m going
to do another fitting just with the corset base with the boning but without the padding to
get a sense of the shape in fabric as opposed to paper. Also, because as I’ve
never done such padding endeavors before, I’m not
entirely sure where they should go how thick they should be. And I want to get a sense of
what this does on the body before I start playing
with pads and things. (gentle music) I probably should have mentioned and I will address this probably more in the actual construction video to come. But I’ve been stitching
these panels with the seam allowance facing out. So if you’re wondering why I’ve pressed the curves like this, is
because the seam allowances based to the outside,
this is going to be inside of the corset that will be
nice and smoothly finished. And the external burning
channels will go over the seams that they’re all nicely hidden. (gentle music) Okay, so I am just starting
to pin the external boning channels on to the mockup, and I’m using this
small not to scale sheet just to reference the placement
of the boning channels. There are so many boning channels in this, I almost don’t know
what to do with myself. Obviously, there’s one on
every seam just to hide this raw edge. But there’s also according
to this, a boning channel, which by the way contains two bones, because they’re quarter inch
bones and this is a half-inch boning strip with a
seam down in the middle. They’ve also got another one
of these double boning strips in between every seam. Like why is it even necessary to have another boning channel here? Maybe it will all make
sense when I put it on. But yeah, when I was looking
at this page initially, nothing seemed to miss that
these burning channels were here and this burning channel was here, these two are edges of the panel. This one presumably sits
over top of this seam, which means it should
theoretically then be over top of this one, which doesn’t seem right. Maybe this is an approximation. Anyway, I’m going to
try and figure this out. Corset making is hard core. I’ve got the first side of
the bones, all pinned in, second side still needs to be done. My fingers are now just
full of tiny, tiny, tiny little pokes, but you
know what, it’s fine. Corset and stay making historically was known to be not woman’s work, because it takes a lot of
hand strength, I guess. So it’s very satisfying
to be able to do this. Anyway, I’m really excited
to see how this turns out once it’s all stitched. And now I understand why
everyone in corset making is obsessed with getting all
of these little inner panels all smooth because it is
much harder than it looks. But I’m hoping everything smooths out once I stitch it all down. I’m wondering if it is indeed correct that I have sort of a solid wall of bones just all across the frontier. But I suppose all of this
will start to make sense once I actually stitch
it down and put it on. Although part of me is
curious as to what the purpose of this cording was,
considering that the majority of this panel is
completely covered by bone. Anyway, I’m off to go stitch these down. I think I’m gonna go
ahead and try and finish this mockup tonight. It’s funny, because now that
I’m using a sewing machine, things are going so quickly. I’m not accustomed to this. So now of course, I just
want to do as much as I can in a day because I feel
like I’m just being so productive now. Not that I wasn’t being
productive with my hands sewing, but you know what, it’s just
very motivating to see things come together very quickly. Now I see why people do the machines, although I imagine in a couple of days, I’m really gonna start to
miss my my hand sewing. (gentle music) Okay, so boning channel
experiments are going. You know what, okay, so
it turns out that bones are quite thick, and you need
to account for this thickness when you cut your boning channels, because they won’t lay as
perfectly flat quarter inches. This is really stupid,
because it’s something I was very fully aware
of, I just didn’t do it. So don’t be like me. So the boning channels I did
over here, were too small. The one that I did here,
I was actually trying to, whilst I was stitching, scutch it out so that it
was a little bit wider. That didn’t work at all,
because the this channel looks horrendously sloppy, so I
will not be trying that again. What I think I’m going to do is I’m just going to
stitch down these channels as they are and just insert
one bone into each of them, just for the fitting, just
so that I can get a sense of the structure, and I can
have a little bit of rigidity, so that I can see the shape of it. But I will not be trying
to do both boning channels, and I’m trying to come
up with a logical excuse as to why I’m not just cutting
thicker boning channels or repressing these, I really
just want to see how it works and I wanna get it done. That’s not a good excuse. So my continuing order of
business is to stitch down the rest of these and focus on neatness. Because I think one of the
benefits of making a mockup especially if a garment that
involves unfamiliar techniques and unfamiliar machinery,
which of course to me, all machinery is unfamiliar. It just gives you a chance
to practice so that hopefully when I do this on the real thing, my boning channels will just
be naturally nice and neat because I will know exactly what to do and I will have done it many many times. So I am going to get back to work now. (gentle music) Okay, so here is where we are so far. What I have done is I have
put it on just as it is, as it is comfortable to me
right now in this very moment. There is a little bit of shape to it, obviously not very much
because I have not physically laced it down as it is supposed to be. But that is not an option here. So what I’ve done is, this side
I haven’t done anything to. This side, you can see has
a little bit more shape, I’ve stuffed some socks in
just down here to kick out this bit here and give this. I’m standing against the white background, this is not helping any of us. Maybe you can see there’s a
little bit more shape here. And this is more I think
the silhouette of the period that we’re going for. Obviously, as you can see, we
are running into some issues just because my actual physical rib cage is not shaped like this. And because this corset
does not come up to here. I’m going to inevitably
end up with some sort of shelf situation where the
corset ends, and I begin, which is something that I mean, I don’t think it was
the period thing happen, but I don’t think there’s
any way to avoid that. What I’m planning to do. Well, I have discovered where
the mic on this camera is, and presently it’s right under my finger. So basically for my next step, I’m planning to start playing
around with some padding. Historically, I believe
most of the padding happened on the outer garments. But as we’re working with
a bit of an unconventional situation here, part of me
wonders what would happen if I pad out this corset to
the shape it’s meant to be, just to establish the basic silhouette, and then to focus on
smoothing out the shape in the overwhelming padding. I’m not entirely sure
this is going to work. But the really interesting
thing is that when the corset stands away like this, it actually takes a lot of
the pressure off of my ribs, which in turn takes a lot
of pressure off of my spine, which is really good. All of this corset padding
nonsense is going to be step one. Step two is going to be
padding the waist coat, so that the upper area of the
waist coat comes into fill in where this happens, so
it’s just one smooth line, if that makes sense. I’ve actually just remembered too, that I’ve got an event this evening with the New York Vintage Society and the dress code for this
evening is Victorianish, so I thought oh, this is actually a really great opportunity,
maybe I will just rig some sort of padding situation, put
this on and wear this. Why are you like this,
wear this under whatever I’m wearing to this thing. First of all to get a sense
of whether this is going to affect my spine in any way
over a longer period of time. Because right now it feels
perfectly comfortable, but you never really know until you actually start
wearing it around for a while. And obviously I don’t
want to start wearing this at costume college only
to start having back spasms again after a couple of hours. So tonight will definitely
be a good test run for this. Also the synthetic baleen molds to shape with the heat of your body, just like real baleen did historically. So the more you wear a
corset against your body, the better your personal
shape it’s going to have. In terms of the actual
padding, it has occurred to me that I have no clue how to go about this. I have never done a padded garment before. I’m not sure how to mark,
I mean, I could mark where the padding should go,
but how thick it should be, what shape it should be. Maybe I will post a little
query, a little photograph of this in the Foundations Revealed group and see what the experts have to say, because I’m sure there
are proportional things that are wrong with this
that I’m just not seeing, because I have no idea
what to even look for. So yes, for all of the
anti corseters out there, we should just like to point
out, I’m very comfortable, I’m not being squeezed down at all. This is literally just sitting
against my natural waist and the rest of this
magic happens at stuffing. Right, behold my friends,
there’s absolutely no type lacing involved in this, the magic of illusion. Good morning, it is the next morning. My experiment last night
was quite successful. It caused no pain, it was very light, and it was very comfortable,
and it was very flexible. And I think I’m at least
now on the right track for the beginning of this project for getting some sort
of corsetry situation that doesn’t kill my spine. we are getting places
and it’s only mockup one. I am maybe a little bit
worried about the shape of it, just the way that I stuffed it out. I mean, obviously I didn’t
do like real padding, I was just sort of like
socks stuffed into the places that needed some padding, and so I hadn’t really
planned the shape or anything. But what I did do I think last night, was a little bit too much
for my current proportion. So obviously the padding
is going to be something that I will have to play with
in future, in future mockups. It is currently Saturday morning,
and we have just received the email from Foundations Revealed announcing this month live call topic, which is going to happen
on Thursday evening. And the topic for this
month is “Fitting Mockups”, which is incredibly
opportune, because look, I happen to be fitting a corset
mockup in my life right now. So, what I think I’m going to do, is I’m going to put this project on hold for a couple of days, because I have a feeling
that the discussion that’s going to happen on
Thursday evening in the live call is going to be very very very insightful as to how to proceed with all of this. Because obviously I don’t
have much experience in corset making and of
corset mockup making, and of corset fitting. So I will have a lot to
learn in that live call, and I think this project will
benefit from that immensely. So I shall see you in a couple of days, even though on the video
it’s really only like a few seconds. So I will see you then. – [Narrator] Same (muffled)
so I’ll pinch access fabric from say panel four at the hips, but I pin it as close
as I can to the seam. – [Narrator] And don’t
think that every seam has to be made smaller or larger evenly you
might take more (muffled) – Okay, so it is the morning
after the live call now, it was really really, really helpful, because at the very end of the call, she put up some of the pictures that I took of me wearing the mokup, and Luca, one of the mentors
and also one of my colleagues at the School of Historical Dress, who was the literal expert in
everything 19th century dress and especially 19th century corsetry, he was able to give his expert
wisdom and expert advice on what I’m doing, which was
extremely nerve wracking, but extremely helpful. I must admit, I didn’t catch a word of it, whilst it was happening,
because I was too busy sort of just panicking. You think I’d be better at
speaking on video by now, but that is false. So I did go back and re-watch
the replay of the live cast, and finally was able to glean his wisdom and have a think about
what my next step is. So basically, it was
very, very enlightening. And I think I’m now going to go in an entirely different direction. So I think my immediate plan of battle is, I have to just make a new mockup, because the one that I have
here, and this was something that I was fully aware of,
and again, just didn’t do. I think I was really sort
of eager to get a sense of what the actual shape of
the course it looks like, and its proper glory, that
I didn’t actually treat it like a mockup. Because generally, I think
when you make a corset mockup, a corset toile, we don’t
put the boning channels over the scenes so that
you actually can alter it, and fit it and have access to the seams. But I did do that. ‘Cause he also said I
should put fewer bones into my toile, just so
that I can basically have enough bones to give it a shape, no bones on the actual seams. And then he also made another
sort of massive suggestion that’s taking this project in the complete opposite
direction of where I thought I should be going. And he suggested that
because I know historically, at least like in the 18, 17, 16 century, it was sort of standard to
have the backs of the bodies in the stays met edge to edge. There’s no lacing gap in between. I wasn’t sure if that was
true for the 19th century, but Luca said that I should
at least draft the pattern so that it meets at the back edge to edge, and on my mockup, I think I
had like a three or four or two I don’t know, I had a
wide gap in the back, that was having made no alteration
to the original pattern. So what he says is that I
should redraft the pattern, so that it meets edge to edge. Now this is where my mind
sort of starts to spiral into a downward panic of,
“Oh my god, what do I do,” because I think I can get the
top edge of the bust area, to meet edge to edge. I will need to add more room
in the waist and in the hips. But of course, when you
do that, you start to skew the proportion of the panels out of their historical proportions. The panels are drafted
with a very specific historical silhouette in mind, and if you start making
the waist and hips bigger without making the bust bigger,
then you sort of destroy those natural historical proportions, which of course is the antithesis of what I’m actually trying to do with this whole experiment. So I was really sort of loath to do that, however, it seems that
that’s how I’m going to have to start. He suggested that before
I even think about going into the historical shaping, is that I first just make a body block of exactly my current proportions. And then I work from there
are taking those panels and skewing those so
that they’re more towards the historical silhouettes. And I can then start adding
padding in the corset as well as in the outer garments to achieve that silhouette. I think that’s what he was trying to say, I could just be
misinterpreting this entirely. I think what my next plan
of battle is to abandon the current mockup that I have completely. I’m going to have to draft
a new corset pattern, and I’m going to have to draft it myself. Then I will fit this drafted
mockup corset on myself, get it to my proportions, my size, and then compare these panels
with the Simonton pattern that I have to see if I can alter those panels to get something
more akin to that 1890s shape, because I’m not shaped like an 1890s lady. But I do agree that once I
have that this basic shape, I can then have something to work off of, which I think is going
to be a more solid plan of battle here as opposed to starting from this vague historical
silhouette and then working to something which brings
me to my next point of how does one even
draft a corset pattern? Well, my friends, once again, it’s back to the
Foundations Revealed vault. I put in how to draft a corset pattern. There is an article
it’s free for everyone, it’s on their free articles page, I’ll put a link to that down below. I had a look over it, and it
looks really, really simple to follow, it tells you how
to take the measurements, it tells you how to
draft the the basic grid. And then of course, it
tells you how to draft the actual course of pattern. So I’m going to give that a try today, it won’t be historical, but it will be something to work off of. I haven’t yet decided if I’m
going to draft my pattern to accommodate my asymmetry, or if I’m going to draft
my pattern symmetrically, knowing that I will
have to pad out one side to make it work with
that symmetrical shape. So I’m going to stop procrastinating by talking to a camera now, and
I’m actually going to see if I can draft a corset. First things first is to
obtain some measurements. I’m doing this not with the tape measure, but instead of the long strip of paper. On one edge, I’ll mark the circumferences like bust and waist, and on the
other edge I’ll mark lengths waist to hip side seam, et cetera. This was the manner in which measurements were taken throughout
early periods of history, certainly through the 18th century, although I’m not not sure if it continued through the end of the 19th. But I’m particularly fond of this method, since it eliminates a great deal of math. Because when drafting corsets,
you only draw out one half. This method saves you the bother of having to do that scary
thing of dividing fractions. Because to obtain the
half of a measurement, all you need to do is fold
the tape measure in half, and draw the line. If you’re interested in the
Victorian manner of measuring, I found some really interesting
research on this process, and I intend to do a
separate video on that. So stay tuned, I guess. With measures ready, I could then get started
drafting the pattern. I’m not going to go super in
depth explanation for this, since the entire process
is quite clearly mapped out step by step in the tutorial,
which as I mentioned is free, and its link is down below, if you’re looking for
some drafting wisdom. The most wonderful thing
about all of this is, that Cathy is actually
trained as a mathematician, so she gives you the formulas for all of those complicated
little calculation point bits, and you pretty much have
to do absolutely no math, which is precisely how I prefer to work. (gentle music) Okay, well, my pieces are all drafted and they’re now all cut out. I know for a fact that
this is not correct, this is not going to be cut
out and immediately fit me. In fact, I think they’re going to be quite a bit of fit issues. I mean, judging immediately
from these front two panels, they just don’t look correct. But that’s entirely my fault. This curve, we were supposed
to just draft on our own, which I don’t think I did very well. But you know what, that’s
what mockups are for. I think my plan for now is to
cut out these into the canvas, make this up into a mockup, and just do some extensive fitting. Then I will return to these pattern pieces and make the necessary alterations, so that the next mockup
that I do hopefully, will just really solidify the fit of it, and maybe I will also start to look at the historical shaping of those. So yes, I think I would very
much like you to remember this moment of wandering certainty. When we get to part two in which hopefully I shall be constructing
a corset confidently, and smoothly and as if I
thoroughly know what I’m doing by thoroughly have absolutely
no clue, what I’m doing. I’m then just harvesting the
basket of my previous mockup because these things are
money and I only have one. Busk update, still not the neatest busk setting in the world. But definitely some
improvements are being made, at least they actually line up this time. (gentle music) Then the panels are stitched together, and because waist not what not, I’m also harvesting the bone
channels from the mockup primarily because I can’t be bothered to measure or cut and press new ones. Okay, I’ve got all the seams together. As you can see, it hasn’t
gotten nearly so much shape as the Simonton corset pattern does. This draft i think is
just for a standard modern day corset it’s not intended
to be any specific period and certainly doesn’t have
any of the fancy painted, cutting and panel shaping techniques that a lot of the historical
late 19th century corsets do. So you can see without
the bones is not quite wanting to stand in such a dramatic shape as the Simonton one did. I think to be fair, the bust curve is probably entirely my own fault. The rest of it, the
panels are bit straighter than the other ones. But you know what, that’s
sort of the intent, because we want something
very basic I think, so that I can then adapt
this to the shape of my body. I have gone ahead and for this mockup, I’ve put the seam allowance to the inside, only because I’m gonna be putting the external boning channels
in the middle of the panel, so that I have access to
this seams to fit them, to alter them and having the
seam allowance to the outside will just make it more
distracting to look at. I think they won’t be able
to get as good of a sense of the lines of the corset, if I’ve got all this similar
ones cluttering it up. So I’m going to go ahead and start getting the boning channels into this, and just putting some
eyelid holes in the back, so I can lace it up. And then we will go ahead and to fit this, and see if we can make
it do something nice. (gentle music) This was a thing that was
definitely way too high as I suspected. So I first just lowered
that top edge a bit. It’s still much too high here, but we’ll just ignore that for now. Next, it was way too
tight around the hips. To solve this, I’m just going through
and splitting the seams, and letting them sit
naturally how they want to sit over my actual shape. Then filling in that space by pinning in a rough muslin gore. (gentle music) PSA, that fitting things on
yourself is a task of nightmares and never really works
out but we do our best. And then just marking down
the middle of the gore, with the new seam line should sit. I’ll cut along this line
when I correct the pattern so that I can see how much width should be added to either
side of the panels. Presumably, if your skeletal
structure actually makes sense, you really only have
to do this on one side and then mirror those
alterations on the other side of the pattern. But because you know
the nature of asymmetry is that nothing makes sense, I’m fitting each side independently. As you can see, there’s
far less extra room needed on this side. (gentle music) Well, that went, if you can’t
tell I am momentarily laying on my bed right now because my spine is just in so much pain. I think what we have learned
is that mockup was not an improvement, in fact, it
was a significant step back from the original 1890s patterns. It’s always a little bit discouraging to take a step backwards, in a project. However, I think it’s really interesting. I think what we have
learned from this process is that the Victorians really
knew what they were doing, with their corset patterns,
with the shaping of their panels and where they’ve placed
the boning and everything. So I got the front of it, I actually don’t think the
shape of it was too bad, once I slashed those
bottom panels and inserted those little gores. The hip shape looks quite nice actually, it was just something
with the back panels, is just not sitting correctly. And also in addition
to having the curvature in the symmetry and very sway back, which is quite normal even for people without scoliosis to have, your spine sort of dips in at the back and your bam sticks out. That can also cause a lot of back pain, something with the way that
the back panels were sitting, was sort of standing
away from my sway back, and then putting pressure on my hips, which was doing terrible
things to my spine. So I know there are articles
on Foundations Revealed about fitting for sway back. So I may go and have a look at those because that’s something that I mean, amongst all of the issues,
that’s not something that I thought to look at. So probably something
that I shall have to go and have a look at right
now before I get started on mockup number four, I
guess if we’re counting the paper mockup as one,
two, three, yeah, four. It’s a little bit unfortunate
to say because I don’t know, I don’t know if the if
the gores that I put in, will actually help the
pressure on my spine. Because I was by the time
that I had gotten there, I was already in such pain, I have no idea if that’s
going to relieve the pain, probably I’m going to be
in pain for a little bit. So trying it back on, is probably
not going to be effective anytime in the next couple of hours, because I just won’t know,
it’s actually really amazing how quickly that happened too usually, I’ve got something on for an
hour or two, a couple of hours. And I’m standing for a little bit before, and I start getting a
little uncomfortable. But this was like I put it
on and five minutes later, I was just like I need to sit down. So I don’t think this was a wise decision. I don’t know if it’s because
I had drafted the corset symmetrically but to my measurements and then tried to put it on. So it actually was
supposed to fit my body, but in a strange way that
it’s not used to sitting in. Whereas I know that 1890s
corset, the upper body at least was very much not to my measurements. So the fact that it was symmetrical
wasn’t a problem for me, because it wasn’t trying
to squish me and pull me in some way that I’m not supposed to go. I think the next step is
to return to the history because I feel like
there’s something there, that was actually quite comfortable. I wore that first mockup around, I wore it out, I wore it
around the house the next day. And it was very comfortable,
I quite enjoyed it. And the only trouble with
that is it doesn’t fit me. So the big dilemma of the day, which of course has been
the dilemma of the day, since day one, is how do I
get an 1890s corset to work on a body that just isn’t there? Isn’t this the angle that they
tell you not to film that? Aren’t you like not supposed
to be looking at the underside of my chin? It’s okay, we’re not
trying to be glamorous. Have I mentioned that corsets are hard. Okay, so it’s been a couple of hours since I last spoke to
you after the fitting. Mostly I was just procrastinating
actually getting started on fixing this ordeal. But I think we are
mentally prepared enough to start doing so now. We are going to forego the voiceovers, we are going to forego the
the blogging and the cutting to the nice montage is of progress. And you’re just going to be
right in the trenches with me for this part of the project, because I’m not entirely
sure what I’m doing. And I’m just going to be
talking as I’m doing this, because we’re going to learn some stuff. Okay, so I have roughly
taken apart this mockup. I’ve taken the bones out
I’ve taken the lacing out, and I’ve just got this lying flat. And I’m gonna start drafting
the mockup number four pattern, by essentially sort of making some sort of Frankenstein creation of both of these patterns. So this is the historical
Simonton pattern, this is the very, very modern draft. So I think step one is to take this apart, so that I can actually
see the panel shapes. And I think what I’m gonna
try and do is obviously I’ve done a lot more work
on this side of the mockup than I have on this side only because, this is my more shapely side, this is the side that’s got
more hip spring, essentially, which is the difference
between the waist in the hip. This side is more normal, so
it’s only got just this little bit of alteration here. I think what I’m going to try and do, and this might be a very bad idea, I may try and do both sides like this. I haven’t done any alterations
to the top to the bust area, as you may have seen in the fitting, just because I think there
was something intrinsically horribly wrong with something
in the back panels here, and fitting the back of
yourself is really hard. And also because there was
so much room in the bust area of the Simonton pattern, I think maybe it might be best
if I take more inspiration from bust shaping of the Simonton pattern and then take in from there as opposed to doing whatever this madness is. So I think what I may do is
I may take the inspiration of the hip area from here, as well as the waist measurement of this, because this actually fits my waist whilst closing in the back,
while the Simonton pattern did not fit me in the
waist, or at least it did, but it had like a three
inch gap in the back. So I think I’m gonna try and go through this waist measurement. We’ll see how that works with the shaping, if that works at all. Otherwise I think I’m gonna try and, although you know what the
Simonton pattern actually did fit very well in the hips, although again, with a little bit of a gap in the back. So we may go with this sort of shaping, well Simonton shaping this sort of sizing, but on both sides, because I feel like where there is no hips
bring on the other side, I can just use padding to pad that out, to make it look symmetrical
even though really it isn’t. So again, all theories, but yeah, we shall see how this works out. Okay, so we have both of our
patterns, essentially here. So as you can see, there’s
quite a bit of difference between my pattern and Simonton pattern. I think what I will also have to do, is I will also have to account for where this extra little hit pieces. Because I quite like this piece. It’s very unique to historical corsetry and I wanna keep it in if I can. I was very correct in
thinking that the pattern for my mockup was a little bit too high, and indeed it was this is
why I had pinned it down, when I thought it was too
high and it’s still looking a little bit too high. That was something that I
was really nervous about, because I know one of like
quintessential features of Victorian corsetry
is how low the bust is, almost to the point where it feels a little bit uncomfortable,
I didn’t quite trust myself to be able to pin it into
position, to do that by myself, because I feel like I would
always want to put it higher than it should go. So I think what I’m going
to do, I’m going to trust the height and length
of the Simonton pattern because I think this was
quite evocative of the period. So I definitely wanna keep that
I think the main alterations that I’m going to make, are just to widen the
waist area a little bit. Upon looking at this pattern immediately, makes me a little bit
nervous because the waist that I have here is significantly
wider than the waist here. And it’s actually almost
in line with the bust. So effectively, I think
it wants me to do exactly what I’ve done, which didn’t
work out the first time. Although, you know what,
there is a bit of room here, I haven’t made this front
panel quite wide enough, and it should come out
just a little bit more where I thought I got the
curve of the bust in correct, which I did, not incorrect,
but just not this pattern, which is I think what I want to go for. This does want to come in a little bit. This piece is confusing
me just a little bit. I’m not sure I’ve got it
quite at the right angle, we’ll see, I may regret this. This one will just need
a little bit added here, which this looks much
better than the curve that I had on the bust here. So the pieces are looking a
little bit closer now I think. My next dilemma is whatever
am I to do about this space? Well, first of all, I
think I can cut off this because the bust was already a bit too big on the Simonton pattern. And I don’t think I need
to make it any bigger. So again, my question now is
what to do with all of this white space here. I did need a little bit
more room at the waist on this pattern, and the
one that I drafted the white one on the back here is to
my actual waist measure. However, it hasn’t got any shaping to it. See, if I were to just
curve to these panels, they would literally just be squares, which doesn’t seem very 1890s appropriate. Here’s what I can do, maybe I
can try something like this. This may not give me quite as much room as I would potentially need
for it to close all the way in the back, but it will give
me a little bit more room, and it will also I think
provide a much nicer curve on the top here. I will need to cut out the bust. I think I am mentally
preparing myself to do that. But I think would be especially helpful for the historical silhouette, is at least to have this
under bust curve here. Because I know the the actual bust point stands away from my body. And so I may have to just
bring that in a little bit. But I think having this little under bust, it’s very easy to pad out
because this is just straight up against the body, you can
just put padding in there and make that stand out. But this also, this
shape here also I think, brings the line of the bust a bit lower, which is of course the dead
giveaway for the period. So I may still end up needing
a bit more room in the waist and I may have a little
bit of a gap in the back, we shall see what happens
when I make the mockup and actually do the fitting. One thing that I’m sort of
struggling with right now, one thing that’s really
going through my head, is how many mockups is too many mockups, and is it possible to sort of
burn yourself out on a project by making so many mockups that by the time you actually get to the real
one, it’s just not thrilling and exciting and
interesting to you anymore. So that’s something that
I’m starting to feel a little bit now with
all of these mockups. When I do the actual real corset, I want to have a nice time with it. I don’t want to be like, “Oh my god, I have sewn
in 45 boning channels, “I don’t want to do 16 more.” However, I absolutely do not
want to go into the final corset with a pattern that
I’m not fully confident in. So this is something we
shall continue to experiment, and that is a decision that
I will make when we actually get to finishing this mockup. Okay, so here we have
our Frankenstein version of our Simonton pattern and
the new draft of the pattern. I’m feeling tentatively a
bit more competent in this, only because I know the Simonton
pattern looked very good and the new draft, I
mean, I suppose it fit. So hopefully just these alterations will do something of interest. But I think I’m going to go
ahead and cut these out tonight. Hopefully I shall get this
mockup finished by tomorrow, do the next fitting and
then we shall go from there. Yes, so I shall see you
momentarily with a new mockup. Okay, so here’s what we have so far. I’m very helpfully once again, standing in front of the white backdrop. This is where our current mockup is. I actually finished it late
last night, and I put it on. And I lasted about 15 minutes this time, before I started having back problems. Again, it still does feel very
different from the original Simonton pattern, even though
it’s got obviously no similar shaping to it, it’s still felt
a little bit uncomfortable. And I couldn’t figure out
why until the realization dawned on me that the back
lacing once again was sitting, completely shot in the back. And the realization dawned
on me if I can turn around, that when you close your
corset, you’ve got four bones sitting right up next to your spine, which is not a good thing, when your spine doesn’t sit straight. So I realized that perhaps
the Simonton corset, the original mockup that
I did was so comfortable because it had this massive
lacing gap in the back and my spine was completely
free to move and to curve and to do what it does, without
the corset affecting it. So I think the leasing
gap is actually working to my benefit. So I know you’re not supposed to do this, you’re not supposed to have
this sort of uneven gap in the back, you’re supposed
to make them parallel, But do you know what, this
is comfortable and it works. And I was actually looking just
this morning at some x-rays, of course, it’s from I believe, 1908. I was really interested to see
some of them had lacing gaps that were wider at the top
or wider in the middle, or what are the bottom just
depending on where she wanted a bit of extra room that day. So not historically inaccurate,
just not generally good practice in in the standards,
of corset it making nowadays. But you know what, whatever works. This mockup weirdly, I feel
like has a lot less shape than the original Simonton
mockup that didn’t fit. I put one little pad in the hip here, by pad, I mean a sock, but I
will make some real pads soon. I’ve also put a little padding
just in this under bust area here, just to fill out this seam. The Buster was a little bit too big, obviously because I’ve
kept the original curve on the Simonton pattern,
I didn’t alter that, and obviously I’m not shaped like that. So I will have to put padding in this, I have embraced that fact, and I plan to do that
on the actual corset. The only thing that’s now bothering me, is that this is my curved inside, and I can feel starting
to happen a little bit now is putting a little bit of
strange pressure on the hip area, that is going to become uncomfortable in a couple of minutes. This may just be an issue of the boning because the boning is
not in the correct place, and it’s not shaped yet to me. So the boning sort of wanting to sit a little bit more straight like this, and put more pressure down here. This is how I’m actually shaped here, this is just me lightly
the resting my fingers against the bone here. Yeah, that’s not where
the corset wants to sit. So, I really liked that
shape, because it looks like I’m quite tight laced, even
though I’m perfectly not. And I’m perfectly comfortable. The only issue, of course is that, the other side doesn’t do that. But you know what, we’ll
just have to stand like this for the pictures, right. So I think my next plan of battle, I have done just minor alterations, just taking it a little sliver here. I’ve also taking it in a
little bit just down here, just to make this a
bit closer to the body. I’m not sure if that’s
actually harming me, I’m not sure if I should
actually be having more room in the hips because this
is a pressure point. I think a lot of the issues
that I’m having right, now is just that I don’t feel
like I’m getting a good idea of what the shape of
this is supposed to be. And once I have an idea
of what the real shape of the corset is, then I can
figure out how it’s actually going to sit on me, and where
anything is going to press where to poke or to hurt. So what I think I’m going to do now, is I’m going to take off all
of these voting channels, I’m going to make these small alterations. And what I’m gonna do
is I’m just going to go in on this mockup, I’m
not gonna make a new one. I’m just going to go in and put the actual real boning channels, the
real number of boning channel the real width in the real positions, and see how that changes things. Because I feel like that
will be my final decision before we actually proceed
on to the real thing. Let’s go do that. (gentle music) Okay, so here’s the
mockup that I have now. It’s better, it’s
definitely an improvement, the shape is much better, it
feels much more comfortable. I should note that I’ve put some padding in this just in the bust and in the hips, to give it a little bit of shape I hope. I think the shape will be
much better once I go in and shape the bones. Right now the bones, you
see they come in a role. So they sort of want to bend,
in their own sort of way. You can actually go in and
shape the corset better with the steam on your iron, as well as, if you wear
your courses on a hot day, and you’re sweating, and
it will shape the bones to your body shape. And I haven’t done that I obviously haven’t worn this around any hot settings. So this is not quite molded to my body, there is still a bit of
extra room in the waist, and it is still a bit tighten the hips, and I think that’s because the bones are wanting to sit a
little bit straighter, if they weren’t shaped more
than they would sit closer into the waist and stand
away from the hips, and that’s actually much
more comfortable on me. So I’m hoping that that
will improve with time. Obviously, since the
final corset that I making will be made out of silk and treating silk with any sort of water or
steam is an absolute no in the historical costuming world, and probably actually in the
cultural and general clothing making world too. I won’t be able to seem the
bones on the actual corset. So what I think I’m going to do, is I’m going to shape
these bones in this mockup, I’m going to steam this mockup, I’m going to set this on
my dress form for hopefully about a week or for whatever
the duration of me making the real corset. So that hopefully by the
time that I’m ready to put the bones into the real corset, I can just slide out these and
insert them on the real one in their respective positions, and hopefully, they will
have some shape to them. Otherwise, I shall probably
just have to wear it around for a long time, and do a lot of bending. So in regards to the symmetry, of course, my experience with all of this
my whole process and journey with making this is not
probably going to be applicable to everyone with asymmetry,
because the nature of asymmetry is that it’s all different. I will go more in detail
on the padding process in the actual process video, because I will be
actually making real pads instead of just using socks. And I think what I have determined
is that it is the padding that will adapt the asymmetrical form, to the historical silhouette. So for example, because
this is my straighter side, this is the side that curves in, this is the side that’s adhering
to the historical pattern. And since this side is the one
that sort of comes out a bit, it has less of a curve, I have kept to the historical shaping, but just added a little bit
more padding into this side of the hips so that it kicks
out that side a little bit. And hopefully you get a sort
of even curve on both sides. I haven’t worked out a way
to avoid having the edges standing away where they’re padded. I’m not sure I care, it
doesn’t matter to me, there’s going to be a
skirt over this anyway, no one’s going to see it. The only issue is if you
actually wanted to wear this out, and maybe you wouldn’t want that. But I don’t know, it doesn’t bother me. I think we have done a
thing, it has been a process. It has been a huge learning journey, and I think I am now long, far
ready to actually get started on the real thing. Hopefully regain a little bit
of excitement for this project because you know what, the
thought has occurred to me that I have made nothing but
white, mostly undergarments, but white garments for
about the last four months. So I’m excited to do something
with a little bit of color. And by color, I mean
like honey colored satin. I’m also excited to get on with a process in which I feel like I’m making progress, and not just wildly
experimenting and failing and messing up, and editing constantly. So that will be lots of fun. It will be nice to know
that I’m working towards finishing something, and not
just making indefinite mockups. Yeah, onward, onward. (gentle music) – [Narrator] Ladies and
gentlemen and gentle folk. We are gathered here
today to mourn the loss of these beloved mockups. These bravest souls who
gave their lives their busks and their bones for the
betterment of this project. iIn deepest and most noble sacrifice in the quest for proper
historical silhouette. May they be now and forever
exalted in eternal rest by the old gods on to the
new So mote it be amen.

100 thoughts on “Drafting & Fitting Victorian Corset Mockups on an Asymmetrical Figure [Corsetmaking Part 1]”

  • I love your chanel. Growing up I loved watching my mum sew clothes. Sadly, I didn't inherit her talent. You remind me of her, she was an amazing woman.

    I have her old singer machine as well, it's in dire need of a refurb though.

  • Elizabeth Lovell says:

    Would it be possible for you to lower the upper level to which the bones reach, and then have a drawstring around the top to eliminate the shelf effect?

  • Interesting! I think the idea of not having uneven gaps (not parallel and plumb) is also to help the corset stress not be too much for the fabric.

  • Hello Bernadette, Hello Viewer.
    I know, it's bit out of context but i really wonder if there is a sewing pattern for the black dress you / Bernadette is wearing at 24:28. I really love this kind of dresses but i have no idea where to find a pattern with these features.
    Thanks for your help in advance.
    Best regards

  • Thank you for being so passionate about your project and the generosity to be vulnerable. I learned a lot from this video and watching this truly inspired me towards all my creative projects. Thank you so so much. 🙂

  • With the last mock-up where u showed how one side curved in more than the other and u like that more, I felt that 😂 I have scoliosis too and I prefer how my curved side looks

  • Madison Knight says:

    Bernadette, I found your channel yesterday, and have literally spent the better part of the last 48 hours watching all your videos (one more still to go) and you have inspired me beyond belief and I don’t even sew. My godmother has recently taken up quilting so when I saw your video in the park in London, I decided to make her a leather thimble (and mayhap one for myself too.) and it was difficult because I am an absolute noob. But it gave me all the more respect for all that you do. You are a treasure, darling.

  • XxIrene AngelxX says:

    I love listening to you talk! Your voice is so clear and precise. It’s just so clear and your vocabulary is very advanced compared to how everyone in my area talks. It’s very refreshing and I’m not surprised to watch this whole video. Plus, the content is so interesting and you just make it even better. I enjoy this very much and thank you for making it!

  • Isabelle Wenzke says:

    This video is so helpful! I am attempting to make an 18th century pair of stays and I decided that a mock-up would be the best way to start. I however do not have a lot of information on what goes into a mock-up. Thank you for showing the process!!

  • Re: the padding, there is a new video up from one of my favorite youtubers in which she tries on a dress from around 1910. The dress had an attached underlayer bodice that had ruffles for bust padding and built in boning. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ep16kibILa0

  • Omg… I have LITERALLY harassed my friends with your video because I love it SO MUCH! 😂 You’re just so fun! And funny! And so one of my clan… you get it, you do the silly things and make things work, and it speaks to my soul! SEW ON!

  • Marjorie Truman says:

    So thankful you show the pains of venturing into another niche of sewing and the uncertainty of those first steps into said venture. Love your thoroughness and that you were willing to share your personal issues, which are so relevant to pattern fitting for all of us who are never going to fit the norm slash ideal, whatever that is supposed to be. Thank you for sharing with us all.

  • The funeral at the end was priceless! It is great seeing your process in this video. You set yourself to a difficult task, and how you were able to solve each problem as it came up was very impressive.

  • Your bookcase is in the background of all of these videos and I find myself occasionally staring and trying to see some of the books on your shelf! I like seeing the casual reading books up top and I would love to see what books you have and think are like, the necessities.

  • Watching your honest struggles challenges my expectations of the perfect first-time garment construction and the resulting disheartenment that occurs when all does not go according to initial plan. I'm inspired to get back to some sewing, hopefully with a new attitude to "mistakes"! Love your work, your attitude, your heart and passion.

  • Anne-Maree Sleigh says:

    That was fascinating. Thank you for sharing it. I've heard people say that corsets can be incredibly comfortable, and while it's easy to believe that a lot of what we wear is dictated by society, I always agreed with something Cindy Crawford apparently said. Women dress not for men or for themselves but for other women, because other women are the ones that are most likely to judge.
    Anyway, thanks for this. Good luck with your corset project.

  • tinadrawsstuff says:

    This was absolutely fascinating! I'm so glad I followed a random algorithm rec, and your glee over digitized patterns is flat infectious!

  • B. C. Schmerker says:

    +bernadettebanner It looks as though the Symington pattern should have been scaled up ~8%, judging from the gap in Mock-up 2. Probably would have put the bust curves in the correct position.

  • I love the sound of the sewing machine 😍 a gentle clatter that makes me think of beautiful Victorian ladies sitting in a sunny window making beautiful clothes…. So basically you. 😁

  • I figured you would appreciate the fact that I am watching this while translating a book on 14th C Catalán clothing

  • Emily Donnelly says:

    I get the feeling that should I ever embark on a corset making adventure I will have a significant number of mockups.

  • gettin' there Janice says:

    I remember getting dress made for me and they would have to go up a size because my waste then take a huge chunk back out because my back doesen't balance backward opposite my bust if that makes since. I have taken how to messure for a proper fitting bra tests and i thought the first one just had a typo because i got a negative number. basicly measure the bust and just under around the ribs then subtract 4 inches then the number of inches different is your cup size a being one inch well their is a three inch differnce meaning if I take away four I get -1. I am not flat chested. I like the idea of clothes made for me instead of me trying to mold myself into an image i am not. I think that part is forgoten when we say that they had an healthy standard for women back in the day. clothes were made to fit the individual. one day I am going to get back into making clothing.

  • i cannot sew nor have ever worn a corset but all 53 minutes of this video were definitely worth it skdkfkkf
    ps. you’re really pretty uwu

  • TheMaiaDriscol says:

    I had an amazing experience today where a behavioral issue kid in my classroom sat, without speaking, for a whole 40 minutes while we watched some of your videos together! (it was a free day — a reward for grade-wide academic achievement) Then he wrote down your name, and asked me how he could start making clothes! It was the single most magical thing that has happened to me this academic year! Thank you, Bernadette, for inspiring not only me but those you may not expect to reach!

  • Kristan Makl says:

    I also have scoliosis but have a bizarre triple curve that isn't too dramatic, but does mess up my posture and symmetry quite a bit and leaves me with one side of my waist much more pinched in than the other. I've worn corsets for costumes quite a bit and after wearing them a while, I always end up with one side much more shapely than the other. But I actually find that they are great for support and improving my posture.

  • Mall_rat 3000 says:

    I actually have a question! I don’t know anything about the industry of corset making for the time period on which you are focusing, but I’m curious to know how often corsets were commissioned or bespoke. Were they made in batches, following a standardized pattern design? Or could you still feel historically accurate with the way you need to customize your corset? Would that have been something only wealthy people would be able to do?

  • My gosh, you are a piece of art, lady. I've found you only recently and I've somehow been sucked into this whirlpool of historical stitching and now your adventure to make lady Sherlock. I feel like the way you speak to us through camera, your genuine excitement and enthusiasm towards your passion just makes me feel like I actually know you from a long time ago. You are amazing. Keep up being awesome. Rooting for you, I think you have a very, very bright future ahead of you in your career.

  • My waistline is very similar to yours. My scoliosis makes it so that the left side of my waist is more of a smooth, round curve and on the other side is more of an angular dip ( I think you called it hipspring?) rather than a rounded curve. Didn’t know it was due to scoliosis for a long time. But I actually like my squished side more than my smooth side too😌

  • Rebecca Hurford says:

    I'm currently making a very modern draping tshirt in sheer polyester (I think) and sewing it by hand using your historical methods because they just seem to give so much more control than running this disobedient fabric through a machine! Put this video on for a little company while I sew, despite having already watched it a few times.

  • As someone with scoliosis myself, I appreciate your openness about your experince, and I have gravitated more towards making clothes (simple costumes at this point) myself because I'm frustrated with how I look in store bought clothes. Your videos are so inspiring!

  • I know this is an older video but I have to make this observation that might help other people. I think in this particular instance especially that it's more important to shape the corset to support your body the way it needs to be supported. The shape comes in through padding OVER the top of the corset, not under it. This will alleviate that "shelf" problem and keep the boning from sticking into places it shouldn't be. If you have to shape the boning by body heat it will not conform to you properly if there is a layer of padding insulating it. You should also consider that there is a whole system of "seasoning" a corset so to make it conform to your shape. I'm not sure how seasoning was done historically, but when you are dealing with medical issues it's prudent to do this very gradually over many weeks. Even though this might be a costume piece, I think it would be beneficial to treat it as though it's for everyday wear. Then it will be maximally comfortable for you.

  • I love how passionate you are about clothing and Victorian/Edwardian era style! It really makes your videos enjoyable to watch

  • I’ve got to make a tangible project for my Steampunk lit class, and I’ve decided to make a corset. I’m excited to use your videos as tutorials, but mine will never look like yours 😓

  • I just really appreciate the intensity and enthusiasm you throw into these projects. Some people would look at this and think it's completely over the top. I look at this and my brain settles into its happy place and all the stress of real life is lulled to sleep by your cheerful voice saying things like boning channels and panel shaping. I'm not going to give up my electrical sewing machine, but I sure think it's cool that you want it done right. It's not even just the clothes and doing the dressing, but it's getting into the mindset of what our mothers and grandmother's and great grandmother's went through. I'm glad someone is keeping that history alive.

  • Since you are much further along on your corset then I. Here is my problem. Fat has to go up or down. I seem to have back fat that loves to muffin top in back. I thought of raising the back but how much do you think I should add to the back in width to allow it to smooth out. Or just pad the garment to cover my back boob? How much higher in back is history correct?

  • Do you get dry needling done?
    I have a 47° Cobb angle at my waist too (and yes.. swayback!). The dry needling is amazing, I use core strength exercises to maintain back muscle and then corset to draw out the time between spasm and hence more dry needling… Sigh

    But I barely experience pain or spinal "exhaustion" anymore.

  • Shelby Muffoletto says:

    I know this is so small, but thank you so much for including a gender-neutral address in your mockup funeral. It means so much to hear others acknowledge the non-binary and gender nonconforming community, even in something as small as "gentlefolk"

  • kimmykimmy2007 says:

    Every video I watch of yours, I feel more of a kinship lol 😉 (I too have swayback, caused by an anterior pelvic tilt…also have a rounded back) I'm gaining more confidence and hope I can make a corset for my vintage (1940s to 1960s) clothing! You're awesome, Bernadette.

  • Not all corsets were 21 inches. As long as you keep proportions correct you should makes it ok. Women were all shapes and sizes even back then and i guarantee you some were smaller in the rib cage than was fashionable. If you make smaller adjustments at top and gradually get larger you should be able to do it (is that clear as mud?)

  • You should make a dress makers form of yourself. You will need a little help, a t-shirt and pair of shorts you don't mind giving up, and duct tape. I know this sounds crazy, but it will work, and make fitting cloths for your specific body, much easier. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cok5VtSurEk

  • dustin clossin says:

    Your passion, joy, and excitement in everyone of your videos is absolutely infectious! I look forward to watching more and more!

  • ElsaMarie Drummond says:

    I find this so incredibly fascinating as I have been also been on the journey of corset making for historical costume purposes. I have such an appreciation for the victorians and their mastery of the corset, what I would give for a day with a victorian corset maker! Thanks for all the lovely tips and the great indepth documentation of your journey!

  • Victoria Proctor says:

    Watching this because i will be making my own corset for the first time. Figured why not watch this video again lol

  • Sammie Anderson says:

    You should get in touch with Lucy from Lucy’s Corsetry. She is very educated on corsetry, and makes corsets, including Asymmetric corsets.

  • Danica Russell says:

    I see some Rick Riordan books on the top of your book shelf! That makes me so happy as I too enjoy the Percy Jackson series.

  • Thank you for making these videos and taking time to explain to us, the outsiders, what is happening. Watching this video I couldn't help but think of another youtuber, Micarah Tewers, who is and does the exact opposite of you haha. Of course she is not reproducing historical garments but it would be a good idea to watch some of her videos and see how she handles things when it comes to making clothes. I can't help but think that in some situations you are making more work for yourself than you have to. Maybe watching someone that's more laid back and have "lazy ideas" in terms of making clothing will make your work more efficient. If you actually do watch her videos please let me know your thoughts as i'm curious! 🙂

  • the best part about mock-ups is learning how to do things wrong so you can learn how to do them less-wrong later

  • odd question to ask when I'm looking at you laying down on your bed bc spinal issues, but would you ever do a makeup tutorial for your everyday makeup or Victorian makeup?

  • I predict that someday the whole world will know this charming young lady with her keen eye, curious mind, attention to the little details that make a garment just the thing. What a joy she is to tune into.

  • Cassidy de Waal says:

    As someone who also has a curve in this area of the spine, and who has interest in historical dress, I am very excited by this video.

  • Oh my word 🤣 I too, have scoliosis, I completed a degree in fashion design for which I chose to do my final show garments as corsetry, and yes, I agree, corsets are hard

  • I wore a Milwaukee brace for 5 years for scoliosis. I stopped wearing it at 17, at 51 I still have back pain and bought a corset at a festival last year. Wearing the corset, I had no more pain, I had the feeling of support that my brace used to give me.

  • After watching further, women in Victorian era also had scoliosis, I think even then they would have made alterations to match the woman not the corset to match the era. Same as in medieval times, I forget the name of the king of England who had a very deformed scoliosis, the armor was made for him.

  • That funeral at the end though – I'm currently working on my own mockup and I feel like that's going to be me as well. I've already put way too much time and effort into my drafting and fitting just to throw it away after I have the final product.

  • Goodness, I am so glad that you, a professional maker of things, show your struggles with this corset. Your patience is reallx amazing. And a almost hour long video is always great to watch while handsewing 🙂

  • - Cole-Lxun-666 - says:

    This is the first of your videos that I’ve seen and I’m going to subscribe because I love the way you talk so calmly and so well articulated 😊 great video!
    Edit: you’re also super funny 😊😂💖

  • Olivia Washington says:

    This was incredible and I loved every second. I've been looking for help with drafting my own corset for months now (I did it at uni but that feels like a lifetime ago!) so when you said Foundations Revealed have one I was over the moon… Sadly, by the time I got to this video the website has changed and they aren't taking enrolments anymore T_T do you know of anywhere else I can find help with drafting my own block? Can't wait to see more! 😀

  • leave me alone says:

    "Its not as easy as it looks" idk how to tell you but this doesnt look easy in the slightest.

    Also i have scoliosis too so it's really neat to see you getting this to work rather than just giving up before the start like i usually do. Maybe I'll give it a try.

  • As a sewer who also has scoliosis (and wore 'medical stays' throughout her teen years), this video was amazing: I loved seeing your process for thinking about how to deal with the asymmetry. You revelation about open vs closed back makes total sense to me: straight spines lie in a kind of hollow in the back which means that pressure on the centre back is distributed evenly along the muscles, while curved spines tend to rotate to one side, which means that the bone doesn't lie fully in the dip and forms a pressure point where there is a bit of a bump. I've often found that I can't do exercises that require me to roll on my back because of this, or even that certain hard back chairs while becomes very uncomfortable for me very quickly. I don't know if I'll be making myself a corset anytime soon, but if I do, this will definitely be a video to return to! Thanks for representing all us "curvy" girls out there:)

  • The eulogy for the mockups at the end had me rolling! The video is really informative – thank you for letting us follow your corset-making journey!

  • I believe the term you're looking for when you refer to "Frankenstein-ing" is usually called (at least in most hobbyist circles I've been in) "kit-bashing", which is the result of taking several kits (or patterns, etc) and essentially "bashing" them together until you get what you want (cut this off here, paste that there, insert Flap A into Slot D instead of Slot B, etc etc). I see it a lot in model aircraft and model railroad town building.

  • Did you ever think that maybe the reason why there were openings and parts of the lace that were open was BECAUSE of similar problems? Scoliosis isn't a new problem, its been a part of humanity forever. So more well to do ladies could most definitely could afford to have a tailor made corset made to their shape and comfort.

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