27 June 2012

Purchased Victorian underbust corset

Before poor Maggie explodes from curiosity and impatience, I'll let the cat out of the bag: I bought a corset at Renn Faire this year.  This morning hubby had a couple minutes to snap some quick pictures, so I can finally post up about it.

I went with an underbust corset to avoid fitting issues, and bought from a vendor who's been at the Faire for the past four years, so I am familiar with her sewing skills (she's had a lot more practice than I have!) and admire her construction techniques.  Unfortunately, she doesn't seem to have a website, but those on the renn faire circuit in this general region can look for Fiona's Fineries.  Pic time:
Front of underbust corset

back of underbust corset
Brief stats: it has a 5-prong steel split busk in front (so it goes below the waistband of my jeans another couple inches), spiral steel bones, a silk outer shell, and a black cotton coutil inner/core with a satin ribbon waist tape.  It's been quite educational to examine and wear ... especially the steel split busk.  While a busk is many times more sturdy than a metal zipper, I am also still having my issues with getting it fastened.  It's rather fidgety, and one of my main frustrations will be getting four prongs fastened, then when I go to get the last one looped one of the others will pop off.  The other fidgety part is keeping the modesty panel straight.

Even more educational for me was the sizing.  She measured my waist and pulled out a 32" one (wow I really HAVE lost size since last year she was having me try on the 36" stuff!).  Once we got that on and tightened ... I had next to no lacing gap, so we tried a 30" one.  I still didn't have enough of a lacing gap!  Remember how squishy I was with the denim one?  This silk corset is a 28" waist-size (I don't have it tightened all the way this morning).  Surprise!  That's two sizes below what the tape measure said for my waist, and a big part of my problem with fitting myself (this is not including the hips and bust, though ... the hips do NOT squish on me).

I forgot to ask at Ren Faire which pattern she uses for the underbust ... the lines make me suspect the Laughing Moon underbust one (which I still intend to buy).  Does anyone have it to confirm that?

Since I have had it for over five weeks now, I have a couple more observations.  Spiral steel boning with a steel busk is definitely harder to move in than a metal zipper and plastic cable tie boning, so this really isn't a good one for yard work (never mind that I don't want to mess up the silk outer shell), so I still have to make myself a denim or linen corset as a more functional back brace.  I've already mentioned how fiddly fastening a busk is for me, so the functional back brace model will have a metal zipper along with the main boning being cable ties.  The steel hardware is still on my to-buy list for a more formal and fancy corset, though!

Oh, there is a good reason Victorian-era women had such perfectly-straight posture ... there is no slouching in this!


sewducky said...

I have the LM underbust, and it does look a lot like it, as to it being the same...they all kind of look alike.

There isn't a modesty panel with it, though.

dfr2010 said...

Thanks for saying, ducky ... and I hope the storms in the region have been kind to you and yours! The modesty panel is simply two rectangles of fabric (no boning) and simple enough I could even "draft" it.
I probably should have included a pic of the whole thing.

Maggie said...

I want more pictures! And DETAILS! Closeups of the busk loops and pictures with it on over something so we can actually see it!
You described the waist tape, so I guess that means it's just the one layer plus the fashion fabric? Do you know where the coutil is from?
Good grief, you buy a corset and your post doesn't include the details?? *head explodes*

I haven't tried the LM underbust, but I'm working on a mockup of the King and Company one. I'm really liking it so far.

Leena williams said...

Hi Ducky,

For LM underbust corset visit : https://www.corsetsqueen.com/