Corset and Pocket Hoops
We first had to alter the pattern we were given to fit our model’s measurements and construct a toile. We then had our first fitting, which was very exciting, if not a bit nerve racking because it was the first time I had seen one of garments on an actress! There were a few tweaks and adjustments to make the corset fit properly and then I started on the top fabric, seen above. The end product looks neat and fits like a glove which I was very proud of; and the piping around the edges gives the corset a beautiful, authentic finish.
The pocket hoops were fiddly and time consuming to construct due to the plastic bones and the awkwardly shaped channels they needed to fit into. There was quite a lot of pushing and shoving to get them in place; due to the thinness of the calico the bones often pierced through and needed stitching up again! However, as you can see, the shape is authentic and effective so I am very pleased with them and the way the two items work together.
In the second term of my first year we put all the skills we had learnt before Christmas into practice when asked to construct a historically accurate bodice; the project certainly put what I had learnt to the test but I really enjoyed my first challenge and all the steps, the different stitches, the different techniques to construct a beautiful example of 19th Century clothing…
These photographs show the exciton steps from adding the top fabric on to the calico toile backing and getting the shape around the waist correct (we were using the mannequins as our models for this project), then to neatening up the edges of the bodice – as you can see in the final photo that I had to take the piping around the bottom edge off as we were to add a strip of binding on the under side and take it down so it produces a neat, flat finish. Once we had complete the bodice we were allowed to accessorise it with sleeves and finishing touches; I chose puff ball sleeves in the same fabric as my piping to add an elegant silhouette and colour.