Today has been one of many corset patterns and much sewing! I’ve been creating a 1700s historic corset pattern mock up for the next of the historic patterns. It’s going to be fully boned so I’ve ordered some tiny 5mm wide spiral boning. Here’s the first mock up:
Here it is after some alterations to the straps and front panel.
Now I’m just brushing up on my historic corset making skills and reading up on the best how to make a corset techniques for fully boned panels.
Are you making a bodice or a corset I ask?
Whats the difference?
I here you retort, well that’s the topic of this blog post, and the answer is actually quite a lot.
I used to think it was all in the layers, a corset had two or more while a bodice had just the one. But I have since seen bodices of more and corsets (my own vintage historical ones) with less. So I looked into it.
It turns out that (and this is still not definitive so if you have other evidence to offer up please do) a bodice is made to the exact measurments of the wearer while a corset is made smaller than the wearer! Yes if you want a corset to look right it should be at least two inches smaller at the waist (plus at least an extra inch smaller to allow for the gap at the laces if you want it).
There are lots of theories on the differences between the two so there is no way to say this is it definitively, but as the modern day ‘bodice block’ is made to the wearers exact measurements then ‘ease’ is added when the garment is made (more ease for a shirt and less for a fitted top) this does seem to fit as an explanation. Bodices were of course around first dating back to the 1600s, there are shape and style differences, cloth qualities and bodices are normally much more heavily boned than corsets, but this is the major factor that I’ve found makes the most sense.
I have just taken some lovely photos of a set of three historic corsets I have been acquiring over the last couple of years. They will be the next set of patterns in my printable corset patterns series and I couldn’t help but share a picture of one of them with you! It didn’t look quite right on a mannequin so I have carefully tried it on to get a proper idea of the shape. I will post a few more photos and some more details about the corsets in the coming weeks.