Thursday, July 10, 2014

Edwardian Corset (Truly Victorian TVE01)

Edwardian Corset with Victorian Undergarments

Truly Victorian Pattern TVE01
PATTERN: Truly Victorian 1903 Edwardian Corset

 I decided to go more Edwardian with my newest Steampunk outfit, and since I was due for a new corset (my good Victorian overbust one is a little worn out), I figured why not try out the 'pigeon breasted' style? (Also, I always like to try new things, rather than making the same old thing constantly.)

I did a mock-up, which was necessary but also felt like a waste of time, since it didn't seem to need any adjustments. However, after trying the finished product on with the boning finally in, I realized it was too long (cut into my upper thighs when sitting). I did opt for the longest variation of the sizing, since they said the longer the better. These photos are of before I made the adjustment, trimming 1/2 inch off the bottom, shuffling some of the spring steel stays about (for proper lengths in the proper places) and then sewing on new binding. Not a difficult fix.

Spot Broche Single Layer Corset
Since the dot broche (pink on cream) corset fabric, spring steel boning, busks, eyelets, and cording totaled up to a rather hefty cost for a DIY project (I now understand why corset-makers charge $300 for a single piece), I used trim I already had, and bias tape for the boning channels and to finish all of the seams (since it's a single layer corset).

Pigeon-Breasted Silhouette
As for the Edwardian 'Pigeon Breasted' silhouette... The corset cinches at the waist but flares out in the front so as not to compress the ribcage, or even touch it really, for that matter. This pattern comes with the hip pad (basically the same function as the bustle pad used beneath Victorian corsets) and two different bust pads (inner and outer). Unfortunately, there are no directions on how these pads are to be used/stuffed into the corset. I took to using the 'inner bust pads'  as support lower in the corset to fill in the gap between the corset and my rib cage. I didn't like how the 'outer bust pads' worked, trying them several different ways, so I searched the internet for some info on Edwardian corset padding, and found this nifty blog by Lauren, Wearing History. I believe I have stumbled upon it before, as she creates some very awesome retro and historical pieces. She created an alternative 'bust improver' to go with her gorgeous Truly Victorian Edwardian Corset, based on some period pieces. She also has created a pattern. If I was a good fellow artisan, I would've purchased said downloadable pattern in support. But I just winged my own version instead.

'Bust Improver' Padding with Lace for Edwardian Corset

I have to say, as ridiculously busty as it looks on me (see photo), it looks five times worse on my dress form, which apparently is only a 'B' cup and not as broad of shoulder. Also, doesn't look quite right in these photos, because lacking any Edwardian undergarments, I just adorned Victorian chemise and bloomers.

This corset will go beneath an Edwardian-style Camisole/Corset Cover, paired with a Riding Skirt (which is still under construction...), Pith Helmet with scarf, and some accessories.


  1. Gorgeous creation. Viewing this is like taking a trip back in history. So cool.

  2. Really col, I'm planning an Edwardian Outfit myself - I love the Titanic Aera! I guess I would put the second pillow on top of the corset to increase the nice curve of your bossom. Although in the second picture, it looks pretty good without it...

  3. Truly Victorian, but ageless.