The 1912 Corset Cover for Loose Women & a Pencil Skirt

I’m hanging free & loose. OK, not completely free; I do need some support.

What the 1912 Corset Cover is supposed to look like.

I have no intentions of making an Edwardian corset in the near future. Nor do I plan on wearing an Edwardian corset to work, school, the grocery store, or on my bicycle. I’m making my 1912 clothes to wear on a daily basis. My corset cover is really more of a blouse or a camisole. As such, I had to alter the pattern a wee bit to get it to fit an uncorseted body.

I played around with taking out the darts & changing their sizes. I think this pattern will work with just one dart (on either side of the front pattern piece), the one closest to the sides. However, it seemed to fit just about as well when I kept the second dart in & I thought my review might be more helpful to others if I didn’t ditch the dual darts.

For the dart closest to the bodice’s center I didn’t make any alterations, but for the dart closest to the side I lengthened it a touch & slightly curved it inward. Both before & after these changes the bodice center was extremely skewed: the top part of it jutted out past center a few inches more than the bottom part. I am very glad I added a seam allowance of over an inch to the center of the bodice because otherwise there wouldn’t have been enough fabric to make it all the way there.

Also, the neckline can tend to gape a little, so depending on your bust you may need to add some darts or gather it with some eyelet lace like many people did for the princess slip. I chose to bring the center front lines closer together as I wanted something with smoother lines & since the gaping wasn’t terrible.

I tried to get the peplum on as smoothly as possible & thoroughly pressed it, which turned out very well until I put some bias binding on the top edge of the peplum. I think I did a pretty good job, but it does have a few small wrinkles here & there. I added the bias binding to match the binding I used to finish the armholes.

As for embellishments, I chose to forgo the insert lace (I’ve been feeling really lazy) & only used a bit of small scalloped lace around the neck hole.

I am pretty pleased with how the corset cover looks, even though peplums are outside my fashion norm. I even really like the color of the unbleached muslin with the chocolate colored bias binding (my boyfriend gleefully says it looks like a top a peasant would wear). So while I hadn’t intended on wearing this muslin, I will be.

Unfortunately, I did all the fitting of the cover while I was a bit more bloated than I am in these pictures. I finished it weeks ago, but only now got good pictures. It’s actually surprising how loose it is now compared to how sleek & non-wrinkly it was when I was sewing it. And the view you’re seeing is after much ironing; this top (at least when it’s made in muslin) really needs a good ironing before being brought out into the world.

One last construction thing: this was the first time I did button holes! My old machines just weren’t capable of it (one lacked the feature & the other had that feature broken) & I was not going to sit around doing them by hand. Huzzah for new skills/machines!

I also suspect the pattern will work pretty well with a knit. I’ve started a toile in a cheap knit & will let you know how it goes if I finish it. Right now I’m actually looking at it as something with a different shaped neckline or as a wrap top. The wrap particularly seems flattering.

In order to fit my wardrobe, I think the pattern is best paired with a pencil skirt. I recently got McCall’s 5523 & decided to make it to go with the corset cover. I had a big hole in my wardrobe: no plain brown pencil skirts! Problem solved.

I used a linen/rayon blend that I’ve entitled “brownies & ice cream” since it’s woven with brown & off-white threads. I made view A, with the single, large ruffle insert in the back. It was super easy to make up & fits pretty perfectly. Except (of course there’s an except) I seemed to not be able to do something that the 30-some-odd people of on were easily about to do. I don’t know if it’s because I was sewing after midnight or if I just suck at mitered corners, but I kept messing up attaching the back ruffle to the rest of the skirt. Finally, I gave up & sewed it on by hand during the daytime. So, this skirt is great & quick & easy, unless you’ve got some sort of mitered corner handicap. I just don’t know why that damned corner kept puckering.

But all’s finally fixed. I’ve got a blouse that’s helping me go outside my comfort zone & a wardrobe-gap-filling skirt. Wait, I guess this means I need brown pumps now. Damn.


5 thoughts on “The 1912 Corset Cover for Loose Women & a Pencil Skirt

  1. Pingback: 2012, The Year of Making Things « Disparate Disciplines

  2. Pingback: Ladies Corset Cover (# 0176) « vpll1912project

  3. Pingback: The 1912 Corset Cover for Loose Women « vpll1912project

    • Thanks! That’s a good idea. I usually go for very coordinated looks, but that might be a nice way to further get out of my comfort zone. It would also much more comfortable for summer.

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