A Modern Wrap From a 1912 Corset Cover

Modern wrap top from the modified 1912 pattern
Corset cover as following the original Pattern, with minor alterations


Original 1912 pattern



Months ago when I made my wearable muslin for the corset cover I also toyed around with the idea of making the top in a knit fabric. I even made that knit fabric mock up back then. But I didn’t get around to actually making the real top up until the other week.

As you can see from the comparison of the original & altered patterns, I changed a lot of the lines in the pattern while preserving the basic shape. Note that the wax paper pattern I drafted has seam allowances included (sewing lines in blue) & on the original pattern I cut off the seam allowances. I had made arbitrary seam allowances when I cut out my muslin, yet drafted my new pattern directly from that muslin I made months ago. I’m guessing that’s why the armscye on the front pattern piece is so different. Also, it would probably explain why my sleeves don’t hang as perfectly as I’d like. It’s a shame I didn’t compare the patterns before I cut into my fabric.

Original pattern without seam allowances over the modified pattern with seam allowances.

McCall’s 5890, the pattern from which I stole my sleeves.

Speaking of the sleeves, I stole them from a modern knit pattern (McCall’s 5890) since I’ve never drafted my own before. According to my measurements, I should have used a size 14. While the picture on the envelope showed a sleeve with some ease, it didn’t look ginormous. I ended up needing to cut a size 6 to get the tighter look I wanted. And it still has plenty of ease even at the smaller size!

Aside from lengthening both pattern pieces, I widened the shoulders & slightly raised the neckline. The front bodice piece was extended past the center front in a slightly curving swoop not just for looks. On the version I did in woven fabric, my center front was actually a diagonal pointing towards the armscye. Otherwise, I would have had much too much loose fabric at the bust. For this knit top I just moved my center front over, maintaining the diagonal, & shaped it a little.

Click for larger & easier to see image.

As is evident in the picture above, the darts changed a fair amount. I completely got rid of the right one that was on the original pattern. Instead, I added a double pointed (not sure of the technical term) dart where you would normally find a side seam. The other dart I kept the same, except it no longer ended with the end of the fabric. It now ends in the middle of the fabric to form a soft & sort of blown out box pleat. I really like how the folded fabric looks & sort of bumps out on the sides.

Overall I’m pretty happy with my top. The only thing is that it’s not the easiest wrap to put on. Instead of having the strap come out through a side seam which I don’t have, it comes out through the princess-like seam on the back of the bodice. It’s not a big deal, but it means extra reaching around on the sides to thread the strap through the top. The strap I used is actually carpet binding. My dad used to be a carpenter, which surprisingly can involve hand binding a carpet’s edge. The old binding he gave me is like an overly wide, soft, cotton twill tape.

Check out a previous post about this top to read more about my first impressions of the finished top & the moisture-wicking fabric I used.



9 thoughts on “A Modern Wrap From a 1912 Corset Cover

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

  2. Pingback: What’s-Her-Name Giveaway Winner and Polka Dot Fabric Extra! « 3 Hours Past the Edge of the World

  3. Fascinating changes! I appreciate the pattern comparison, and love the green of your new top. I would never have thought to make this pattern into a knit fabric wrap!

  4. Pingback: A Modern Wrap Top from the 1912 Corset Cover « vpll1912project

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