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A Speedy 18th Century Corsets | History of Fashion Design

A Speedy 18th Century Corsets

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To speed up the making of a corset of 18th century cut, you may, instead of sewing casings for metal bones, sew in Rigeline boning. With the Rigeline, you simply sandwich the bones between the two layers of canvas & fabric, and sew a satin zig-zag stitch down the left of each bone. This makes putting in the horizontal breast bones simpler, and gives the corset a more decorative appearance on both sides of the garment. At UAF we used this decorative style to make the corsets reversible with two types of fabric covering, as shown above, one in cotton, the other in satin, with a built-in brocade stomacher. Afterwards, just trim the edges even, and bind the edges with bias tape. You can sew the bias tape on with a satin stitch as well. For a more detailed version of this process look up the October 1990 issue of Theatre Crafts for my article “Quicker Corsetry”.

The corset pattern for the above garment was adapted from Diderot’s Encyclopedia by former UAF student Brenda Nelson.


Click the Image above, to see Carl Kohler’s 18th Century Corset Pattern

childsstays A pair of child’s stays

stays1770 Stays of 1770

hoop&corset A corset and side hoops of mid-century

corsetcrush 18th century engraving showing the effects of tight lacing corsets on the ribcage


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