Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sewing - a Corset Cover from 1916

The Art of Dressing, by Dora Douglas, Needlecraft, September 1916

(Modern observation; the sleeveless version could easily be cut without a pattern from eyelet fabric, for a summer blouse or camisole. A full sized scan is available for download on my Flickr account).


"The corset-cover made of flouncing has become so popular that a few words of explanation in regard to making it are timely. There are several types in vogue, but the simplest is like pattern No. 7082. It is designed so that the flouncing completes the entire upper edge, which lessens the amount of sewing considerably, as this part of a corset-cover is frequently the most troublesome.

The flouncing selected should have embroidered eyelets in such an arrangement that ribbon can be run through them to shape the corset-cover at the neck, and draw in the fullness at the bottom of the sleeves. You will need, if you take the medium size, 2 5/8 yards 14 ½ inches wide. Also procure 1 yard of inch-wide embroidery beading for a belt, something that will go well with the flouncing, and 4 ½ yards of ribbon to run through the upper edge, sleeves and belt.

Fold the flouncing crosswise through the middle and lay the pattern on it with the edge having the large single perforation along the fold and the straight upper edge of the pattern along the finished edge of the flouncing, that is, at the tip of the scallops. The sleeve is cut with the line of three small perforations straight of the material and the lower edge of the sleeve along the border of the embroidery. Pin the tissue smoothly to the material and then cut out.

The pattern allows for a box plait finish at the front edges, and this is desirable for plainer embroidery; but if the embroidery is heavy a hem is a better finish. Turn under 1-½ inches at both front edges for the hems, which may be stitched on the machine or hemmed by hand.

At the underarm edges 3/8 inches is allowed for seaming; first take up 1/8 inch on the right side, then turn to the wrong side and make another narrow seam to catch in the raw edges. Turn the lower edge of the corset-cover up 3/8 inch and gather close to the edge and make another gathering one inch above. Measure the waist for the belt-size and add 1-½ inches at each end of the beading, to provide for the lapping and finishing.

Try the corset-cover on, pinning the right hem over the left, the middle of the hems being center front. Draw the gathers in the waist-size and pin the beading over them, pushing most of the fullness toward center front and center back. Baste the beading along both edges as pinned and then stitch; turn the ends over the front edges of the corset cover and hem them in place inside. If the beading has unfinished edges, turn them under before basting the beading over the gathers.

Close the seam of sleeve; gather the upper edge between double perforations and sew to the armhole-edge matching the notches. If made without sleeves each armhole-edge must be turned over on the right side ¼ inch and basted. Clip it wherever it draws, so that it may lie flat. For a binding cut a bias strip of muslin not more than an inch wide and turn the edges under and baste it along the armhole. Then stitch the binding along both edges. Narrow beading may be used instead of the binding, if preferred, and is applied in the same way.

Run ribbon through the eyelets at the border of the flouncing and through the beading at the waist and leave enough to each end to tie. Buttonholes may be worked through the right hem if the embroidery does not interfere with their being smoothly made, but a fly for closing is even better.

For the fly, cut a piece of material 2 ½ inches wide, and fold it lengthwise through the middle, and then turn in the raw edges at the side and ends ¼ inch and stitch or hem them together. The fly is now an inch wide and all the edges neatly finished. Work three buttonholes midway between the middle and the ends, and attach the seamed edge to the back edge of the right hem. Sew buttons to the left hem to correspond with the buttonholes.

Another way to fasten flouncing edges is by means of loops and buttons. The loops are made of very small cord or fine tape which is sewed along the inside of the hem and run from one loop to another without being cut between.

Corset-cover pattern, No. 7082, is cut in sizes from 34 to 44 inches bust measurement."

1 comment:

Pat aka Posh said...

Am I ever glad we don't wear corsets anymore.. neat pattern tho