Jenny La Fleur
two steps forward, one step back - Jenny La Fleur
adventures in costuming
two steps forward, one step back

Well the fitting didn’t go as well as I’d hoped it would. I was really worried about the length issue but that turned out to be just fine. The problem du jour is that the back is too small. Specifically the bottom part of the back. Curse of the hips strikes again!

My main concern is that the back edges are under too much strain. Those pieces are designed to be more or less up and down, sitting in the small of the back. At the moment they are angling over the waist and hips, sticking out in an odd way. I really don’t think I can fudge it so I will have to completely remake the back panels. I need to redraft the pattern first, adding a triangular extension to the side seam. An inch and a half at the bottom should straighten everything out nicely.

The front looks great so I won’t mess with that, just the back panels. The only issue with the front is that the sleeves pull a little but I think fixing the back with also help fix that problem. I am SO glad I constructed the stays the way I did. It makes ripping out the side seams and replacing them an easy thing to do.

All in all it could have been worse. I have to fix it but it’s a fairly painless, if slightly time consuming, thing. Luckily I have lots of fabric to play with and some boning left over if I need any. *sigh* I think the problem is due to using an historic pattern on a modern body. Oh well! I still love the pattern and the shape it gives me… the gown is going to be such fun to make!


6 comments | comment?
ithilwyn From: ithilwyn Date: September 22nd, 2004 11:26 am (UTC) (link)
The shape definitely looks great! It's too bad that the back doesn't fit right, and after all that work on the eyelets (that's what would really get to me). I'm sure it will all be worth it in the end; it's going to be a fabulous corset!
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: September 22nd, 2004 06:38 pm (UTC) (link)
For me it's not the eyelets, it’s having to mark all the channel stitching lines. That is SO boring and labor intensive! Luckily I didn't spend too much time on the eyelets. Somehow one side ended up off 3/16" - just enough to throw off the lacing noticeably and bug me. So I don't really mind the chance to fix that. I'll have to pay better attention this next time around!
elegant_musings From: elegant_musings Date: September 22nd, 2004 03:18 pm (UTC) (link)
The front looks fabulous! I had the same problem with the back on this corset, which is why when I made the toile of the new corset, I inserted bones down the center back to check that everything laid flat and straight back there. I might add an extra set of eyelets just in case...

Anyway, I hope the back redo doesn't take you too much time and turns out better! The stays I drafted yesterday (yes, I drafted a stays pattern... I think I've finally gone insane. ;), according to the pictures on Mara's site had a small triangular piece that jutted out to the side of the back piece. I think that's what really helped it fit over my extra-wide hips. :) I think you're right too about the stays having a hard fit over the modern body. After all, at this point both of us would have been wearing stays since childhood! ;) It's interesting though, I've never noticed a problem like this with any of my later corsets. I wonder if this is because 19thc corsets tend to mimic (albeit an exaggerated copy) of the natural, hourglass form.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to seeing how great this looks when I visit you next month!! :)
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: September 22nd, 2004 07:03 pm (UTC) (link)
I hope I'll have something to show you when you arrive. 'Next month' sounds very grand, but really it's only 2 weeks away. :> Two weeks with party prep and websites to catch up on no less. The redo shouldn't take too long, I mean it didn't the first time (especially the back panels and this time I know what I'm doing - theoretically).

It's really a matter of getting myself motivated to work on it. It's not that I'm really depressed about the snag, it's more that I'm bored of that cutting, marking, sewing lines, stuffing and eyelet making thing. I'm ready to move on to other boring things! :> Ack, it will be worth it. The front looks great and that is good motivation I guess. I just need to get my butt in gear!

Humm, the great hippy-ness issue is one I have had on most of my corsets actually. It was definitely a problem with my Titanic corset I remember. I do think you have something there, about it being particularly bad on this rather exaggerated, unnatural shaped garment though. The C&C stay is not adjusted for the modern body like the Hunnisett one, something I should have taken into account. Oh well. I’m glad you found something that worked for you!
dormous From: dormous Date: September 23rd, 2004 03:25 am (UTC) (link)
I know it's irritating but don't be disheartened by having to redo the back. It's partly because you have the good sense not to deliberately cause yourself pain! 18th century stays and bodices are much longer than the natural waist. Pre-1960s women had a smaller ribcage and pelvis than modern women so they didn't find this as uncomfortable as we do.

As well as increasing the angle of the centre back which you suggested you might also want to try shortening the side and back waist by a quarter to half an inch. Run the line into the front smoothly and it won't be noticeable. It doesn't seem like much but moving it closer to the natural waist eased the pressure off your hips and prevents the stays pushing up under the arms when you sit down.

I hope you don't mind but I friended you. Please don't feel you have reciprocate - I don't update often and it's never sensible anyway.
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: September 23rd, 2004 06:10 am (UTC) (link)
I never mind being friended! Thanks.

Good point on the shortening issue. It was something Mom pointed out during my fitting. Umm...
6 comments | comment?