Sunday, August 1, 2010

My Civil War Era Corset, Simplicity 7215

Planning the Corset
Compare and Contrast with Simplicity corset patterns 7215 and 2890. I finally concluded on using pattern 7215, the one on the left. Though both the patterns were roughly similar I decided to go with 7215 because it was longer than 2890 and because I liked the way the pattern was to be constructed. (the gussets are sewn in between two pieces of fabric rather than the gussets being sewn into the body. I plan to make pattern 2890 in the future though, hopefully.

Making the Corset
corset inside front, gusset opening edges basted (above)

gussets pinned onto corset front right, right before laying corset front lining on top (above)

the two layers with gussets between (above)

a close up of the overcast stitching at the points of each gusset opening (above)

machine stitching around gussets, using the seam ripper to take out basting stitches (above)
Note: Machine sewing around the gussets in the above picture is not in the instructions for the corset. I sewed them in such manner for strength and because of this corset drawing.

applying the boning into the newly sewn channels (above)
Note: I used plastic wire ties for the boning.

Making the Eyelets
1. Mark the placement of the eyelets on the wrong side of your fabric.
2. Find an awl. I used an ice pick for making the holes since that was all daddy could find on his work bench that was anything close to what I was trying to describe. I found ice picks work perfect! In fact, it is now a member of my sewing box until daddy asks for it back. :)
3. form the hole (below)

4. sew small stitches around hole for a guide (below)
5. sew overcast stitches around hole until eyelet is complete (below)

What did I think of Simplicity pattern 7215?
Overall, I liked the pattern. I made a major adjustment from the start though. I made the corset without the bust closure option. (I didn't have a corset closure at home and I was not in a situation where I could run out and get one) I continued in making the corset according to the pattern i
nstructions. I found the bust was incredibly to big for me so I had to narrow the upper gussets. The hip size seemed to fit though now I think I should have adjusted the gussets there to be a bit larger. I also had to play around with the back gusset it being to large... For the eyelets down the back, I skipped every other one since I decided to hand stitch them. I had to play around when applying the front to the back to ensure a strait line running down the sides. I went to apply the boning columns but my sewing machine, being a cheap one from Wal-Mart, would not sew through all the fabric layers necessary to use that method! So.... I followed my imagination for the insertion of the boning. I inserted the boning between
the two layers of the corset by means of channels I sewed onto the corset body. You probably can tell more accurately how I did that from the pictures.

Pictures of it Completed!

Yeah, looks kinda weird over my every day clothing. My! I need to reshape the sizing of the boning on my hoop skirt.

Stephanie, from World Turn'd Upside Down made a corset with pattern 2890 I assume. (the other pattern I was thinking of using) She has a front closure on hers and she inserted her boning through applied channels. I assume her sewing machine actually works, unlike mine. :) To see it click here. Thanks for encouraging me Stephanie! Making the corset was not hard at all!


  1. Very nice Barbara! It turned out very well, despite the sewing machine! I like what you said about the awl!:)