Of course that doesn’t include the two trips to Jo-Ann’s looking for garter clips and slides. (If you’re wondering, I forgot to buy enough for all six garter elastics during the first trip!) Since I was on a mission to just get this done, I wasn’t too fussy about the non-periodness of the those pieces. I may swap them out at some point, but they work perfectly as is… and really, who will see them? I’m expecting to wear the corselet this weekend and also didn’t want to wait on special ordering the hardware!
3/4″ pajama/underwear elastic did the trick for the garters and I left them pretty long because I was too lazy to try it on again to figure out what the distance was from the top of my stockings to the base of the corselet. As it turns out, they are way too long, but that is easily remedied! They do the trick for now, but shortening them will help pull the corselet down a bit better for future wearings. (The 1/2″ elastic was a potential supply item but I ended up preferring the 3/4″) They went together pretty easily with the elastic handstitched to attached the slide and the detachable ‘hose grips’ just staying in place with the slightly bulky elastic. I ended up adding three pair and with my particular curves below the waist, a fourth pair might have been even better.
The real test came when I tried it on over a vintage 1920s silk nightgown. All I can say is…. un-sexy but very cool at the same time! I was taking these photos myself so didn’t get too many useable ones. I was hoping for a decent profile shot that shows exactly how un-curvy I am while wearing the corselet but alas, this one is the best I could do. While I won’t share my natural measurements here, I will say that the numbers as seen in the photo are 34-33-39. So yes, it changed my shape just a tad!
While I was wandering the house wearing this ensemble last night, I did take the opportunity to try on two 1920s dresses – 1 vintage and 1 repro. Not surprisingly, both looked much better, and I felt more comfortable wearing them. Honestly, it feels much like a second skin, and I don’t expect that will change much, even when adding the 3 pieces of horizontal boning across the front stomach area.
So… lessons learned? The 1920s are growing on me… and the undergarments are pretty fabulous in their own way. If or when I make another one of these, I’d make the following changes:
- Order garter hardware in advance, enough for 4 pair of attachments
- Lengthen the pattern to extend another 2″ lower to help compress the hips a bit more
- Remove elastic from shoulder straps. Just because.
- Shorten the garter elastics
- Narrow the base of the elastic gore by 1′ to 1.5″
So mostly little tweaks, really! This corselet was easy to make and easy to wear and I’m getting excited to do more 1920s sewing to add some layers above and below. Happy sewing!