Corsets : Historic Patterns and Techniques

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Progressing through almost two centuries of corset-making, this fascinating collection showcases an astonishing range of period pieces, from the 1750 whale-boned corsets, through the invention of the sewing machine and mass-produced corsets of the 1850s to the makeshift corsets of World War I. Reflecting the changing fashions and attitudes of women throughout the centuries, the collection includes corsets for pregnancy, riding corsets for sportswomen and hard-wearing corsets for housemaids. There are even corsets for small children and their dolls. The book is packed with practical information on how to recreate these stunning period pieces for yourself. Each corset features an annotated pattern, a detailed drawing and close-up photography so historical detail can be captured accurately by the maker. A brief overview places the corset within its historical context and explains any features or alterations necessary for making up the patterns. For those new to dressmaking there are two step-by-step projects - one for a hand-stitched, pre-1850 corset and one for a post-1850 corset made using the sewing machine. There is also invaluable advice on a range of corset-making techniques, from cutting and fitting the patterns to adding historical detail. Information on lacing the corsets, inserting eyelets, gussets and split busks and on stitching and flossing is all included.

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Product details

  • Paperback | 128 pages
  • 226 x 276 x 12mm | 639.56g
  • Batsford Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 100 colour & black & white illustrations
  • 1906388016
  • 9781906388010
  • 43,393

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Review quote

"Although aimed firmly at costume makers, there is still much to interest the historian, textile connoisseur, or indeed, closet corset-wearer." Embroidery magazine, Jan/Feb 2009

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About Jill Salen

Jill Salen is a freelance costume maker, and is widely employed in the theatrical costume industry. She has made costumes for many clients, including The Globe theatre. She is a lecturer in costume on the BA (Hons) theatre design course at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff. Jill is the author of Corsets, also published by Batsford. Jill lives in Cardiff.

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Customer reviews

A musthave for anyone who has an interest in corset or stay making by hand or machine. The book contains 24 patterns (including the ones for children and dolls) for stays and corsets from 1750 till 1917 in clear drawings from the original pieces of museums. The originals are photographed. A very good replenishment to the books of Janet Arnold and Nora Waugh with loods of good information on how to build your own. A list of suppliers in UK and US can be found in the back as well as information about stiching,boning, cording etc. Unfortunately also this book has no pattern of the short regency more
by Couwenberg