Thursday, 20 September 2012

Craft Class: Corset pattern making

I have been so excited about going on a corset making class since I booked it in December last year. Held at Acton Scott Museum, where they filmed Victorian Farm, the class promised the chance to learn about corsetry, draft your own pattern and learn how to make one. I've always been interested in Victorian history - the judgemental religiousity, politics and fashion is fascinating. Wikipedia has an excellent brief glimpse at some of the relevant women's history that interests me. (As an aside, The Suspicions of Mr Whicher: The Murder at Road Hill House provides an excellent glimpse into some of the social history as well as being a ripping good yarn!)

Anyway, back on topic. Being in Shropshire, the venue was incredible, with a stunning view from our room. The large glass windows did mean that we were watched like monkeys in a zoo by the passers by!
As well as the actual process of construction, we also discussed the history - whether the corset was a method of control / repression in women (and similarities with stilettos). We also had a chance to understand more about the fashions of corsets at the time, and how they evolved through the period.

I found pattern making stretched my brain further than it's used to being stretched. I think I was the most novice of the sewers there so I learnt more of the basics (like adding seam allowances) than other attendees. Sarah was wonderfully patient though and talked us through each step carefully.

In the end I'm pretty happy with my draft - happy to report that I could still breathe and sit down, though the it squashed more than providing uplift! (Adjustments required)

Though I think the others would be able to take the next step alone, I'm going to get in touch with Sarah sometime next year to book in for a day to make the final product. I've never tried to use boning, so I think I'll need to get some significant help for that!

A fantastic day, highly recommended to all Intermediate sewers!

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