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 any 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.