1901 Corset and Combinations


I have a 7oz. white cotton twill to use to make this, probably with natural cotton twill tape for binding and channels.  Not sure yet whether I will use steels or cable ties!  Both have their charms.  I think I'll use cable ties in the mockup and see how they do.

Wedding corset, Lord & Taylor; MMA 2009.300.3361a-c
This might be the closest thing I can find to the original that Hunnisett and Waugh patterned; that one's supposed to be in the V&A but its picture is not online.

I will be using Hunnisett's pattern, as it's larger and on graph paper.  Hunnisett, intriguingly, patterned two of the very narrow pieces cut as one, and mentioned that if the artiste (Hunnisett always describes the potential wearers as artistes, which is excellent) had bust and waist measurements larger than 42 and 30 inches, the melded piece might have to be cut as two for fitting reasons.  I dance right on that line, but as I don't cross it I think I should be fine cutting it as one.

Someday I will work out how to make this lovely Bon Marché front-lacing corset, but until then, I'll stick to patterns.


I'm using the pattern for the "Ladies Combination Suit" in The Edwardian Modiste (p. 245).  Technically, this garment is described as a corset cover and drawers combined, but I find it difficult to understand how it would be worn over a chemise.  And there is also a short chemise pattern (which maybe you could fit underneath) described as "taking the place of the corset cover and short skirt", so basically everything is topsy-turvy and I'm not sure what's going on.

Combinations, ca. 1895; MMA 2009.300.2368
This is approximately five hundred times prettier than what I will produce.