A Corset, c. 1820-1840

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The corset seen from the front and the back.  The eyelets are matched, so the corset was meant to be cross, and not spiral, laced.  The shoulders are very wide, and would have allowed for an almost off the shoulder neckline.  The straps tie into place.  The shaping is achieved through 2 bust gussets and the shape of the side and hip pieces. The corset is very lightly corded and the seams are sewn in a way that makes them very firm. The cording, with the cotton twill and linen lining make for a soft corset which appears to have been quite comfortable to wear.   There are two 3/16" cords sewn down the center backs to support the lacings, and each seam has two thin pieces of cord whipstitched to it.  The corset is bound with tape (linen, I believe) that is cut on the straight of grain.


The side views.  The shaping of the corset is quite straight, and would have been used more to smooth out the figure than to emphasize the waist.  The gussets are quite deep, they would have provided for a more rounded figure than the extremely pushed up look that accompanied the Empire waisted dresses of previous decades.


The shoulder lacing.


Close ups of the bust gusset and shaping over the hips.  The sewing on the gusset isn't perfect, which I like because it shows that they were tricky for more than just modern seamstresses!  There are no gussets over the hips, rather the pieces are cut to accomodate the extra width.


On the left, a close up of the front, showing the busk.  A thin (slightly less than 1/8") cord is sandwiched between the inner and outer layers of the corset on either side of the busk.  Close up of the lacing, showing both the bone and repaired eyelets.

The Inside

1820-1840 Corset Home

Time to go home!