Core: Two layers of corset coutil
Cover: Cream dupioni silk
Flossing: Blue thread and blue floss
Edging: Cream dupioni silk bias tape
Lace: Blue box pleated sheer and lace
Boning: 1/4" flat spring steel and spiral bones
Piecing: 8 panels per side
Busk: 14" metal straight double busk
This is a commissioned 1880's overbust wedding corset. It has two core layers of coutil, a cream dupioni silk cover, and plain cotton lining. The 14" busk is backed with a 1/2" wide spring steel flat. All of the boning is 1/4" wide spring steel flats or spirals. I used four spiral steels on each side, for the boning that supports the side of the bust and curves onto the front of the corset. This is a period piecing and boning style, but during the period they probably would have used whale bone. There are eight panels per side, sixteen total. The lacing panel in the back is suspended. The lace at the top of the corset was stitched down with a decorative satin stitch using a sewing machine.
The flossing and embroidery is all hand worked. The flossing at the ends of the boning is the same thread used to stitch the boning channels. The star pattern over the boning channels is embroidery floss. I tried to use the same thread, but nothing looked good, so I gave up and used embroidery thread instead.
The customer gave me a lot of liberty with the embroidery design, enough so that I had no starting point for inspiration. I spent several days trying to figure out a design that was pretty and I felt the customer would like, and finally figured out the above design late on Friday night. It's reminiscent of the decorative machine flossing on some late Victorian corsets, but I developed the stitch myself and worked it by hand over the weekend.