With a fall deadline requiring 1800 apparel, of which I have hardly anything to wear, I'm focusing on all things transitional. Since this era is new to me, I'm starting from the inside out and my latest project focused on transition stays.
I choose this "corset" from The Met to base mine after:
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Accession Number 2006.545
As an exercise to think about how it's constructed, I started "Costume in Detail-style" by sketching.
Rather than start from scratch to make the pattern, I patterned the bodice from a dress that fits me well since the bodice is relatively similar to the original.
I made a muslin mock-up, a few adjustments to the pattern...
...and some fabric from the back of my stash to get started.
It's a simple garment so it came together really quickly.
Here are some detailed photos of the construction...
There's a drawstring at the top of the bust that ties closed. The drawstring below the bust was just for the gathers so it doesn't tie.
I used eyes from a set of small hooks and eyes.
There are eyelets and tape that tie closed at the shoulder. I had trouble hemming the fabric here. The tab is curved and I didn't allow enough seam allowance to easily make that.
It's far from perfect and I need to make another set soon. I have a feeling that finding the right pair of transition stays/early 19th century corset is much like bra shopping: it's necessary to try on a dozen before finding one that fits comfortably. Fortunately this was a fun and quick project. I think starting with the sketch helped minimize road blocks and I'm looking forward to sketching out version two.