Tuesday, June 05, 2007

3 day Corset Class

I spent the last weekend (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) in Gettysburg at the Fire hall taking a Corset Class from Carolann Schmitt of the Genteel Arts Academy. We spent the weekend learning about the history of these garments, and discussing the Civil War period and what the people at that time would have worn. Turns out that you would have worn some kind of binding as a woman from your birth (for your navel) to a Corded stay to a Corset for every day of your life. It was just accepted and actually they were made to fit so they were very comfortable. Instruction was given as well as written help for making one of our own to a precisely cut fitting shell. This is a scene from our class of 14 women when we were working on one of the various steps in the construction.
We have a tradition in these classes that whomever makes a stupid mistake becomes the "queen of stupid mistakes" and gets to wear the tiara until it passes to the next person. Believe me, I've worn it many times and I happened to find this one somewhere in my travels so I bought it to class where it lived on the center table until someone got to wear it. I took my turn, having cut a hole in one of my panels that I then had to take out and replace. This is Kay modeling the tiara. We all have such fun talking and socializing and enjoying each other's company while we're learning and creating.
And here is my very own corset after I finished doing a little bit of hand sewing on it last night. The corset's I've been buying in Gettysburg have 14 steel bones, this one has 22. The corsets I bought for myself have never fit comfortably since I have scoliosis and one of my hips is quite a bit higher than the other...this one is made to my body shape and it is as comfortable as it can be. Custom made garments such as this go for around $500. and though the class and the materials were quite a bit less than that, it was still an expensive class...but it was worth every penny and then some to have a corset that fits comfortably. I am going to sign up for the class next year so that I can have a second one for multi-day reenactment events.

By the way, there will be some very nice, but off the rack, corsets for sale shortly on Ebay now that I have my very own custom one. :)

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