Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Finished project: German Austerity Corset

I have made another corset based on Jill Salen's book 'Corsets: Historical Patterns and Techniques'.  It's the German Austerity Corset, 1917.  Due to wartime shortages this one was designed to use as little fabric as possible, one layer, with the bones inserted into machine fell seams. However I decided to make it up my usual way with three layers.

The corset spread out flat. 

I used recycled curtain fabric, black satin bias binding and 5.5mm width spring steel for the boning.  This was the first time I have used such narrow steel and the jury is still out on it.  Although it was cheaper I think I prefer the shape and support of 13mm steel.

Corset from the front. 

It's an unusual shape,  it comes just up under the bust and comes down over the hips.

I'm not as in love with it as I thought I'd be but it was still fun to make :)


  1. It's lovely! That corset caught my eye in the book, but I like your version much better than the original. Would love a report on how comfortable or easy/hard to wear it is. Thanks for posting!

  2. Thankyou! I would say the comfort with this corset is so-so, there is something about the way it sits on the body that made me want to keep adjusting it. This issue is probably related to the way i've fitted it though.
    The fit on this corset is....odd. When I put it on I thought I'd gone wrong somewhere because there seemed to be a fair bit of excess fabric on the hips. However when I measured it, it's dimensions are smaller than mine and so in theory should fit nice and snug. I turned back to the picture in the book for answers and saw the same sort of bulges occuring on the left of the corset. I suspect the problem lies in the proportion of the pattern pieces and could be sorted with a bit of work.
    To sum up: Bleh!!!! Draping on the stand may be the easiest way to go with this corset. :)