Tuesday, January 28, 2014

TECHNICAL DRAWING - Bodice; c. 1805-10

We had a snow day today! In Atlanta, GA! This is a rarity, but the snow is for real - I am watching my front lawn turn white as I type. Because of the snow, especially because this is an area that is ill-prepared for snow, my office was let off early. So what did I do? Came home and drew clothing in Illustrator (this is what I do every day for my job, so... I guess I am in the right field?)

I have been doing a bit of research for the new pair of stays I need to make, and I came across this very interesting piece of clothing at the MET:

It is categorized as a "corset," but I haven't seen anything quite like it. There are two bodices of clothing that I have seen (will have to find and add to this post later) that have springs similar to this one - but this is the only one I've seen with bust gussets.

I haven't much to say about this, I spent all afternoon sketching and now I have to run clean, but I thought it was interesting enough to sketch, so enjoy!

Side question: does anybody know where I can procure little springs like the ones contained in this bodice? I want to make a pair of garters with springs, but I'm not sure where to find them. I suppose I'll check the hardware store first... I know I have seen a reproduction of spring-loaded garters by somebody, somewhere, but I can't remember who made them. I would be much obliged to anybody who could point me in the right direction!


  1. Sabine made a bodice similar to this one a while back; she writes about how she went about it, and where she got the springs from. She also told me that springs even narrower than the ones in the bodice might do well for garters.


    1. Ooh, this is awesome reference! I actually really love the version of the bodice that she made. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.

    2. 'Corset' (or often mentioned 'corselet') in the very early years of the 19th century often referred to a bodice and not underwear. The ladies sported it on top of their delicate white dresses. The one from the MET is truly pretty!

      The metall springs are really amazingly tiny, they come in two sizes, I've cosen the one with the bigger circumference for the corselet, and would recommend the small springs for garters.
      Looking forward to following this project :)


    3. Sabine, I am so grateful that you mentioned your source for springs in your post! I would have had a hard time finding them on my own, for sure. You were pretty pleased with the larger springs in your corset? They look similar in size to the ones shown in the MET corselet above. Thank you also for posting in such detail about your own corselet - I don't know that I would be brave enough to try this without having some reference. It is much easier now that you have gone before. ;)