The inspiration struck when I was making a Napoleonic set for a client – a thing with loads of braiding, military lace etc. Against all odds, I enjoyed making it ( and a post on that one can be found here) and thought that it would be nice to have something like that for myself…. And then I remembered artwork of a Polish artist, Bartek Drejewicz and his Napoleonic pin up girls ( do check his facebook page out, – not only Napoleonic but different armies through the centuries, beautifully rendered!). And yes, there are Steampunk corsets with military styling etc available – but non actually using the ‘proper’ military lace or specific historical styling… So I wanted to have a go….
The final design was actually worked out one evening when I was clearing my offcuts and left overs bits – and noticed narrow scraps of the broadcloth i used for the jacket. Not good for much more, but just enough for corset panels… I quickly adapted an overbust pattern to work as a waistcoat – with a black busk in front and lacing in the back. It did come out a tad short ( not enough fabric) but the first step was done – a waistcoat in broadcloth, cotton twill being used as the strength layer. I opted for a slight curve and not much of a reduction – so that I would be able to wear it at work at the markets- but also because it was the trial version:-)
I ordered more military lace and braid and once it arrived i started putting the lace on – it took me a few months as was working on it in between commissions….
So even with help ( ahem…) it took some time….
Once the frogging was on, I could put some silver soutache on the borders and the collar….
Then it was only getting some buttons ( beads….) and we were ready for shooting!
I tried the corset first with my Regency chemisette and plain black leggings….
Then I had an epiphany and fished out Lucas’s dancing breeches – in lovely white superfine. The just about fitted too! Then e had some fun with my old cavalry sabre as a prop:-)
The chemissette, in case anyone asks :
The conclusions – well, loved wearing it ( and wore it to markets since) but a few improvements will be needed for the next ones – longer in front, more hip spring, and probably not using busks and frogging together – it is a pain to do it all up! Still, I think it is a success – and more corsets in the style are planned, in different colours – already have a small stash of silver and gold military lace and braid, and am slowly collecting fabrics and props – I suspect we will have a bigger photoshoot with more models ( and hopefully horses) just before Waterloo 🙂 Once the next models are done, will post a link here – including a link to the shop as they will be offered on sale….
Hope you liked this experiment!
Clothes, as always, Prior Attire
photography Pitcheresque Imagery