Antique Chartreuse – 22.5″ waist


An bright overbust corset of quince (yellow/green-gold) silk duchesse. Embellishment to be discovered.


Allergy information: all corsets are made on my narrowboat home. They are stored away carefully, but the work environment includes a coal fire and a short-haired cat!

Up to three instalments possible, email to discuss:

Antique Chartreuse

A richly green-gold overbust made from an original antique pattern by Atelier Sylphe. A gold-toned busk and classic midbust silhouette gives a perfectly late-Victorian feeling. 31″ bust (7″ up from waist, 22.5″ waist, 34″ hip (6″ down from waist). A wealth of steel boning and light antique-inspired construction gives a supremely elegant, curvy, shape. Read on for the story of this corset.

13th December 2016… 

This fabric is a wild colour. It’s bright and it’s golden, but the tiny hint of green running through it like fluid really puts me in mind of the green fairy and various chartreuse Victorian corsets seen over the years.

This is why it is clear to me how this corset should be… A contemporary-antique, purely inspired by the best of late-Victorian corsetry.

The chartreuse silk duchesse is contrasted with a black duchesse lining. The antique pattern has been used without adaptation for an authentic silhouette. The construction features our now classic (and still unique) seams, which give strength and beauty to an otherwise pared down methodology.

And so, to me, the clear direction for this corset is to go classic. Antique black lace and intricate black flossing. That’s the plan. I would like for it to be the most antique-looking piece I’ve ever made, if possible, and I’m very excited for it. The only hurdle, however, is my own twitchy fingers… Will I be able to complete it without making the lace overlay more complex than it should really be? Most of the antiques corsets I have studied use beautiful lace trims but these are not intricately cut up, reconfigured, and sewn down with a zillion tiny stitches… Instead, they tend to be used as they come, as a trim sewn along the top edge. Sometimes there is a ribbon running through the lace at top for decoration or at bottom to gather the lace so that it follows the bustline curve (though I see this more on Edwardians than Victorians), and sometimes the trim is even tacked down with huge stitches so that it can be removed for laundering… but it is never as fiddly as mine. And oh, how I love fiddly, intricate lace appliqués!

Should I curb my enthusiasm? I do have a couple of antique trim options, after all, that would work perfectly with a minimum of fuss. And I suppose I can always add the complexity I crave with a huge amount of flossing, which is more historically truthful. You know I have no impulse control… I guess we’ll see what happens on the day I begin embellishing.

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