My latest long-term project (and I do mean LONG term) is a Florentine dress from the early 1500s, partially because this is a lovely style and partially because another costumer has already done all the hard work in figuring out how to do everything. *G* The first part of this project that I’ve started was the corset, which is different from the other corset I’ve done in that it’s boned with hemp cord rather than steel. This allows the natural curve of the bust to show while still giving a nice smooth line.

I’m fairly happy with the way the corset turned out, although if I ever do another one I’ll be making it shorter, because the hemp isn’t rigid enough to keep the corset from bunching up at the hip. Also since the cord goes with the curve of the bust it also follows the curve of the tummy… but since the main purpose of this garment isn’t to compress the waist but to smooth the torso I think it will work fine. What I need to do is lace the bottom half only to the point that the corset is snug, and then pull the laces on top tight to give the proper bust support. Also it could really use some more rigid stiffening around the grommets. But I learned a lot regardless and I think that the corset is in fact quite usable, so that’s always a plus.


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I haven’t made the chemise for this outfit yet- it will actually be an Italian camicia, with much more lavish sleeves and a blackworked neckband, made of handkerchief-weight linen. Lavish and pretty, or at least I hope it will be.

I’d do the dress-diary treatment for this corset, except that Jen at Festive Attyre has already done everything you’d ever want to know on the subject: