Corsets: Historic Patterns and Techniques Paperback – 1 Sep 2008
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"Although aimed firmly at costume makers, there is still much to interest the historian, textile connoisseur, or indeed, closet corset-wearer." --Embroidery magazine
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The description of the book on your Amazon page is wrongcan it be ammended please
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Top Customer Reviews
It opens with some thoughtful comments about dating corsets and how typical are surviving examples, among other subjects.
The main body is devoted to an interesting selection of corsets, including finely boned and half-boned stays, hand stitched corded corsets, and later ones with a 'zone' waist band or gussets as well as the usual vertical panels - not forgetting the underbust and ribboned. Each corset features a full page colour photo, half a page or more commentary, and two page pattern. The patterns are generally to half scale, and all on graph paper with balance marks, grain lines and boning etc. indicated.
There follows a section on corset construction, including step-by-step guides for two corsets and how to insert gussets, floss and cord as well as the usual binding and busk insertion etc.
The book ends with lists of references, museums and suppliers.
If you know nothing about sewing but want to knock up a fashion corset, then this book is probably not for you - until you've got the bug! However, if you can follow a sewing pattern and want to recreate a period corset, this is the best single book available due to the large patterns and colour photos and the wide range of construction tips, including some not published elsewhere. Yes, more could be written about construction (where does one stop?), the 'close-up' photos touted in the blurb do not zoom in on any unusual feature, and the photos of the black corsets could be clearer, but I am happy to recommend this book: it is a steal at full price. 4+ stars
I'd heard some good things about it and managed to get a copy several months in advance of its release date.
Alas, for me it turned out to be a big disappointment!
For someone claiming to be a lecturer in historical clothing, Ms Salen appears to be lacking in both knowledge and the ability to reasonably hypothesise. What she does seem to be good at is hyperbole regarding her own talents. I'm actually wondering whether this was self-published because given that there are several excellent books on the subject, I can see no reason for a publisher to take this one on.
I'm not sure what this book actually has to offer beyond a handful of nice photographs (which can be found online or purchased from various museums). For the beginner the information is far too basic, and for the experienced it offers nothing new. In addition, certain information is missing from the 'patterns', e.g. grainlines on some pieces, tabs or straps on others. For the experienced sempstress or corsetiere this isn't a problem but a person with limited or no experience could well be left scratching their head.
The photographs, whilst clear and generally well presented, are selective at best. Some of the corsets aren't shown on mannequins, and almost all of them show only one view. Given that the accompanying copy in some cases describes certain design elements (one being that the left and right busts are different on a particular corset), one would expect the imagery to reflect and compliment the text. Certainly there ought to be close-up photographs of details.Read more ›
Having recently bought Robert Doyle's, 'Waisted Efforts', I prefer this book by Jill Salen. I find it clearer to follow and more 'real-time'. There is a practicality about Ms Salen's approach that is appealing and encouraging and her research, whilst full, is never merely academic.
The list of suppliers is helpful, too. If you are a beginner seamstress, you might struggle a bit with the sewing machine control needed to produce neat work, but that is resolved by practice. If you are new to corset-making, having a go at the hand-sewn project will clarify the logic behind the garment and the process.
Either way, give this book a go, have a try and enjoy yourself. That's what I mean to do!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
part of my sisters Christmas present she is setting up heavenly bodice her own company and used this for design guidelines very happyPublished on 18 Feb. 2014 by michael littlewood
As a costume degree student I have used several examples from this book to make period undergarments to help give my costumes the correct foundation. Read morePublished on 13 Mar. 2013 by Nicola Reeve
i never come a cross with a book like this so espesific and clear to undertand.some of them can be difilcult for me but I will try to se if i can make one the easy one good goodPublished on 20 Jan. 2013 by m e acevedo