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19 unique corset pattern drafts, dating 1900-1922, with background research, historical context, and tested patterns.
19 unique corset pattern drafts, dating 1900-1922, with background research, historical context, and tested patterns.
250 backers pledged $13,920 to help bring this project to life.

Thank you, Updates and Corset Myth Busting!

Posted by Marion McNealy (Creator)
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Thank you so much to all of you who have backed the campaign so far, and especially those who have done so in the last few days. It's gone from hovering at 52% 3 days ago to 68% funded today, just another $3765 to reach the goal of $12,000. As this is an all or nothing campaign, if it doesn't reach the goal, the project does not go forward, and backers are not charged.  However, if we make the goal and go over it, the extra will be put towards good use making the book just that much better!  

Every day, I like to go look at the Community tab of the campaign (it's on the menu bar, after comments).  It's got a great breakdown of where the backers are from, the US currently is in the lead for the most backers, with the UK and Canada in 2nd and 3rd place. Germany and Australia are currently rivaling for 4th place and keep switching places, with New Zealand, Spain and France battling over who is going to be 5th.  There are lots of countries with just one backer which are not currently shown on the top 10 list,  including: Rwanda, Cyprus, Greece, Argentina, Poland, Norway, Netherlands and Denmark.  I can't even begin to tell you what a thrill it is to have backers from all over the world support this project, especially since the project team is international and spread out all over the globe between New Zealand, UK, US and Germany. 

Now, for a bit of corset myth busting.....

If you've been around the historical costuming world for a while, you've probably heard that corsetry died out in the 1920's, that there was no longer any need for corsets, and so forth because they had gone out of fashion during WWI and the new boyish figure didn't need a corset. Blah, blah, blah! Except that there are several inconvenient facts that refute this, the most easily shown is that corsets continued to be sold in all different sizes, shapes and styles through the 1920s.  How do I know this? Catalogs. 

I love vintage catalogs, because they are a great way to see what was available to the average consumer on a season by season basis. It's pretty amazing to watch fashion change gradually over the course of a year.   I have catalogs from several mail order companies, but I have the most catalogs from Charles Williams  for the 1920s.  Charles Williams Stores was a middle class US mail order company, and this catalog pictured below is particularly special because it's not just a catalog, it's the company's records of what actually sold, and the number of returns for each item!  So it's possible to see just what corset styles were most popular with customers in the spring and summer of 1929.  It's a random find on eBay, and I wish I could find more of them! It's just one of the rare resources I'll be using in the book "Corset Cutting and Making".

Please continue to share the link and encourage your corset making and historical clothing friends to back the project. If every person who has already backed the project convinced just one more person to do so by the deadline, the project would be funded and over the goal with ease.

Charles Williams & Co, Spring Summer 1929
Charles Williams & Co, Spring Summer 1929

 

Sonja Corterier, Madeline Swan, and 3 more people like this update.

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    1. Marion McNealy 2-time creator on

      I have seen that before, the catalogs listed there are all on Archive.org, which is a great resource for all sorts of wonderful information! :)

    2. Missing avatar

      Jeremy on

      Marion, I wonder if you've seen this old exhibition at the Canadian Museum of History: "Before E-Commerce-- a history of mail order catalogs" http://www.historymuseum.ca/cmc/exhibitions/cpm/catalog/cat0006e.shtml