Thursday, January 16, 2014

Skeleton Corset Pattern: January Progress Report

Slowly I am making progress on the Skeleton Corset Pattern.
Unlike original designs, such as my craft patterns, Historical Costume Patterns have many more steps in them, most fall under the category of research.

For this project I have spent several hours reading modern books, Antique books, Patents, Museum Descriptions, etc...

Historical Patterns can also be more expensive than an original design, especially if based of an antique garment or original antique pattern. You may be lucky enough to have been gifted it, but if you are serious, chances are high that you would have purchased it.

You need to handle the garments carefully to take patterns off them, and old paper is easily damaged too. Storing those items safely is also an investment, but one worth doing.

Along your path of research you will likely run into a roadblock and call out to your fellow enthusiasts. Sometimes they will have something right at hand, other times  they will remember something months later and inform you about it. Networking with others is valuable and I can honestly say without the help of a few key costumers I wouldn't be doing this now.

I purchased the first Skeleton Corset over 4 years ago. FOUR YEARS! Since then I have purchased the second, received help and research from others (I live on the wrong coast!) and waited with baited breath for the Metropolitan Museum of Art to get more photos up.

I believe this pattern will be my most expensive to produce. Not only have I purchased 2 antique corsets for a few hundred dollars each, I am also procuring photos from the Metropolitan Museum of Art for my research. I wouldn't be surprised if the final cost of items purchased to produce this pattern goes past $1,000! I STILL have to source a good fabric to make reproductions out of as my 2 Skeletons are not made of herringbone coutil, the commonly recommended fabric for professional corsets today.

So on top of the normal pattern making, grading, photography and instruction writing, there is a lot more work put into a historic pattern, which is likely WHY they are some of the more expensive patterns out there! I will try to keep my pattern prices low and competitive, so it may not be including all the possible variations.

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