Both versions feature a dropped waistline at center front to give the V-shape characteristic of the Elizabethan era, and wide-set shoulder straps to further emphasize the small-waisted impression. Princess-style seams, while characteristic of later years, make it easier for the contemporary wearer (that's you!) to personalize fit. The square-neck corset laces in back with either purchased or handmade eyelets, and adjustable straps that lace through eyelets in the front. The scoop-neck corset fastens in front (because working-class women didn't necessarily have help getting into their clothes every morning!) and features peplum reflecting the waistline tabs of 16th-century doublets and corsets. Placement of boning pieces can be altered for desired stiffness.
The pattern includes historical notes about the Elizabethan corset as well as a resource list of corset-making supplies.
Suggested fabrics for this pattern, Folkwear 267: For outer layer, medium to heavyweight stable fabrics that do not drape, such as silk, satin, brocade, damask, shantung, dupionni, linens, and blends. For supporting inner layers, see Important Notes about Corset Construction inside pattern.
Pattern size includes extra small through 3XL. The square neck corset requires under one yard of 60" wide fabric for each of main fabric and lining for all sizes; the scoop neck corset requires up to one yard of each. Both sizes call for interfacing. Notions needed: For the square-neck corset, you'll want eight eyelets for strap lacing and 24 eyelets for back lacing (or embroidery floss for making your own eyelets -- instructions are included for that bit of sewing magic), one yard of ribbon or lacing (or twill tape) for straps and two yards of ribbon or lacing (or twill tape, again) for back. For the scoop-neck corset you'll need 7/8 yard hook-and-eye tape.
Both styles require boning, of course; you can choose steel boning and casings for additional stiffness, or sew-through boning if you prefer to take the occasional breath. (Can you tell I just spent the weekend working a table at a Renaissance Faire and learned to really prize my breath?) For the square-neck corset you'll need 5 yards for sizes XS-S, 5.5 yards for M-XL, 5 7/8 yards for 2X-3X. For the scoop-neck corset you'll need 2 1/2 yards for XS-S, 2 5/8 yards for M-XL, and 2 3/4 yards for 2X-3X.
Since the 1970s, Folkwear patterns have been used by theatre and dance costumers, historic reenactors, art-to-wear-aficionados, and anyone who enjoys dressing up. Folkwear patterns are based on vintage fashions and traditional ethnic garments for an authentic look. But with a fresh eye and creative touch, these timeless styles can become exciting and trend-setting wearable art today.