Follow me on Facebook

For updates, discussions, links and more photos follow me on Facebook:

The Vintage Dressmaker (1)

Friday, July 29, 2011

My Extant Corset

As I mentioned earlier my corset that I have is not exactly what I thought it was. I thought it was a 1920's underbust corset, it is in fact a 1930’s underbust corset. I am not completely disappointed because corset construction did not change drastically in ten years so I can still use it as a source for construction techniques.

The interesting thing is that women were still wearing true corsets in the mid 1930’s. How do I know it is from the mid 1930’s? I found this tag inside with no specific date, but with "NRA" and this symbol on it:

I thought to myself "What does the National Riffle Association have to do with corsets?!" He he! I have to laugh at myself! So, to Google it was!!

The National Recovery Administration was instituted by Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933, after the war in order to bringing industry, labor and government together to create codes of "fair practices" and set prices.

National Recovery Administration

So, my corset was made sometime after 1933. I find this ever so slightly exciting in light of all those dummies out there that still insist, write it as the gospel and publish it as a fact in countless papers and books that women in the 1920’s threw out their corsets forever. If corsets were still being mass manufactured in the 1930’s, common sense will tell you they were in the 1920’s as well.

I do find it interesting that this particular style was still in demand in the mid 1930’s, but then again you wouldn’t catch me in a thong just because the younger generation may prefer them! Nor could I imagine my mother in a demi-cup bra. So again, calling on that common sense, styles just need time not only to catch on but to phase out as well.

Here are some detail photos of the construction:

Outside of 1930's Underbust Corset

Top of corset showing elastic, binding and boning all the
way to the top edge

Outside of back lacing

Inside of 1930's corset

Inside top edge showing close up of busk

Inside of 1930's corset showing side by side spiral boning
as well as 1/2 inch wide spring steel boning at side seams

Inside view of lacing set in a channel between two rows of
spiral steel boning


  1. I'm following your blog to see how you made/will make your great underwear. I had a chuckle over your 1930s corset. When I was a kid in the 60s, I'd visit my grandma in the summer and occasionally catch a glimpse of her packing herself into her corset. She wasn't a big woman, but her corset was a major piece of work. That typical pink color, from bust to thighs, a marvel of lacing, front clips, straps, and garters. It must have been an early 20s, late teens model. I wish I had it now!

    1. That is a hoot! What a nice memory, thank you for sharing!