Maternity Corset Update

Got a little bit done on the maternity corset -- namely I got one side put together and some boning inserted to see how it would lay. I'm pretty pleased with it so far. The bust openings are similar to a nursing corset I saw from 1870s, and I'll be attaching a flap there which will hook closed at the center front.

Shown below is the corset without the belly. This dress form is skinnier than I am usually, so I have to take into account that the corset will look rather "straight-up-and-down" on the form rather than on my real body. Trying it on my body will be the real test. :)

Next up: sewing up the other side and adding buttons/buttonholes along the front.


Me said...


I am wondering why they wore corsets while pregnant, as corsets were to make one's figure thinner correct?

Amy said...

Well, in the later periods (late 1800s to early 1900s) you did see more and more tight lacing because women wanted the fashionable "wasp waist" which could really disfigure the body.

In my period of reenacting (1860-64), corsets were really not much different than wearing a bra today. They were not only support for the busom, but also support for the heavy skirts, which rested on the waist. Most women would cinch down enough to have a figure, but not to be uncomfortable. And a well-made corset is extremely comfortable.

The maternity corset was a way to keep some support while still allowing for the belly to grow. It's not tightly laced, so there's no danger to the baby. Most women wouldn't have wanted to go without their corset since it would be kind of like us going without our bras. :) These corsets did also cinch back down to help new moms get back to their old figure.

I'm learning, though, that no standard sized corset will ever expand to a huge belly -- so there will have to be a point in which the corset will be left off. Perhaps that's when they go into "confinement"?? Who knows...

Me said...


Thank you for the wonderful information. I didn't have any idea that they were any different from the 1800-1900s. It's nice to learn something new. :)