Date of Defense
Date of Graduation
Family and Consumer Sciences
Women and men have worn corsets for centuries, primarily in Europe. Throughout the years, the style of the undergarment changed. A corset was an undergarment that served the purpose of adding warmth or coverage, gave support to the wearer’s body, gave structure to outer garments and created visual appeal. As styles transitioned throughout history, undergarments had to accommodate to the changes. Modesty prioritized the garment’s purpose but the late 1800’s encouraged more attractive corsets. After researching an archive of historical patterns, I selected several corsets that I would create and conduct research for a gallery display in Korhman Hall’s Design Gallery. In my gallery display I set up the three corsets and a chemise in chronological order to show audience members how the undergarment fashions have changed over time. The goal of this thesis was to gain a better understanding of the undergarment and learn how to create several styles of corsets. In the process of creating the corsets, I looked into required materials and tools needed to build the garment, while conducting research on its historical significance. After gather my required items, I started tracing, cutting, serging, trimming and sewing the pattern pieces. Although hand sewing for the entirety of the garments would be historically accurate, I used hand-sewing techniques in each corset and primarily used an industrial sewing machine. A machine-sewn corset would have been appropriate for the corset I made worn through the years 1840-1890. In certain situations, it would be nearly impossible for my thesis to be historically accurate because of animal rights issues and unavailable materials for the common consumer. In this study, I gained knowledge in the process of creating corsets and certain details that are required in order to finish a successful garment. In addition, I learned how tedious and how dedicated tailors and home sewers had to be in order to create their few but necessary, undergarments.
Marks, Jacquelyn, "Historical Corsets Retrospective 1558-1890" (2016). Honors Theses. 2769.
Honors Thesis-Open Access