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Conversational Threads

1870’s “Fenway” Corset Class

priyam | Posted in Costuming on

4 Sessions : Jan 5, 12, 19 & 26, 2020 : 5pm-7pm 



In this digital course, students will learn how to reproduce an exquisite late 1870s silk satin

corset (the “Fenway” corset) from the collections of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.


Course Summary 


Based on hands-on study of the extant corset in the museum’s collections and months of

extensive experimentation, this course will cover every aspect of this corset’s composition and

construction, from choosing materials all the way to finishing techniques. Students will first

learn to draft a custom pattern based on their body measurements and then how to construct

and embellish their own historically accurate 1870s Fenway corset. Along the way we’ll also

take a deep dive into the fabric and structural materials of the original corset and explore the

best options available today.


Learn at your own pace


Students will be able to access all of the instruction materials at the start of the course and will

still be able to view materials after the class is over. The instructor will be holding regular virtual

office hours to answer students’ questions during the scheduled time of the course. He will also

be available to help students with their corsets by appointment for those who are unable to

attend regular office hours.

This course is intended for intermediate and advanced level sewists. Previous experience

making a corset is very helpful, but not required.


About the Instructor : Alexander Chesebro

Alexander Chesebro is a historical costumer and living history interpreter with a specialization in foundation garments. Alexander has created corsets and stays for living history events and private clients across the U.S., including for performers at The Great Dickens Christmas Fair in San Francisco. His design process relies on extensive research examining extant garments in both his personal collection and museum archives in order to produce comfortable foundation garments with period correct silhouettes. Alexander also collects and documents historical textiles, specializing in silk brocades and woolens from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. 

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