Tuesday, 24 May 2011

A French patched & darned 'Make Do & Mend' corset c1900-1910

Here is another wonderful 'make do & mend' French corset rescued from a rag warehouse in Northern France that closed down about 50 years ago. This garment has been treasured by its wearer and has countless little mends and patches. Even after such a long life it wasn't thrown away but was sold to the rag man. I think the corset would have originally dated to about 1900-1910, but was kept going for many years beyond that by the looks of it. Perhaps it was her only corset with no means to afford another one, so it had to be kept going with any spare scraps of linen available. I collect such tatty, humble garments as they are unique textiles that have so much history and 'life' in every mark, darn or patch. Most museums collect & display higher status/better condition garments which are wonderful in their own way, but to me they don't have the lure of this sort of garment. I can imagine the wearer, and learn a little more about her life, and how different and difficult it must have been.


  1. I agree! Sometimes exhibits in museums are too perfect. I prefer items which show that they have been well used and loved.

  2. Thanks for the post. This is really interesting.


  3. I also love to buy items that tell me something about the previous owner. Clearly this corset was so precious, is was worth mending many times so they could continue to wear it.
    A lovely post.
    Abby X

  4. Thanks for your positive comments, I must try to post more of my 'make do & mend' collection of Northern French rural clothing! xxx