I made a corset!!! I MADE A CORSET! I cant believe I did it and I think I have a new thing to sew in the winters besides coats.
I’ve been thinking about making a corset for forever. So many reasons that triggered my corset making:
- I hurt my back recently. It hurt to breath and I could barely sit up without pain. Work was very busy so i did not want to just stay at home. I decided to put on a store bought corset to go to work – it really helped me manage the pain and heal faster. But the store-bought corset shows off the breast too much and I was uncomfortable wearing something too sexy for work. I wanted an underbust that doesnt curve below the breasts that I can wear under my clothing.
- I’ve ordered a hand-made corset for my wedding years ago. It fit horribly above the waist – so I wanted to try to alter it to an under-bust – this requires me to get tools for corset making.
- I’ve been watching StarTrek – Voyager. I have a huge woman-crush on Seven of Nine. I thought her figure is un-real and amazing in the show – turned out the actress wears a corset and breast mounds for the show.
- CationDesign’s corset got me interested in sewing one a while ago, but I didnt really find any corset patterns that appealed to me
- Petit main Sauvage’s recent corset is so awesome, and finally put me on a roll. She linked to corsettraining, where i saw some amazing corset patterns.
So I set out to do the project that seriously requires so much ordering of tools and parts. I must say though – I am addicted. Seriously addicted. Good thing that I ordered bulk on most items – I can easily make another!
These are the stuff I had to gather for the corset:
- blue silk – stash
- black rayon satin – stash (oh this is seriously the must luxurious satin ever!)
- white steel boning – $11 from corsetmaking.com (10yd)
- spiral steel boning – $12 from corsetmaking.com (10yd)
- boning tips – $4.5 from corsetmaking.com (36 pieces) [though I end up using pipe sealing tape instead – had it in my garage and cheaper and easier to deal with]
- corset lacing – $5.2 from corsetmaking.com
- size 0 grommets – $12 from ebay
- grommet tools – $9.1 from amazon
- bolt cutter (to cut boning – it looks a lot easier comparing to what they sell for corset specifically) – $13.5 from amazon
- twill tape – $15 from ebay (100yd)
- grosgrain ribbon – $16 from etsy (20 yds)
- Angel Underbus Pattern – $12.75 from Scarlett/corsettraining.net
Total: about $130 after shipping, excluding fabric, and I didnt even bother with a busk or coutil! This is probably the most expensive starter project. I now understand why people buy kits. Luckily, there are enough left overs of everything to bring my average cost down a little. It really makes me wonder about material cost of all the corset makers on etsy and their cost of labor – $200-$400 a corset just seems too cheap at this point!
While I am extreme thrilled with how the corset turned out and had been wearing it throughout thanksgiving weekend, there are some things I would change:
- I didnt read the instruction on how to measure hip size properly and had cut out a size 12 pattern. The hip of this is actually too big for me – according to instruction i should have measured above my hips, which is a bit smaller). It doesnt show in the dress, but when I wear pants I do notice that the corset is not flushed with my natural hipline, even when its closed all the way in the back. I could take out about 3 inches total and still close the back. I cant decide if I should do a size 10 or just take out a few inches from the side hip seam – any suggestions?
- I got lazy and did not want to deal with a busk. I should have put in some boning in the front to flatten the tummy area. I am slightly tempted to take out my seam ripper to add some boning in the front
The combination of 1 & 2 makes a little blob around tummy area which i dislike – hope to get rid of it in the next version. However, the fact that the corset is a little too big + that I didnt do a busk closure – means that I didnt have to have a super long lace to be able to get out of the corset. I made the grommet spacing around 1.5 inches – longer than suggested, in order to be able to lace up quickly. Its actually not too annoying to get in and out of this corset at all.
I am just in love with those hip gores. I probably didnt choose the easiest pattern to sew my very first corset. There are some curves to deal with around the gore. But I fell in love with the pattern and could not resist. By the way, I found another maker Emerald Erin who made a really cute version as well!
I now have two more corset in the plans – the cupid corset and the free corset belt from Scarlett /corsettraining.net again. Her designs really appeals to me. Now that I have most of the supplies, I think sewing one would go much faster! I cannot wait!