Love and Corsets


My adventure in corset-making began with my daughter’s wedding dress. Nothing like learning under pressure! We made an initial wedding dress pattern choice, and I made it up in inexpensive fabric. We decided that the skirt of the dress was fine, but we didn’t like the top. My daughter said that what she really wanted was a corset top, and after some searching online we settled on the Mantua-Maker 1870 – 1895 corset pattern. It seemed pretty straightforward, but I had a lot to learn about negative ease, bodice support, and fabric requirements. The process started in June and ended with final fitting and adjustments the week before the wedding in September.┬áThe end result was great. She looked gorgeous in the dress, and the weather was perfect for an outdoor wedding by the ocean in Gloucester, Massachusetts.

What I learned:
  • The importance of finding a great fabric supplier. Luckily I have a great fabric store not too far away (Delectible Mountain Cloth in Brattleboro, Vermont)┬áthat has wonderful silks and other natural fabrics, and what they don’t have they can order. With the help of the owner, Jan, we found just the right material.
  • There are lots of steps in making a corset, and specialized materials (busks, steel bones, coutil fabric) that I had to get and work with.
  • Being the mother of the bride, the seamstress, the person managing the sound equipment and the musical performer was a guaranteed recepe for over-extension. Someday I will learn not to say yes.
  • I also learned that I love making and designing corsets :-). Now I take measurements, figure out the design, and make the pattern to fit the person. It seems much more straightforward than buying a pattern and having to adjust it anyway.


Love and Corsets — 2 Comments

  1. luv luv luv the wedding dress.
    so glad you said “yes”.
    what a beautiful design and expression of love.
    i have not seen a more beautiful dress.
    if i ever get to wear a dress like this again, I hope you will say “yes”.

    • Hi Patty, thank you for your kind words! If you ever need a wedding dress, I would be honored to make it for you :-)