Making a Corset Part 1

In this and the next few posts I’ll show the steps I go through as I make a corset for my daughter, Cori. Besides (hopefully) being interesting, this will also motivate me to get this one done, since I am seriously late on its delivery. It’s for her birthday which was in January (sorry, Cori…).

I’ll recap what I have done so far:

1. Fabric choice was made quite a while ago. I bought the outside material and lining fabric while I was working on her wedding dress last summer.

Pink brocade fabric 

It’s polyester, in a beautifully figured pink brocade. Perfect for Cori, who loves and looks great in pink. The lining fabric is a pink smudgy print – you will see it later on as I get the pieces of the corset together.

2. Then on to design! Cori’s wedding corset was an overbust Victorian style, but I thought an underbust corset would be something she could wear over a blouse and skirt, so she wouldn’t be limited to bare shoulders summertime wear. I took her measurements again, and using them I drew the pattern.. Here is the pattern draft:

Pattern-1305-webI created it using the method outlined here in a very clear instructional post by Cathrin Åhlén. Definitely worth checking out if you’re into sewing or Renaissance costumes (or both!)

3. Then on to cutting! The corset draft has six pattern pieces, three for the front, one for the side, and two for the back. Since the draft is for one side, the finished corset will have 12 pieces of each layer. The front fashion layer is backed by a layer of cotton coutil, which is a specialty fabric used in corsetmaking. it is very sturdy and doesn’t stretch, so using it gives the corset good stability. The inner lining fabric is backed by two layers of cotton muslin. that makes five layers for each of the 12 pieces, or 60 pieces of fabric in the finished corset (plus the trim). After cutting, I need to baste the outside and inner lining fabric pieces to their coutil or muslin backing:

1305-pattern-piecesand that’s the step I’m in the middle of right now. So I’ll post this, and get back to sewing!


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