Monday, August 27, 2012

My First Corset (Black Mid-bust)

In 2007 I decided to make myself a corset. (This is my sister wearing it - she looks great!)

Backstory: At some point when I joined livejournal I stumbled upon the corsetmakers community. Being inspired by all the amazing things they made, I decided to get myself a kit and some fabric and give it a go.

How I did it: I bought the Laughing Moon Dore/Silverado corset pattern (after reading about different patterns on corsetmaking on LJ) and a corset kit (with boning, grommets, lacing, etc.) from I had some beautiful black fabric (moleskin suede or miscrosuede, I think) and wanted to make a classic black corset.

I made a mock-up from white muslin and the boning and busk (front closure) from the kit. I did the mock-up in a size 14, I believe with the b-cup bust shaping. The mock-up closed all the way in the back, so I decided to take off two inches for the final version. One thing I did not consider when deciding what to do with the size for the final version was that one layer of muslin was going to have a lot more give than what ended up being three layers (a skull bandanna print fashion cotton lining, the strength layer cotton drill, and the moleskin suede exterior).

For the final version, I sewed the outside layer as one layer, and the lining and strength layer together as another, then pinned the layers together and stitched through all three layers of fabric, following the directions included with the pattern. I stitched the bone casings and inserted the bones between the layers. Then I applied binding to the top and bottom edges, sewing by machine on the outside and hand stitching on the inside. The grommets were applied by hand.

What I learned: As I mentioned above, one layer of fabric does different things than three. Additionally, sewing the outside and inside separately and then trying to line everything up is a giant PITA. After I completed this I switched my method to sewing all the layers together on each seam, using the method outlined by another corsetmaker here. Since this corset ended up being too small and a touch too short, I sold it online.

What I might try next time: I've made a few other corsets since this one, using the sewing method above and generally only two layers of fabric. I haven't gotten around to making myself another mid-bust (or overbust) black corset, but I'd like to eventually recreate this in a better fit with a little length added.

Final Thoughts: This was my first real corset (I made a corset-like item for my sister previous to this). It turned out pretty nicely, and hopefully went on to a full life in its new home.

Other Corset Posts:
My First Corset (Black mid-bust)
The Do-Everything Corset (Black under-bust)
Claymore Corsets (White over-bust)
Rikku/Steampunk Corset (Green mid-bust)
Old Pants Deconstructed Corset (Tan under-bust)

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