Sewing

Maroon Brocade – My First Real Corset

After my previous corset attempt in 2017, a year later I decided to try again. This time I started with a real corset pattern: the Cupid corset. This is a beautiful pattern, and it came with a booklet that included a materials list, fabric suggestions, how to pick a size, tips on altering a corset, pattern notes, assembly tips, and a FAQ. There was also a general corset assembly booklet with full instructions detailing the construction, boning and busk insertion, and finishing. It was extremely helpful to have all that included. It allowed me get through the whole thing step by step and create a beautiful corset for the first time.

Gathering Supplies

I chose a lovely maroon brocade fabric for the outside and a pink gabardine for a sturdy lining. I got the busk, flat steel bones, and spiral steel bones from Amazon. Grommets came from a local craft store that also had a press for them. In addition, I got pink bias tape for finishing and a gold-trimmed pink ribbon for lacing.

Accidentally got a second busk. Oh, well. Now I have it for my next corset!

Once I had gathered all the supplies I needed, I was anxious to get started making my corset. I didn’t really want to spend time making a mock-up, but I knew that I really should. It would be quite a waste to make a corset and then find out it didn’t fit. And it was a good thing I did, because I found I needed to make some adjustments.

These corsets are designed for waist training, but that wasn’t something I wanted to do. So I chose the pattern size that matched my waist size with no reduction. Of course, then the bust needed adjustments because it was too big for me. I think maybe I should have tried to use different parts of the different sizes that corresponded to my measurements.

Here are some not-so-good pictures I took during the process of adjusting the bust. I took out quite a bit of fabric between the side seam and the bust gore to tighten it. That also affected the adjacent pieces. I kept adjusting and pinning and resewing until I got it to be smooth and wrinkle-free.

It was a long and somewhat tedious process, but I got a nice fit in the end. I also lowered the overbust curves because they looked dramatically high on me. Then I transferred all the changes to my pattern pieces, and finally, I got to work on the real corset.

Some Progress Pictures

Cutting out my fabric pieces.
Putting in the busk. Sewing very carefully so the needle doesn’t hit the metal!
Finishing the top edge with bias tape.
Since the boning came in continuous spools, it had to be cut to size using metal cutters. I then covered the cut edge with hot glue to conceal the sharp parts, and I painted it with nail polish so it would be smooth.
I learned the proper way to lace a corset!

The Finished Corset

There are a few mistakes, though. The boning was cut a tad bit too long, and so it presses against the bias tape. I would also prefer if the corset lay smooth against me instead of flaring out at the bottom. I think that is due to the sizing I chose. But for my first real corset, I think it’s amazing how it turned out. It’s so exciting that I did this!

I love how it goes with my white fitted blouse and pink pleated skirt. This has become one of my favorite outfits for everyday wear or going out. I even wore it to a formal dinner party in November 2018. Later on I plan to make a flowy pink dress to wear with this corset. I also think it’s about time to make another corset.

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