Corset making is hard work

It’s not that it’s so tricky – it’s just long, and tedious, and surprisingly physically demanding.

First you cut out tons of little pieces – my favourite corset pattern has 10, and you need at least a front and a back of each, though I often use as many as four layers of the same piece.

The corset I’m currently working on is 4 layers – a fashion fabric, two layers of ultra-fine coutil (I find that two layers of fine makes a nicer corset than one heavy layer), and a lining fabric.

When working with four layers, you have to flat line every single piece, so that one layer of coutil and the fashion fabric become one, and one layer of the coutil and the lining fabric become one.

All the flat-lined corset pieces

Then there is the fitting in of the busk, which isn’t easy, especially if you do the proper way (which I do) without punching any holes for your busk buttons.

The triple stitching and blank spaces for the busk hooks to fit through

After the busk goes in, there is the pinning – so many pieces to pin together, and many of them have curves, and you are pinning through all those layers of fabric.  My fingers get ‘pin burns’.

Still, I love making corsets, and this one is quite pretty.

I love the grey on grey flower graffiti print of the fashion fabric

It’s silver twill-satin (synthetic I’m afraid), lined in the same orchid foiled cotton that I used for Emily’s corset.

The two front pieces, one right side up, one lining side up

I’m making it just in case I need a different corset for the new model for the Juno gown for my next Pompeii to Paris talk.

The two layers of superfine coutil flat-lining

And also, I just like making corsets.

Pieces 1 (centre front), 2 (godet) and 3 all sewn together, busks inserted

I stopped taking pictures when the light got bad, but I’m still sewing, so I have more done than I can show you.

The first three pieces, lining side up

In fact, I’m doing so well that as long as my fingers don’t get too sore, I may be done with the corset by the end of today.  And of course, I’ll post pictures when I am!


  1. Beautiful artisan work. (craftsmanship? craftspersonship?) Making corsets makes me feel like a real artisan, your work looks incredible. Looking forward to the rest of it.

  2. Your work is very neat and belies the physical effort taken to do it! That is the hardest bit. Where to pin when your material shows pin marks, curving the lamination of panels, forcing grommets into holes, preventing the fabric from being marked or soiled. These are just a few things we have to live with! My wife lets me do the physical bits and does the fine work herself, nice work if you can get it!

  3. It’s really pretty fabric. Corsets make fabrics look even more magical, and you have such a good eye for a corset fabric 🙂 Clever Dreamstress! xo

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