Yet Another Underbust Corset

Remember how I told you about the process of developing an underbust corset, and how I went through a lot of prototypes to get my formula just perfect?  That means that I made A LOT of underbust corsets.  I’ve given some away, torn some apart and recycled the pieces, but still have quite a few to show you.

I really love this one, but I’m still tempted to call it the ‘Not Another Underbust Corset’, because I’m afraid that is really how I felt making it.

It’s made of vintage post WWII synthetic brocade, which was called ‘Kyoto silk’ at the time to make it sound a bit fancier.  The fabric was a gift from my honorary aunt Artie.  The piece was just big enough to make the corset.

It’s lined in a fabulous printed houndstooth craft cotton in aqua and black.  I love the contrast of the bold lining and the delicate pastel outer.

The houndstooth lining was a fairly recent purchased, picked up at a 50% off sale at Arthur Toyes.

Like all my later, more successful, underbust prototypes, this one is boned on either side of each seam.  Not only is that a much easier way to do boning, it creates a much more balanced aesthetic, and gives better fitting.  Wins all around!

I’ve used a silver busk and silver grommets for this corset.  While you can get gold coloured busks, they are much more expensive than the silver coloured ones, so I rarely use them (especially not on prototypes).  Luckily there was no aesthetic compromising with the busk and grommets in this corset – the pale blues really called for silver.

Grommets, on the other hand, come in a number of colours – silver, black, brass/gold, and white, but I have found in teaching corsetmaking that 50% of students pick silver coloured grommets, 20% pick black, and 15% pick brass/gold or white.

While I’m very happy with the construction of this corset in most ways, there are a few little things about it that bug me.  First, I’m not convinced the bright aqua cotton binding is the right colour.  I was in a hurry to finish this, wanted to finish it exactly as I would have the students finish it, wanted the binding to be obvious so it would be easy to see and study, and wanted to use fabrics that I had in my stash.  Hence the binding.

It fills all the practical requirement perfectly, and it looks fantastic with the houndstooth.  From the front though?  I don’t love it.  I think it would have looked better with a self-fabric binding, or in a much softer blue with a bit of a sheen to it.  Maybe if I find reason to keep the corset in my stash I’ll re-bind it one day.

I also don’t love the black ties.  I liked white even less, and black went with the lining beautifully.  What would really be fantastic is a dull silver.

Still, it’s a pretty corset, it makes a great demonstration corset, and it was done.  And I’m too self critical!  (says she, self critically!)



  1. Lynne says

    I hear your reservations, but it is still a fine thing.

  2. Have you considered putting any kind of tutorial for corsetmaking online? I’m sure the actual class is much more effective but some of us live on the Atlantic and will sadly never make it to New Zealand.

    • Hi Sandi, I am working on a corsetmaking tutorial, but it will be for a small cost, because developing the process has been a lot of work!

      • Valerie says

        that would be terrific, and I for one would gladly subscribe!

  3. Shell says

    If you reeeeally don’t want to keep it in your stash, I’ll give it a home! I agree it needs silver lacing, but otherwise I think it’s fantastic! 😀

  4. You could wear it inside-out? Since it seems that all the questionable binding and lacing both go with the houndstooth…but then I think it still looks fine right-side out.

    Will your corset-making tutorial include a pattern?

    • Haha. I have thought of turning it inside out. I do adore that outer fabric though.

      Yes, the tutorial would include a pattern

  5. Stella says

    That brocade is beautiful. I’d like to see what it would look like with the houndstooth as a binding.

  6. Joie de Vivre says

    OMG OMG OMG I am now desperately craving a blue and black houndstooth corset. The brocade is beautiful, and I adore brocade, but that houndstooth has me whimpering with corset delight. It’s the first time I’ve been motivated to actually suck it up and make one, just cos I know that this one won’t fit me. I want a houndstooth corset! Argh!

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