Corset in progress

I finally had a chance to start on my corset! I started by comparing the Laughing Moon Underbust corset pattern with the pattern from the Japanese corset book. The Japanese corset pattern is very simple with only four pieces: front, side front, side back, and center back; while the LM pattern has six pieces with four of them are side pieces. I think it means that the LM pattern has more room for body curves, so I decided to go with the Laughing Moon. I’ll keep the Japanese corset book for ideas and inspiration though as the pictures are so pretty.

The instructions for this pattern is quite clear and I didn’t have much trouble constructing my muslin. I also referred to Corset Making e-book by Julia Bremble from Sew Curvy. I bought the book as downloads from Vive Books though, Sew Curvy only has the CD version.

As my size is between 8 and 12, I cut the muslin in size 12 so I can take them in later if needed. The muslin didn’t have proper eyelet for lacing yet, they are just holes made with an awl. I installed the front busk quite properly though, as an exercise for the real thing. The spiral steel bones in Laughing Moon kit came as a roll that needed to be cut first, fortunately I have several spiral steel boning that I bought a long time ago for my unfinished bombshell dress (-_-;) so I used them for my muslin.

Corset muslin

Here’s the corset muslin on my body! From my corset newbie point of view, I think it looks quite alright. A corset is supposed to have a two-inch gap at center back, mine is about 1.5 inch. Maybe I should take it in a bit. I’m still not sure, will do more research. The fit under the bust is a bit too high so I drew a new line that will be transferred to the pattern later.

You can also see the asymmetry because of my scoliosis. The right side of my waist has more ‘nip’ than the left side. I’m not sure if it means that I need to make each side of the corset differently. As for the comfort factor, surprisingly it is not as uncomfortable as I thought. I can walk and sit without feeling uncomfortable. In fact I kinda miss it when I had to take it off. Of course I’ve only worn it for a short time only so we will have to see again later.

Corset muslin Corset muslin
Corset muslin Corset muslin

So far I’m quite happy with the muslin and can’t wait to start on the real thing! But I want to be really careful and not rushing this project, I don’t think I will make too many corset for myself!

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  • I think this is so awesome and it’s only a muslin, you can so add this to your lingerie making portfolio? hehe…It’s also great to read that you wanted to sew something different, it gets like that sometimes. A great challenge for yourself. Looking forward to seeing it all sewn up.

    • Sometimes learning something new can be more fun than actually finishing the project πŸ˜›
      I guess after the challenge then I can go back to sewing my usual dresses πŸ™‚

  • Looks awesome! I’ve only made a few corsets, but from my reading I’m pretty sure you are supposed to adjust the pattern for each side seperately if your body is assymetrical. This group has a lot of great information on fitting and construction :).

    • I’ve been browsing that group for days, so many ideas and information! πŸ™‚

  • Sufiya

    Don’t forget to make a lacing panel to go behind the laces to protect you from “laces burn”. If you are planning to do some actual waist reduction you will find that even a relatively minor reduction of even an inch or two is quite uncomfortable and you won’t be able to take the pressure for any more than 20 minutes at first.

    It takes TIME to be able to wear an actual laced-down waist; don’t think you can simply pop that thing on, crank yourself down, and wear it all evening! You will need to “work up to it” for at least a week or two, by putting it on every day and wearing it till it gets too uncomfortable to continue, then taking it off. Every day it will get easier to take and you will be able to wear it for longer and longer periods. A waist reduction of more than two inches will take longer than that.

    I knew someone who had a 19-inch corseted waist and she was not a small woman by any means; she went from a 28-30″ waist to 19 inches over a period of YEARS, by wearing her corset every day, 22 hours out of 24. Good idea to have made the one without cups; those are hellishly uncomfortable to sit down in, since they push up awkwardly when one sits… my corsets came up over the bottom of my ribcage but did not reach as far as the base of my bust; much more comfortable for sitting, as my corseted friend with the 19-inch waist advised me! But sitting in soft squishy chairs is NOT recommended when corseted!

    One other thing is…the tiny corseted waist is a MAN-MAGNET, I tell you! I went to a party and wore my corset cinched to the max under a snug-fitting dress. It was not an excessive reduction; I would have been 38-24-38…but I could NOT believe how many men hit on me that evening or made a particular point of coming over to chat and flirt! The dress was not low-necked and the skirt was longish, and I’d worn it to similar parties without the corset, so it certainly wasn’t anything BUT the small waist that was different that evening!

    • Wow thank you for so many helpful hints!
      I don’t think I’m going for the waist reduction thing though, it’s just out of curiosity. But who knows maybe? πŸ™‚

  • You’re making a corset? What? Where have I been? You’ve been making bras for a long time so may I ask why you want to sew a corset? Just curious. It will be interesting to see if any of your bra making skills can be applied to this.

    • Yes Maddie, where have you been?! Lol
      Actually I just need to learn something new and corset making is quite right for it. It also doesn’t need much fabric and I may get something that I can wear a lot. It is quite different with bra making though, everything is so stiff and rigid while bra making has a lot if stretch factor to consider. Very interesting! πŸ™‚

  • I can’t wait to see your final garment. I’ve been looking into corset construction also. It’s good to know that the Sew Curvy ebook is a good reference.

  • Looking good! I’ve made “decorative” corsets (really just boned vests) for others, but I want to make myself a simple corset so bad. I love vintage clothes, but there are so many that just won’t look right without the undergarments that it was designed to have underneath. Plus, Spanx makes me feel like a sausage in a casing. Ew. πŸ™‚

  • This is so cool. I’m very impressed and also feeling inspired to challenge myself. Lovely job!

  • I made a lot of corsets for myself and others back in the day. Yes, you should take it in a bit, but don’t worry about trying to make your waist “match” on both sides. No one will notice unless you tell them. As long as your top and bottom edges are finished neatly you will look beautiful. (I recommend a dry run on that- it can be tricky if you aren’t used to dealing with a lot of heavy layers to make it lie nicely. But a little practice makes perfect.)

    • Thank you for he helpful tip! This is such a new thing for me so it’s nice to hear from someone with experience πŸ™‚