14 February 2020

A story about corsets

I have never owned a corset, but that doesn't keep me from making one! Without any knowledge I just cut out a pattern and sewed, and this post is about why, what came out, and how I will continue. I'm not kitten you, this is going to be a rather long story, so better grab a cup of tee / coffee / your favourite beverage now! 

I'm sorry, I don't have a pretty photo for you this week! At least not my own photos.
Because this week was pretty exhausting. A lot of work todo. I'm learning (music) video editing, which is part of said work and we have a tight deadline. A band, one of our customers, released their album (listen to it here on Spotify), so of course we attended their release show. Thy Art Is Murder were playing in Vienna on Tuesday - couldn't miss that and it was awesome! Another show on wednesday: Their Dogs Were Astronauts released a new album called Dreamcatcher! If you're into guitars, instrumental, or prog, they are a must. 
Then, dear dogo Kira is in heat and she is driving me crazy! I'm not sure who of us two is more bonkers. Good thing is, I discovered biking is perfect to get her tired - it's perfect for these weeks when she must stay on a leash. 

Back to corsets. As I said, I never owned one. I adored them since I was ~15, when a classmate of mine wore a beautiful corsage at a party (it was her birthday party and obviously, she was the prettiest). That corsage was my entry point into dark / alternative fashion. Oooh I wanted it so badly! But I knew, I would never wear it and all the corsages I saw cost at least €80, which was far to much money for me to waste (still is, for most stuff). 

Honestly, I would still not buy a corset. Partly because of waste, partly because I'm too afraid I'll never find one that fits well enough. 
But of course, sewing my own would mean I am in charge of the fit. And I can practice skills, which does compensate for a certain part of the waste.
Side note: If you follow me for a while, especially on IG, or read more of my blogposts, you know I am trying to live (more) sustainable in certain parts of my life - fashion and sewing being one of them. This is not at all restricting for me, on the contrary it helps me keep a clear head and keeping inspiration up. I have a post with deeper thoughts about sustainability in sewing planned, but if you have a question, you can always ask me ofc.

Why did I decide to make one?
Actually just out of curiosity. Adoring them for years never made me want to sew one. I just started wondering some day in early 2018 if wearing a corset would help reducing the lower back pain I get when standing around for hours. Because all the crunches didn't make the pain go away (yet?). So somewhere in summer 2018 I just decided to sew a corset - without ever helding one in my hands, without any information on corset construction and guess what, my attention span as well as my endurance is almost as short as that of a kitten. 

Which is why this story may not become as long as I thought it would. Time is running out, but I have not actually written what I wanted to say. So, let's finally move to the topic. 
I have gathered and am continuing to gather inspiration photos in this pinterest board, some from amazing sewists I follow, others are fashion models: 

And this is my first selfmade corset, of which I have only shitty phone pictures in front of a very dirty mirror, without any colour grading or other adjustments:

Back then I just searched for ANY corset pattern, I found this lovely lady Katarina, who has free corset patterns on her website araneablack (as well as tutorials and generally looooots of information on corset making, also on youtube and especially on IG) and just downloaded one and sewed it. This is the pattern Lolita, but I think it has been updated since I made this one. I have altered the waist to sit higher after measuring on paper. But it doesn't really matter. I made mistakes and it looked bad. I sewed one bias tape to the wrong side, resulting in the whole binding facing outside in the end. Facepalm. And apparently I also did something wrong when measuring and thinking about the size I need. It was a bit too big from the beginning, meaning I could not make it tight at all. Then I lost weight (>10kg) which means absolutely not a chance to ever make it fit. I just gave up. Last summer I took it to a clothes trade fair and they took it even with its many flaws.

Of course I will keep on. By now I have way more information on corset making and I absolutely plan on using it.
I want a pretty corset.

Guys, I promise, next week will be a full review post again. I have more than 20 projects, just waiting to be photographed and written about, and new ones are incoming too. 


  1. I made a corset for a costume a couple of years ago, and it also came out too big. I could no figure out why. I guess I was afraid to make it too tight, but that's the whole point. I have a Truly Victorian pattern, and I cut a muslin, but I have many other more practical things I want to make, so the corset in on hold. I really want to see your next corset. I will be asking you all kinds of questions!

    1. OMG, I've just looked at Truly Victorian, such beautiful patterns! *o*
      I'd also say I was too afraid to make it too tight, mostly due to being misinformed, as I thought it could hurt or deform me, lol. I'm still watching videos, learning about corsetmaking and I couldn't decide yet if I want it lined or single-layered. So, it's going to take a while. But then I hope I can provide answers to your questions :D