Smooth Black Corset

I made a corset!!! I MADE A CORSET! I cant believe I did it and I think I have a new thing to sew in the winters besides coats.

I’ve been thinking about making a corset for forever. So many reasons that triggered my corset making:

  1. I hurt my back recently. It hurt to breath and I could barely sit up without pain. Work was very busy so i did not want to just stay at home. I decided to put on a store bought corset to go to work – it really helped me manage the pain and heal faster. But the store-bought corset shows off the breast too much and I was uncomfortable wearing something too sexy for work. I wanted an underbust that doesnt curve below the breasts that I can wear under my clothing.
  2. I’ve ordered a hand-made corset for my wedding years ago. It fit horribly above the waist – so I wanted to try to alter it to an under-bust – this requires me to get tools for corset making.
  3. I’ve been watching StarTrek – Voyager. I have a huge woman-crush on Seven of Nine. I thought her figure is un-real and amazing in the show – turned out the actress wears a corset and breast mounds for the show.
  4. CationDesign’s corset got me interested in sewing one a while ago, but I didnt really find any corset patterns that appealed to me
  5. Petit main Sauvage’s recent corset is so awesome, and finally put me on a roll. She linked to corsettraining, where i saw some amazing corset patterns.

So I set out to do the project that seriously requires so much ordering of tools and parts. I must say though – I am addicted. Seriously addicted. Good thing that I ordered bulk on most items – I can easily make another!

These are the stuff I had to gather for the corset:

  • blue silk – stash
  • black rayon satin – stash (oh this is seriously the must luxurious satin ever!)
  • white steel boning – $11 from (10yd)
  • spiral steel boning – $12 from (10yd)
  • boning tips – $4.5 from (36 pieces) [though I end up using pipe sealing tape instead – had it in my garage and cheaper and easier to deal with]
  • corset lacing – $5.2 from
  • size 0 grommets – $12 from ebay
  • grommet tools – $9.1 from amazon
  • bolt cutter (to cut boning – it looks a lot easier comparing to what they sell for corset specifically) – $13.5 from amazon
  • twill tape – $15 from ebay (100yd)
  • grosgrain ribbon – $16 from etsy (20 yds)
  • Angel Underbus Pattern – $12.75  from Scarlett/

Total: about $130 after shipping, excluding fabric, and I didnt even bother with a busk or coutil! This is probably the most expensive starter project. I now understand why people buy kits. Luckily, there are enough left overs of everything to bring my average cost down a little. It really makes me wonder about material cost of all the corset makers on etsy and their cost of labor – $200-$400 a corset just seems too cheap at this point!

While I am extreme thrilled with how the corset turned out and had been wearing it throughout thanksgiving weekend, there are some things I would change:

  1. I didnt read the instruction on how to measure hip size properly and had cut out a size 12 pattern. The hip of this is actually too big for me – according to instruction i should have measured above my hips, which is a bit smaller). It doesnt show in the dress, but when I wear pants I do notice that the corset is not flushed with my natural hipline, even when its closed all the way in the back. I could take out about 3 inches total and still close the back. I cant decide if I should do a size 10 or just take out a few inches from the side hip seam – any suggestions?
  2. I got lazy and did not want to deal with a busk. I should have put in some boning in the front to flatten the tummy area. I am slightly tempted to take out my seam ripper to add some boning in the front

The combination of 1 & 2 makes a little blob around tummy area which i dislike – hope to get rid of it in the next version. However, the fact that the corset is a little too big + that I didnt do a busk closure – means that I didnt have to have a super long lace to be able to get out of the corset. I made the grommet spacing around 1.5 inches – longer than suggested, in order to be able to lace up quickly. Its actually not too annoying to get in and out of this corset at all.

I am just in love with those hip gores. I probably didnt choose the easiest pattern to sew my very first corset. There are some curves to deal with around the gore. But I fell in love with the pattern and could not resist. By the way, I found another maker Emerald Erin who made a really cute version as well!

I now have two more corset in the plans – the cupid corset and the free corset belt from Scarlett / again. Her designs really appeals to me. Now that I have most of the supplies, I think sewing one would go much faster! I cannot wait!

4 thoughts on “Smooth Black Corset

  1. This is totally cute, especially with the peasant-looking dress! I’m honored to have been part of the inspiration process. It’s so true, corset-making is such an expensive kind of sewing to get into! I have a whole roll of spiral steel waiting for me to make more corsets.

    I downloaded a different corset pattern from the same website but I chose my size wrong (or cut wrong or sewed wrong?) because the waist is way too small and the underbust and hips are way too big 😦

    1. ooooh i am glad i am not the only person feeling the same way. I wonder if its our asian figures – maybe a little too petite around hips and bust? Its a shame that I couldnt figure out the fit until boning is in and i can lace the corset up… a little too late to make changes then!

      1. I know, right? Considering how much work and money must be put in before even getting to do a fit test, it’s amazing that anyone ever makes a second one 😉

        I tried the Vixen Cincher, but now that I’m looking at the picture again it doesn’t seem that curvy. Possibly I just cut or sewed less meticulously than I should have? I keep feeling like I should finish it up and try it again, but TBH, I’m not really feeling motivated to do so! I really like the look of the heart corset on her site, but am scared of wasting my nice fabric.

  2. Oh my gosh, I think this corset looks so good on you! You look like a cosplayer! LOL! Seriously, I haven’t thought of wearing a corset on top of my clothing. I usually wear it underneath, when I need to. Thanks for showing us another way to use this piece of clothing!

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