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Corset-making basics

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Corsets, like several other garments, take a specialized skillset to make. They have boning, specialized fabrics, and unique construction methods. This post gives an extremely vague overview of what I’ve found corset making consists of.

1. Decide style

There are infinite possibilities for the look of a corset. By using different fabric, colors, or style lines, the same corset can look extremely unique. However, there are specific silhouettes that alter the look of the corset by the structure or coverage, rather than the outer material. This is the first thing that should be decided when determining the look. Here are the main ones I’ve come across:

  • Overbust
  • Midbust
  • Underbust
  • Waspie
  • Longline

2. Take measurements

Once you decide the silhouette, you have to take the measurements for the corset. This can be done a range of different ways, and is well demonstrated here.

Determine waist reduction

For beginners, I’ve seen recommendations for reducing the waist by anywhere from 2-4″. Start small, then increase the waist reduction as you go. For extreme waist reduction, it takes a process. (I suggest you look elsewhere if that is what you are after.)

3. Find a pattern

Okay, you have the measurements and the silhouette. Next step is to find a pattern. There are so many patterns you can purchase, but there are several free patterns, as well. Aranea Black has many options, and there is a free corset pattern maker that may be useful.

4. Make appropriate pattern tweaks

Once you have the pattern, you will be able to examine it and understand it. There are changes you can make before making the mock-up, including waist length, front length, and things like that.

5. Make a mock up

More information about that here.

6. Construction

Depending on what style you choose, there are many different construction methods. Aranea Black has lots of information on her website.

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