Instructables

Corset for the Business Professional

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Picture of Corset for the Business Professional
back.jpg
pattern_steps.jpg
Estimated Cost: ~$30-$50 (more if you don't already own the necessary tools)
Estimated completion time: 15-20 hours
Difficulty: Moderate - Challenging (dependent on skill level) 
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I designed this corset for my wife who loves wearing corsets but did not yet own
one that would be suitable for a business environment. The end result is a light corset
made with a quality suiting material, a slight slimming effect on the waist and loads of
back support.

This corset is considerably more challenging then my other corset instructable and will
require a fair amount of hand sewing. It will also require several iterations of mock-up,
fitting and adjusting to get the correct fit. If this is your first time making a corset I
recommend starting with my other instructable How to make a Steampunk Corset as it
is far more basic and it is much easier to fit properly.

You can see the evolution of this pattern from a mess of fabrics scraps and duct tape,
through several stages of mockup and redrafting, to its current state in Figure 3. Note:
I am using a mannequin not a naked person.


If you have trouble seeing the details of any of the images, click the little i in the top left
corner and it will allow you to view it in the original resolution.

 
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Step 1: Tools

Picture of Tools

Tools You Will Need:
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  1. Straight-stitch sewing machine and hand sewing materials
  2. For the sewing machine you will need a zipper foot
  3. Scissors
  4. Awl
  5. Marking tool (Preferably something non-permanent like a chalk pencil)
  6. Fray Check (If you use a fabric with a tendency to fray)
  7. Lighter or other heat source
  8. Grommet Setter
  9. Pliers
  10. Ruler or seam gauge
  11. Dressmakers pins (Ones that won't snag on a sewing machine)
  12. Steam Iron
  13. Hole punch
Tools that will Make the Job Easier
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  1. Rotary Cutter
  2. Cutting Mat or other razor safe surface (office chair mats work great)
  3. Seam Ripper
  4. Weights (I make my own with bags full of steel shot)


hohum2 years ago
very nice
sbarker23 years ago
Bugger it ! Im making it anyway...even if i cant wear it to work :D
I make corsets and underbust corsets....and I am in love with this one! absolutely stunning!!! Thank you.
sunshiine3 years ago
You did such an amazing job on this and your ible. Beautiful!
Where do you get coutil?? I understood that the only factory making it in the US burned down some 5 years ago and now it's as rare as hen's teeth.
I have successfully used mattress ticking ordered from Denver Mattress company. They actually have some beautiful patterns and it takes dye beautifully if you are so inclined.
lw119 (author)  scoochmaroo3 years ago
I will have to try that. Thanks for the tip.
lw119 (author)  ladyk5dragon3 years ago
It is hard to find. I purchased two rolls a couple years ago and have hardly made a dent in it. I found a coutil substitute for $8 / yard at www.voguefabricsstore.com. They have everything else you would need too.
You are my hero!!!! love corset instructables, keep them coming!!!!
czintx3 years ago
so so pretty! Love it
Beautiful piece of work, both the piece and the Instructable. Well done !
Love it!!!
XofHope3 years ago
This is absolutely gorgeous! I have one in this style but not as good looking as yours.
angelabchua3 years ago
Amazing construction skills! This is a really awesome and versatile piece!
jadekikyo3 years ago
Gorgeous!!!! Voted!
mowdish3 years ago
I would not have expected a corset to ever be appropriate for business, yet here we are. Nice work.
asighbert18 days ago

Just out of curiousity what size does this run? Just so I can figure out if I need to alter this or not. Thanks~ Great tutorial!

pseudodesigner11 months ago
I saw a corset like this years ago and have never been able to find a good pattern. Thank you for this. I will probably make it this week, sans boning as I need to go get that soon.
selene6661 year ago
i can`t see the pattern! why??
saosport1 year ago
THis is great I don't think I have the sewing skills for this yet but hopefully soon I'll give it a shot thanks
myeli20001 year ago
hermoso simplemente hermoso
Serefan1 year ago
So in other words does 'business professional' translate to 'as much curves visible as possible' to women?
SewLolita1 year ago
I make small pattern weights out of stacks of 20cent peices (australian ones, cuz that's what I have... whatever coin is low denomination, and about an inch and a half/3cm across works) so they have a nice flat bottom :)

sand in an empty tealight shell is also good :)
evriel2 years ago
Thank you so much for your instructions and pattern, I used it to make this corset for my sister! http://www.burdastyle.com/projects/corset-underbust-high-back?image=264736
lw119 (author)  evriel2 years ago
That is amazing. I enjoyed your other projects as well. Thank you for sharing here. It makes me want to make more instructables.

dragonsus2 years ago
Thank you for these great patterns!! I have made one from this and one from one of your other turorials - I've included a pic of both!
The instructions are clear and precise but I must emphasize the need to make a muslin version before cutting out the actual pieces - there is just so much variety in sizes and shapes and checking the fit makes for a much better fitting corset.
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lw119 (author)  dragonsus2 years ago
Thanks for sharing your completed work. They look awesome!

I agree totally about the muslin (though I must admit that I often neglect to do in my desire to arrive at a finished product).
I can definitely see this with a business jacket over it. And if you sit at a computer all day, the back support would be fabulous. An over bust corset might be better for someone in a more "modest" workplace. I love the shoulder straps because then you wouldn't keep feeling like it might slide down and look strange. I definitely want to make this one! I have been looking for a corset pattern with shoulder straps. Thanks for sharing this!!!!!!!!!
desya3 years ago
I so love corsets but I have a sit down desk job...nothing but ouch.....stays and boning and a sit down job don't mix .... any suggestions
lw119 (author)  desya3 years ago
A custom fit seems to make all the difference. You should not be able to feel the boning if a well made corset.

Off the shelf corsets are generally made to an unrealistic ideal miss size chart whereas most woman are one size at the bust area and another at the waist and hips. This causes the pressure of the corset to be distributed unevenly which can lead to considerable discomfort after a short time. In contrast, a bespoke corset can generally be worn for up to 8 hours and remain relatively comfortable.
Definitely custom fit is important! I wear corsets that I make myself rather than wear one that is ready made. I am way smaller on top than on bottom and my waist is short. So a ready made one would be too big on top or too small on the bottom and the bones would cut into my waist because they would be too long for my short waist. I make mine long line also because I need to accentuate the small bosom and cover the belly roll. Most ready made corsets emphasize the belly roll because they stop too short. But if the bones are in the wrong place in a long corset, they will definitely cut into your waist. Custom made corsets are very expensive but worth it if you want one to support a tired back!
yelenas3 years ago
I would actually BUY one of these from you! It looks absolutely amazing!
TerriMcD3 years ago
I got coutil from www.tutu.com. Runs about $9.80 per yard. (under fabrics/lining) They also sell steel boning at good prices. A little old fashioned site, but service has been friendly.
zapan3 years ago
Your instructable is currently being translated in french, to be featured on the creative LARP community Trollcalibur.com ; the translated article will of course display a link to the original instructable and will comply with the Creative Commons conditions. If you are opposed to the translation, please notify us so we can remove the article on our website. Thank you !
lw119 (author)  zapan3 years ago
That's great! Thanks for helping my project reach a wider audience.
zapan lw1193 years ago
Thank you for your awesome tutorial, i'll add a link to the article when the translation is complete.
jmitrovic3 years ago
Wooooooow!!!! I am a corset collector, i take pride in each and every one of them and none are business appropriate, I would loooove if you could make one more of them for me :) Jenna Mitrovic
katjoy3 years ago
While this may be a very nice piece of clothing. I really can't see wearing it in any type of business setting that isn't in retail slanted towards the "adult trade", or as a musician, or some other independent type of work. What is your reasoning behind being able to wear this item that is obviously accentuating the model's ample bosom?
lw119 (author)  katjoy3 years ago
I created this corset as my entry into a fashion design contest. Perhaps you have seen a fashion show on TV at some point and said to yourself “I would never wear that” when you saw a particular model strutting down the runway. The point is to be inventive and bring something new to the table. Corsets are a growing fashion trend and mine was an attempt to merge a corset with a woman’s business vests (Google the term and you will immediately see what I mean). So please try to look at it through that lens.

Whether it is suitable for your work environment is up to you and I am certainly making no statement about how woman should dress. Some work environments, particularly more liberal locations such as here in Las Vegas, permit woman to deviate to some degree from what would traditionally be considered business attire. Fashion is something that is constantly evolving; around 50 years ago, it would have been frowned upon for a woman to wear pants to work.

I am not sure I answered your question. It seems you are asking me to make an argument defining what women should be allowed to wear to work, not going to, sorry.
katjoy lw1193 years ago
Please forgive me if I came off rude or brash. That's really not my intention.
I am basically saying I would never want my boss looking at me in any sexual way, and this piece just might do that. It is an excellent piece of work. You obviously have very exacting sewing skills. Knowing you live in Las Vegas says a lot about the leniency in dress code. I live in the Midwest. While not prudish, I definitely can say that if I saw this item on a coworker, I would assuredly not be the only one wondering why this person thought it was an appropriate piece to wear to work.
Now, if you were to wear it in just about any other setting, and could take the interested looks you may receive from others, then go ahead and flaunt the goods.
danvilleman3 years ago
Now I want to see the "business environment appropriate" bikini.
reinlar3 years ago
Beautiful work ! But, are you really going to send your wife to work in this??? You have to be the most secure, trusting husband (or fool) in the world! Way, way, waaaaaay too sexy for the work environment, unless she works at a strip club. Even worn over a shirt, it's tooo HOT! I want to order three for the ladies in our office!
I can't help wondering just what sort of "business" she's in...
Agreed. This is a fantastic project with a very cool outcome, but that wouldn't really fly anywhere I've worked.
Certainly wouldn't fly if I were wearing it, but it looks kinda nice on the mannequin.
You'd be Mr Mashed Potato Head! :-O)
Well said.
kevinhannan3 years ago
wow! what a great 'ible!

I'd be a bit worried if my boss/colleague/worker came in wearing *that*! But great for a "special night in"!

Brilliant work, this is a show piece example of a great 'ible - thanks for sharing!
skaar3 years ago
so, the outer fabric is folded over the coutil to hold the busk? so, it'd have to be a pretty strong fabric... or, what? the lining... in the text... um, do you have the pictures out of order?
lw119 (author)  skaar3 years ago
The pictures are in the correct order. The outer fabric and the coutil were bound together in step 3 such that they are in step 5 treated as a single piece of fabric.

The busk is slid into pocket formed in the seam between the outer fabric (coutil + outer fabric prior to step 3) and the lining. When you fold the lining over and stitch the busk in place. It ends up sandwiched between a double layer of the outer fabric (coutil + outer fabric prior to step 3) and a double layer of the lining fabric. In step 7 in my other corset instructable here there is a photo of the busk insertion from another angle that might clear things up.

If you were adding a significant reduction (probably not a good idea if you are wearing it to work) a second layer of coutil in place of the lining might be prudent. However the intent of this corset is to emphasize your current shape not give you a new one.

Thanks for the question. Please let know if this did not clear things up.
skaar lw1193 years ago
just before the page reload, i thought i had it... allowance in the coutil, all the layers folded sewn together, the coutil folded over, taking the other layers with it to make the pocket. i'll get it eventually, been wanting to make a gross of corsets for friends... mostly as gifts for them.

i guess cutting the holes in the coutil for the hooks to go through would weaken it?
lw119 (author)  skaar3 years ago
Yeah, I would definitely not slit the coutil.

If you want to make a bunch of corsets I would recommend my other corset instructable. It has a much simpler pattern and is way more forgiving if your off a bit in your measurements. Also, I added a lot of information on the basics in that one that I did not repeat in this one. I would give you a link but the Rich Editor button is unresponsive at the moment.

Let me know if you cant get it figured out. I can make you a video if you need it.
skaar lw1193 years ago
part of the fun is figuring it out, and if i figured it out now, too much time would be taken from my other projects. i spose there's other people that would like some clarification... they can read it here.