My First Corset - Victorian Style!





Introduction: My First Corset - Victorian Style!

The corset is a beautiful thing, the ultimate show of femininity (well in my opinion at least!). So for quite a while I have wanted to make one, and here is my first attempt. I used Vogue 8325, with a couple of changes. For instance, instead of using plastic boning, I used steel spiral wire boning. Instead of normal hooks and eyes, I used chunky corset hook and eye tape. And I also changed the size of the eyelets, so I could use a specific lacing bone. I had a couple of problems along the way- I cut the boning a bit to long (though I did exactly as the pattern said!) and it started to pop thorough the seams a bit. So I used bias binding to hide the problem!
But apart from that I think it has turned out quite well for a first attempt…And its fits like a dream!I used a blue/white classic brocade, which I think looks a bit victorian... to mix it up a bit, as the brocade is double sided and the colours of the pattern are reversed, I used different sides of the fabric for different pannels. Its quite suble, but you can just about tell that some roses are blue, and some are white.
Ive put some pics up here of construction and the final product..
Anyways, let me know what you guys think.
Rainbow Han

Step 1: Pattern Cutting

As I said in the intro I used an altered version of Vogue 8325. I just followed the instructions as enclosed, and you end up with two sides that look like this. However, you can see a bit here that I have used the different sides of the brocade on alternate pannels of the corset to give an interesting effect.

Step 2: Bones and Lining

The pattern said to use rubbishy platic boning, butI wanted to go the whole hog and use steel bones! I bought this continuous spiral wire boning from, which you do have to cut your self to the same length of your seams, minus 2-3cm. Then you use end caps which are purchased seperately and applied with pliers. The easiest way of doing this is to use a big hammer and a sharp chisel to cut the boning. I wuld recommend doing this on a house brick or something, and to wear eye protection ( the wires do tend to ping of in all directions!)

After this, to apply the bones to the lining you need some cotton covering tape. This can be sewn through at the edges,and stops you getting jabbed by the bones.

Step 3: Sewing Lining to Main Fabric, Hooks and Eyes, Lacing Bone/eyelets.

Jsut a note about sewing the lining and the main fabric together. THe pattern says to cut the bones shorted than the seams by 2cm. However I would recommend shortening the bones by about 3cm, as when I sewed the lining and main fabric together and truned it wout the right way, I discovered the bones were pusheng through the seam. THis wasnt a big deal, but it made the seams look messy and bumpy. So to get round this, I added bias binding I made using a funky gadget by prym, so I could get a good colour match.This made it all look more tidy.

After this, I sewed in the chunky corset hooks and eyes, concealing the white tape they were attached to in to the seam at the front- between the main fabric and the lining. The fact these were on a tape, meant that the spacing is perfect- and makes it look more professional.

THe pattern also didnt use a lacing bone- which is quite fundamental if you wnat perfect spacing for your eyelets. I used 4mm eyelets with a special set of eyelet vario pliers and a set of 25cm lacing bones, again from Vena carva design. the 4mm eyelets fit snugly in the bones. Fisrt I laid the bones flat on the brocade surface, and marked the holes with a pencil all the way down. Then using the piercing tool on the piers I made holes at each dot, through the brocade and lining fabric. Then I inserted the lacing bone between the brocade and the lining, and matched up the bone holes with the holes in the fabric.Then I applied the eyelets. After the eyelets were applied, I sewed round the bone using a zipper foot, just to make sure it would budge when lacing it up! To add definition to the edge, on the back i inserted another normal spiral bone next to the lacing bone. THis was then finished with a white cord to complement the other colour in the brocade. Voila- one corset.

Step 4: Wearing!

Finished, one can wear a corset anytime- they can be so easily dressed up or down. And the possibilities with different fabrics and finishes are endless, giving different looks! As I said, this corset I think looks quite casualand slighly victorian with the blue shimmer in the brocade.



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    64 Discussions

    WOW, what an amazing job. My girlfriend and I have been looking to make a corset for some time now. Do you know where you could still find a lot of patterns for corsets, i would like a similar pattern, maybe with a more top? I can no longer find the vogue 8325 pattern that you used. Again, great job!

    1 reply
    If you haven't found a pattern yet that you like, try this site. The patterns are great and the prices for them are really reasonable. Like $5.00
    I am dying to try this necktie dress now!

    Hey. Awesome looking corset. I know I'm a bit late in commenting, seeing that this was posted almost 3 years ago. I was wondering if this pattern or way you made it had any support in the um... how do I put this politely enough that it won't offend people? Support in the frontal area? I have previously made a corset and found it lacked support when I went to a dance kind of thing. Most embarrassing.

    Im interested in the bias binding gadget you used - I super hate sewing on bias binding so if theres a gadget that makes it easier im interested! Where can you get this device?

    FLATULATIONS-- But I am a bit confused. What is the purpose of a corset? Was not the style/look in the Victorian age supposed to make the breast flatter? In this day of plastic enhancements is the flat look in again? (Will silicon stocks plummet)? I am so confused...just tell me what I am supposed to want to see; after all, I am just a guy. (Nice Ible)

    5 replies

    I think youll find that Victorian and Georgoian corsets were designed to make the wiast smaller, giveing the allusion of an hour glass shape. Yes of recent years boyish shaped girls have been admired (kiera Knighly etc...) But there is talk of a revival of the feminin hurglass shape- jus look at all the stars trying to look like 1950's pin ups recently- all trying to be curvey marlilyn monroes. So Id say its a mixed bag at the mo. flatulations to you 2!

    very well done. Just one request, can you a halter top corset?  Also a possible suggestion; where the ribbon comes down from the bottom, you could add beads or other decor there if you so desire it.

    Nicely done. Welcome to Instructables.

    I bought this neat book a couple years ago:
    Inventing Beauty - A History of the Innovations that Have Made Us Beautiful] that covers a bunch of the history of different devices and compositions that society has used over the years, including diversions into how things that were not acceptable became acceptable, and vis versa. The Table of Contents divides things down by body part (Lips, Breasts, Waist, hands, etc...) It's worth a look if your library has it, and perhaps even worth buying if you're really interested in that sort of thing (I have daughters. I figured it would be a good idea...)

    Thank you for your polite reply. I now understand, more completely, your direction and motive. At this point I should also say that I admire a person with your artistic skills...or any artistic skills as long as they pursue that which they believe in wholeheartedly. By these means humanity takes those most important steps forward. Thanks again.

    ik this is @ least 2 yrs late, but like what maker said, the corsets are ment to give the illusion of an hourglass shape.  Also it is supposed to lift the breasts (a traditional one that is) to give the illusion that a size B is really a size C.  All the divices that are ment to make women beautitful or give the illusion thereof are near endless.  And no, the flat look is not in style.  In fact, the bigger the breasts and butt, it seems, the better.  Just a flat tummy, and there you go. 

    Just sum tips: Make the pattern from  at least 4-6 parts to share the taille line. Mark the pattern on the linin usin allowances (and don't let the bonings hit the allowences; btw: there are ready-made bonings that only diver in 0,5mm-lengths) and wrap the fabric tightly round the lining (attach it on the allowences) before sewin: that way it decreases unwanted tucks while wearing.
    If you're in need for sum nice corset-patterns, get "Corsets - Historical Patterns & Techniques" by Jill Salen; for tech-support get "The Basics of Corset Building: A Handbook for Beginners" by Linda Sparks.
    (Sry for my choppy english)

    You did a smashing job on this - I think the contrast bias tape adds a lovely touch. One wouldn't have ever known it was a mistake if you hadn't told. Brava!

    1 reply

    Hello. I'm new to and I'm loving it so far. I'm working on a Halloween costume and part of it is going to be a corset for my dress's bodice (or possibly under the dress, not sure yet). Anyways, I've done a LOT of research and it always seems like making a corset is extremely difficult, and yet, so easy. Strange, huh? I wanted to tell you that your corset, even though it's your first, is beautiful! The fabric and shape is done very well. The ONLY thing I can suggest is your lacing. A proper corset is laced from the bottom and top towards the middle. That way, you get a good snug fit, especially in the middle where it's most needed. I can't wait to make a good corst. I've already made a practice underbust corset and I'm happy with it. Time to move up! :D Thank you for your quick/easy tutorial. And you're absolutely right...plastic boning is seriously ridiculous. Steel is the only way. Bye!

    H! Thanks for your comment. :-) The principal is simple enough, but I found that dealing with springy bones was quite tricky, along with cutting them (hammer and chisel job!). Also the pattern I used wasn't designed for steel boning, so as a result the length of boning I cut was too long and ended up popping out the ends of the seems (this porbably wouldnt have happend with plastic boning as its more bendy) hence the bias binding to hide my mistakes!! :-) I think with practice with different materials it should get easier. I found in the end it was like puttling up a tent - 2D fabric, made 3D by adding sticks (well sort of anyway!) I think all in all this project cost me £35-£40 for materials and pattern. Its well worth spending the time- as you said proper steel boned ones are expensive. The plus side with making your own is that you can make it fit perfectly. Cheers, Rainbow_han

    You mention in the comments below that this is a really difficult project - I'm not questioning that - but I've wanted to make one or six of these for the wife for some time - and your ible makes it seems deadly simple - trace pattern, apply boning, sew. I love sewing (anything like 'engineering' as mentioned below) and love corsets. They seem so expensive - which tells me they ARE labour intensive to create. That spiral boning looks a lot like chainmaille :D If I may, about how much does the material, hardware, and patterns cost? (approximately). Free time I have - so the labour part is actually not a big deal :D

    corset are amazing sexy I'm going to make one of these for my girlfriend

    In the future, when cutting springy metal, wrap duct tape around the spot you want to cut. It reduces the 'snap' in addition to blunting the newly sharpened edge. I agree with you about eye tape, as opposed to those weirdo purists that insist on doing them individually! (Lame!)