20th Century corset

The common mispronunciation of this garment leads to immediate invalidation of the speaker, so I was told when corrected during a show two years ago.


This corset was the main project of the 20th Century costume design class I took Spring of 2016.   Prior to this corset I had made a handful of garments including: aviator pants, trousers, a petticoat bodice, and was in the process of also making an entire renaissance fair outfit.  That is the only previous costume construction experience I had, and I had step by step professor instructions for each of those pieces.

Most of the corset was done by machine but it required a lot of precision.  I had never put in any type of boning and that was tough to get perfect.  The boning is the sturdy bits sewn in to the garment which allow it to keep the wearer in an upright poised position.  In this piece I used industrial zip ties for a cheap imitation of whale bone.

The Pattern

corset pattern

The last thing to do on my corset was stitch a piece of bias tape around all the raw edges.  I cut a piece of coordinating fabric ( the black and grey silk) and folded and pressed until it fit around the edges smoothly.  This is the part were I put band aids on every finger and lock myself in my room.  The hand-work is my favorite part, but can be very painful.  It’s calming to sit there and zone in on getting every thread set into a piece perfectly.

Finished look


If I could change one thing about this it would be the seam allowance.  Clearly every single piece is marked that I cut it with a 5/8 inch seam allowance but for some reason I sewed it all with 1/2 inch seams so it’s about an inch too big.  However that does mean I can twerk, get low and really get groovy in it.  Check my instgram for proof(;



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