Victorian Corset Mock-up

I am taking a fantastical journey into a realm of sewing that I have barely dabbled in before. After years of watching my friends dress up fabulously in period garments and prance around in wonderful fashions while I am wearing jeans and a t-shirt… I decided to venture out of my comfort zone. For an upcoming event I have the chance and reason to dress up in a Victorian costume. For those of you who don’t know that means of have my choice of giant hoop skirt, giant bustle, giant sleeves or any combination there of. While the Queen had quite a long rule fashion was also thrown into hyper-drive thanks to the widespread acceptance of the glorious sewing machine.

I have chosen to dive into the bustle era’s…however it turns out there is 3 so I still have some research/narrowing down to do.

Anyway I figured I needed to get started somewhere and no costume would be right without the correct silhouette. Thanks to a great tip from Robin of Sewloud I was able to draft my own corset with the great tutorial and information from Foundations Revealed.

After many measurements taken and many lines drawn I had a pattern that was pretty spot on and just need a minor tweak.

I did a quick mock-up (my dress form shall model for me)



Now keep in mind that I am much shorter than this dress form so it fits me much better. Since I needed to do a quick mock-up but could not find and tips for shortcuts I just made things up along the way… I had some terrible plastic boning lying around that I just taped into place along a few seam lines. For the real thing I will be using spiral steel. I did not want to cut holes and try lacing the back so I grabbed some super stretchy powernet that I had and just sewed a 2″ strip on the back where typically grommets and lacing would go.



You can also see that I am missing a busk in the front, this is something I plan on avoiding while using the non period correct zipper… because I can.

I added an extra 1.5″ to one of my Center Front pieces and adjusted the width of the other to create a overlap to hide my zipper. I did actually find a few pictures of 1870-80’s corsets that had a placket concealing the busk anyway.



anyway so far this has been a fun project – any corset making tips out there for me?



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