Sunday, 12 February 2017

My first attempt at a Waist Training Corset

I have been interested in waist training for a few years now, but haven't begun for a few reasons. Mostly because of the cost of the corsets, but also because of the amount of times I was pregnant last year. My husband and I are still trying for a baby this year, but I've decided not to put things off because of it. Don't worry though, I will only be wearing a corset at times when I definitely know I'm not pregnant.

I had a good look online at a few corset brands, as well as Lucy's corset calculator, but none had a corset curvy enough and short enough for my body, Mystic City Corsets had a few that were close, but not quite small enough in the waist, or big enough in the hips, or short enough. So naturally I thought I would have a go at sewing one myself. As far as I could find, there doesn't seem to be any corset sewing patterns that match my measurements either, so I got out a pencil, paper and ruler, and got to work drafting my own.

First draft corset pattern

I aimed for a fairly short waspie style with only about 6" reduction in the waist, and I mostly kept the front pieces flat, putting the curves at the side and back where I need them. I added 1/2" seam allowances on each side, then once I was happy with the pattern, I grabbed some fabric scraps and cut the pieces out.

Clipping the curves while watching "Call the Midwife"

For this test version, I just sewed up the front instead of inserting a busk (as I don't have any on hand) each seam was sewn up, clipped and pressed open, then the two layers are put wrong sides together, matching up all the seams. I then simple sewed a line of stitching down either side of the seams to create the boning channels, adding an extra boning channel either side of the front seam for extra rigidity there.

Sewing boning channels between the 2 layers

Boning inserted, ready to insert the eyelets

Once I had the eyelets in, I laced it up with some red and black satin ribbing I happened to have on hand and tried it on. Unfortunately, it looked like I had added too much room in the hip spring, probably because the corset is so short, it doesn't hit the part of my upper hips that I measured. I fixed this easily with 4 small darts in some of the side and back panels.

Testing the fit, over my pajamas
Once I had sewn in the darts and pressed them, I bound the top and bottom edges with a soft pink binding from my stash, the tried on the completed corset over a stretchy dress.

Finished, trying on to test fit

While I am happy with the fit of this corset as a first draft, there are lots of areas I want to change/improve for the next one. For starters, I think I will raise the top edge at the back in an attempt to minimise back fat and stabilise the top edge somewhat. I also really wanted a more dramatic hourglass shape initially, so I will also be changing the shape of the waistline, and possibly bring it in slightly smaller, as well as bringing in the bottom edge slightly so I don't need to add darts.

As with many plus size gals, my hips tend to spread out a bit when I sit down, so a fellow corset maker and wearer suggested I try using power mesh in small triangular gores on the bottom, to allow for extra room when seated. In order to make a corset that will be comfortable to wear sitting down, while sewing or perhaps doing Uni work, I will probably use this idea. Naturally I will also be buying a proper steel busk and spiral steel boning.

When I do fix up my pattern, I am thinking I will scan it in and upload it as a new free pattern for my readers. Admittedly it will only suit people with similar measurements to myself, but I am sure there are plenty of curvy short gals out there who will appreciate it.



  1. That looks rather gorgeous. I'm so impressed that you drafted it yourself - I wish I could speed up my skills in that area!

    Katie @ Katie Writes Stuff

    1. Thanks Katie, it's just something I've always done, I never knew drafting was such a big deal until I met more people who sew through the internet. All I can recommend is to measure everything and attempt to plot out your own simple patterns using your own measurements.