Started from a Historical Pattern, Now We’re Here….

Hello everyone!

For the last couple months, I’ve been following a ton of corset blogs on tumblr. It totally convinced me that I need to start waist training. I decided on starting out with a over bust pattern and modifying it to suit my needs.

I started out with Corsets and Crinolines by Nora Waugh. This book is literally the holy grail of corset patterns.

I choose to use the late 1880s pattern, since this is my favourite era to costume for.


I decided to alter the pattern because I prefer underbusts more and they seem less complicated to make for a beginner in corsetry, like myself.

I found a enlarged version online and printed it out. I then measured everything.

My personal measurements are:

Bust: 35″

Actual Waist: 28″

Intended Waist: 24″

Upper Hip: 35″

I changed the pattern to fit these measurements and this was the end result:


. I made up a quick mock up and tried it on.

Then I decided on what alterations I wanted.

I have really sensitive hip bones, so I wanted the bottom edge of the corset to cover my lower belly, rise over my hip bones and then dip back down to my lower back. I drew that in to different ways on the mock up with chalk.

I also wanted a high back and a nice curved top edge. So I drew that on the mock up with chalk.

I made sure that all of my lines where smooth and gradual. I knew I was going to be wearing this quite often under modern clothes and the smooth lines help it to stay hidden.

DSC_0592-Recovered DSC_0594 DSC_0596

After trimming away the excess fabric, I decided to add another inch on the bottom hem and take in the hip measurement by .5″ because the panels were not lying flat. I added seam allowances and these were my final pattern pieces:


So far I’m pleased with my work. Though I was hoping there would be less math involved. I can’t wait to start actually constructing the corset though. Fingers crossed that it fits!



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