The Corsetiere’s Course started today! Our students will spend the time learning as many aspects of corset building as I can fit into the schedule. Everyone has different reasons for taking a course such as this, and our class this year is no exception. Some want to take this course so they can make custom corsetry and others take it for personal growth and enrichment of their sewing skills. Still others want to start a ready-to-wear line.
We started the day with talk about the materials for making corsets – after all, a corset without a busk is like a jacket without a zipper. The busks allow the wearer to fasten the corset in the front and tighten the laces in the back. The seems to be a shortage of ladies-in-waiting these days, so it is best if you can tighten your corset yourself.
In the photo from left to right – wide busk, nickel, gold, black, bronze and a spoon busk. Busks in our store are available in lengths from 6″ (15 cm) up to 16″ (40.6 cm) in finishes of nickel, gold, black and antique bronze. Lots of choice here.
Next we moved on to boning. Lots of sewists think that garments with boning is too advanced for their sewing skills, but that’s not the case. Boning is not difficult at all.
I did a boning display for them – plastic whalebone, covered, uncovered, spiral pre-cut and tipped,  spring steel and solid steel. Can you identify them from the photo below?

The back of a corset needs to be laced up. Here are three different methods you can use. There are two types of pre-made grommet tape available but they are only available in white and black. That’s fine if your corset is white or black. However, if your corset is turquoise or red…what’s a girl to do?

The answer is to set your own grommets. We sell two sizes – the most common size is #00 which is 3/16″ (4.7 mm) inside diameter and the size #2 which is 3/8″ (9 mm). The smaller size is the traditional size for traditional corsets while the larger size is used for more costume effects, such as those worn by pirates, wenches and Octoberfest maidens. Oh yes, they are popular in Steampunk circles too ( I love that look!)

We finished our day with a sort trip to the fabric store down the street, just to get them thinking about the fabric they will use for their first corset. They have to make a decision by tomorrow morning. Sounds easy, but there’s a lot of choice at the Textile Centre!
So stay tuned (or better yet, follow our blog) to see what happens over the next week!


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