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March 15, 2013 / silvernswan

The Dreamstress Underbust Corset – Part 1

I signed up to make an underbust corset with The Dreamstress at Made Marion this year. I had really wanted to do it last year when I found out about it, but was rather pregnant at the time.

My fabrics

I tried stash busting in the first instance, and decided on a plain light grey twill as the outer to my corset. I can’t remember when I bought it, but it must have been cheap as I have a mile of it. I plan to wear the corset under things rather than as an outer garment, so the light grey is a good innocuous colour.

I did have some other fabrics lined up from my stash for the rest of it, but I popped into Spotlight while they had a sale on, and well, I couldn’t resist. I found a travellers passport stamp craft cotton for the (visible) lining, and strong cotton with ducks on it for the interior reinforcing. When it is all sewn up you won’t be able to see the ducks, but I like knowing they will be there and have enjoyed sewing with them.


In our first class we checked our sizing, cut out our paper pattern, cut out the fabric and sewed interior pieces (ducks!) to all the other pieces. There will be four layers of fabric in the finished garment, so there were 32 pieces to cut out. . .

Also, I learnt two new things;
My waist is not where I thought it was &
Corsets aren’t supposed to be uncomfortable (Yay, since I’m making one)


The class is limited to six people, and there was a really nice atmosphere. I have never actually taken a sewing class before and it nice to meet other sewers.

On to the second night where we were setting in the busk and grommets. Leimomi’s grommet machine is very similar to the snap press I have at home and I got into the swing of it easily. And you do kind-of swing into it – you have to push the lever down quite hard and it is easiest to swing your body weight into it rather than trying to use your hand/arm strength.


Putting in the busk is relatively straightforward, and should be easy, but! I ended up doing and then re-doing the top seam on the hook side four times. FOUR TIMES. I don’t think I have ever done that before, I’m just not that fussy. I may need some practice with my zipper foot. I was having problems with the top layer starting to pull & pucker, and then I’d find I’d wandered away from the edge of the busk that I was supposed to be up tight against. The final time I sewed it upside down, so the feed dog was pulling through the top layer smoothly.


This night everyone was very focussed and most of us completed these steps and started on joining pieces for fitting next week.

*To be continued in part 2*


One Comment

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  1. Kat H / Mar 17 2013 8:14 am

    Oooh, exciting! I love that you have ducks inside your corset. 🙂

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