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Victorian Overbust Corset by sidneyeileen Victorian Overbust Corset by sidneyeileen
I finished the Victorian overbust corset I was making for myself, and took some photos so I could show the finished product. I designed and created the entire corset, from drafting through to the final details, and posted detailed progression photos in my scrapbook on LJ, including a serious after-completion modification to the bustline. [link]

It was drafted to imitate the very late Victorian, just pre-Edwardian corsets, with a straight-front busk. I used six panel pieces per side, as seems standard for most modern corsets. The final lines have some minor issues, so I don't plan to use this exact pattern again, but instead plan to play with entirely different styles of piecing. It's also still just a bit tight around the top of the torso, and a bit odd under the armpit.

The cover material is a rough brown silk, the edging is red-brown ribbon, and the decorations are hand-embroidered double-satin ribbon. The decorations on the bust are hiding a post-completion modification to the bustline, which was far too large and had to be taken in before the corset would fit properly.
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:iconoasiaris:
oasiaris Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
It looks awesome! Only thing is, I don't think the skin on your back is supposed to fold like that. If you lace it up tight enough before putting it on (so you'll just have to adjust the lacing a little more when it's on) you might avoid that problem. Or maybe lining it with a smooth fabric would help.
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:iconsidneyeileen:
sidneyeileen Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
It was my first self-draft overbust corset, made years ago.  It's not supposed to do that, no.
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:iconoasiaris:
oasiaris Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh wow, it's very good for a first try!
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:iconichibodcrane:
IchibodCrane Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2011
That's pretty cool! Mind if I ask about how it's boned? I made a corset recently that had some issues that I think has to do with the fact that I only had 1/4 spring steel on hand. You did a lovely job and it looks great!
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:iconsidneyeileen:
sidneyeileen Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
1/4" spring steel works well, but it only bends in and out. There's no twist to it, so if it's not placed such that is perfectly vertical in alignment it can cause problems. This particular corset is boned entirely with 1/2" wide spring steel, so the potential problems are even greater. I did enough mock-ups that I was able to place them properly, but the shaping of the corset has some issues (serious muffin-top) because of my inexperience at the time. I've gotten a lot better since this one, and typically use spiral steel because of its ability to twist and stay conformed perfectly with the corset. However, because it is less sturdy you must use more of it to keep a smooth shape free of buckles.
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:iconichibodcrane:
IchibodCrane Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2011
Okay, I'll keep that in mind. Thanks a billion for your help! ^^
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:iconnodis:
nodis Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2011
Nicely crafted .. the Gear placement and patience to make it look so clean . very nice . Also you look Beautiful .. your expression is pleasant and the Outfit . simple, meant to show off the corset , actually accentuates your Sweet figure.
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:iconiheartblank:
iheartblank Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2010
wow- that's beautiful!! I wish I could afford one
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:iconsidneyeileen:
sidneyeileen Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you. :aww:
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:iconericha-cerevantes:
Ericha-Cerevantes Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2009
GORGEOUS.
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:iconsidneyeileen:
sidneyeileen Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks. :aww:
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:iconcupcake986:
cupcake986 Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2009
This is lovely :) Do you use boning in the side seam? I'm working on a victorian style corset and I wasn't sure if I would have the boning continue past the waistline on the sideseam. Do you use spiral boning?
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:iconsidneyeileen:
sidneyeileen Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you. I use the white flats, not spirals. On this particular corset, I used one 1/2"-wide flat at each vertical seam. On most corsets I use a combination of 1/2" and 1/4" wide flats. It is very important that the boning continue past the waistline at all parts of the corset. The boning is there to prevent the corset from buckling under the stress of lacing, and just ending up bunched at the waist. The boning should extend nearly to the top and bottom edges. If you look at a couple other corsets in my gallery, you can see where the boning is placed. on this particular corset the boning is hidden by the cover layer.

[link] [link] [link] [link] all have visible boning channels. The stitching at either end of each channel shows the tip of the contained bone.
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:iconcupcake986:
cupcake986 Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2009
Thanks for the input! Much appreciated :)
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:iconmeg-sway:
meg-sway Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2009  Student Traditional Artist
Absolutely stunning.
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:iconsidneyeileen:
sidneyeileen Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you. :aww:
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:iconusergirl101:
usergirl101 Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2009
cute. i probabily without a doubt need to get fabric if i ever plan to make a corset.
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:iconsidneyeileen:
sidneyeileen Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
It helps. ;)
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:iconaimaccessoirdesign:
AIMAccessoirDesign Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2009  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
LOVE the ribbon decoration! :heart:
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:iconsidneyeileen:
sidneyeileen Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you. :aww:
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:iconruzgart:
ruzgart Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2009
wow
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:iconsidneyeileen:
sidneyeileen Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks.
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:iconboonjagga:
BOONJAGGA Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2008  Student General Artist
That's a very nice one, I'm not into corsets but you're great at sewing ^^
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:iconsidneyeileen:
sidneyeileen Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you. :hug:
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:iconboonjagga:
BOONJAGGA Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2008  Student General Artist
Very welcome
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:iconkayaksailor:
kayaksailor Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2008
:w00t: beautiful!!!
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:iconsidneyeileen:
sidneyeileen Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you. :aww:
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:iconcalypso-ash:
Calypso-Ash Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2008
Ohh, what a gorgeous corset! :D Love the contrast!


Though... I think I'll need more direction if I'm going to try.. I still don't know where to start :XD:
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:iconsidneyeileen:
sidneyeileen Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks!

You can always try starting with commercial patterns (Truly Victorian makes some good ones), and a book or two on how to do corsetry. Also, I uploaded lots of photos and described the process of mocking-up, altering, and sewing this corset. [link]

I hope that helps!
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:iconcalypso-ash:
Calypso-Ash Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2008
Ahh, I will look for some of those patterns! Would you know anymore good brands? I might be going to Hancock Fabrics sometime soon to look around the patterns :aww:
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:iconsidneyeileen:
sidneyeileen Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
I was stunned to see some decent historic patterns among the Halloween patterns in the books at Joan's a few months back, but the accurate historical pattern companies never sell through mainstream fabric stores. If there are any stores in your area that cater to historic reenactors or historical societies, they might carry the patterns. Usually I order them online, or buy them at a couple historical sources in San Francisco.

I did a quick search on "corset pattern", and came up with this site that sells everything you need for fairly reasonable prices: [link]
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:iconcalypso-ash:
Calypso-Ash Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2008
Ahh alright, I'll look through that site! :D

The only thing I really had trouble with is finding fabric I like.. and I get horribly picky on it too ;3; (mainly brocade, because it's just love). But I went ahead and got this pattern (only because the one I picked out was "too big".. god I hate sizes). But I think I'll try making the one in the furthermost bottom right corner for starters.. well, once I get fabric.
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:iconsidneyeileen:
sidneyeileen Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
Hmmm... I can tell looking at the pattern that it's not historically accurate, so I have no idea what quality of instructions it will have. The shaping on the middle example appears about right for an Elizabethan profile, so I'm hopeful that it will work well. Elizabethan is the simplest kind of corset you could start with, although the addition of details like the side lacing makes it more complicated than it needs to be. The fact that it doesn't have a Victorian busk will also make construction easier.

I would recommend a mock-up in cotton duck fabric, with all the boning. I would also recommend using spring steel boning rather than plastic. The plastic will buckle and distort when your body heat warms it up. For this cut of corset, you can also use cotton duck for the constructive layers, and simply cover it with whatever fabric you like. If you only use cover fabric (no foundation layer), than you are restricted to using cover materials that have a lot of structural integrity.

If you can find a discount fabric store in your area, you might be able to find cotton duck (might be called "canvas") for a lower price. Also, the fancier materials are likely to be much more affordable prices, especially since you will only need a small amount and can dig through the remnants.
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:iconcalypso-ash:
Calypso-Ash Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2009
Ah, I won't be getting into the side lacing, so no worries about that! :D Also, excuse the uber late reply. I had to keep the message since if I had replied to it I would've forgotten everything. So now I have the tips written down and now I'm replying! LOL

How would I go by covering it with another fabric if I constructed it out of the canvas? That sounds more of what I would want to do.. so it lasts!
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:iconsidneyeileen:
sidneyeileen Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
You have two ways to go.

You could create the cover as an entirely separate layer, and then add it over the top before adding grommets or binding the top and bottom.

Alternately, you could flatline the cover material to the outer layer of core material for each panel, and then assemble the corset as per the instructions. Flatlining is when you baste two pieces of fabric together along all the edges, so you can treat them as a single piece of fabric. Some corseters use fusable bonding instead of flatlining, but I would never use fusable anything myself.

Which method you use really depends upon whether or not you want the boning channels to be visible on your finished corset. If you don't want them seen, apply the cover last. If you want them seen (or don't care), flatline the cover to the core before assembly. The flatline method will be easier. The only potential drawback is the boning channels being visible.
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(1 Reply)
:iconglowcat:
glowcat Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
I love the decorating.
I think it needs more 'S'. (j/k)
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:iconsidneyeileen:
sidneyeileen Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks.
:giggle: The only way my ass is going to stick out more is if I'm wearing high heels. ;)
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:iconglowcat:
glowcat Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
LOL!!
Your picture makes me want to get some photos of the corsets I've had made for me :) It's no Gibson Girl, but I like mine :D
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:iconsidneyeileen:
sidneyeileen Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
Very cool. I'd love to see it. :D
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:iconglowcat:
glowcat Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
[link]

There's one :)

[link]
there's the other!
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:iconsidneyeileen:
sidneyeileen Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
Nice! :aww:
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:iconglowcat:
glowcat Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks!
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:iconwhizzywhizzer:
whizzywhizzer Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2008
Wow that's great Sidney, I love how tiny your waste looks & how the corset shows off the beautiful feminine curves.
I wish these would come back into fash................
Hell you'd be loaded =D
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:iconsidneyeileen:
sidneyeileen Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
:giggle: Thanks.
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:iconwhizzywhizzer:
whizzywhizzer Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2008
Are you going to make anymore?
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:iconsidneyeileen:
sidneyeileen Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
Definitely! I'm currently working on two underbust corsets (both for other people), and after that I am planning to make two modern conical corsets (one for me and one for a friend). I love sewing. I just hadn't taken the time for it in about eight years, a lapse I don't plan to repeat.
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:iconwhizzywhizzer:
whizzywhizzer Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2008
Hey that's good news!!!
Do you do silk or satin corsets with big or little bows & stuff?
Well I'll look forward to your new creations, on ya mate :hug:
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:iconsidneyeileen:
sidneyeileen Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
I haven't made a corset of that style yet, but there is no reason I couldn't. :D
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:iconwhizzywhizzer:
whizzywhizzer Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2008
I think everyone loves sexy cloaths & I'm tipping you will come up with something mind blowing Sidney!!!
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:iconqueen-kitty:
Queen-Kitty Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2008   Photographer
wow...Sidney, this overbust is so entirely gorgeous! I love the detailing on the front, even if it is to cover up a flaw, it really makes the whole corset even more beautiful! I really love the colors you chose too!
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