View Full Version : tips for wearing/covering a corset?

03-02-2011, 08:45 AM
I have a friend who does Civil War reenacting and she is going to give me a partly finished corset, made from this pattern: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/images/B0035AQ6QY/ref=dp_image_0?ie=UTF8&s=miscellaneous which I will be finishing for myself. Now, I can get all the information on finishing it from her, since she has made several of these before and knows all about it. However, since she wears them as underclothes herself, I doubt that the fabric she used is very pretty (probably plain cotton or something) so I was thinking that if I don't like it I could possibly make a cover for it, or add another layer of fabric, but I have no idea if that's possible or how I'd go about doing it without ruining the look since I plan to wear it over my Renaissance Faire blouse as a bodice. Also, I have never worn anything resembling a corset before, and I'd like to get some tips on the proper way to do it so I don't injure myself. My goal isn't permanent waist reduction, and I don't intend to lace myself too tightly; I've seen on various websites that the size of one's corset should be 2 to 4 inches smaller than one's natural waist, but I don't know which is correct, or if it depends on what you're trying to achieve in terms of shaping. I just want it to emphasize my shape, not reconfigure it permanently.

03-02-2011, 11:32 AM
Covering a corset with better fabric is easy - I had to do it for the underbust corset I made for my Aqua cosplay (http://images.cosplay.com/photos/27/2746276.jpg the one on the left) to hide the boning and a bunch of seams, as well as an ugly upholstery fabric I had made it out of. What I did was I took the fabric I wanted to cover it with, cut it out in the right shapes, put it over the panel pieces, pinned, then just sewed together the panels normally. Worked perfectly for me. ^.^

As for the proper way to wear it, 2 to 4 inches smaller than your natural waist is fine. That's what I did, and all it did was provide a bit of shape like a bodice would, made me stand up straight and such. I did mine without a pattern, but I do own the one yours is being made out of and I think that's how it's supposed to be made. Just try it on as you're putting things together and it should do what you want it to. ^.^

03-02-2011, 03:20 PM
I'd be inclined to make a bodice or cover to go over the corset - I wear mine as underclothes as well, in between a chemise and a fitted cover usually, and the covers can often look quite nice - but if it's half-made by someone else, you may find you need to re-fit the whole thing anyway, so it might be just as well you unpick it, cut out the pieces in a nice fabric that you like, and tack them on top of the coutil or twill pieces before remaking it.

On the subject of wearing, the 2-4 inches depends on your body type. The more 'soft flesh' you have around your middle, how elastic your lower ribs are, and how strong your stomach muscles will all affect how much you can get your waist in on a first try. When I first got laced into a corset as a whipcord thin fifteen-year-old with stomach muscles you could crack coconuts on, we could barely manage the 2-inch mark. My mother could hit four inches down first time easily without even getting light-headed.

Put the corset on (Avoid wearing it against your skin - they're a pain to wash) and lace it up gently, without taking your waist in any. Give it fifteen or twenty minutes for the steels to warm up, and then you can start tightening the laces to get the figure you want. Make sure you go off your waist measurement WEARING the corset (They're thick garments - they add on usually at least a half inch to an inch!) and if you decide you want to lace up tightly, you want to leave a minimum of an inch (A bit more is better) gap at the back, and you can usually get a bit tighter with your arms above your head than down by your sides.

03-03-2011, 06:30 PM
Thanks guys! I will definitely reference this when I get it :)

03-04-2011, 08:19 AM
If anyone could provide a corset covering tutorial (preferably with illustrations or pics), I would be greatly thankful!! I will soon need to do that but I have no idea how and I'm very nervous >.<