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Forum > Fitting Woes > Corset measuring ( Moderated by CarolynGM, Deepika)

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Corset measuring
How to determine dimensions?
NeemieNinj
NeemieNinj
Member since 9/19/11
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Date: 1/10/12 1:53 PM

I just started sewing, but I know I'm going to be making a corset of some variation and probably soon.

I want to design one that gives a good upper push (I'm a big Ren Faire enthusiast, so I'm thinking that kind of support with metal boning and all - or even the Victorian era). If I'm going for an hourglass figure with a lot of... um... upper support, how do I need to measure this?

I heard somewhere that you take your measurements and subtract an inch or two so the corset will give a good squeeze. Or might there be another method?

unfinishedprojects
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Alberta CANADA
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Date: 1/17/12 2:20 PM

It really depends on the style of the corset/stays, time period, and level of authenticity you want to go for. Is it the boobs-to-the-chin "wench" look you're after? Or a more flat fronted, conical Tudor shape? Most Victorian corsets are geared towards waist reduction, and the bust was raised only a couple of inches.

For the wench look, you could put boning in a lace up bodice pattern for support- there are several costume patterns out there that would work.

If you are going for a Victorian era corset, you should expect the final waist measurement to end up about 2-4" smaller than your normal waist. However, the bust and hip measurements generally end up larger, because everything is displaced to those regions. Good tips on fitting a Victorian style corset here: Truly Victorian

My best recommendation is to make a trial run of whatever style you choose. Just watch that your fabric choices have similar amounts of stretch or you may end up with the wrong size in the final version. Been there, done that (coutil has almost no stretch.)

Sew Lady T
Sew Lady T
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Date: 1/30/12 6:58 PM

The finished garment should be a couple of inches less than your measurements. In other words, the edges won't meet. Once you've been laced in, the edges should come close to meeting.

You don't have to lace very tight to get a nice silhouette. In fact, corsets can be comfortable if you don't lace so tight you can't breath.
-- Edited on 1/30/12 6:59 PM --

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stirwatersblue
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stirwatersblue
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Date: 1/31/12 4:27 PM

Simplicity 2621 makes a wonderful, pretty accurate, 16th Century corset. I've made it three times, and the fit is excellent. I've boned two of them with heavy duty nylon cable ties, and one with hemp cord. The silhouette is a little different, but the support is very good. For choosing a size, I went with the measurements for my hips/waist (which don't squish as much as my bust), and got a perfect fit with no alterations, right out of the envelope.

For Victorian era corsets, and general construction guidance, I highly recommend Linda Sparks's book THE BASICS OF CORSET-BUILDING. That book, and a ton of other information and supplies, can be found at: http://www.farthingales.on.ca/index.html

Good luck!

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~Gem in the prairie

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