I recently remade my first corset. I looked at it one day and I knew that I could do better. This is my third go at making a corset, and I am so pleased with the progress I’ve made. For reference, here’s a photo of my very first corset, made almost a year ago.
The edges aren’t sealed, and I had no idea what I was doing with the boning. The fact that I was able to get the busk in straight was an accomplishment for me. This is the corset that got me hooked. I loved the finished result, I loved how sturdy it felt to wear, and I loved how dramatically it transformed my silhouette.
I’m not gonna lie, I was afraid that corsets would reignite old feelings of unhappiness with my body. As a teenager, I think I was just confused about having a body. No matter how hard I tried I could never look right. I went to high school in Florida, and the uniform of the cool girls was long blonde hair (from all their time at the beach) and their long tanned legs (also from their time at the beach). I never looked like that. If anything, I was a completely androgynous blob. I spent years just now being comfortable with any aspect of my body, and I felt like I was taking a bit of a risk lacing up a corset.
What happened was almost the complete opposite of what I had feared. I was comfortable and I thought I looked amazing. Wearing corsets and getting more into making historical clothing has made me more comfortable with the idea that I can have a clear idea of what I think looks good and that idea can exist independently of how other people look and how they think I look. Those cool girls in high school were never mean to me, if fact when the did notice me, they were pretty nice. Yet I resented them and the comfort they seemed to have with their own appearance. It took me a while, but I figured out how to like how I look, and in doing so I find that I don’t really compare myself to others and I really try not to judge how other people look. I just hope they’re comfortable in their own skin.
I know, I know, that’s a lot of heavy emotion for one article of clothing, but it’s true and I’ve really enjoyed this change in my perspective.
I get if the chintz pattern isn’t your thing, but I really like it. This isn’t a 100% historically accurate pattern, but it’s pretty comfortable and all I wanted was an every day, around the house kind of corset. The colors and the print have an old-world feel, and even if that’s not totally accurate, I adore it. I was also able to beat my previous record by quite a bit. The first time I made this same pattern it took around a month to make, I think. I was able to make this corset and make it much better than before, in six days.