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This is a page of corsets inspired by originals but not trying to copy them as replicas. Also included at the bottom is the style of simple corset that I teach during Corset Construction Workshops – to see what classes I am booked to teach this year visit the Workshops Page.

Historically Inspired Corset - Front View

This corset was inspired by an original owned by Leila Hedic, which may be seen on Leila’s website, The Antique Corset Gallery.

The original corset was made in the 1890's by the CK company in Belgium.

I liked the combination of drab (light beige) and a darker brown sateen for strapping and trimming, with pink stitching, flossing and silk ribbon trim. I did not follow the original's body shape, wanting instead to experiment with a slightly earlier style – shaped in a curve over the belly and with hourglass hips yet with the less shapely bust that was just coming into fashion in the early 1890's.

Historically Inspired Corset Historically Inspired Corset

When ever this corset is worn it always turns heads whether in the class room, in talks or during gallery sessions with the public. The colour combination is very attractive and the seaming and hip shaping always make people assume my assistant has reduced her waist by a lot more than the actual measurement of 5 cm/ 2".

Historically Inspired Corset

I was actually researching Regency corsetry at the Museum of London when I saw the original of this corset from the late 1880's.

With 10 minutes to go before the end of my session I asked to look at it and was taken by the construction and stiffening methods used. Later I decided to try a version of it from memory so this corset is not intended as a copy – simply as a trial of the techniques used.

The original corset was very attractively made in red cotton sateen, lined in white coutil and trimmed with off white embroidery on the strapping covering the seams. The strapping however did not cover bones as would be expected. Instead it acted as the means of joining the panels with each panel simply being butted together without seam allowance then covered inside and out with dual strapping exactly over each other.

Historically Inspired Corset

Each panel is corded in vertical bands and flanked by a 4 mm wide bone. Apart from the busk and back lacing bones this cording and light boning on each panel is the only stiffening used on this corset.

I had never seen embroidery used all the way along strapping before but the combination works extremely well to emphasise the corsets shape and add light ornament.

Historically Inspired Corset Historically Inspired Corset

This is a basic corset in the Victorian style that I made to use when teaching. It is simply made with 10 vertical panels of one layer of corset coutil and a bone in a strap or casing on each seam.

Since I was not intending to make a Victorian corset but one in the style, I chose yellow sateen facings and strappings and then machine embroidered each strap to show how it could be trimmed for modern wear. Black corsets with yellow, pink or red stitching or trim were popular in the Victorian period and here I have updated the idea.

On a corsetry course I teach how to measure, draft a pattern to the student's measurements and assemble a corset in this style that can be used for either Victorian or modern use.

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