Gwen Thackeray Cosplay: Corset

For Gwen’s corset, I used about half of a yard of dark brown polyurethane faux leather and eight 5/8″ bridle buckles. I also used about a yard of muslin to draft the pattern.

I started out by taking a corset-belt-thing pattern that had the right number of pieces (center front, side front, side back, center back) and modifying it to be the right shape. You can barely see it in the picture above, but the pattern is on a piece of white muslin, and I’ve drawn in blue fabric pencil the outline of what the piece should look like for Gwen’s corset, which extends over her hips. I did this for all four pattern pieces, added seam allowance, and cut out the muslin pattern pieces.

You can barely see them in this pic because my table is also white. Sorry.

I sewed the pieces together and pinned them to my dress form. The front looked pretty great, but the side and back were quite messed up.

I made adjustments, drew new lines, and cut out new versions of the back two pieces. These fit properly. I also ended up making adjustments to the front pieces since the front center piece needed to be narrower toward the bottom. It was so easy to pin to the dress form, make changes, and cut out a new draft of a pattern. I don’t know how I could have done this just using myself.

After I was satisfied with the pattern, I cut out two of each piece from my faux leather. I sewed the four back pieces together first.

Then I put in a separating zipper in the side seam so the corset would be easy to take on and off.

Then I sewed the front center pieces together.

All the seams so far have been topstitched. I can’t iron pu because it is flammable and would warp, so I couldn’t press the seams. Fortunately, topstitching the seams made the folded over seam allowance lie perfectly flat.

The next step I put off for a while because I was kind of dreading it, but it ended up not being too bad. Instead of cutting out strips of pu twice as wide as needed and then folding the edges in to create a finished strap, I just cut 5/8″-wide strips of pu and left the edges raw. Then I poked a hole in the center for the tongue (?) of the buckle to fit through.

Repeat for all eight buckles. I pinned the straps in place, then sewed them to the center front pieces within the seam allowance.

The problem then was that the buckles would cause the straps to sag and look really bad. I decided not to make the buckles functional because buckling 8 buckles is much harder and more time consuming than zipping a zipper. If they were functional, they could be buckled tightly and then they wouldn’t sag. So instead I just used a hot glue gun to glue down the straps.

And then I sewed the side front pieces on and topstitched. (For this one, since the ends of the straps caused there to be more bulk than in the other seams, I topstitched everything to the outside so that I wouldn’t need to fold over the seam allowance with the ends of the straps.)

Then I sewed the back to the front and hemmed the edges all the way around. All done!

It fits me better than it fits the dress form, JSYK. Next up: the top. Eeeeeeeeek.


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