The idea of making a corset was such an exciting and terrifying dream for me. I’ve never made anything so structured and technical before.
To prepare myself I spent a long time researching. Mainly through watching other makers on YouTubers making their own projects. I learned the mysteries of busk insertion and the poetic curve of the boning channel and I was entranced.
For my own corset I wanted to keep it simple. I tried at first to draft my own pattern from this very helpful free article on Foundations Revealed. However this gave me a shape which was… my own shape. This wasn’t what I was aiming for at all! I want to change and enhance my silhouette rather than replicate it.
So I chose, after much deliberation, Symington pattern 616. Which had the combination of attributes I desired:
- A corded hip panel – I adore cording and I was excited to try it out.
- A spoon busk – which I had already purchased.
- A simple boning layout – all the boning channels stayed within the confines of each pattern piece.
- It looked beautiful – As a print to put on my wall it wouldn’t look out of place.
To tie it into the Sophie Hatter project I wanted the corset to represent the earth element. I had spotted the perfect outer fabric of Liberty – Wildflowers silk satin (a precut 1 metre piece on ebay) and snapped it up months before the time came to start. Under the flowers would have to be soil, so I purchased a chocolate brown twill cotton for the inner layer.
To me this corset represents the part of the story of Howl’s Moving Castle where Sophie sees the edge of the wastelands for the first time. Both Howl and the wizard Suliman fought against the wastes with nature by bringing water and planting seeds creating an area of paradise to push against the Witch of the Waste.