Which corset class should I take?

I get many questions about which corsetry class to take and the answer isn't really that simple.  I catergorise the classes for ease, but really, all of the classes except the Advanced corset making class, are accessible to most competent seamstresses, while the Beginners corsetry class is suitable for absolute beginners and experienced dressmakers alike.

In the descriptions of each class below, I have attempted to futher explain the difference between the beginners/intermediate and advanced courses so that you can better determine which is most suitable for you. 


Beginners Corsetry Class

The beginners corset making course is suitable for people who have never made a corset before, or even sewed much at all, because we use very simple techniques to make a single layer overbust corset.  It is also suitable for established dress makers who wish to learn more about authentic corsetry and how to integrate it into their work - ie: bridal wear with effective waist reducing function.  The most important thing about this course is the fitting - If you want to make an overbust corset which fits perfectly, then this is the course for you.  Other techniques can be learned afterwards.   However, because of the fitting element, this course is also suitable for more experienced corset makers (perhaps those who have made up to 5 or 6 corsets or those to whom fitting is still a bit of a mystery) seamstresses and designers.

During this course,  we spend the first day making and fitting a corset mock up.  The mock up is for the overbust corset that will be made over the next two days.  By the end of day one, attendees put on their toile, and we fit each person one by one.  Attendees therefore get 5 bodies worth of fitting experience on day one.  The bust is more difficult to fit than anything else in corsetry so this is a valuable experience for beginners and intermediates.

After fitting, we alter each individual corset pattern to reflect the changes we made during fitting.

Over the next two days, we use a thick broche coutil (hides a mulltitude of sins) to construct a single layer overbust corset with boning tapes, waist tape, steel busk, and metal eyelets.  

By the end of the beginners course you will have a fully fitted overbust corset, and you will know how to make a properly fitted overbust corset for other people or how to apply that technology to other areas of dressmaking and tailoring.

All aspects of basic corset construction are included in this course including inserting busk/eyelets/waist tape etc., but the stand out features of the 'beginners' course are:

  • Learn how to fit a modern corset with focus on the bust and including notes on fitting the ribs, hip and tummy areas to make a lovely streamline shape with no overspill or 'back fat'.
  • Learn how to alter a corset pattern for a perfect fit
  • Discover fitting tweaks that increase the illusion of a small waist, without actually altering the waist size at all.
  • Learn how to accurately and neatly stitch boning channels with boning tape

Suitable for:

  • Absolute beginners - those who have not made a corset before or do not have much sewing experience
  • Dressmakers who would like more experience of corsetry and fitting
  • Bridal dressmakers wishing to understand more about corsetry and how to integrate it into their designs
  • Corset makers up to intermediate level - those who would like more guidance on fitting and different techniques 
  • Fashion students


Intermediate Corsetry Course

The Intermediate corset making course is more about technique than the beginners course.  In this course we learn about a two layered method which incorporates fashion fabric, lining, and integral boning channels.  Because the technique is more difficult the course is labelled 'intermediate' and we use an underbust corset as it takes practice to navigate bust curves using this technique.  In other words, the technique is quite tricky to learn, and can be applied to overbust styles with further practice.

The first day of the course concentrates on making and fitting an underbust corset toile.  Here we concentrate on fitting the ribs, hip and tummy areas to make a lovely streamline shape with no overspill.

Over the next two days, we make an underbust corset with fashion fabric and coutil using a professional technique which means that you sew the two layers of fabric in one go and in the process, form an integral boning channel.  It is a quick and tidy method which many professionals use.

All aspects of corset construction are included in this course including inserting busk/eyelets etc., but the stand out features of the 'intermediate' course are:

  • Learn a two layer technique with coutil and fashion fabric which integrates boning channels to achieve a neat finish on both sides and negates the need for a separate lining.
  • Learn how to alter a corset pattern for a perfect fit.
  • Learn how to fit an underbust corset to acheive a smooth streamlined finish concentrating on rib, hips and tummy area.

Suitable for:

  • Competent seamstresses who wish to learn a professional corsetry technique
  • Corset makers and dressmakers who have only made corsets from commercial patterns and require some more guidance on technique
  • Dressmakers and corset makers who would like more experience of corsetry and fitting
  • Corset makers up to intermediate level - those who would like more guidance on different techniques
  • Fashion students
  • Attendees of the beginners course who wish to learn the next level


Advanced corsetry course

The advanced corset making course is for those who have made several corsets before, are very comfortable with fitting all garments including corsets and who are very confident with a sewing machine.  

This class focusses on technique only.  Although fitting issues are talked about, we do not have a practical toile and fitting day as it is presumed that participants are already knowledgable about fitting techniques and patterning and we create a corset from a standard corset pattern.

On this course we make a three layerd corset with fashion fabric, strength layer and floating lining.

Day one is all about cutting the fabric!  We learn quick and easy methods of accurately cutting out corset patterns with different fabrics and we talk about different kinds of fabric suitable for corsetry along with interfacings.

Over the next two days of this corsetry course we concentrate on the techniques of building a three layer fashion corset incorporating turn of cloth and professional finishing methods.

All aspects of corsetry construction are covered during the course of the three days and participants will still learn much about the history of corsetry, patterning, fitting and other techniques.

The stand out features of Advanced corset making are:

  • Learn how to use different types of fashion fabric in corsetry
  • Learn about turn of cloth and how to get an uber smooth finish with or without interfacing
  • Learn about interfacing and when it is or is not required
  • Notes on fitting and how to achieve different styles and finishes.
  • Notes on different corsetry components and how they are used for different effects

Suitable for:

  • Experienced dressmakers and wedding dressmakers who wish to incorporate fashion corsetry into their work.
  • Those who have completed the beginners and intermediate courses at Sew Curvy
  • Fashion graduates
  • More experienced corset makers who would like to know about advanced corsetry techniques