Caroline's corset blog

Musings and progress from Caroline - projects she's working on, tips and tricks, and thoughts on corsetry

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  1. I like to create one corset design for the male body once a year and have been researching a new design lately. I'm fascinated by how prevalent male corseting was at the end of the 19th century. At least two companies were making corsets for men in London at that time; Madame Dowding on Charing Cross Road and Worth et Cie on Hanover Street. An advertisement by Worth et Cie in the 1890s stated ''Worth et Cie have now added a department for Gentlemen and every class of corset, surgical, spinal, for corpulency, and riding, made to measure.''

    Madame Dowding ad

    Madame Dowding was a popular corsetiere supplying court dress and one of the most popular female corset designs in London; the Rejane. They had a few options for men as shown in this advertisment.

    I love this letter written by 'an old stay-wearer';


    There are countless paintings of men in the armed forces showing good posture and svelt shaping; undoubtedly helped by supportive undergarments.;army corsets

    With regards to posture and corseting boys, I came across a letter in the Daily Mail entitled 'Tight lacing for smart boys'. In it they state; 'It has been stated in the Daily Mail that the wearing of corsets was on the increase among men. Can you wonder at it after reading the following, an extract from a letter brought me by one of my boys when coming here to visit me :- we feel sure you will be gratified by the improvement in the appearance of both your boys. They have, we think, entirely got over the stooping habit they had when you brought them to us, and to which, if you remember, you referred at the time. The item of corsets is rather heavy, but this was caused by my having to get reduced sizes as they became accustomed to being laced. Their stays have been made by my own corsetiere, and laced daily under my supervision, giving them the same supervision as I have given my own boys, and I am sure with satisfactory result. It will rest with themselves after they leave our care whether they continue the attention to their appearance which I have tried to inculate.'

    I wonder how these boys felt about being inculated into corsetry?? I had to look up that word by the way - not often used these days!

  2. My next design has certainly taken quite a bit of working up! I think I'm finlly there. It's a flattering design with a scalloped top edge that was the shape that I kept thinking of whilst bashing out a few ideas. It's also very plunging at the cleavage - always popular. The silhouette is more Edwardian (smoothing rather than cinching) than Victorian and has a slight S-bend feel to it.

    FLAT 2

    I kept getting wrinkling on panel 5 that was really annoying so many iterations with different grainlines were tested - following grainlines accurately is so important in corsetry; I found that even a difference of just 2 degrees threw it off.

    Its construction is unusual in that a few different techniques are employed to achive a neat finish to the unusual panel juxtapositions. Seams are felled or taped and there is quite a bit of bagging out with a liner to create the scallop top edges that don't then need to be bound. There are two aspects to corset making that I dislike - boning and binding; the former is necessary but if I can get away with not binding a corset I will.

    I used a combination of white coutil and ballet pink satin coutil in the sample to show off the elegant panel shapings;


    This design will be October's pattern for >$3 patrons; I almost give these beautful designs away - if you can spare a few dollars each month to support my endeavours I will be eternally grateful!


  3. I have just published my 80th corset design! I can't quite believe that I have created 80 fully graded digital corset patterns. It's been over a few years, granted, but OMG! I am immensely proud of my patterns - they come in all shapes and are inspired by many things. They are both historical and modern - I have never restricted myself to a particular niche and I'm open to trying everything.

    80 designs

    Here are a few of my latest designs from this year - I just realised I've been pretty lax on the blogging front since January!



    Dolly underbust;

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    1930s girdle;


    Raglan-sleeved corseted tunic;

    IMG_6648 1

    Tunic cincher (foundation corset for the tunic above);


    Edwardian swimming corset / buckled corset belt;