I have made this separate page for corset commissions as they are their own genre and have a lot of variations. I get a lot of the same questions so hopefully I can answer some of them here before you message me about your exciting commission!
Unless otherwise specified, I hand-draft patterns from Mandy Barrington’s book ‘Stays and Corsets’. This allows me to make corset patterns to your specific measurements instead of making them to a standard size which doesn’t always fit every shape. That being said, I still do offer standard sizes for a few of my patterns and use commercial patterns when a certain style of corset isn’t laid out in Mandy’s book.
I try as many patterns on myself as possible before offering them for sale just to see how they should fit the body and if there are any quirks in the pattern. I wear corsets every day so I consider myself an experienced corset wearer, and I use that knowledge to create corsets that are both wearable in a modern context and also create the correct historical shape for the period.
I can also offer hand-drafted patterns if you would like to make a corset for yourself but can’t find the right pattern. It will have to be a physical copy though as I’m still trying to get the hang of digitising patterns!
I usually make corsets out of either twill or coutil, depending on the era the corset comes from and the look you want. If you want a very specific look, I can use these as a base and finish your corset with a decorative top fabric, just be aware that this will cost more as I am having to purchase extra fabric. There are some beautiful coutils out there so please do ask if that’s something you’d like.
With boning, there are two options, false whalebone and steel. False whalebone is the closest thing we have nowadays to what would have been used on corsets before the mid-1800s, before steel began to be widely used. Some people believe that false whalebone doesn’t last as long as steel as it’s made from plastic, but I personally haven’t found this with my corsets. Please do let me know if you have a preference for either one, otherwise I will choose based on the project and how much support I think the corset will need.
I am very bony, so I find that corsets made from steel dig into my hips more than those made from false whalebone, but this is based on my own personal experience.
As you are commissioning your own personal corset, you can have it made to your own design, down to the very fine details!
There are two types of busk, straight and spoon. Spoon busks were widely used in the Victorian era as they gave more support to rounded figures, cupping the stomach instead of flattening it. Spoon busks are beautiful, but I would not recommend them if you’re tiny like me as there’s nothing to cup, meaning that they just dig uncomfortably into the stomach. Busks are also available in different colours, so if you would like a contrasting busk just let me know.
I can offer period details such as:
Adding things like these is my favourite thing to do, but they do take time so they will add to the cost! You end up with a truly gorgeous corset though that is completely and utterly unique to you.
If you would like to purchase a corset in one of my ‘standard sizes’, you can find the measurement table below.
I have since added a size 20, measuring bust: 112cm, waist: 94cm and hip: 118cm.
If you are purchasing a hand-drafted corset, then I will need these measurements from you:
Nape to waist
Waist to Hip
Point to Point
I have a couple of pictures I can send to you to help you with these and, as always, you can message me if you’re struggling with anything. I would recommend taking measurements without a bra, but if you need one to keep them ‘in check’, as it were, make sure to use one with as little padding as possible.
I personally like working using the metric system, so if you’re able to give your measurements in cms that would be ideal.
Aisha's Top Tips
If you know certain quirks about your body, either as is or while wearing a corset, that is always helpful for me! For example, I know that I have a long torso so I make sure to take that into consideration when using a commercial pattern.
If you have an ideal waist reduction, please do let me know as I can include this in my pattern.
I am a very tiny person with a small bust and protruding bones, so that’s where my experience in corsetry lies. If you are anything other than that and have worn corsets in the past, please do let me know your experience, good or bad, so I know where to focus when making corsets for those of different sizes.
A note on perfection; every corset I make is done by hand so they will not be perfect. However, if there is something you think to be glaringly wrong, please do let me know as sometimes I am working too closely to notice. And please excuse any blood stains, I often say that a corset isn’t finished without shedding at least a little blood on what is usually white fabric!