18 May 2008

McCalls 4109: Everyday Corset

Corset Manifesto:
  1. Corsets are not just for the deviant.
  2. Corsets are not just for nighttime.
  3. Corsets are not just undergarments.
  4. Corsets have earned an unusual and narrow reputation and I'm here to help it break free.
Presenting... the Everyday Corset, made from McCalls 4109 and with the help of the corset class at First Samples Sewing & Design Studio. This little beauty is very comfortable and fun to wear. I am so glad I added the ruffles! I think I need to make a couple of cute summer tops to wear underneath so it isn't just about the t-shirts.

Full review of McCalls 4109 at PatternReview.com.


  1. I have one "casual" corset that I made and one I bought from H&M...but I can't figure out how to wear them.

    I need something under them to make them casual, but I don't know what? blouse? shirt? white? crazy print?

    Any advice?

  2. You didn't describe your corset so I have some general suggestions... A fitted button-down shirt looks great under a corset, and if mine didn't have ruffles I'd wear a fitted shirt with a ruffly placket underneath. When sewing mine, I wore it over a black shirtdress that had a tiered peasant skirt, and a few friends who saw it thought these pieces were meant to coordinate. I saw a pic in Glamour - March, I think - of a shirtdress that was constructed so that it looked like a sunny yellow corset over a white shirtdress. Very cute.

    Also, I have worn mine with a brown t-shirt underneath and cafe au lait colored linen jeans. I think it would look fine with a tank top and jeans, too.

    I will try to find that Glamour photo and post it for you, and maybe I will also wear the corset this week and post a photo, too. Let me know what you decide!

  3. thanks for the answer.

    the one I made is a black/white tiny houndstooth lightweight rayon. I think it's from Burda WOF, but I'm not sure. it's really simple and has a back zipper. The lining is burgundy, and it's a little slippery, so I need to wear it with something non-slippery, or it would be a bustier in short order.

    the H&M one laces in the back and has largish hooks and eyes in the front. it's a black gauzy material that is kind of ruched. it's pretty structured, but it does not look like underwear.

    both come off more dressy than I'm looking for, so I am thinking of a knit to make them fit my lifestyle a bit better.

    both are hard to get on and off, or I would have tried them with more stuff.

  4. Bless your heart... the hook and eye closure looked like it would take a lot of time and I am very impatient. And the lacing seemed to be a multiple-person venture, so I opted for the front zipper. Would you consider putting another zipper in your handmade corset for easier on & off? Depending on the size of your H&M corset, maybe you could remove the front closure pieces and put in a front zipper? Yours might look great with an exposed metal zipper, something tough to offset the daintiness of the gauze.

    Not being able to see your handmade corset, in my head I can see a black button-down with ruffles or lace trim to wear under the corset, grey slacks, and bright yellow shoes. That overall feel says "smart business casual" if your workplace is creative and wouldn't frown on the corset. It seems too business-like for a night on the town, so I would have to think more about styling this corset for a night out.

    I can't say I'm as clear about the H&M corset. I steered away from black for mine because it almost defaults to being dressy just from color alone. Rather than focusing on what's underneath, I guess I would look for something cool to wear over it. Maybe this is more night-on-the-town: Corset over a tank with nice jeans and heels, topped with a patterned blazer or slightly fitted motorcycle-style jacket.

    So I make these suggestions independent of knowing what your personal style is -- but I hope these are helpful in some way. Do you have a blog or Flickr account you want me to check out to make more "you" suggestions, or do you feel some useful ideas coming on?

    Good luck! Hope to see what you put together!

    BTW, check this out for a similar tank-under-corset look: http://www.mylifetime.com/files/imagecache/photo_gallery_featured/files/images/dare-395x298-jewelyellow.jpg


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