Niki's China Corset

So this would be the second corset I’ve made for dear friend Niki, so I was felling pretty confident about getting the fit right.

Initially she was looking for something quite plain, but with a high back and shoulder straps, almost waistcoat style. Whoever this all got thrown out of the window when she bought a new pair of shoes in a blue and white fabric.

“I want one to go with my shoes, you know made out of that fabric that looks like the design you get on a plate”

Right then…

I spent ages trying to find the right kind of fabric. Initially I thought she wanted a toile de jouy kind of fabric, but that wasn’t quite right. Eventually we found a beautiful cotton on ebay of all places! It was perfect!

But a pattern matching nightmare!

Pattern matching over corsets is hard at the best of times and I am no expert at this! this pattern, although small in design, had a large repeat and was very intricate and I struggled. I’m not going to lie.

But one of the highest moments so far in my corsetry career as to be the moment when I fastened the busk on this corset for the first time and this little pattern matched birdy appeared.


I tried to concentrate on matching the pattern around the waist but in retrospect I should have perhaps focussed on the ribs or hips instead. Normally the waist is the focal point of the corset but I found with this fabric it was more noticeable that the pattern didn’t match across the hips. Still it’s all a learning curve.

Niki loved the corset when it was finished and even wore it to attend the London burlesque festival


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Here are a few other articles that might be of interest.

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So I was first approached about this commission not by Kate herself but by her partner Jim. He wanted to buy her a custom corset as a gift. Fabulous! I was super keen and we were booking in first consultations within weeks.

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Coming from a self taught back ground, design work is something I’ve always felt a little intimidated to try. I haven’t got an education in fashion design, or a concept of the “rules” to fall back on.

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