Thursday, May 5, 2011

Quick and Dirty: Steampunking a Basic Corset

Once again, I'd like to present a little "how-I-did-it" piece.  This one is on the decoration of a basic, plain black corset, to give it a bit more flair and flavour for steampunk outfits.  This was very much a quick and dirty modification, since the corset is one I've owned for years, and had been given to me a decade ago, by someone whom it no longer fit. 

The corset in it's basic state is a plain black satin corset, a bit worn but still very functional.
Here is the basic black corset ... and a pic of me wearing it back in 2006, as part of another outfit.

I decided it's time to dedicate it entirely to steampunk costuming, which gives me free rein to trick it out a bit.
I decided to added some decorative brass fripperies on the upper left and the lower right of the corset, and opted to use an existing leather belt I tend to use with the corset anyway, which has a leather keyfob (made earlier) and vintage keys.
Frippery number one is this exquisite brass plate I found, with intriguing pattern.  I have no idea what it was for, it was a box of scrap brass.  But it's very pretty with its cut-out design, and a little worn looking.  I added a decorative key charm to the bottom, pinned it to the corset, and liked the look.
I was going to add actual small brass gears I have to the corset at the right hip, but I realized that real gears are very sharp, and satin is not so forgiving.  So I decided instead to opt for decorative gears, which were part of a set called "Tim Holtz Sprocket Gears" which I found at Michaels Crafts. (see link here),default,pd.html   I am not one of those who gets my knickers in a twist over seeing steampunk stuff out there in the mainstream world.  Makes it a lot easier for those of us who are making things, to source parts inexpensively.  Anyway, I pinned the gears to the corset, figured out an attractive arrangement, and decided to add an old chain from a necklace to enhance it.  I added a fleur de lis pendant on the end of the chain.
Once I had everything in place as I wanted it, I handstitched everything in place. 
I did not add the keychain fob to the garter strap loop at the bottom left (as shown in above picture of everything pinned) ... but I haven't ruled that out as an option.  I would have to sew a new loop for the fob, as the existing satin loop is sewn into the hemming at the bottom.  Perhaps a nice black leather loop, to blend in.  This would be handy, as I then would not necessarily have to wear the leather belt.  Thoughts?

Below are two pictures of it on my dummy, finished.
And here is the final look, worn with three entirely different outfits:
Again, if anyone has a comment or suggestion, or an idea to improve upon this, by all means, please feel free to comment.


  1. Comments on the Steam Fashion LJ crosspost can be found here:

  2. Thank you! I have been looking for a safe and easy way to add cogs/gears to a satin corset! You have saved my day!