Building a custom fit leather corset

This corset was made for me, for a character in Odyssey larp who became a priest of Tanit, mother goddess of Carthage.

Here, in stages, is how I made it…

Leather corset pieces

Pieces cut out

I drafted a corset pattern to my own measurements, and then cut the pieces out of 3mm veg-tan leather. Corsets usually have a front fastening to make putting them on and taking them off easier, but this wasn’t practical for the design I had in mind. I would just have to suffer.

I then bevelled the edges of each piece to smooth and neaten them.

Tanit symbol carved in leather

Tanit symbol carved in leather

Next, I carved Tanit’s symbol into the front piece with a swivel knife and then a beveller to give it some texture. After letting that dry it was time to put the corset together.

Front of leather corset

Front riveted

The first three pieces are riveted together with brass rivets. You can see the curved shape of the corset starting to form.

Wet-moulding the corset

Wet-moulding the corset

After the corset was all put together, I riveted tiny D-rings to the back, for lacing. Then it was time for moulding the corset exactly to my body. To do this I put it on loosely, then wore it in a shower as hot as I could stand to soften it, and then tightened the laces. I repeated this process a few times and then wore the wet corset for as long as I could put up with (this turned out to be about two hours). Then I removed it and allowed it to dry slowly.

Dyed leather corset

Dyed leather corset

The above photograph shows the corset after initial dyeing with Fiebing’s leather dye.

Leather corset with Tanit symbol

Tanit symbol now painted

Here is the corset with Tanit’s symbol now painted on, using Angelus leather paint thinned down with resolene varnish. It’s pretty rigid after wet-moulding and dyeing.

Leather corset

Varnished corset

The corset is finished! It’s a lot shinier now it’s been sealed with resolene varnish.

Tanit Corset

Tanit Corset

Finally, wearing it at the event! Image credit to Tom Garnett for that last one.

To commission a similar corset custom fit to your measurements would cost in the region of £150.

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