Self-drafted Raccoon-Bodice

Ah yeah. Once again, it has been quiet here on the blog. I was quite stressed about the thought of getting back to work, which left me too drained to write. Right now, things seem surprisingly okay. I was sure I would be constantly overwhelmed with the added workload, but I even liked being in the office again – at least more than I thought. My social batteries are getting empty quite fast so this is often difficult for me but it is really quiet in the office compared to being at home with a toddler. I hope it will stay ok on the long run. It is also quite nice to have my own income again.


Nevertheless does it eat up a lot of my spare time and drains my energy levels even more, so I enjoy every chance to get lost in my hobbies whenever there’s time (and let’s be honest: motivation).

At the same time, my brain decided to start even more hobbies, but I will write more about these in the future (or you have a look at my Instagram where I’m trying to be a bit more active right now and show a few progress shots)

Once again, I finished a few things over the last months, but I haven’t taken photos of anything… let alone writing blog posts.

But let’s get back to topic (or even starting the topic):

I had the plan to sew a corset this year, mainly for the process, but I don’t want to sew stuff I never wear. I don’t really have a use for this type of garment, so I was on the hunt for something that could fit into my wardrobe and get some wear.

Inspiration and fabric

Thankfully, the Instagram algorithm seemed to hear my plea and flooded my feed with stays-like bodices that I just had to sew by myself. I think it’s not a ‘real’ corset, but for me it’s near enough. I dug through my stash and found scraps of the most awesome fabric ever. It’s the same raccoon-printed poplin I used for my latest Carolyn Pajamas and an unblogged and unfinished Cameron shirt for my partner. Let’s be real here – I wanted something to wear regularly – but it is white. I am ok with the color for now since surprisingly, many of my clothes go well with the print. But once again, it is white. I live on farm, have a toddler at home and I am so fucking clumsy – this might be the worst decision ever. But I still love it, and at least I can wear it to work. Or just risk getting it dirty in no time.


The Pattern

I initially planned to use a commercial pattern, even bought it (the Maite Corset-Top by JoanaPatterns), but then I couldn’t get the motivation for the fitting process. My bodice block is working quite nicely at the moment; it needs a few adjustments, but it’s mostly ok. To be honest, I prefer the whole process of drafting and puzzling on paper over the sewing process itself.

I really enjoy getting creative, but sewing indeed isn’t my favorite part of the hobby. I prefer the dreaming and planning phase, which includes drafting, drawing, and of course, hunting for fabric. Drafting is growing on me lately; I’ve had my struggles, but I think I’m slowly getting the hang of it.

Drafting and sewing

I still used the commercial pattern as a guideline to understand the style lines and piece dimensions. I often use commercial patterns alongside my own drafting to get a feel for the proportions, stylelines and, perhaps more importantly, the instructions.

I’ve had the problem before where I could figure out how to draft something, but then I didn’t know how to sew it the way I wanted, getting overwhelmed and quit mid-project. Especially when there are multiple design details that should work together.

Surprisingly this project wasn’t nearly as chaotic as my usual ones but quite straightforward. I drew a quick sketch, reduced the ease of my block pattern to body measurements – I didn’t aim for negative ease, because I wanted a slightly more ‘loose’ fit if you can use the term in this context – and then slashed and spread the whole thing open. I didn’t even make a muslin. I used the lining for that. It needed a few adjustments – seems like my posture is getting worse and worse. There was quite a bit of gaping at the neck. I made some adjustment on the paper pattern, but adjusted the lining piece slightly differently, so I had to ease a few parts to get them together. But I don’t think it’s too obvious.


After that I just followed the video instructions (even though I hate video instructions – but realized too late that the pattern doesn’t have written ones).

I broke the tool for inserting the eyelets at the first try – I don’t even know how – and ordered a new set right away (by the way, they still haven’t arrived. Maybe I forgot to complete the checkout again?). But then I immediately decided I didn’t want to wait any longer, and as I had the perfect embroidery yarn, I just did the eyelets by hand. I’ve done this before when I made a (again – unblogged) corset belt a few months ago, but there were a few more eyelets needed this time, and it is for the better I didn’t realise this before. My hands still hurt a week later. Also, I had to use two different colors as I didn’t have enough left. So there’s one pink and one green side. I love this detail right now.



The finished bodice is surprisingly comfy. I usually prefer loose fitting garments, especially with my energy level being on the lower side, but I’ve worn it a few times, and even though I have to convince myself often to put it on, I like the light pressure when wearing it. I used a minimal amount of boning. This garment really benefits from at least a bit of boning, so I inserted plastic fishbone in the center front and side seams to force the bodice to stay flat. It does some funny thing at the front hem, and I am not sure how to address this. Is this a fitting thing, or is the boning too weak? Does anyone know?


And it is warm – in a good way most of the time! I like it on colder days as the strong lining and close fit give it a lot of warmth.

Stay tuned for more. Maybe I get to write a few more posts within this year 😂