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ISBN 978-0-620-50910-7
Author Marlene Oosthuizen
Publisher – North West School of Design

The Modern Corsetiere, a training manual which serves as a teaching and learning guide for students at North West School of design, gives step-by-step advice and knowledge on the whole process of corset making from terminology and styles to pattern construction and sewing methods. For anyone reading the training guide, the most surprising, illuminating factor is the different types of corset-bodies styles that exist within the fashion sphere. From the most popular: hourglass, conical and waist corset shapes to tight lacers pipe stem, s-bend and others such as the Elizabethan and male corset.

Front & Back Cover
According to the author, Marlene Oosthuizen of the North West School of Design, there’s a whole lot of confusion about the inner and outer corset that is often misleading if one is not sure exactly what to look for when searching for corset design methods on the internet. The manual helps you to make sense of the vast differences of websites and blogs which adds to misleading and confusing information found on the web. Marlene also sets apart the two worlds of the under garment and the corset-bodice. It details how one should understand and be aware of the differences in corset as under garments or as fashionable outerwear from designing, constructing and wearing the corset.

Oosthuizen also shares her experiences when she interviewed corset wearers. She says, “Wearers of this controversial garment have shared many corset wearing fiascos which prove that we [as designers] should keep the customer in mind before over-shaping, over-boning and over-fusing a corset-bodice.” For designers to understand how the customer would feel when wearing the garment she advizes them to wear the garment for at least a period of six hours.

The book covers every aspect of corset designing and is not only for students but also for amateur designers, lecturers, corsetieres, dressmakers and couturiers.


  • The corset dictionary
    – The difference between a corset, bustier, bodice, tight-lacer,
    – corset and corset bodice
    – The ABC of the corsetiere’s terms
  •  Corset styles
    – Introduction to corset styles
    – Corset types
    – Patents of historic corset designs
    – Corset specifications
    – Historic corsets
    – Corset style guide
  • Figure types and Figure illusions
    – Choosing the correct tight lacing corset
    – Choosing the correct corset bodice for your figure type
    – Creating figure illusions
  • Features of a corset and corset bodice
    – Length and shape
    – General composition
    – What are the health risks involved?
    – General do’s and don’ts
  • Materials for the corset and corset bodice
    – Fabric
  • Boning, busks and other hardware
  • Interlinings for corsets and corset bodices
    – What is interlining?
    – What is fusing
    – Types of interlining
    – How to apply interlining
    – Where to fuse and with which type to fuse
  • All about boning
    – Purpose of bone in corsetry
    – History of boning
    – Boning materials
    – Boning methods
    – How much boning
    – Boning placements
    – Boning not just for corsets
  • Corset patterns
    – A successful corset pattern
    – Drafting the bodice using the X!act Design Patternmaker™
    – The 10 step corset pattern
    – Victorian corset pattern
    Efigy corset pattern (corded corset)
    – Making a pattern, the duck tape method
    – The waspie pattern
    – The Gusset corset pattern
  • Corset Construction
    – Step by step corset construction guide
    – Inserting the busk
    – How to make a wooden busk
    – Binding the edge of a corset
    – How to wire the corset How to sew a lacing bone into position
    – Boning with cord
  • Fitting the corset
    – Fitting with or without boning?
    – General fitting tips
    – Step by step corset fitting guide
    – Correcting a hollow back
  • Design your corset
  • Corset care
    – The Victorian way
  • Corset care tips