A Corset Story

Lea's Reader ReFash!
Wannabe Wednesday: Tarjay Edition

I love a challenge!  When I was contacted by Jess from and asked if I would like to refash one of their corsets, I happily said yes!  After perusing the on their site, I eventually just asked them to surprise me.

You see…I’d never actually worn a corset before.  With the rise of boudoir photography, it seems like everyone is getting corseted and sexy.  “Why not?”  I asked.  “I can do it!”

“I’ll look just like this!” I thought.

Then it arrived in the mail.

Whoa Nelly!

You’re looking at a perfectly lovely black satin steel boned corset.  And I was looking at my rapidly-depleting nerve.  There’s a reason why you don’t ever see me in cute pinup-style dresses and stiletto pumps.  Any time I actually try to look sexy, I end up looking like a sad 12-year-old misfit playing dress-up.  :/

But I had to rise to the challenge!  I needed to make this intimidating garment look a little less severe.  I dug through my bins of fabric, and found this curtain panel I scored for 5o cents at a thrift shop ages ago.

Douglas wonders what’s going on.

I began to cut.  I snipped out a section that was twice the size of the front of my corset, with an extra few inches added on.


I pressed 1″ of the long raw edge of this section down.

It’s a most “pressing” matter.

Then, I cut it in half!


I pinned each of these lace sections to the front of my corset, like so:


There was no way my machine could handle sewing through this thing, so I got to enjoy a bit of relaxing TV watching while I hand-stitched.  :)

I’m working, I swear!

Once the long parts were stitched down and the short parts were sewn to the inside, I tacked down each of the points!

Get the point?

Now!  What was I going to wear this with?  I opted for a street style friendly skinny jeans and tank combo with a fun green beret!  Dan helped me lace up the back (You definitely need help getting into one of these) as I sucked in braced myself against a doorjamb.  :)

I thought my outfit was well-suited for an evening of art gallery crawling!

Check out my newly-waspified waist!

While in this alley, a gentleman to my left played director for my “photo shoot”.  ;)

“Be confused!” he said.
“Be sensual!” He said. I clearly think the Zoolander “Blue Steel” look is sensual.


“You’re an ANIMAL!” he shouted.

Some of my friends were fascinated by my minified waistline.

My hypnotist (not kidding) friend, Fredric is fascinated!

But I liked that my new corset didn’t stick out too much or seem too odd to anyone.  :)

I love those paintings behind me!
It’s filmmaker, ! :)
It’s local artist, ! :)

My corset was surprisingly comfortable, and I must admit…my posture was stellar all night!  :)

No slouching here!

Thanks so much to for presenting me with this exciting challenge!  Do you think you’d wear a refashioned corset out and about, be it steampunk, girlie, funky, or crazy?  How would you have refashed/styled this one?


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70 thoughts on “A Corset Story

  1. I like what you did with it and you can certainly carry it off. I thought at first that you were going to add a lace skirt to the bottom-or under it. That would be really cute,too. xo Diana

  2. I love the looks of corsets!! And i love that satin and lace combo you made.. But.. I keep thinking you have it on upside down :o Maybe it just lóóks that way.. I hope it just looks like you do.. ;) In fact.. I think you DO have it upside down!! Oh no!

    1. That’s the first thing that came to my mind as well: it’s upside downx!
      The boobage forming parts are on your hips!
      The other thing: if you can’t put it on yourself and cinch it, it’s probably laced the wrong way? Because the lacing part should be in the middle so that you can p pull across all by yourself and adjust it, that’s the awesome part of a corset!
      But the added lace is a great idea!

    2. Yeah I’m pretty sure it is upside down too. :) I guess you could really wear it either way, but I would think it would be much more comfortable right way up.

  3. Fantastic! I love corset story and your blog, how great to see both together. What a simple ( looking not the actual doing ) but stylish refashion. Well done. When I wear my new corset…always in my head “Lordy Miz Scarlet you’ll never be 17 inches again”, looks like you pulled it off though.

    1. What the what!?! Everyone keeps saying this, but I don’t THINK I have it upside down. But if I was…DO-OVER!!!

  4. Love it! What a unique look. I think it would look great with a skirt as someone else mentioned. I’m imagining this as a top under a killer jacket with some cool boots too. Who knew corsets could be versatile?

      1. I think that CorsetStory puts their tags on the bottom. (many corset manufacturers do) Sweetheart curves (the rounded edge) are usually the bust line. The straight edges are the hipline. Both accentuate their corresponding parts–round for bust, straight cut for hips.

    1. The “point” definitely should be going to the bottom, not pointing at your chin. I had to look at the picture several times. And I have at least one corset story corset, they put the tag in the bottom of the corset.

        1. Nah, not a moron, just inexperienced in the ways of the corset!! You’re not the first. I once saw a photo shoot of Brittany Spears wearing a corset upside down… and she has “stylists” to make sure she’s put together correctly!

  5. Based on the line of the curves, it does appear to be upside down. The part that it on the top for you seems like it’s the part that should be on your hips. It’s shaped that way so that when you sit, the line curves up to make room for your thighs. Thus, the part that is on your hips should be at the top. The shape seems like it’s a slight over-bust.

  6. I absolutely adore what you have done with this and I think it looks sooooo cute on you!! Well done!! You are so inspiring!!

    Check out the competition on my blog and spread the word!

  7. It is very cute… but upside down. But it works!! I am not so brave and would probably have worn a jean jacket or something over it.


  8. What a lovely transformation. White lace makes anything ladylike! You looked gorgeous in it. Maybe with a pencil skirt and an altered blazer for winter? Sexyyyy!

  9. I also love it! I do dig how your very sassy with the tank, although I think without a tank would be pretty groovy too. You miss Refash can pull anything out of your magic beret hat. As always I wanna run to my machine and create after I see what you create. Keep on keeping on!

  10. It’s brilliant, even if you wore it upside down. It happens a lot, and anyone wearing a corset regularly has probably made the same mistake. Like Tanya said–even Brittany Spears! Love what you did with the refab!

  11. Yeah, I own a good half-dozen corsets myself. It’s totally on upside down.

    Sorry; it still looks pretty cute for being upside down!

  12. I refashion my corsets all the time! I’m a burlesque performer and rather than buying new bits and pieces for each costume, it’s much more cost effective to decorate what you already have. I have a few good plain and simple corsets and stitch on beads, frills, lace, ribbon etc to create a new look each time. Then just rip it off and add the next thing. I like to buy cheap necklaces and stitch them to the underbust for a really simple dance look.

  13. Wow! You’re braver than I am. Anytime I try something so that is a bit “obvious” sexy, I look like I’m in a costume. I think adding the white lace and wearing over jeans and a tank really make it modern and less costumey. Congrats on the refrash (even if it is upside down – I sure didn’t notice)!


  14. The upsidedowness did make me giggle! However, i love it and will be stealing the idea for at least one on my own corsets.

  15. It is on upside down, but that’s okay! Now you can re-do it and play with it a little. Flip it over, sew some thrift scarves along the bottom, for an impromptu fun skirt, wear a lacy strapless bra if you want more coverage, but lose the tanktop. Pair it with some leggings and cute low-heeled boots and it would be a fun, kinda punky outfit cool enough for your crazy weather!

  16. Okay, you have me totally convinced that I now need to get my hands on a corset to refashion one. (or two, or four).Look 1: I love the lace. I think I’d go peekaboo lace on the top and bottom with steampunk timepieces, brass, antique buttons. Maybe a mini bustle in the back. Look 2: I like the bad girl look so I’m thinking of metal studs and spikes for another look. Look 3: all bling, like I was dipped in diamonds! Look 4: urban graffiti or artsy (haven’t quite figured it out). Anyway, you’re such an inspiration!

  17. So cute and brave of you to wear one, even with a tank under it – I think I wore one once in my life (for a costume) and it was probably upside down, too! LOL.

  18. I have a corset with a very similar style that came from Corset Story. It’s definitely on upside down. The point should be down, and the bust side has a slight sweetheart cut.

  19. Tip: for your bodytype you are better off with an underbust corset. It will give you more curves wheras thisone was too open near your armpits. I have the feeling you weren’t laced in properfly, but it’s quite difficult if you don’t know how to lace and if it’s your first time, you won’t loose very much.

  20. Okay, I have a couple things to say. A) OMG that is soooo cute. Seriously! I love corsets, and what you did to that one was great. But here’s B)…. girl, you are way too thin to need a corset! :)

  21. I love the refashion! I think I’ll have to try something on one of my corsets now.

    I have to ask, where did you get your hat/snood and how do you get it to stay on?

    1. Thanks! I got my hat at a little shop in Greenville, SC years ago. It stays on fine. I think it has good elasticity around the band. :)

      1. You’re welcome! I think mine are lacking good elastic, which is why they’re not staying on. I recently chopped my hair off, and am actually finding it more work having short hair than long! I’m now going to go on the hunt for a nicely elastisized hat!

  22. I’d wear one out, probably with a maxi skirt of some sort (red or black? lacey or velvet?) and some sort of cropped cardigan so I wouldn’t feel so, you know, exposed. But in terms of refashing one, I like the idea of softening it with lace, but I’d put it where the bust is, just peeking out a little.

    Hahaha kudos for being brave (upside down or not ;) ).

  23. I like the added lace but the ensemble didn’t really speak to me. Can you try it on (right side up :p ) with a skirt and maybe add a halter or lace straps?

  24. Excellent job sweetening up the corset, but you never wear anything UNDER it! If you need to be modest, wear a jacket (unbuttoned) OVER it. That’s from a lifelong goth who spent a LOT of time in corsets in the 80s! :)

  25. How fun! Would be great for dressing up a plain dress. Or have fun with different colored ribbons to lace it up. We all need to play dress up once in a while ;)

  26. The corset is looking great! But… two mistakes… you are wearing it up-side down… and also… a t-shirt down the corset??? so big mistake! looks terrible…

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