GeekMom Hacks: How to Make a Custom Renaissance Corset for Under $20

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My knight (my son) and me. Image: Natania Barron

I’m a geek. You’ve probably noticed that by now. But my geekery extends into my many hobbies, and perhaps none so obviously as my sewing hobby. You see, when I wanted to learn how to sew it wasn’t because I wanted to make shirts or quilts or skirts. No, I wanted to make a Renaissance-style corset. This was my first sewing project as an adult.

Thankfully, six years ago when I decided to undertake this initial project, the internet gave me plenty of ideas and patterns. That corset somehow lost its way in my last move, however, and as our family was planning a trip to the Carolina Renaissance Faire, I needed to be, you know, prepared. (I am not the kind of gal who can go to an event without a costume.)

Thing is, money’s an issue. And busks and boning — the structure of what makes up a corset — are really expensive. (Not to mention this was the night before the actual event.) I made a quick trip to Hancock Fabric to see if there was anything I could use in lieu of boning; I found some plastic stuff for $3.49/yard, but that wasn’t going to cut it. I needed over 12 yards for the project.

While perusing the art supplies at Jerry’s Artarama, I came across some bamboo brush mats. I had two of those, in my kitchen, that I use as placemats. And I remembered that corsets were often strengthened with dried reeds in the Renaissance, especially when whale boning wasn’t available.

Well, isn’t bamboo essentially just that? I figured it’d do the trick.

[Read the rest of my article at our companion site, GeekMom]

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