Corsetry for Beginners

Learn to make your own perfectly fitted underbust corset

Corsetry for Beginners

If you are fascinated by the endless possibilities of good corsetry but don’t know how (or where) to begin learning this exquisite art, search no more. With leading Australian corsetiere Lowana O’Shea as your guide, delve into the wonderful world of corsetry and emerge with the secrets, skills and inspiration you require to confidently create your own, real corsets. Upon completing this course, you’ll have fast-tracked your learning and sewn a perfectly fitted Little Black Corset (as essential as a Little Black Dress, in our opinion!) to style and wear however you like, proud in the knowledge that you created it from scratch and it fits and flatters you perfectly.

Real corsetry reduces your waistline, smoothing your torso comfortably. This course is the ‘real deal’: you will make a steel boned underbust corset (with busk) learning proper corset construction methods in Australia’s definitive and most specialized in-person corsetry classes taught by a professional corsetiere. In 2020 we expanded internationally and made this course available in Wellington, New Zealand. Many courses or units in fashion degrees only teach you to make costume pieces or structured bodices, not authentic corsets. We think you deserve more! In this class you will learn how to achieve a perfect fit and come away with a customized pattern so after attending the course you’ll be able to make more corsets for yourself with your new skills.

Our student-centered approach ensures small class sizes and plenty of student-teacher time, with extremely limited spaces. The Beginner’s Corsetry Class runs with 4-6 students and includes 25 hours of tuition. Course cost includes refreshments, all materials and pattern to make your corset, venue hire, use of specialty tools and tuition from professional corsetiere Lowana O’Shea. Courses are limited and places fill quickly, so please book now to avoid disappointment.

“My favourite part of the course was Lowana’s style of teaching, and her knowledge of corsetry, giving me the sewing skills and assistance in the process. And I finished the corset!”

Course Information


Course Content

In this comprehensive, fast tracked ‘beginners’ corsetry class you will learn:

  • An introduction to corsetry: functions, myths & facts
  • Anatomy of a corset
  • Specialist materials and tools used for corsetry
  • Taking accurate measurements for corsetry
  • Working with a pattern & adding seam allowance
  • Creating a toile (mock up) to check the fit
  • How to get the perfect fit
  • How to make fit changes to your pattern
  • How to prepare coutil (specialty corsetry fabric)
  • How to accurately cut out a corset
  • Inserting the busk (center fastening for dressing convenience)
  • Inserting the waist tape (non-stretch reinforcement)
  • Stitching neat boning channels
  • How to handle and use steel boning
  • How to set two-part eyelets (for a perfect finish without splits)
  • Attaching and finishing the binding of a corset
  • How to lace up a corset (yes, you can put it on by yourself!)
  • And more!

You’ll also have the opportunity to inspect some original Vanyanís corsets and pick Lowana’s brain about anything corset related for the duration of the course!

Bonus Extras

To truly set you on your way as a confident corset maker, you will also be given:

  • A recommended reading guide to further your learning
  • A list of recommended products and suppliers (and what to avoid!)
  • A personalized shopping list so you know exactly what to get for your next creation
  • A 5% discount voucher to use at Sew Curvy for corsetry supplies
  • One months FREE access to Foundations Revealed (new members only)
  • A discount voucher for a Vanyanís Engraved Busk
  • A discount voucher for a Narrowed Visions Coloured Busk
  • Exclusive access to the Vanyanís School of Couture private Facebook group for ongoing support and social catch ups with your new corsetmaking friends!
  • A free Vanyanís Tote bag


At the end of this course you will have made a single layer underbust corset that fits you, and gained the knowledge and confidence to create more corsets on your own. It’s a fantastic introduction to corsetry, providing you with solid foundations to build upon in the future.


All materials required to create your very own black underbust corset:
Vanyanís ‘Aeryn’ 6-panel corset pattern in your size (comes in multiple sizes for natural waists of 20 – 50 inches) | Black broche coutil | Spiral and flat steel boning | Stainless steel silver busk | Waist tape | Two part silver eyelets | Bias binding | Lacing | Thread | Toile Fabric.

Students will also be given a class handout to keep.


The Stitchery Limited, 22 Prosser Street Elsdon, Porirua, 5022 New Zealand. The Stitchery is an incredible dedicated sewing space created by our longtime student and friend Stefanie McKnight. Just a short 25 minute drive from Wellington, Porirua is easy to get to. Parking is available onsite.


Tea, coffee and biscuits are always provided. Students can bring their own lunch (and are welcome to use the on-site kitchen facilities at The Stitchery). We will break for a 30 minute lunch so it is recommended that you bring lunch with you as there aren’t cafe’s within walking distance of The Stitchery.


Please refer to the specific ‘product’ page for the course dates you are booking as times may vary depending on venue and dates.

Class Size

4 – 6 attendees.
(So you get the attention you deserve)


For classes where the course days are split over several weeks, there will be some homework that you will need to complete in the time between study sessions. Clear and simple instructions will be given, and Lowana will be available in the Facebook group if you need help.

Private Classes

If you would like to have your very own private corset making class, please feel welcome to contact us directly. We can set course dates for small groups of 4-6 students (depending on location). If you would like Lowana to travel to your city to run a class, this may be possible (but will require additional fees to cover travel expenses).

“Anyone interested in corsets should try this.”
– Tara Moss


“This course built my confidence. The most valuable sewing course I’ve ever done.”


Student Requirements


Student Skill Level

Students must already have beginner to intermediate sewing skills and some experience with commercial patterns. It is highly recommended that you have recently made a garment before attending this course. Whether you are new to sewing or an experienced dressmaker, this course will teach you the foundations of good corset making. If you have not made a corset before, or have not achieved the desired result, then this course is for you.

Corset making skills can be applied to other areas of fashion (such as structured evening or bridal gowns) and our students consistently find that their overall sewing ability improves after attending this class. Our students have varied amounts of experience; some are studying fashion, some are hobbyists and others are professional dressmakers looking to learn a new skill. Whatever your background, you’ll take a lot from this course as our small class size ensures that the focus stays on you.

Please note that this course does not include tuition on basic sewing skills. (We do offer private one-on-one tuition and together we can bring your skills up to level before attending a Corset Making for Beginners course).

What to Bring

It is recommended that students bring their own sewing machines to the class and be confident in the basic use of their machine. It is always easier to learn on a machine you are familiar with. Please ensure your machine is in good working order (recently serviced!). If you are travelling from interstate or abroad, or don’t yet own your own machine then we are happy for you to hire a machines for a small fee (payable directly to The Stitchery Limited).

Please bring a new packet of 80/12 Universal Sewing Machine Needles (Schmetz brand if possible) and your general sewing ‘kit’. There’s no need to go out and buy any new tools or supplies as we have a well stocked studio with tools to use during class should you need. You will also need a notebook and pen and lunch.

What to Wear

On the first day of class we will be fitting your corset toile (mockup). Please bring with you (or wear) a well fitting bra and a tight fitting singlet or t-shirt. It is helpful if your pants or skirt does not have a bulky waistband as this can get in the way during the fitting process. Changing facilities are available should you require. There is no dress code for this course – please wear whatever you feel comfortable in.

Your Teacher


Your Teacher

Your teacher is Lowana O’Shea – the passionate and creative force behind VanyanÍs. Lowana has been creating custom corsetry since 2003 and her meticulous attention to detail and ability to get the perfect fit has helped to make her a pioneer in the field. Lowana is a full-time corsetiere, with the unique advantage of having made bespoke corsets for just about every body type, ensuring that her professional expertise can be handed to you, her students.

Lowana is the first Australian corset maker to have attended the Oxford Conference of Corsetry and she is a mentor and writer for Foundations Revealed. Her love of corsetry, and perseverance through years of self education in her craft make her a passionate and enthusiastic teacher.

“My Favourite part of the class was Lowana’s teaching – her knowledge, tips and encouragement.” – Tara Moss, author, human rights advocate and host of the Sewing Vintage with Tara Moss series.

“Lowana took my work from ‘ok’ to ‘great’.
She took years off my learning.”


Student Testimonials

  • “Anyone interested in corsets should try this.”
    “I felt good. It was very challenging, but a nice environment”
    “My Favourite part of the class was Lowana’s teaching – her knowledge, tips and encouragement.”

    (Visit Tara’s YouTube channel for a three-part vlog series about the course: Making a Corset: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3)

    Tara Moss
    Tara MossAuthor, human rights advocate and host of the Sewing Vintage with Tara Moss series
  • “Lowana’s technique and guidance took my work from ‘ok’ to ‘great’…. she took years off my learning.”

    (Visit Elinor’s blog for a review of the course: Learning to Make Corsets With Vanyanís)
    (Elinor later went on to WIN the Foundations Revealed 2017 Competition in the Beginner’s category!)

    Elinor Lloyd-Philipps
  • Lowana is patient and kind and a great problem solver, and teacher. I can’t wait to come back for the next learning experience!

    StudentBeginner's Corsetry Course
  • Wonderful teaching atmosphere – I come away feeling very proud of myself!

    StudentBeginner's Corsetry Course
  • “The most valuable thing I learnt was that everything can be fixed; there’s no such thing as perfection.”
    “Lowana O’Shea has a never-ending supply of patience.”

    SharelynBeginner's Corsetry Course
  • The teacher was very informative, passionate and easy to understand. She took us, step by step, through each stage, and assisted each student, one-on-one.

    StudentBeginner's Corsetry Course
  • “The catering was amazing! Thank you so much for catering to my picky body.”
    “I really hope I can go back sometime soon and do another course and I would absolutely recommend this course to anyone wanting to learn about corsets and a great few days with lovely Lowana, the best morning & arvo tea, great conversation and laughter and so much sewing!”

    (Visit Melissa’s Facebook page for more comments about the course.)

    MelissaMiss Meli Designs
  • Very professional and well worth the fee. Wonderful hospitality and such generosity with your knowledge.

    StudentBeginner's Corsetry Course
  • The most valuable thing I learnt was covering ‘back squidge’ and curving the pattern piece. There were so many tips and tricks, I couldn’t list them all!

    StudentBeginner's Corsetry Course
  • A phenomenal amount of information shared in a digestible way. It is very well done. I will recommend it and will definitely be back!

    StudentBeginner's Corsetry Course

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