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Isabella Corsetry Victorian Underbust Review

This entry is a summary of the review video “Isabella Corsetry Victorian Underbust Review” which you can watch on YouTube here:

Fit, length Center front is about 11.5 inches high, and from underbust to lap is 9 inches, center back is 12.5 inches. Slightly wasp-waist silhouette (conical ribcage). Waist is 22″, top edge (underbust) is 29″, iliac crest is 31″. There is a discrepancy between the proportions of this corset vs. my Josephine corset from Isabella. The photo of the Victorian underbust on Isabella’s website does not do the corset justice!
Material 3 main layers: Outer layer is black polyester satin, cotton interlining, lining is cotton twill (with a pinstripe pattern).
Construction 6 panel pattern, panels assembled using the sandwich method and double-boned on the seams, sandwiched between two layers.
Binding Bias tape is a matching black satin; machine stitched on the inside and outside.
Waist tape 1 inch wide invisible waist tape – sandwiched between the layers.
Modesty panel 7 inch wide unstiffened modesty panel attached to one side. No modesty placket
Busk 10 inch long, heavy duty busk (1″ wide on each side), 5 pins equidistantly spaced.
Boning 22 bones, mostly double-boned on the seams except for the one seam adjacent to the grommet panel. Side bones are 1/4″ wide spirals, and there are two flats sandwiching the grommets.
Grommets 30 two-part grommets, size #00, medium flange, quite sturdy. Finished in black (a nice touch). Set a little closer together at the waistline. Large washers on the underside, a few splits in the back but they don’t catch the laces and the grommets aren’t pulling out so it’s not a problem.
Laces Laces are 1/8″ wide round nylon cord, rather slippery and annoying but it’s easy to replace. (My Josephine corset had come with ribbon though which was fine.)
Price At the time I’m writing this, the Victorian underbust in the Immediate line is $175 normally, $230 for made-to-order (standard sized but custom fabric), and $350 for both made-to-measure and custom fabric.
The updated photo of the black satin Victorian underbust looks to be slightly more accurate to the one I reviewed!

Other Thoughts:

I was quite excited about reviewing this Victorian corset, as it had been over 3 years since I purchased the Josephine corset from Isabella Corsetry and I wanted to see if there were any tweaks or improvements to her construction. Although it seemed as though the pattern between the Victorian and the Josephine looked extremely similar (save for the 2nd panel), the fit of this corset is actually quite different on me – this corset is cut for less curves, and the ribcage is more straight and conical compared to the Josephine. While this corset is size 22″, and the underbust is 29″ and hips are 31″; my 3-year-old standard sized Josephine is a size 20″ but has a ribcage of about 30″ and a low hip of over 35″. So perhaps they’re not quite that similar after all?

Talking with some other people who have purchased the Josephine underbust more recently, they have told me that their versions are far less curvy than the piece I own. It seems as though the sizing is inconsistent from style to style of these corsets, and even from corset to corset in the Josephine pieces! But for those who are curious, it is said that the average “spring” drafted for is somewhere in the range of 7″ bigger in the underbust, and 11″ bigger in the hips compared to the waist size.

Sizing issues aside, I am in love with the strong and smooth construction of this corset. Satin is notoriously difficult to work with and make it lie flat and smooth, but Isabella Corsetry does this with the highest skill. And while I can’t cinch down as far as usual in this little piece, it does give me a lovely silhouette.

For those interested in seeing the Victorian underbust in the Immediate Line (the cheapest line where the corsets are standard sized and have fixed colors/ fabrics, visit Isabella’s shop here.

4 thoughts on “Isabella Corsetry Victorian Underbust Review

  1. Great review, Lucy! I love the corsets on the Isabella website, but wish they would give more details on sizing, such as the actual underbust and hip springs. Your videos are sooooo helpful. From your videos, I can definitely see that the Victorian gives a less dramatic silhouette than the Josephine, but still has great curves. It looks like a great option for those of us that do not have natural hourglass figures or the experience/desire to cinch down significantly. I currently have a 35″ underbust, 34″ waist, and 38.5 high hip, and 41″ regular hip measurement (plus a fair amount of squishiness/fluff) in my abdomen.) it looks like the a 28″ Victorian would be a good fit for me, but I’d have to go down to at least a 24″ in a Josephine, which is way more than my experience would allow (and goals- I would see a 26″ as the absolute minimum based on my current measurements. If I lose that extra 10 pounds, it might be a different story :))

    1. I’m so glad you found it helpful, Elizabeth! And your calculations are spot-on, I would have recommended a size 28″ in the Victorian for you as well. :)

      1. Wonderful review, as always. I love Isabella’s work, but of THREE times I have ordered from her, all three times I have had very bad ‘luck’ with her customer service. I don’t understand why it is a challenge to be given shipping information in a timely manner…. I need to scour your reviews for other corset makers that offer similar patterns and quality.

        1. Hi Joyce, I also had difficulty with the shipping process. It took me about 6 weeks to receive my Josephine corset when normally it would only take 2 weeks (shipping from the US to Canada). It’s a shame, that’s one of the only criticisms I have about the brand; their corsets are so strong and gorgeous otherwise.

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