Last updated on September 3rd, 2021 at 07:45 pm
Pattern matching is a technique where the maker carefully plans out, cuts and assembles the panels of a corset so that a picture or motif continues seamlessly around the body. While I personally prefer to call them “print matching” or “motif matching” (to avoid confusion about the pattern drafted for a corset), the more widely known term is “pattern matching”. Pattern matching requires a fair amount of time and concentration, and results in quite a bit of fabric waste, which is why matching typically comes with a higher price tag.
Below you’ll find some examples of pattern matching by highly skilled corset makers.
If you know of any corset brands that offer pattern matching, do
send an email with a photo and description – it could end up in this gallery!
Retrofolie created a niche for herself by taking famous paintings in the public domain, custom-printing them onto a canvas suitable for corsetry, and pattern-matching every panel. Her work exploded in popularity on Tumblr in 2014 and she has since expanded her collection to include dresses, skirts, and masks (2020/2021 pandemic) and printed chiffon-wrapped corsets.
If there is ever a Queen of Pattern-Matching, I would probably say it’s a tie between Retrofolie (Quebec, Canada) and Lovely Rats Corsetry (Texas, USA). Retrofolie tends to focus on larger “murals” on a corset; one solid painting wrapping around the body, Lovely Rats has examples of both larger designs and complicated, smaller-repeating designs. Below are a collection of my favorites from Retrofolie (who is arguably the inspiration for creating this resource page) and then several examples of Lovely Rats Corsetry, followed by another 40 (!) examples by other corsetieres around the world!
Mucha’s “Daydream” painting (public domain) pattern matched corset by Retrofolie (Quebec, Canada). The various “windows” of the design make it ideal for matching on a corset as the size of the print can be adjusted to fit panels of a specific width for different corset sizes.
Abduction of Europa” painting (public domain) pattern-matched corset by Retrofolie (Quebec). Along the sides, the cherubs and waves of the sea were prioritized to match.
Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” painting (public domain) custom-printed onto cotton and made into a pattern-matched corset by Retrofolie (Quebec)
“RetroGalaxy” spinoff collection of Hubble photos custom-printed onto cotton and pattern matched corset by Retrofolie (Quebec)
This “Last Unicorn” custom-printed satin stirs nostalgia for all lovers of the movie and book by Peter S. Beagle. This pattern-matched underbust corset was created by Amber of Lovely Rats Corsetry (Texas)
Jellyfish printed cotton, pattern-matched on this extremely curvaceous underbust corset. Made by Lovely Rats Corsetry (Texas, USA)
Alice in Wonderland tea-party cotton print, pattern matched on the overbust corset and the bustle-skirt; the illustrations at the bottom were the focus of the matching at the expense of the text above it – but the words blend into a pleasing texture from afar.
Amber of Lovely Rats also made this incredible corset, featuring Bosch’s painting “Garden of Earthly Delights”. With so many small details to match, this one was surely a challenge.
Unartig Boutique (Germany) has done many pattern-matched corsets over the years, with lace, embroidery, and brocade (shown here). This luscious blue-red brocade plus-size overbust has been carefully mirrored and motif-matched all the way around the corset.
Another design by Unartig Boutique (Germany); here Lotte has outdone herself with this hot-pink, extremely longline overbust corset which corrects the posture from neck to rump.
While it may look like a print at first, this is actually embroidery! Bright red poppies were first embroidered onto this canvas, and then each panel was matched perfectly on this lovely underbust from Unartig Boutique (Germany).
Waisted Creations Overbust Corset with mirror-matched black lace motifs (Model/HMUA/Photo: Threnody in Velvet)
Valkyrie Corsets (UK) Matched Silver Brocade Overbust (with hip fins!)
Dark Garden (California & Louisiana) always spends the extra time to meticulously match brocades, prints and lace motifs in both front and back, as shown in this gorgeous Aziza overbust modeled by Vienna La Rouge. Photo: Joel Aron.
Ian Frazier Wallace of The Whitechapel Workhouse poses with model wearing one of his creations, an impeccably matched plaid corset suit, at the Oxford Conference of Corsetry in 2014.
A client of Entre-Nous (Now Beata Sievi Corset Artist) happily models her new cupped overbust, featuring pattern-matched Toile de Jouy and a keyhole accent at the bustline.
Kiku Corset Boutique (UK) offers many whimsical designs for commission and as samples, including this spring-palette crane & chrysanthemum print underbust corset.
L’Atelier de LaFleur (Toronto, Canada) Pattern Matched Sea-Blue Brocade Underbust Corset with matching blue hardware (from Narrowed Visions), metallic lace trim at the top, and monochrome flossing along the bottom hem.
L’Atelier de LaFleur (Toronto, Canada) Whisper Blue and Champagne Brocade Pattern Matched Overbust Corset with gold busk, lace trim at the top, and sweet contrast flossing at the bottom.
Sannie from Skeletons in the Closet Corsetry (Netherlands) models her own overbust featuring large-print roses over a rust background. I know from personal experiences that matching large motifs for overbusts is particularly challenging, but Sannie executed it beautifully.
Another expertly-matched corset by Skeletons in the Closet (Netherlands); this one features the “Dutch Masters” painting, and every panel is thoughtfully matched all around the corset. I now own this corset sample and have reviewed it on my channel).
The Bad Button (Kentucky USA) adorable “Red Panda” cotton print underbust, which has been matched all the way around the corset!
The Bad Button (Kentucky) “Rainbow Dinosaur” Underbust with contrasting rainbow prism panels makes for a fun and playful corset!
The Bad Button (Kentucky) Rainbow Peacock Underbust Corset
This underbust corset by Asphyxia Couture (Melbourne, Australia) features a beautiful large peacock motif, expertly matched at each seam.
Electra Designs (Texas, USA) was one of the first contemporary corset makers to have perfected the pattern matching technique, particularly large, asymmetric motifs such as this crane themed overbust. She has also written one of the oldest online tutorials on pattern matching, which can be found on Foundations Revealed!
Izabela of Prior Attire (UK) presented this beautifully pattern-matched corset at the end of 2014, a foreshadowing to her upcoming Geisha Corsetry Collection.
Elizabeth Moody of Moody Corsetry (UK) models her own plaid pattern matched corset. Instead of continuing the pattern at the same width on each panel, on the side seams she rather used each seam like a mirror which accentuates a lovely curve and hip spring.
Moody Corsetry also created this “Kintsugi” cupped overbust corset, which if you look closely is loosely matched – the center front panels are motif-matched, and the largest roses are matched on the seams. Photo: Newo Imagery. Model @ambellinauk. Crown/Necklace @aurora.and.moon. Claws: Forge Fashion
This adorable Smurf-themed corset by the House of Canney (Georgia, USA) was made from the upcycled pillowcase of a client. The pictures wraps around to the back of the corset as well, creating a smooth, nearly seamless mural. Anthony Canney has since taken a VERY different route with his designs, being the primary corsetier and costume designer for Violet Chachki.
Starkers Corsetry (Toronto, Canada) has done many brocade matched corsets over the years, with very few pictures! Here is her black and white Victorian Underbust Corset
Starkers Corsetry (Toronto, Canada) more recently made this impeccably matched red brocade underbust for a sample sale in 2021.
Puimond (California, USA) always matches his center front panels across the busk; this is included in his base price (matched all the way around the corset can be done at a surcharge). Even so, while the other panels are not truly matched, you can see how he focuses the floral design loosely across the bottom edges instead of scattering the dense parts of the brocade randomly. It takes an artist to put consideration and thoughtfulness into such a design. Photo: Rosalind Guder.
I love this pattern-matched corset by Puimond; not only the richness of the fabric itself, but the way the vines flow so gracefully over the corset. This photo was captioned “A taste of spring” and I think it captures the corset perfectly.
While this may look like black lace appliqué, it’s actually a mind-bogglingly flawless match job by Lowana of Vanyanis. The motifs of leavers lace were secured to each panel of red satin coutil before being matched at the seams. The modesty panel (deliberately visible) also features the same lace motif. All hardware is finished in a complementary black.
Artemis Corsetti (Italy) created this closed-front overbust with a print of two Geishas dancing.
This demibust corset by Elizabeth Armstrong (Rebranded as After Elizabeth, UK) features mirror-matched demask, with contrasting external boning channels to break up the busyness of the pattern. Do check out the lovely matched large rose print wedding dress on her site as well!
Gerry of Morua Designs (Chicago US and London UK) doesn’t shy away from the macro photos! Here you can see the meticulous work to match the floral embroidery on each panel by the millimeter. It’s the little things that make a big difference.
Wyte Phantom (UK) also pattern-matches the center front of her brocade corsets with millimeter precision and is not afraid of a close-up of her work!
One of my favorite creations from Daze of Laur (California): two different damask fabrics are mirror-matched to create a drool-worthy final piece. This corset is also featured in my waistcoat corset gallery!
Serindë (France) displays her skill in matching even small repetitive motifs in this black and white cincher – an impressive feat! The print flows gracefully and cleanly around the corset without obvious breaks in the line.
Designer Angela Stringer (UK) has a penchant for roses, and she has no shortage of design ideas, proving that floral is never tired! Her Valencia Rose cincher (featuring clean pattern matching) was available on Etsy.
Here you can also see that Lovesick Corrective Apparel (Canada) has mirror matched the brocade in both front and back of the corset, also using the motifs to highlight the curve of the hip.
Amy of Oh Glory Glory (UK) offers this carefully-matched sweetheart overbust – I love how the Starburst motif seamlessly wraps around the side. Click through to see some more pattern-matched goodness like her floral underbust.
Corsetiere of Chicago (rebranded to Mutiny Sideshow after moving away from Chicago) made this Star Wars themed underbust corset as a wedding gift. Note the Ewok peeking out from the bottom!
Mutiny Sideshow does plenty of of nerdy pop-culture corsets, but has also done her fair share of elegant editorial designs like these bodysuit corsets in pattern-matched deep copper brocade, accented with pink floof.
A bonus from yours truly – in 2014 I made this pattern-matched overbust with a complicated asymmetric motif as a challenge to myself. I made this using the techniques in Scarlet Sapsford’s Corset Making course (click the photo to learn more about the course).
*Please note that I have not personally tried every corset brand in this list, nor do I necessarily endorse every company on this list. This is for informational purposes only. Please contact the individual corsetieres for more information on their pattern-matched or motif-matched corsets. Tiddly links are Etsy affiliate links which help keep these galleries online and free to use by everyone.