Making Your Own Corset, Part Two

See part one to draft your pattern for the corset.  Part two is all about construction!

Now that you have your pattern pieces, you need to pin the to your lining fabric and cut them out.  This does two things.  One, it gives you a lining for your corset (a must!).  Second, it also gives you the chance to try out your pattern and make any adjustments necessary before cutting it from your actual fabric.  Iron your fabric and your pattern pieces before cutting!  It makes for a much smoother cut.  I didn’t, cause I was lazy.  But I should have.  Don’t make my mistakes!

After your cut out your pieces, pin wrong sides together.  You can pin two pieces together, then sew, then pin, then sew.  Or you can pin an entire corset side together, then sew it all.  Then repeat with other side.  Up to you.

After you have sewn it together, you need to test fit it.  If it’s too big, or too small, fix it now!  Once you are happy with your fit, press your seams.  I press them out, but it’s really just a personal preference.

Please, please, press your seams!  I never used to, but then I tried it.  It makes a world of difference, I promise you!

Now that you have your lining, and you’re happy with fit, it’s time to cut out of your main fabric.  Be sure to include any adjustments you made during your lining stage while cutting and sewing your main fabric.  If you want a very structured corset, add interfacing (I did not for this particular one).  Sew together like your lining, and press seams.

The last picture is an example of a pressed seam and a not pressed seam.  See the difference it makes??

Now it’s time to put the lining and main fabric together.  I did this wrong on this corset (so no pictures, sorry!).  Had a brain fart.  Place right sides together.  Pin the front edges and back edges together.  Sew.  Press.  Repeat on other side.  Next, flip right side out.  Press.  Line up the seams between main and lining.  Carefully, pin along the length of your seams, making sure lining and main fabric line up.

Flip over so your main fabric is facing up.  We are now going to sew the pockets for your boning.  I use 1/4″ spiral steel boning.  Whatever you use, make sure your pockets are large enough.  I generally use the seams as a guide for placing my pockets.

I accidentally made my pockets a little too big.  I’m also not exactly talented in sewing a perfect straight line, unfortunately.  Do this for all your seams.  Once finished, repeat on other side.  Now it’s time to order your materials for finishing the corset.  I use Delicious to buy my materials.  You want to measure along the front for your busk.  Make sure you allow for seams and finishing.  I generally leave 1/4″ from top and bottom when I measure, and then subtract 1/4″ from that measurement, just to be safe.  Measure each pocket you just sewed, making sure to account for seams and finishing.  Finally, measure the back for your lacing bones.  Order your supplies.  I don’t order before hand, because I’ve done so before and then something happens and one or more of the boning or busks don’t fit.  It’s very aggravating to have to reorder because something doesn’t fit.  Also, double check your order and make sure you’ve ordered everything you need.  Numerous times I have ordered only half the bones I need (you only have to measure one side, but you need 2 of each) and I’ve also ordered a busk and lacing bones but forgot to add the other bones to my order.  So double check yourself.  Also, measure twice and make sure you have correct measurements.

Once your boning materials come in, it’s time to finish your corset.  For the busk, it’s really preference for which side goes where.  I don’t have one, so I tend to alternate sides.  Regardless, place your busk on the main fabric and mark cut locations.  Then, cut these areas.  I use a seam ripper.  I just find it easier.  Slip busk inside (between main and lining) allowing clasps and closures to poke through the holes you cut.  Pin tight along side the busk.  Using a zipper foot, sew in place.  Now, I did this wrong, so I’m using images from a different corset.

Also, I messed up on my holes the first time around.  Measure twice!  I used chalk to mark.  Next, install the lacing bones.  Slip in between lining and fabric and press tight against back.  Using chalk or a marking pen, mark your holes.  Use a grommet tool to punch the holes out.

Once the holes are punched, slip your lacing bones back in.  Using grommets, secure boning to fabric.  Then, doing the same as with the busk, sew in place.  I’m super sorry I don’t have any pictures of this process.  I must have just gotten in the zone and forgot to document.  😦

Now, sew a 1/4″ seam along the top.  Slide your boning in and do the same for the bottom.  I normally make this a raw edge seam, then finish with bias tape.  However, I suppose you could flip the seam in to seal it and finish it here.  I like the look of bias tape, though.  So, we’ll go that route.  Now, you have a raw seam edge across the top and bottom.  You can buy bias tape or make some.  I did not have enough fabric leftover to correctly make bias tape.  If you have the fabric, find a tutorial for bias tape and make it correctly.  It’ll look much nicer.  Luckily, my fabric had a stretch bias in 4 directions, so this way worked for me.  Because of the bulky nature of my fabric, I made 1/2″ bias tape.  Therefore, I cut a 2″ wide strip of fabric.  Fold in half, press.

Next, open up.  Fold the side in to the middle pressed seam.  Press.  Repeat on other side.

Fold together.  Press.

And you have quickie bias tape.  Next you want to finish your edges with this bias tape.  There are three ways to do this.  One, fold under the raw edge of your bias tape and pin in place.  Fold raw edge over and sew, then pin in place.  Or, sew with right sides together, trim, and flip right side out and pin.

Regardless of how you finish your starting edge, pin to you corset.  For the finishing edge, I just fold in and pin in place.

I used a wide bias tape for mine because of my bulky material.  Therefore, it’s going to pucker at the edge.  To fix this, after sewing it in place, I went back along and sewed right along the edge.

Lace up and you’re done!  I use paracord to lace my corsets.  It’s nice and sturdy, and I’m not worried about it snapping.  However, you can also buy corset lacing when you buy your bones, if you’d like to go that route.  This corset is for my Fem Eleventh Doctor cosplay.  I will post a picture of that after the rest of the cosplay is finished and I wear it.  Until then, finished pictures of the corset.

Until next time, keep cosplaying!  Any questions, comments, or requests, leave them below!