how I sew corsets

This is a guide of how I sew my corsets, I think that is is a really simple way since there is no need to worry about the “stitch in the ditch” issue, having seams that are not exactly aligned. This corset does not have a busk since I made this tutorial before I learned how to insert them. But HERE is a really nice tutorial on how you do it, it is also how I insert my busks.
This tutorial does not address any pattern making either, It is simply a note on sewing technique.

For you Swedish speaking people out there, I now have this tutorial in Swedish and it can be found HERE

This corset is made with coutil, my favorite fabric for corset making, I do feel that is is superior to everything else that I have tried, but that is just my opinion. Two layers of coutil, one fashion layers of obnoxious satin fabric.

I start with fusing the fashion fabric to the coutil, I do this before cutting the pieces, this eliminates problems such as fusing wrong sides together, fashion fabric stretching and you only need to cut two layers, not three.
making a corset 1
making a corset 2

Then I cut out my pieces, I usually have 1,5 cm (0.6 inches) seam allowance, for some reason I had 2 cm (0.8 inches) this time, you will have four pieces of every pattern. one right and left piece of coutil with fashion fabric and one right and left piece of coutil. I cut four layers in the same time when I made this, this is not recommended since the layers shift a bit, cut two layers at most.
making a corset 4
making a corset 5

Look now we have all the pieces cut out, I hate cutting fabric, it is so boring.
making a corset 6
making a corset 7

Since I have no busk, I have four pieces of boning in the center front to make the front sturdy. I start out with sewing the channels for them.
making a corset 8

Now on to the “real” sewing. I am using a technique called “flat felled seams” I like this technique because you get so nice insides, clean and nice. But I think that it is kind of hard to explain in writhing so if you go “what???” in the middle of the next section (and you will, I promise) please look at the pictures a few times, I am totally sure that if you look at them combined with my text you will understand.

Take your middle piece, then take the piece next to that, put them right sides together, this technique is that you are sewing in the seam allowance in between your fabrics.
making a corset 10
making a corset 9
making a corset  11
making a corset 12

Pin and sew the seam, cut some v’s in the curved seams.
making a corset 13
making a corset 14

Now fold over the pieces (this is when you actually get how the technique works and you go “eureka!” ;) ) See, the seam allowance on the inside! Clean and nice outside, clean and nice lining! Don’t you just love it.
making a corset 15
making a corset 16
making a corset 17

Now pin the sides together, and iron them all flat.
making a corset 18

Sew a seam as close to the edge as you wish, I do it really close.
making a corset 19
making a corset 20
making a corset 21

Then you are making the channel for the boning, the boning channel depends on how wide your boning is. I mostly use the 7,5mm and then I sew boning channels that are about 9mm wide. If you have 5mm wide boning you make channels that are about 7 mm wide and so on. The channel is in other words a seam with a distance which you choose; next to the seam you just made.
making a corset 22

Now you are finished with one side, do the other side just the same way.
making a corset 23
making a corset 24

Then you just continue with the rest of the pieces. Remember to cut V’s in curved seams, to avoid bulkiness of the seams, it does not weaken the seam at all.
making a corset 25
making a corset 26

I like to decide the shape of the corset when I am already sewing it, so When all the pieces are put together but before binding it I fix the shapes in the top and bottom.
making a corset 27
making a corset 28
making a corset 29
making a corset 30

Fixed!
making a corset 31


Now pop in your boning, I use spring steel except for the curved seams were I use spiral steels.


Now on to binding. We are binding the center back now, I am using ready made satin bias binding.
We are putting it on in what you might thing is the wrong way, but this way you get a nice seam on the outside of the corset.
Your are sewing the bias tape onto the lining side, then you flip it over and pin it on the fashion side, understand now, the edges inside, and the finishing seam of the binding comes on the outside of the corset, making sure that it gets pretty.
making a corset 32
making a corset 33

Do the same for the top and the bottom of the corset.
making a corset 34
making a corset 35
making a corset 36
making a corset 37

When binding is done we are doing the grommets, I mark out were I want them and then trying to NOT brake any of the treads I make a hole and put the grommet in.
making a corset 38
making a corset 39
making a corset 40
making a corset 41
making a corset 42
making a corset 43
making a corset 44
making a corset 45
making a corset 46

After setting all the grommets you are now done!
making a corset 47

Here is the corset on its owner.
making a corset 49
making a corset 48

Advertisements

70 thoughts on “how I sew corsets

  1. Shit vilken bra beskrivning! Den tackar man för! Är färdig med mitt korsettmönster nu så jag ska bara hitta något bra tyg.
    /Josefin

  2. Fantastiskt att få följa hur du gör. Jag har bara sytt 2 korsetter i mina dagar men nu vet jag bättre hur jag ska göra nästa gång. Tack!

  3. Fabulous! Do you buy your patterns then alter or draft from scratch? A Toot Oriel on drafting would be great for us poor sods who have no clue (hinthint).

  4. hey this is what i’ve been searching for!!! the corset looks amazing! may i ask how much this cost you to make? and how long it took you?

  5. Where do you get the spring steel for your boning? I’ve never found a good source for it. Also, how do you finish the metal edges, so they don’t wear through the fabric?

  6. Found my way here from LiveJournal, and I am SO glad I did… Everything makes so much sense now! I’ve tried and failed a couple of times before, but I think I’m going to give it another shot. =D Thank you so much for posting this!

  7. Thank you, I have drafted the pattern myself, and I am plan to make tutorial on how to draft a underbust pattern as soon as I get the time :)

  8. Thank you!
    I think that the material cost was about 45 dollar, but I am sorry, I have no idea on how long it took to make, I am really bad at taking time at those things, especially when I break up the work on several days.

  9. Åh, du ær helt fantastisk! Och du får det hela att se så enkelt ut^^
    Gjorde du några inprovningar på ‘modellen’ under sømnadens gång? Eller tog du bara hennes mått som behøvdes, och fick det så otroligt bra och vælsittande?
    Jag skulle få en korsett uppsydd till min student, skickade massvis med bra lænkar, bilder och kompendium till hon som sydde (hade aldrig sytt en korsett, men flera ‘korsett-liv’. Jag visste heller inte riktigt vilka material jag skull ha, eller var jag kunde hitta dem. Det blev en mindre katastrof:( Tyget som jag køpte var så otroligt vackert. Jag hoppas att det finns kvar på Ohlssons tyger och stuvar i stockholm, så jag kan få en ny RIKTIGT korsett uppsydd i det!
    Kolla bilderna från min student på BDB, 5 juni -08.
    Kramar/Hannah-Yokohamalama

  10. Tack för de vänliga orden. Jag hade sytt en underbystkorsett till denhär tjejen innan och så sydde jag en “provkorsett” i denhär modellen i skräptyg innan jag satte saxen i det riktiga tyget för att vara säker på att det skulle bli bra.

    Det är ganska så stor skillnad mellan att sy ett “korsett liv” och en korsett, tyvärr så har inte alla sömmerskor koll på det utan tror att det är i princip samma sak.
    Det är verkligen jättesynd att du inte blev nöjd, studenten är ju en sådan dag då man vill se fin ut på, man förväntar sig ju att de som syr har koll på vad de gör. :/

  11. Åh, asbra sätt att sy på.
    Önskar jag lärt mig den här tekniken tidigare istället för stitch in the ditch som jag lärde mig i skolan. Måste testa den här nästa gång jag skall göra en korsett!
    Tack för en bra tutorial!

    /L

  12. Tack och var så god :) man blir så glad över att insidan blir så fin på än gång när man syr :) den enda nackdelen mot stich in the dich är det är svårare att justera korsetten under resans gång, har man sytt en panel så är det svårt att ändra på den man sydde innan. och man får synliga kanaler på insida och utsida. Fast jag tror att jag har kommit runt det med, jag måste bara prova mina tankegångar i praktiken.

  13. Alltså man kan ju komma runt synliga kanaler om man syr i tre lager, gör de understa två som din metod och sedan syr ihop det tredje och lägger det löst utanpå innan man bandkantar, dock får man passa sig för vissa tyger är ju lite otrevligt töjiga. Men rent teoretiskt borde det fungera…

  14. jag tänker mig att man syr i tre lager, syr ihop alla tre lagren, pressar alla, viker undan ytterlagret, syr kanalerna i de två andra, viker tillbaka ytterlagret och forsätter på nästa panel igen med alla tre i sömmen. då får man osynliga kanaler men slipper tänka på ett löst yttertyg och liknande problem som man får med stich in the dich med sömmar som inte stämmer :)
    typ såhär (hoppas att du förstår min paintskillz bild ;))

  15. AMEI!!!VOCÊ ENSINA MUITO BEM,SEM ESCONDER NADA.SOU DO BRASIL E NÃO CONSEGUIA ENCONTRAR ALGUÉM QUE DIVIDI-SE
    SEU SABER,ATÉ QUE TE ENCONTREI,OBRIGADO POR VOCÊ ENSINAR SEM ESCONDER.UM ABRAÇO MYA

  16. Hey! Your corset looks gorgeous! *.* Liked it sooo much!;)
    But I’m wondering about how to do an underbust corset pattern!Because I’d like to make one by myself! And thanks to this tutorial and to you I’ve understood lots of things!! :) why don’t you make a tutorial about this? ;) it would be so interesting a gorgeous! :)
    bie bie, kisses!
    Raffa

  17. WOW!
    Your tutorial actually makes the making of a corset understandable, even for a novice such as myself.
    Thank you for sharing.

  18. about to sew my first! thanks for the informative post – I’m a FIDM girl and I still get intimidated by the complexities of corsets!

  19. I’m going to try this but have a question. What do you mean when you fuse the two fabrics together? The only time I’ve ever fused is with interfacing.

  20. The thing I use is called “flisofix” but since I live in sweden it might be called something else were you live. It works like this. There are two papers with a net of glue in between them, you remove one of the papers and put the net towards the wrong side of the fabric and iron on it, like interfacing. When it is stuck you let it cool down and then remove the otther paper, now your fabric is kind of like interfacing, and you can iron it ony another fabric :)

  21. this is what ive been searching for, for the past 3 months. i hope you do an under bust one soon cause id really love to make one =]

  22. wow, you make it look so easy. I am just starting on my first corset with a pattern i drafted myself, having a few hiccups at the mo but will get there eventually. Can’t wait to see how you drafted your own pattern. Thanks.

  23. dude…this is amazing!!! i’ve been looking endlessly for a good corset tutorial that included steel boning… i hadnt found a single good one til this!! im going to steamcon II and need a good corset…one question… how much was the boning?

  24. i love how your corset turned out,
    though i cant really comprehend from the 4th picture(the patterns and how to align them all together) ,
    can i suggest a video tutorial next time? :)

  25. I love this!! Im just curious, at the back where you put the grommets do you need to put boning next to them at the edge so that it doesn’t pucker when laced? Or is it okay just to have boning on the other edge of the grommets? I hope that makes sense.

  26. Ooooh dont worry i just had another look at the pictures, the boning goes inside where you put the binding. :)

  27. and in the diagram if you can draw in where the boning goes? i cant tell if the boning goes all the way up over the breast or stops right under them.

  28. Hello Danielle
    I actually don’t have that pattern anymore and to be honest I don’t think that it would be of any use for anyone that is exactly the measurements of the girl that I made it for.
    The boning goes all the way up over the bust. :)
    /Cathrin

  29. i was curious how u got it to curve in th bust area. maybe u had already explained and i somehow missed it? would b nice if u could explain again ^^ plz n thx u

  30. Can you do a tutorial on how to draft the pattern for this? I just love the tutorial on the underbust corset!

  31. OMG, you are so talented. I am just a novice in sewing but I would like to learn how to sew a corset so I came into your site. I love love love your talent.

  32. where did you get your fabric for this? I keep looking and looking, but I can’t find any I like (other than yours ;)

  33. Hi,

    I find your corset very lovely. I would like to request to have a draft of it.
    I am planning of making like one.

    Thanks!
    Laurice

  34. Hi,

    Wonderful instructions! I have a quick question. If you have a seam running down the center front of your corset, do you use the same “flat felled” technique or do you just use a regular seam? I’m just worried it’ll look lopsided with the bulk of the seam to one side as in the flat felled seam. I hope my question makes sense.

    Thanks!
    Leslie

  35. thank you for sharing this! I saw it shortly after you posted, but forgot about it. I put together an underbust this weekend using this technique. I’ve used this seam technique on Renaissance dresses for about 10 years, but didn’t think about it for corsets!!!

  36. Great tutorial but sorry as hard I am trying to get the flat feltet seams I still don’t get it. Maybe it’s becase it’s friday evening, maybe it’s becase english isn’t my mother language. I am not able to get the trick how you finish with seam alowances between layers, do you sew four layers of fabric at one time? Laid on each other as the fabric+coutil and coutil are as one piece?

  37. I don’t understand at all what you’ve done when you say you’ve started the “real” sewing. Are you only sewing together pieces 1 and 2 from your tutorial? Or have you sewn a lining in a well? Are you making your boning channels from the seam allowance? A video of you making this would be very helpful

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s