I’m actually further along in the construction than what is posted in this blog, as I’ve been working on this between a number of plain Elizabethan corsets and fell behind on updating here.
To continue, the next step was to attach the busk panels. The panel shown directly below is for the peg side of the busk, and is a single piece of fabric. All pieces are oriented up, outside facing the camera. As with the grommet and side panels, the seamline is marked with a pencil, along with overlap points for the ribbons. I lined them up like before and stitching along the existing stitches holding the ribbons together.
Also as with the side and grommet panels, I folded over the seam allowance and quilted down the ribbons along the entirety of the busk panel. It was then trimmed along the tip and bottom. On the far right, I trimmed the ends of the ribbons to just inside the 1/2″ seam allowance. This will reduce bulk when the seam allowance is turned over later.
For the hook side of the busk, the panel is in two pieces. I am only working with the half that will be on the inside of the corset, and attaching it using the above proceedure.
For the half-panel, I quilted all the way to the edge of the panel and trimmed it even with the coutil. Since the ribbon will only be on one half of this panel (vs. the entire folded over width of the peg side), I want it to go as far as possible for the greatest possible stability.
I marked the hook locations in chalk before sandwiching and sewing panel, ribbon, ribbon, panel.
This photo shows the four layers, after stitching the seam allowance between the hooks. On the right is the bulk of the corset, then two strips of ribbon (running top to bottom), and the other half of the coutil panel. The vertical ribbons will be the cover and lining for the busk panel.
I inserted the busk and stitched it in place using a zipper foot. All layers (ribbon and coutil) are stitched through.
To finish attaching the cover and lining, I hand-folded the seam allowance for the second half of the coutil, along with its ribbon cover. I then edge stitched from above, securing all layers along the edge of the panel.
This is what the panel looked like after edge stitching.
I then hand-folded the peg panel seam allowance, and folded it in half. Placing the hook side of the busk next to it, I marked the locations of the pegs.
The peg half of the busk, inserted into the coutil panel.
The cover for the peg half of the busk needs to be wider than a single strip of ribbon, so I used a small zig-zag stitch to sew two lengths together edge-to-edge. On my machine, it was a “2” width and a “1” length.
The two strips, sewn together.
I then marked the locations of the pegs on the cover ribbon.
And inserted the pegs into the ribbon.
Next I folded the panel in half and stitched alongside the busk with a zipper foot. This line of stitching goes through all layers of the busk panel.
There was a lot more excess ribbon on this panel, so I flipped over the corset to sew from the back and tidy up the lining. While being careful to keep the front half of the panel clear of the stitching (you can see it pulled out to the right in this photo), I hand-folded the lining ribbon and edge stitched it to the coutil.
After securing the lining, I flipped the corset back over, hand-folded the seam allowance and cover ribbon, and edge stitched from the front just like with the hook half of the busk.
Once all cover and lining were secure, I stitched in a single boning channel on both halves of the busk.
After inserting the boning, I stitched tight to the top and bottom to hold the boning in place. I then trimmed up the ribbon cover and lining.
To edge the panel is a little trickier than edging an entire corset.
First I cut a strip of ribbon a bit longer than the area to be edged.
Then I stitched it to the front, 1/4″ from the edge.
I folded over the loose end to the inside before folding it over the edge. Be careful to hold it tight, so you don’t get slop at the transition from edging to ribbon panel.
Holding it tight, I tacked that end in place. That kept it secure while I fiddled with the other loose end.
The outside loose end must be folded entirely around and tucked up underneath. It will take quite a bit of fiddling, especially the first few times you do this. Try to keep it under tension, so you don’t end up with a sloppy bunching off the front edge of the corset.
Flip it back over (keeping the ribbon in place with your fingers) and top-stitch to the side of the edging ribbon.
This is what the front of the corset looked like after attaching all the edging.
Part 3 will show how to bone and finish the side panels.