All of the information contained in this website reflects my own personal experiences and preferences. There is more than one way to make a quality garment or corset, and as many opinions on sewing-related topics as their are sewing enthusiasts. I hope you find these articles and tutorials informative, helpful, or at least interesting, and as with any complex subject I would encourage you to research other viewpoints and try these methods for yourself before deciding whether or not they are right for you.
Corset Care and Cleaning
With proper care, any well-made corset should last for years of regular wearing. This article describes how to store, deodorize, clean, and care for your corset so it lasts as long as possible.
How to Lace a Corset
This page shows you in detail how to lace a typical modern corset (standard crossed lacing pulling from the waist), and how to spiral or offset lace (lacing stays with offset grommet configuration).
How to Measure for a Corset
This article describes how to measure yourself for a corset. I am providing these instructions to show which measurements I use for my own sewing and why, in case they will be helpful to others, and as a reference for anyone drafting or modifying patterns based upon my tutorials.
Corsets - A Buyer's Guide
With the variety of corsets available, sorting out what to buy can be quite baffling. This article provides a basic overview of corset purchasing, including the pros and cons of different price points and features, ready-to-wear vs. custom, why steel boning is good, tips for finding the best possible fit, budget, and more.
Corsets - Maker Resources
This article is all about corset making resources. It doesn't discuss the details of how to do it. Instead it focuses on where to find information and supplies, including online tutorials, books, commercial corset patterns, corset kits, sources of corset making supplies, workshops, and lots more.
General Corseting FAQ
This FAQ is intended to give a broad overview of answers to common questions about corsets and corseting, particularly questions asked by newcomers to corseting.
Corset Making Tutorials – Start to Finish
How to Make a Corset Using the Welt-Seam Method
This tutorial will walk you through the process of making a basic, boned Victorian underbust style corset from scratch. It is written with the novice corset maker in mind, providing start-to-finish instructions using a method that is much more straightforward and forgiving of imprecision and errors than most of the methods described in my tutorials.
How to Make a Basic Two-Layer Coutil Corset
The most basic kind of corset I make is a two-layer, plain coutil corset, using vertical panel piecing. This tutorial describes exactly how I make these corsets, and will note any simple variations you may want to try for yourself.
How to Make a Basic Ribbon Corset
This tutorial describes how to make a ribbon corset using actual ribbon. It has coutil and boning only on the busk, sides, and grommets. Part one covers how to create the ribbon panels and attach them to the grommet and side coutil panels. Part two covers the creation of the busk panels and inserting the busk, as well as how to finish the edging on the busk panels. Part three covers finishing the side panels. Part four covers finishing the grommet panels.
How to Make a Sport Mesh Corset
This tutorial demonstrates in detail how to make an underbust or waist cincher Victorian corset using a synthetic sport mesh. Mesh corsets were made in the late Victorian, but they were constructed using strong, natural-fiber mesh, like linen canvas for embroidery.
Construction Demo - Quilted Gore Victorian Corset
This is detailed construction walk-through of a Victorian-style corset with quilted gore piecing. The core is two layers of coutil on the panels, three layers of coutil on the gores. The cover material is peacock blue dupioni silk. Boning is spring steel flats, flossed in place. The first part of this demo covers the assembly of the body panels, and the creation of the boning channels. The second part covers how to quilt and insert the gores, and how to edge the corset.
How to Make a Corded Regency Corset
This tutorial will walk you through the process I used to create a full-length corded Regency corset with a busk pocket and period style fan lacing. This is one type of support garment worn during the Regency period, roughly 1800-1815, and a common choice for modern costumers seeking to reproduce the fashions of the Regency and early Victorian.
Sewing Basic Strapless “Renaissance” Stays with Modern Materials
This tutorial shows how to make basic strapless Renaissance stays or bodies, which will work as a foundation garment for any costume requiring a conical silhouette. The goal of this method is to create stays as easily and simply as possible, using readily available modern materials, while still providing a proper Renaissance fashion silhouette. If your goal is to create an historically accurate pair of stays, this is NOT the method you will want to use.
Corset Making Tutorials – Individual Tasks
How to Make a Floating Lining
This tutorial describes how to create a floating lining for your corset. A floating lining is when the lining is only attached around the edges, and not at each seam. The advantages of a floating lining are reduction of bulk at the seams while sewing and it can be replaced at a later date if needed.
How to Make a Floating Cover
A floating cover is when the cover of a corset is only attached at the edges of the corset, rather than being stitched into the core layers and boning along every seam. Sometimes this is done so that the boning channels are hidden from view. This tutorial shows how I make floating covers on corsets. In the process, I also create a floating lining.
How to Grommet by Hand
This tutorial shows specifically how to grommet a typical corset, but the technique is sound for any occasion where fabric needs to be grommetted.
How to Insert a Busk
There are many ways to insert a busk in a corset. As long as the busk is held in place and can close, it will work. I use a dual-core method for constructing almost all my corsets, so the method I use takes advantage of the two layers. If you are constructing a single-core corset, this method can still be used, but the busk panel must be two-layer.
How to Add a Double-Busk
A double-busk (also called a backing bone) is quite simply an extra 1/2″ or wider spring steel flat, placed directly behind the busk opening. It serves not only to visually prevent undergarments or skin from peeking through the busk, but greatly strengthens the busk and helps to prevent the busk from popping open if the wearer is physically active, particularly with curvier figures.
How to Make a Simple Busk Pocket
This tutorial was created using photographs from the corded Regency corset. It shows how to make a very basic busk pocket, applied to the front of a corset which does not have boning in the busk area.
How to Add Waist Tape to a Corset
Waist tape is twill tape, tailor’s tape, or other sturdy ribbon used to re-enforce the waistline of a corset. It’s not essential, but it does increase the durability of a corset by easing stress on the seams along the the highest stress point – the waist line. This tutorial describes several different methods of including waist tape in your corset.
How to Edge a Corset
This tutorial shows how to edge a gently curved or straight-edged corset using bias tape or ribbon.
How to Edge Around Tabs
This tutorial shows binding the edge of a corset around tabs using a sewing machine, and describes partial hand-stitching for the binding. The binding can also be entirely hand-stitched, but to save time I normally either completely machine-sew the binding, or machine-sew the front side of the binding.
How to Make a Boned Lacing Panel
A lacing panel is a lightly boned panel that fits underneath corset lacing to provide a fully finished look without skin or undergarments showing down the length of the corset.
Boning Channel Alignment Trick
This demo shows one trick you can use to find the vertical placement of boning on a corset, regardless of piecing.
Corset Detailing Tutorials
How to Add a Bust Ribbon to a Corset
The bust ribbon is a small ribbon along the top of the bust which can be tightened to cinch in the top of the bust slightly, or just tied into a nice little bow for decoration. This tutorial shows the bust ribbon added to a corded Regency style corset, and I used narrow silk taffeta.
How to Make Regency Period Fan Lacing
This fan lacing tutorial is based on two reference photos showing a Regency period example of fan lacing.
How to Floss a Corset
This tutorial illustrates some of the basic embroidery patterns I have used for flossing, gives tips relating specifically to corset flossing, and assumes you have a basic working knowledge of embroidery.
How to Add Lace Edging to a Corset
Lace edging can usually be added to a corset at any time, simply applied over the existing edge binding.
Corset Alteration Tutorials
Corset Alteration - Reducing the Bust Size
In this tutorial I will discuss how to fit and take out a dart at the bust to reduce the bust size on a corset.
Corset Alteration – Adding Hip Gores
This article describes how to add a triangular or trapezoidal gore into a fabric panel. No one method will work for all situations, but where possible I mention alternatives while describing the process I used for one particular corset.
Reweaving Around Those Pesky Grommets
Sometimes you may end up with splits in silk fabric, especially in the grommet area. This tutorial describes how to re-weave the fabric to cover bare areas and splits in the cover fabric.
Corset Pattern Drafting Tutorials
Drafting an Underbust Corset from Scale
This tutorial walks you through the process of taking a scale underbust pattern and transforming it into a full-size pattern, altering it as needed to fit your measurements. Included are four vertical-panel underbust patterns you can use to create your own pattern. The alteration information in this tutorial can also be used to help you modify a commercial pattern to fit.
How To Draft A Basic Conical Block (Torso Only)
This tutorial shows how to create a conical corset block for the center of the torso. It does not include shoulder straps. This block is the basis of all conical corset and stay patterns that I draft. It is not, in and of itself, a working pattern. It shows one solid half of the torso (center front to center back), and has no seam allowances. This method of making a basic block will work for most body types.
Drafting Basic Strapless Renaissance Stays (Front or Back Lacing)
This drafting tutorial is based on the basic conical block. The piecing of this pattern is a modern re-enactment design, intended to give the proper fashion silhouette for the minimum amount of work. The shape of the body is modeled after Dorothea Sabine von Neuburg’s pair of bodies, minus the shoulder straps. The front-most tab placement is modeled after the pair of Effigy bodies.