This fan lacing tutorial is based on two reference photos showing a Regency period example of fan lacing, courtesy of LACMA. In the photo it appears that the lacing is sewn directly into the fabric used to pull the lacing tight. I opted to change this detail so the lacing could be adjusted or changed out if needed, without having to completely re-make the tie. I am including the photos here for educational purposes, so you fine folks can see exactly what I’m talking about.
One of the wonderful things about this method of fan lacing is that it doesn’t require any of the expensive accessories required of modern fan lacing. That means it’s more economical for the corset-maker on a budget, and there’s no reason you can’t fancy up your ties by making them out of pretty material or embellishing them.
Each tie consists of two layers of cotton drill fabric, one short length of cotton taffeta ribbon, and one longer length of silk satin ribbon
The cotton ribbon is pinned into the wider end of the fabric, right sides together.
I used a 1/2″ seam, and when I got to the narrow end, I sandwiched in the silk satin ribbon.
I left a large hole along one side of each tie so they could be turned. You may trim your fabric if desired. I did not trim.
The ribbons make it fairly easy to turn the ties. Just pull them out to fully turn the points. I then stitched the holes closed by hand using a hidden running stitch. If you want, you can top stitch around the edges with a sewing machine instead.
To create the hidden running stitch, make each stitch alternately through each folded in fabric. The finished appearance is very similar to a machine stitch.
After that, lace the back of the corset, running the laces through the loops on the ties.
In this photo there is quite a bit of extra length where each section of ribbon is tied off, creating the extra muddle of loose ribbon on the left of the photo. This is so I could adjust the lengths once I laced it on something and could see exactly where the ribbons were too long or too short. Each ribbon length ties four grommets (two rows of grommets), except for the very bottom grommets, which are alone because I have an odd number of grommets on each side of the corset.
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