How to Add a Double-Busk to a Corset

This tutorial describes two different methods for creating a double-busk.  The original tutorial describes a minimal pocket for boning.  It is found on page 2 of this tutorial.  The revised tutorial describes creating a full boned panel for behind the busk, the same height as the corset and edged to match.

The first time I made a double-busk for a corset, I was absolutely stunned by the difference in the strength and stability of the busk.  A double-busk (also called a backing bone or a boned modesty placket) 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 it also greatly strengthens the busk and helps to prevent the busk from popping open if the wearer is physically active, particularly with more ample figures.

 

Complete Panel Pocket

How to Add a Double-Busk to a Corset, by Sidney Eileen

The images shown are for a corset with coutil core, herringbone cover, and white muslin lining.  The edging in this case is cotton tafetta ribbon, but you will want to use whatever edging is used on the body of the corset.  You can also use an alternate strength layer if desired.  The backing panel is not under pressure, so it does not require especially sturdy material.

A backing panel can be added to a corset at any time after it is finished, even years later.  If you plan to include a backing panel in a new corset, add it after finishing the edging on the corset.  The added bulk of the backing panel can prevent edging in the busk area, especially on a home machine.

 

How to Add a Double-Busk to a Corset, by Sidney Eileen

You will need two layers of core material, (optional) one layer of cover material, and (optional) one layer of lining material.  The strips are about 1/2″ longer than the front of the corset and 2.5″ wide.  I am using 1/2″ spring steel boning for my backing, and 1/2″ seam allowance.  You will want to adjust the width to suit your seam allowance and chosen boning.  The formula to determine the width of material is (boning width) + 4x(seam allowance).  In my case that is .5" + 4x.5" = .5" + 2" = 2.5"

Any sturdy boning 1/2″ or wider will work well.  Spring steel is ideal.  Spiral boning will not add any stability, but it will hide garments or skin from peeking through the busk.  The bone should ideally be the same length as your busk, but it will still work if it is a little shorter.  When your backing bone is shorter orient it towards the bottom of the panel.

 

How to Add a Double-Busk to a Corset, by Sidney Eileen

Stack your layers wrong side out with the lining and cover sandwiched between the core material.  Stitch a seam down the length on one side.

 

How to Add a Double-Busk to a Corset, by Sidney Eileen

Fold open and press the seam.

 

How to Add a Double-Busk to a Corset, by Sidney Eileen

Fold the layers back in on the seam, press, and edge-stitch.

 

How to Add a Double-Busk to a Corset, by Sidney Eileen

Create the boning channel by first stitching at seam allowance, and then again at a width appropriate to your boning.

 

How to Add a Double-Busk to a Corset, by Sidney Eileen

Fold in the raw edges of the fabric, press, and edge stitch.

 

How to Add a Double-Busk to a Corset, by Sidney Eileen

Insert and secure the boning.  Then line it up with the busk and mark the length of the panel.

Edge stitch inside the marks and trim the ends.  I usually curve the edges slightly so the corners are sure to stay hidden behind the corset.

 

How to Add a Double-Busk to a Corset, by Sidney Eileen

Cut a length of edging material about 2″ longer than the raw edge.  Stitch it onto the cover side of the panel at the depth of the edging on your corset.  If you are using bias edging, the edge of the bias tape should be flush with the edge of the panel.

 

How to Add a Double-Busk to a Corset, by Sidney Eileen

Fold the edging to the back and top-stitch it in place from the cover side of the panel.  After sewing it should look something like this on the inside.

 

How to Add a Double-Busk to a Corset, by Sidney Eileen

After finishing the binding at both ends, your backing panel should look something like this.

 

How to Add a Double-Busk to a Corset, by Sidney Eileen

Take the peg side of your busk and line up the backing panel so it is flush with the top and bottom, and the bone is half-way out from the edge of the busk.  Stitch it in place alongside the busk.

Be sure to attach the backing panel to the peg side of the busk.  If you attach it to the hook side it will severely interfere with opening and closing the busk.

How to Add a Double-Busk to a Corset, by Sidney Eileen

 

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2 thoughts on “How to Add a Double-Busk to a Corset

  1. How badly would that rub the stomach skin with extended wear? Would something like this be advisable for a waist training/tight lacing corset?

    • There shouldn’t be any abrasion problems specifically from the double-busk. I use a double-busk standard because it adds strength and stability to the busk. It was also common on higher quality corsets in the Victorian for the same reason, regardless of waist reduction. If you were to order a corset from me and experience such a problem, let me know as soon as possible. My work is guaranteed. For details on my guarantee, please read http://sidneyeileen.com/commission/corsets/ordering/#guarantee

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