Minimal Boning Pocket Method
The images shown here are for a coutil-only corset (the black fabric), and for a covered corset (the blue silk).
I planned for the inclusion of double-busks in these corsets, but this is a feature that can easily be added to most corsets after construction is complete.
Choose a bone that is the same length or slightly shorter than the busk. In these cases, I used bones that were 1″ shorter, but I have also used a 3″ shorter bone in the past.
Cut a rectangle of fabric that is wide enough for a bone channel, seam allowance, and enough extra fabric that it can be sewn to the corset. Vertically, it needs to be long enough for the bone, plus seam allowance fold-under. In this case, I made the fabric 4″ wide and only 1″ longer than the bone. I should have made it 2″ longer than the bone.
If you are making the double-busk for a covered corset, cut an identically sized rectangle out of your cover fabric. Also keep in mind that the structural layer does not need to be coutil, because the double-busk does not receive any stress from lacing. In this case I used cotton duck canvas, because it has structure but is far less expensive.
Fold the rectangle in half width-wise and sew seam allowance along the side and top. If you are including cover material, fold it inside, with the wrong side facing the structural fabric. When sewing the seam, you can also include a string sewn into the upper corner to help when turning the fabric later.
Trim the corner to eliminate bulk when turning.
Press open the seam, so it will be easier to cleanly turn the fabric.
Use a pencil or other small object to press the sewn end into the tube of fabric and turn it.
Force the seams to crease nicely. I have found that using the bone to press out the fabric is helpful. If you sewed a string into your seam, use it to pull the corner out and then trim it off. It may take some coaxing to get the corner cleanly out. Iron if needed.
Sew the boning channel to the side opposite the long seam. If you are planning to turn in the open edge, stop at the length of the bone. Also edge stitch along top of the panel, to help re-enforce the bone placement.
Insert the bone and secure it in place. Trim the bottom edge to about 1″ and then turn it in. Edge stitch along all seams to secure them and ensure they will stay flat.
If you do not have enough extra fabric at the bottom to turn in, or do not want to turn in the edge, then sew at the bottom of the bone to secure it in place and trim to edging distance. Then finish it off with an edge binding like the final corset will have.
Position the double-busk so it will center on the busk opening, and stitch it in place. BE CERTAIN to place it on the peg side of the busk. If you place it on the hook side, you will have a very hard time closing your busk.
Unlike what the photo shows, I strongly recommend adding the double-busk to the corset after you have edged the corset. The added bulk of the double-busk can make it very difficult to bind the edges in the busk area.
My stitches followed the stitches for the busk. If desired, you can sew a second row of stitches just away from the busk seam. If you do that, I recommend mirroring the stitch line on the other side of the busk for visual consistency.
Back views of the finished double-busk, both with and without the busk closed.
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