This tutorial shows how to edge a gently curved or straight-edged corset using bias tape or ribbon. A different tutorial describes how to edge around tabs.
When edging with ribbon, I normally use double-face satin ribbon, 7/8″ wide. Any strong, soft, and flexible ribbon should work if it is wide enough. If you are not sure, test with some scrap before attempting to edge your corset.
When edging with bias tape, I try to use silk, linen, or other specifically lightweight, durable materials. I usually cut the bias 1.75″ wide. It needs to be a fairly tight weave, and when the bias is stretched it needs to easily return to true. Again, if you are not sure about the suitability of your intended bias tape, test with some scrap.
The first thing to do with edging any corset is to edgestitch and trim the edge smooth. Make sure the edges of the corset halves match in shape and height.
With the outside of the corset facing up, and the inside of the edging facing up, stitch the edging to the body of the corset at the intended edging depth. I usually make my edging 1/4″ wide. 1cm is also a good depth if you are working in metric.
When using ribbon, stitch as close to the edge of the ribbon as possible. When using bias tape, I line up the edge of the tape with the edge of the corset so it is less likely to pull free from the stitches. When I use leather, is usually keep the edge of the leather just inside the edge of the corset.
In all cases, you will need to handle the corset with one hand, and the edging with the other. If you try to pre-pin the edging, you will probably only make things harder on yourself. Try to keep the corset body smooth and tight (stretch it slightly along the bias areas, so the stitches won’t pop or distort when the bias stretches as it is worn). Keep the edging material under tension as well. Lighten the tension slightly when the corset edge curves out (like can be seen at the bottom of the photo below) since in those places the edge of the corset is a longer line than the curve of the stitches. Increase the tension on the edging when the corset curves in, since in those places the edge of the corset is a shorter line than the curve of the stitches. By learning to adjust the tension of your edging, you can create flawless, wrinkle free, smooth edging along the entire corset.
For comparison, the ribbon edging and the bias edging after the first stitch.
All edges of the ribbon except the leading and following edges are inherently finished, so the only part of the ribbon that needs to be tucked is the cut edge. Turn the edging towards the outside of the corset. Then fold the cut end around the leading edge.
Fold the ribbon over the raw edge of the corset, onto the back, hiding the cut end of the ribbon.
When using bias tape, all edges are raw and need to be hidden within the edging. Fold the bias tape towards the outside of the corset, and fold in again about 1/4″ of material.
Fold the end of the tape toward the body of the corset.
Fold the bias tape over the raw edge of the corset.