How to Make a Corded Regency Corset

How to Make a Corded Regency Corset, by Sidney Eileen

Once again, line up the layers and pin or baste to hold them together around the next section.  The bulk added by the cording makes sewing problematic, so stitch as many channels as you can at a time before inserting the cording, and be prepared to switch your presser foot if necessary to navigate smoothly around the cording that is already finished.

How to Make a Corded Regency Corset, by Sidney Eileen

I had decided to work from top to bottom, so next are the channels directly underneath the bust.

How to Make a Corded Regency Corset, by Sidney Eileen

 

I used the drawn line for the uppermost seam, and from there used the presser foot to space accurately.  As you can see, the spacing changed slightly from the drawing, and the squiggly cording in the center needed to be adjusted.  Be prepared to adjust your pattern as needed based on accurate channel widths.  Accurate width on the channels is more important than exactly following the design layout.  If a channel is too small, you won’t be able to get the chord through it.  If a channel is too large, it won’t provide the structure desired.

How to Make a Corded Regency Corset, by Sidney Eileen

Next I stitched the four lower channels, again using the presser foot for precise spacing.  If you have a clear presser foot this will be much easier.

I omitted one of the straight channels from the original design to give more room for the squiggles.  The original design had too much curve, and would have resulted in the same problems as the bust squiggles.  By making the curves more gentle and just a little bit wider, I could get the cording through just like with the straight channels.

How to Make a Corded Regency Corset, by Sidney Eileen

 

The order in which you stitch your channels will vary depending upon your design, but in this case the next section I stitched was the sweeping, horizontal cords starting at the hip.  Again, I pinned the layers together to prevent them from shifting, and started sewing from the top-most channel.  As before, I used the presser foot for precise spacing, and modified the channels as needed as I worked my way down.

How to Make a Corded Regency Corset, by Sidney Eileen

 

I inserted the cording only after stitching all horizontal channels on the front panel.  I accidentally made a couple of the channels too small in a couple places, so I popped the stitches to get the cording through.  If you need to do this, just go back after inserting the cording and re-stitch those places.  In the photo below I had not yet re-stitched the popped channels, so you can see them if you look at it full size.

How to Make a Corded Regency Corset, by Sidney Eileen

Click for Larger

 

As I mentioned earlier, the cording has a gathering effect on the material, effectively shortening the width of the fabric perpendicular to the channel because the fabric is forced to go out and around the cording.  The difference is slight, but it is enough that in places where the cording channels end it creates shaping without a joined fabric seam.  The front panel is no longer flat.  Instead, it lets out slightly at the front of the hip.

If you are creative with your placement of the cording, you can create not just structure, but also shaping to your corset just with the cords.

The last cords to go onto the front panel are the ones sweeping down towards the bottom, following the same procedure as the others.

How to Make a Corded Regency Corset, by Sidney Eileen

Click for Larger

Even after adding the last cording channels to the front panel, there is a gentle shaping at the front of the hip just below the waist.

How to Make a Corded Regency Corset, by Sidney Eileen

Click for Larger

This photo shows the front panel, photographed from the inside where it is free of pencil marks and smudges.  This is a much more accurate impression of what the outside of the cording looks like after it is finished and washed.

6 thoughts on “How to Make a Corded Regency Corset

  1. Pingback: Regency Undergarments – Perfect Little Parcel

  2. Pingback: Corded Stays – Stay Study, Project Two | Angela Clayton's Costumery & Creations

  3. Pingback: Corded Stays – Stay Study, Project Two | Angela Clayton's Costumery

  4. Pingback: Corded Stays – Stay Study, Project Two | Angela Clayton's Cosplay & Costumery

    • This tutorial discusses structural cording, which is intended to help stiffen a corset, and in that case the cord channel is made by stitching together two layers of fabric. For decorative cording (like accents along seams) you usually want to fold fabric around the cord, like piping.

Share Your Thoughts? (first time comments are always moderated)