I decided to attach the shoulder straps before inserting the cording into the back panel. I did this because the seam is very close to the cording (but doesn’t block it), and I wanted to avoid problems created by the cording bulk. Depending upon your particular corset, you may want to attach the shoulder straps now, or wait until after cording the back panel. If your cording channels terminate at the shoulder strap, it must be attached after cording.
Sew the shoulder straps to the body of the corset in exactly the same way you attached the panels to each other. The back panel is sandwiched between the two layers of the shoulder strap, right sides together.
Unlike with the body panels, slightly trim the inner layers of the seam allowance so the seam will lay more smoothly against the shoulder.
Press out the shoulder straps and top-stitch to hold them in place.
If you have not yet corded the back panel, do so now.
Finish the Bust Gores
You will want to reinforce the points of the bust gores with hand or machine stitching. The nature of gores inserted into a slash means there is almost no seam allowance at the point, so it is very easy for the fabric to pull loose at the apex of the gore. To prevent this, it needs to be reinforced. You can use a close zig-zag stitch or other decorative stitch on your machine. I used an up-down buttonhole stitch by hand.
Sharon B’s Dictionary of Stitches offers lots of free information, tips, and tricks on hand stitching and embroidery, including this lovely little guide for making the Up-Down Buttonhole Stitch. The main difference between her guide and my application of the stitch is I didn’t give space between the stitches.
Line the Corset
I did not take a picture of the process, but assemble your lining pieces. Use normal garment assembly because there is only one layer of material. Just remember that if you stitched any of your side seams with a smaller seam allowance, you need to duplicate that on the lining layer. For this corset I stitched the side panel / back panel seam at 3/8″ rather than 1/2″ so it will match up to the outer body layers. It’s better to have a little extra room in the lining than too little.
Attach the lining to the corset, using a slight zig-zag stitch close to the edges so they retain their bias stretch. Stitch the top and bottom edges, and around the shoulder straps. Leave the back edges at the grommet area folded under and loose.
Secure the lining to the back edges by hand. The lining needs to completely cover the raw edges of the core and cover, so on this corset it is stitched just in from the first cording channel with a hidden running stitch. If you made your corset with more seam allowance on the back edge, the lining will not need to cover the grommet area.
To create the hidden running stitch, make each stitch alternately through the body of the corset, and inside the fold of the lining. The finished appearance is very similar to a machine stitch.
Edge One Side of the Corset
On this particular corset the busk pocket opens on the bottom, so I finished the bottom edge first. If you are planning to have your busk pocket open on the top edge, you’ll want to finish the top edge instead. Trim the edge so it is completely smooth, and then bind it.
For a detailed tutorial on edge binding, see How to Edge a Corset.