This is a detailed construction walk-through of a Victorian-style corset with quilted gore piecing. The core is two layers of coutil on the panels, three layers of coutil on the gores. The cover material is peacock blue dupioni silk. The lining will be plain cotton. Boning is spring steel flats, flossed in place.
The corset is made from my own pattern. There are six panels and four gores per side. There are two layers of coutil, allowing for sandwiching of the boning. The cover material was treated as one layer with the outer layer of coutil. There is a seam at each corner of each gore, so I can use strong folded seams, rather than slashing into the body of the fabric to create an insertion for the gores. If you are using a pattern that requires cutting a slash for gore insertion, you should be able to follow the instructions given here for the most part. I will try to note when there are variations.
I started construction with the panels, sewing all the panels of each side together. Each side is a continuous loop, inner coutil layer, to outer coutil layer and cover, back to inner coutil layer.
NOTE: I lined up and sewed the seams including cover material in one step, but many people find it helpful to baste or fuse the cover fabric to the coutil first.
I lock-stitched (also called double-stitched) every seam, wherein the seam is sewn over twice. To do this, sew the seam, turn the garment around, and sew back over the same seam. This makes for a much stronger seam, which is very important because I ironed the seams open, rather than my usual treatment of folding the seam allowance to one side.
Next I sewed a contrast-thread basting stitch along each fold-line for the gores (the seam allowance line). The basting provided a clear marker for folding over seam allowance, and also served to keep the cover and coutil layers from shifting during ironing.
Variation Note: If you are slashing for your gores, sew this basting stitch before slashing.
As soon as all the basting stitches were in place, I folded over the seam allowances and ironed them in place. I had expected to slash the folded-over seam allowance in a couple places, but to my pleasant surprise the curved areas were on enough of a bias that they were willing to stretch smoothly into position when ironed. Slash if you need to, but don’t if you can avoid it.
I almost forgot to insert the waist tape, so it ended up being placed right before inserting the busk. For some strange reason my machine decided to fight back only while sewing the waist tape, so the stitches are painfully messy. Since they are just a temporary baste, I left them at that and continued with the busk.
For details on how to add a busk, see the dedicated tutorial.