See separate busk insertion tutorial before starting to assemble the corset.
Lay pattern onto front panels and trim any excess fabric, ensure both sides are mirror image and same in every dimension.
Open up the front so main lining is away from the joined middle lining and main dress fabric.
Lay pattern pieces main fabric right side down onto table and lay middle lining on top. Baste both long sides together on all pieces. Press if necessary. Mark with chalk or removable labels the direction towards top and centre back and each number.
Lay the number 2 panel onto centre front and sew seam 20mm from edge. Do not try to adjust pattern by making this seam narrow or wider. This seam makes a cushioned channel for the boning to sit and must be 20mm (¾”).
Use a seam guide to make sure all seams are same.
Continue to join the other panels in same way until all joined.
Turn corset over and measure waistline from centre front to centre back – half a corset should measure just over 50mm (2”) longer than half finished waist.
Check hips and underbust now too. Underbust on average should be approx 5-6” more than waist for the full corset. The underbust finished doesn’t want to be much smaller than your natural underbust to prevent squeezing much flesh.
From either right or wrong side, as preferred, sew a second row in the middle of your seam allowance always turning seams towards the centre back.
Showing corset from wrong side when first rows of rows of top stitching complete.
Showing corset from right side with first rows of top stitching complete.
To attach the main stronger lining lay the busk lining to the first seam and mark with chalk on wrong side exactly matching the stitch line of main corset.
Once the first panel is joined the seam needs sewing flat towards the back, same as you did for the main corset. this is just through the main lining not the whole corset at this stage.
Fold seam allowance towards the back and sew lining seam in centre of seam allowance same as you did for main corset.
Showing this seam stitched down.
Lay back the panel over the corset and check it’s lying correct over the corresponding corset seam.
Turn corset so sewing right side – keep lining taught and now topstitch through all layers very close to the main seam – always on the side of seam nearest the centre back.
Showing main corset sewn flat from lining side.
Repeat marking each lining panel with chalk and joining then topstitching each panel before moving to next until all complete.
Leave the centre back edges open for now
Now you sew a 3rd row of stitching 20mm (3/4”) from each seam to complete the boning channels – always sewing side towards the back.
Showing corset from right side with 3rd row of topstitching which completes the boning channels.
Measure the waistline again – it still should be just over 50mm/ 2” half of finished waist.
Mark a line exactly at half the desired finished waist size. The centre back panel does allow for small adjustments here so you can make smaller and trim any excess later.
Distance needs to be min 50mm/ 2” between chalk line and edge of centre back..
Lay the reinforcing strip along the line – sometimes I pull the good lining slightly and sew just over the line so that when it’s turned back the lining is perfectly flat.
if you have overhanging raw edge then it can be folded over the reinforcing strip to neaten. if your measurements have taken the reinforcing strip to the edge then sew some binding on to conceal raw edge
Neaten raw edge either with binding or if fabric over fold back and sew raw edge under.
Sew modesty panel to one end of one side of centre back of corset.
showing from right side before turning the reinforcing strip under, right side facing upwards.
Showing the reinforcing strip turning under – move panel out of way when sewing the boning channels along the back so it doesn't get sewn down!
Showing boning channels sewn in. I insert one bone either side of eyelets which are inserted into the middle row.
Next join busk together and check if top and lower edges need any trimming.
Sew bias binding to right side (lower edge of corset first) leaving approx 25mm (1”) over at either end.
Turn bias over raw edge and topstitch from right side.
This picture shows starting to topstitch the bias binding from right side.
Next measure for your bone and insert to each channel on the seams. I prefer to use spiral bones on the sides and flat sprung steel front and centre back. For larger sizes above 34” you can use flat steels all way around if preferred for firmer hold.
Repeat bias binding for top edge same as you did for the lower edge.
Mark for the eyelet placement in the middle row at the centre back.
Punch holes with appropriate tool. Apply fraycheck to back and front of each hole – always check fray check on scrap fabric first as can run and mark on silks and some dress fabrics. If it does use a pinhead to apply or use pave glue carefully.
Punch eyelets into holes and set washers on back with tool.
Showing the finished corset eyelets from inside. They have a metal bone at each side for strength and smooth lacing.
Corset finished and ready to lace up. Use our cross lacing guide to make easy to tie easily at the waist level.