About this project
I made this corset from my own pattern, which I can scan if anyone wants it.. it was super easy... you only need about 3.5 metres of fabric in two different colors. I used a vintage gold brocade and a new green stripe brocade, but you could use cotton, silk, stretch, etc. the front closure will be hook and eye (still in progress...), the back is laced through eyelets.
You Will Need
- Reasonably Priced
Here is the pattern I drafted. To fit it to your specific measurements adjust for the following:
A: this is how wide the corset will be, allowing a couple inches for seams, measure from the middle of your sternum (the space right under your boobs) to the point where you want the corset to reach around your back. It's a good idea to make it a little smaller than you want, as you want to be able to cinch the corset nice and tight!! (hehe)
B: this is how long the corset will be from just under your bust to your waist, I made mine a little shorter than my waist because I want it to ride higher, but you could make it longer if you want to tuck it into or under a a skirt/pants.
C: this is the length at the back, where the lacing will be, make it however long you want. ;D
D: this is the hardest measurement to get right... the underbust scoop. it should be big enough to allow for your whole boob to be "cupped" but not so big that it won't support the load properly. like any new pattern, i highly suggest making a mock-up from cheap cotton/muslin before you start cutting your good material.. adjust the pattern as needed.
okay... so you should have a proper fitting pattern now.
Since i made this a reversible corset, I chose two complementary materials, a gold floral brocade and a green stripey brocade. make sure you cut with stripes straight as possible, and any patterns the right side up, otherwise half your corset material will be upside down.
Cut 2 pieces of the pattern in fabric A. cut 2 pieces in fabric B.
Pin the two A's together at the front. This is where it helps to have a dress form but you can fit it on yourself if you're talented or have a buddy to help. Pin the halter straps together where it seems like a good length, around your neck. make sure it's nice and snug around your bust. using safety pins or a buddy get the corset tight around your back. This is so you can see where you're going to add your darts, to make it fit your curves.
I added a dart right under the two bust sections and another dart under the arms, to fit my waist. You may need more or less depending on your own specific shape. This is an important step, as fitting a corset gives it the custom shape that will conform to your body and pull in the right places.
Once you have the two fitted piece A's, separate them and lay the two piece B's to the matching piece A's. be careful to put right sides to right sides, etc, so you aren't mismatching the pieces.
Now copy the darts your made on piece A on piece B.
Sew each dart into place...
also sew the back edges on each piece closed by folding them back on themselves (right sides together!) to your preferred length. sew about half an inch from the edge, to make a little channel for your boning. if your boning is wider, make the channel wider, or vice versa.
You now have 4 fitted sections of the garment! congrats.
right side to right side, pin the matching piece A to piece B and sew along the dotted lines. make sure you get the pieces matched right and sew them right sides together! (if you're unsure of this step ask someone.)
do not sew the front or the back closed for now.
make sure you get the darts matching up, or the fit will be off!
also, do not sew the top of the halter strap closed (for now).
Do this for the other piece as well...
Since your straps will be inside out, you need to have a way to "turn out" the strap once you've sewn it closed. you can do this after you've sewn the previous step or while you're pinning, as that's sometimes easier.
my method goes like this:
1) find a piece of sturdy string or ribbon.
2) feed the ribbon INSIDE the strap, with a bit poking out the end.
3) sew the strap closed at the end, sewing through the ribbon or string.
4) when you go to turn the piece right sides out, you pull the ribbon, feeding the excess material over the end, turning the strap right side out.
5) cut the end of the ribbon thats poking out, or you can cut the stitches holding the end in place and totally remove it, then hand stitch the end closed again.
Turn the garment right sides out and press. press the sh*t out of it (but use a protective cloth of course, if your iron is mucky)
make sure you trim the pointy parts to get a clean edge.
since it's going to be reversible I usually try to press the two sides down evenly, so little or no of the contrasting fabric shows on the other side. this is tricky. it's not the end of the world if the other side shows a little bit (hopefully you've chosen two complimentary fabrics!!)
you should have something resembling two halves of the corset now! yay!
at this point try fitting it on yourself again (you can never fit things enough.)
pin the two fronts together and the strap around your neck and hold the corset snug around you.
you should have a good space in the back to lace.
Next cut two strips of boning to the length of the back ("C" on your pattern).
make sure you sew the casings closed at each end and leave about half an inch on each end for seam allowance.
It might take awhile to get this just right. if it's a little too short no worries, the most important thing is for it to hold that back edge rigid for your eyelets.
feed the boning into the channel you sewed on the back edges. (doesn't matter whether you put it into piece A or Piece B.
you can now sew the backs of piece A and piece B together now! Use a zipper foot to get nice and close to both the edge and the boning.
(in order to avoid mismatching thread/fabric, when sewing this seam I put one color thread in my bobbin, and one color thread on the needle... tricky, huh?)
insert however many eyelets you want into the back of the two sections. make sure its close to the boning, so it will be nice and sturdy (but not too close, you don't want to pierce the boning or the channel!)
I used 14 x 1/4 inch eyelets (7 on each side) but you could use 1/8 inch eyelets and do 10-12 a side if you want. whatever you think looks best (and also whichever fits the kind of lacing you're going to use.)
next you need to add some hook and eye tape to the front. you can get this at your fabric store. it's WAY easier and sturdier than sewing on individual hook and eye closures.
fold the hook part into the front opening of your right piece and sew it down. make sure you sew with the right side up to match your needle thread color!
fold the eye part into the left side and sew it down.
Finishing... you're almost done!
find a nice buckle for the shoulder strap. I found two ornate interlock type buckles/snap things that worked well.
I suppose you could just use velcro, buttons or tie the straps together if you want, but I think the buckle just looks neater.
Now you just have to thread your lacing through the back eyelets and you're done!!
Please put any questions you might have in the comments and I will try my best to answer!
Post your results!!
Have a great day ;D