Another Year at Corset Training & A Few Changes To Be Made
Well it’s a few days after my 28th birthday and give it a few months Corsettraining.net will also be another year older. So it’s a time of reflection for me and as the website nears 4 years old I’d like to step things up a notch…
Corset Designers & Corsetry Knowledge
There are a wealth of individual corset makers out there and the web gives us a chance to interact with each other across the globe; sharing ideas and solving corset construction issues. I’ve seen a lot of this on facebook as the Corset Making facebook group expands. I’d like to feature more work by the web’s corset designers and share more of the results of our online knowledge swapping on this blog.
HowToMakeACorset YouTube Channel
Another exciting development will be video blog posting. I have a camera and tripod set up in my sewing room now so I’ll be keeping a video diary of my projects and doing a few how-to’s here and there. Currently I’m editing the eyelet setting video to go with the eyelet tutorial pictures here, and another on binding bodice pattern tabs from this corset -
I hope to make a few of these video posts a week once I’ve gotten used to the technology! I’ll be hosting them on You Tube so keep an eye on my channel HowToMakeACorset but I’ll also do a blog post for each one so you can keep up to date with everything going on by following this blog.
I’m also going to start making corsets to order again soon. I’ve taken a long break from corset-making-to-order as it were, concentrating on how to make corsets educational materials and the printable corset patterns range. I’d like to get back to creating corsets for people to wear and enjoy alongside teaching the art of construction. I’ll be sewing up some example pieces to be photographed over the next month so that should keep me very busy and give me lots to video blog about! All very exciting!
The Corset Belt Sew-Along
Lastly I’m finally getting round to doing the video sew-along for the waist corset – you can download the free corset pattern here. It’ll be set over a few days so beginners can sew along for around an hour a day over 3 – 5 days. It’ll be a great gentle introduction for all the corset making virgins out there and hopefully a great social experience for our little corset sewing community.
So I look forward to sewing more and sharing more with you over the coming months!
When making a corset training corset or boned bodice you have to decide how you’ll have the front panels. You may choose to have a front closure such as the traditional nobs and loops busk (loops are affixed to a steel corset bone on one side, and on the other knobs are attached) or perhaps laces as your front fastening. You can also opt to sew your corset design front-closed. This is obviously less convenient when putting the corset on but makes for a dressier garment e.g. a beautiful wedding dress or something special for the senior prom!
When you design a corset pattern with a front closure, you still have laces to do up at the back, however you don’t have the trouble of undoing them all the way whenever you take your corset off (you merely loosen them just enough to open the front). This is obviously a massive time saver if your corset training daily. The traditional opening at the front is the busk (or sometimes a second lot of lacing) but there are a couple of other variations and modern options that I have seen utilized for corset making. Industrial strength zippers are a typical one, however they’re no where near as robust as busks. A fastening thats becoming more and more common is the buckle. These are often used as an additional fastening, more of a corset design feature than closure. The buckle attaches on one side of the front opening, the strap with the holes on attaches on the other. But buckles are always used alongside another, stronger fastening like a busk or zip, to offer extra support or simply for fashion.
If you’re not accustomed to sewing a front closed corset or maybe you’ve just purchased your first corset pattern, but are not sure exactly how to construct the front pieces for a closed corset? Well, it could not be easier. Your corset pattern will come as a set of pieces that will make up one side of the corset design. You just cut them all out of your fabric, then flip them all over and cut out the other side of your corset so the two sides mirror each other. When you make a corset closed fronted, you are basically cutting the two panels at the front as one big one. So you just take your front pattern piece and cut it out ‘on the fold’. If you’re not knowledgeable about sewing terms – ‘on the fold’ indicates to take the fabric, fold it in half, then align the pattern piece along that fold so the front edge is up against it. You can then cut round the pattern piece (but don’t cut the folded edge), then when you open it out you get your 2 front pattern pieces come out as one.
When you sew together your closed fronted corset with this double panel at the front, you don’t place boning down the center as you would in the case of a busk, zip or laces because it would not sit right. If you really wanted to however, you could include more boning in the panel, say if the panel was really wide or if it were a plus sized design in need of some extra support. To achieve this it would be best to sew 2 bone channels a small distance in from the pattern piece edges. Do this by eye, making sure they are symmetrical. Place the bones on your front pattern piece and move them in and out from the center to see exactly what position looks right for your corset training or bodice pattern.
While some corset makers out there will be familiar with this term, there will be a larger number, especially amoungst the beginners, who haven’t a clue what a ‘Gore’ is. This blog post is for you.
It sounds like some sort of horror film genré but in actual fact it’s a type of corset pattern piece. Yes the ‘bust gore’ or the ‘hip gore’ are just triangular inserts of material that allow you when you make a corset, to add extra curve to the top or bottom. They were used more in the Victorian times when waists were smaller but I have seen a number of modern corset patterns with them in. If you make older corsets or are learning how to make a bodice pattern historically accurate, then it’s worth acquainting yourself with them. They can be made into a design feature or discretely incorporated into the corset design. They’re also fine to use in corset training corset sewing patterns and should not affect the strength of the corset when sewn correctly.
If you’re just starting to learn how to make a corset, I wouldn’t recommend this style of corset design simply because you don’t need the extra difficulty in your first corset sewing pattern. Corset making is complex enough for the beginner without having to work out where your spiral steel boning is going once the seam you’re following forks in two to accomodate a bust gore. I’m not saying corset making is distressingly difficult but easy to follow corset sewing patterns do help somewhat.
Anyway to clarify exactly what a bust gore looks like, heres a close-up of one of my own patterns – the Cupid Corset Pattern, which can be found on the patterns page of this website if you’d like a closer look.
Click image to enlarge
There are several ways of doing this, but my favourite beginners method is the duct tape corset pattern. You need a second person with you, a tight-fitting vest top that you are happy to cut up, scissors and a roll of duct tape. First put the vest top on over a well fitting bra, now have your friend go round and round you with the masking tape till you are covered from waist to bust – basically the area you want your corset swing pattern to cover. Now have them cut you out straight down the middle front or middle back. You can now draw on the 3D form of your body where you want the corset design to come to around the bottom and top, then draw on your pattern lines and where you want your sprung or spiral steel boning. Now cut the pieces out and transfer them to pattern paper!
For all the waist trainers out there looking to make a corset for the first time I have a free corset pattern for you to try out! If your new to corset training this will be a great introduction to the world of tight lacing – the waist corset pattern. If your just starting out as a corset seamstress this is again a great pattern for beginners as there is no busk and being a short corset made from 7 pieces theres a lot less sewing to do!
If your experienced at corset training this may not be the corset for you but may still be useful for wearing when your planning to do light to moderate exercise (even though its only a waist corset pattern I still don’t recommend jumping on the treadmill in it!)
‘So where can I get this amazing corset training/sewing wonder?’ I hear you cry, why on the corset pattern page (link along the top of the website). This is a completely free corset pattern and if you get your friends to download it you’ll get a booklet free too! This will guide you to the best online places to get supplies as well as tell you how to work out the best size to print your corset pattern. Yes, its printable and comes in sizes 8 – 18 aren’t I good to you! So check out the pattern page, scroll down through the beautiful corset training patterns to the bottom, where you’ll find this free corset pattern and instructions on how to download and get your pattern book.
Make an Elizabethan Corset – Video & Pattern
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Step-by-step Video and Printable Pattern with REVERSIBLE front panel!
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Reversible front panel gives you two dramatically different looks for the effort of one!
Detailed video instructions so you can see exactly how to make it.
Comes as an instant download with booklet and pattern so you can print off the pattern in your size.
This exquisit fully boned Elizabethan corset pattern comes with a 1 hour how-to Video that will guide you step by step through the making of your own beautiful Elizabethan bodice corset. A stunning pattern with lacing front and back it is designed for sewers who have already previously made their own basic corsets.
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We have a new article up on the articles page called How To Make A Bodice, Not A Corset. The point of which is to give you a bit more info on the difference between a bodice pattern and a corset pattern as well as the main differences between corset making and learning how to make a bodice.
All the skills needed are the same but there will still be some aspects of the bodice pattern not covered in basic corset design. Things like straps, tabs and the infamous fully boned panel.
Another thing to remember about the boned bodice or ‘stays’ is that the bodice pattern, by design, isn’t a good corset training choice due to its shape and lack of support below the waist line. That aside if you want a dramatic look for a period costume or fancy dress outfit and you don’t mind the odd gasp of admiration or jealous stare (who would) than an Elizabethan bodice pattern is the obvious choice for the corset maker.
I have been asked on numerous occasions to simply explain how to alter a corset pattern to fit someone bigger or smaller than the pattern is intended for. The easiest way to explain is with pictures. Click any of the photos below for bigger images.
So you have your corset pattern like this -
This is a pattern for half a corset so measure the waist line of each piece and add them together to get half the waist. Double this and you have the total waist size for this corset pattern.
Measure your waist size (or the person who will wear it) if the corset is to be smaller than their waist take off 2 – 4 inches to get the size you need the pattern to be.
You may need to add a few inches to the waistline to make it fit, or take off a few.
Say the pattern above will make a corset with a 24inch waist but I need it to have a 27inch waist – so 3 inches bigger. The pieces above are for half the corset so I need to add 1.5 inches to them. I decide where to add them by looking at the pieces; I decide to add 0.25 inches to each piece with the exception of the thinnest one which I’ll add 0.5 to. If I were taking away 1.5 I might decide to take more away from the fatest piece. The added width does not have to be perfectly distributed, don’t over think this!
Now you simply cut the pieces down the middle and move them apart to make them bigger or together to make them smaller. The pictures below show how easy it is to alter this corset pattern.
Pattern piece we will be altering.
Cut down the middle, if your making the corset wider you will need a piece of scrap paper behind to stick the halves down on.
(Once you are competent with this method you can cut at the waist line too and angle the top or bottom in to make the bust or hips smaller, or angle out to make larger).
Use a ruler or tape measure to get the alteration the right size.
Stick the pieces back together and your done! You are ready to make a corset with your new pattern!
Remember the golden rule: Always make a mock up to check sizing, always always.
The bodice pattern is taking shape finally. We’re nearly there – yay – I’ve just got the edges to finish off. Like with all my new corset patterns, I couldn’t resist trying it on before it’s finished, just to check the sizing is right of course! So here are some photos so you can see how its looking, the fit is just right and I can’t wait to see how the tabs look once I’ve cut them (they’re all stuck together still to avoid premature fraying) I’ll be carefully cutting them appart and edging them in a few days time. First I need a rest and some retail therapy! I think the sewing machine will appreciate a bit of a rest and some quiet time too! I’ve been filming each stage as I go, this printable corset pattern will have its own video guide and work book as its a specialist bodice pattern. So the filming has been making the whole process take a lot longer. I hate being on film too so my nerves are shot! Click on the pics for bigger versions and a closer look. The red fabric is looking amazing, its my first use of heavy weight material as I always opt for the light cottons with the colourful designs. This bodice pattern may have converted me though! The feel is so much more luxurious and the sheen it has is fantastic.
Learning how to make a corset with fully boned panels has been time consuming but worth it, I love the bone channels and the effect they give.
Today I started the filming for the exciting new Elizabethan bodice pattern! Yes filming! The next pattern in the printable patterns range will come with an optional workbook and video guide.
I’ve again been looking for a way to make my patterns easier to follow. The idea is that, like with the corset making DVD, nothing is more straightforward than seeing how its done. Having an instructional PDF workbook and MP4 video to download alongside the printable pattern is intended to make it possible for even the novice to complete this fully boned bodice pattern.