There are various methods for lacing a corset but for corset training purposes a criss-cross method from top to bottom with the edition of rabbit ears (sometimes called bunny ears), is the most functional and makes tight-lacing without assistance much easier.
The criss-cross lacing pattern is very similar to lacing a shoe with one important difference – The lace does not go in through the top of the hole on one side, come out underneath, to again go in through the top of the hole on the other side, always entering the lacing holes from above to be brought across from underneath. See example in red above.
Instead, when the lace goes in from above the hole and is brought across and down-one to the next hole on the other half of the corset, it then goes in from underneath, and vice versa – a lace entering a hole from underneath will enter its next hole from above. The other side should be laced in mirror image to create a column of crosses sitting one above the fabric and then one below, then above etc in an alternating fashion as in the green example above – the top ‘cross’ sits underneath, the next down sits on top, then underneath. Tightening the corset is thus made a lot easier as a finger can be hooked round the centre of a cross sitting above the fabric and pulled to narrow the gap. The slack is then taken up by pulling the next cross down that sits on top of the fabric and so on down the back to the bottom of the corset where the laces can be pulled tight and tied in a bow.
Rabbit ears are large loops of lace left on both sides of the lacing at waist tape level (or the thinnest part of the waist if your corset has no waist tape). Lace as normal until you get to the waist; then take the lace up through the hole just above the waist tape and down through the hole directly below the waist tape on the same side of the corset. An excess of lace is left between these holes, after which lacing continues as normal, see example above. This loop of lacing at the waist, forms one of your rabbit ears. The process is then mirrored on the other side of the training corset to create the second rabbit ear. Ensure the lacing is loose enough to put the corset on easily, then tie the laces together at the bottom.
Once the corset is on, you can tighten it by pulling the rabbit ears and then taking up any slack top and bottom by pulling at the crosses from top to middle and bottom to middle a few times – pulling the rabbit ear loops as you get to the middle each time to take up the excess lace, the rabbit ears are then tied together in a knot or bow to secure.
Another advantage of lacing your corset using the rabbit ear method, especially if you’re corset training and often have to put your corset on alone, is being able to use the ‘Door Handle’ technique.
Great for singlehandedly lacing up, this technique involves hooking the rabbit ears/loops of lacing over a door handle, then slowly walking away from the door to tighten your corset – effectively giving you an extra pair of hands. You can then lean forward as you pull your lacing crosses from top and bottom in toward the waist, taking up the slack using your body weight. See example below.