What Is A ‘Gore’ On A Corset 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 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, here’s 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.


Corset Pattern Gore


A Tip For Sewing The Seam Around The Gore

When you insert the bust gore/cup, a really easy method (and the one traditionally used) is to topstitch the seam; below is an illustration of a topstitched bust gore –


Bust Gore Sewing


You lay the cup/gore down first, right side up, then take the panel with the cut into which the gore goes, also right side up, and fold under its edges where the cut is (you may need to clip the edge slightly to make it lay flat near the point). I recommend giving it an iron so it stays nice and flat and is easier to sew. Then lay it over the cup/gore along the seam line, pin and top stitch it – i.e. just stitch the layers together from the top, going through all the layers a tiny bit in from the folded edge of the seam. You can fold under the edges of the gore from the reverse and sew a second line of stitching a little further away from the seam edge as in the above picture, but this was done historically on single layer corsets to neaten the inside. If you’re making a lined corset it’s not an issue, you’ll just do the same for the lining and the raw edges will be sandwiched in the middle.


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