Today it's Time for a tutorial about my Absinthe Corset. As you can see I used the same Pattern for my Steampunk Corset Dress Mademoiselle Émeraude Steam, which is a basic 18th Century Corset Pattern.
This Tutorial shows an elaborate Corset. Patterns can be found on the Internet at Burda / Simplicity or even online shops about historical Patterns and Corsets.
Many Steps can be used for a simple Corsage. The Steps are noted with three Hearts (❤ ❤ ❤).
And now Step by Step „How to make a historical Corset":
Step 1 ❤ ❤ ❤
What Materials do you need:
- (historical) Pattern of your Choice
- Different Fabrics (like solid Cotton, patterned Fabric and as desired: Taffeta)
- Thread, Needles and Scissors
- Corset Bones/ so-called Fishbones (more Information in Step 9)
- various Cords, Ribbons and Laces
Step 2 ❤❤❤
First you copy the Pattern on the Fabrics and cut them out.
The Corset requires 3 to 4 Layers of Fabric. For a 16th Century Corset we will be using a lot of Boning. Consequently the Material has to be able to carry a lot of Weight. Through the many Layers of Fabric we prevent Holes and rapid wear.
Tip: Draw all the Lines and Marks on the middle Layers of Fabric (shown here in white Cotton).
Step 3 ❤❤❤
Divide the Material into 2 Categories:
Corset 1 – Outer Fabric (patterned Fabric) with a CenterFfabric (white Cotton)
Corset 2 – Inner Fabric (Taffeta) with a Center Fabric (white Cotton)
Now you can pin each Corset and sew all the Pieces of Fabric together. Here the painted Lines on the Center Fabric (white Cotton) will be helpful.
In the End we have two Corsets.
In case that you haven't transfered all Lines of the Pattern onto the Fabric - do it now.
Use a simple and long Stitch and sew over these Lines. No Sealing or Double Step Stitch required.
Tip: as a Beginner or advanced Person, sew the Lines ONLY on the inner Fabric. (see Step 8)
This Step requires more Time and Attention.
Place both Corsets onto each other.
The Seam Allowances have to be opened. With an Iron it's completely easy and fix.
If the Corset fits perfectly (Seam to Seam), then you can sew the right and left Edge together.
The upper Side with the Straps and the lower Side with the Curve remain open.
Step 6 ❤❤❤
To prevent the Fabrics from shifting, pin the freshly stitched Edges and sew a thin Line.
In Preparation for the Eyelet and Lacing, sewn 3 more Lines. It is divided into:
Corset Bone – Eyelet – Corset Bone
Tip: Put a little Piece of Corset Bone next to you for all Lines. So you are sure that everything fits later.
As in Step 6, lay all Seams together. Sew directly on the Seam everything together.
Now nothing can slip.
Sew all Lines along on the Inner Fabric. They are now seen on the Outer Fabric.
You can undo the older Seams, if you want to.
Follow this Line and sew Step by Step all so-called Bone Tunnel. The Corset Bones will be inserted in there.
Step 9 ❤❤❤
Bones has many Variations and are very important for the Corset or Corsage.
Here are 3 Types.
From top to Bottom:
- Fabric Bone
- Plastic Bone
- Metal Bone
~ The Fabric Bone is available in many Fabric Store. But (personally) it's not good for a Corset or a Corsage.
There is a Ribbon with a thin Plastic / Nylon Threads.
The Boning is weak and bends rather easily.
~ The Plastic Bone is very stiff in the Contrary to the Metal and Fabric Bone. It can cut it with Scissors and don't break or warp so easy. For a Corsage or a Corset it is ideal.
The more Bones is taken, the more stiff will be the Top.
Advantage: it is cheaper and lighter than the Metal Bones.
Other Variations can be found in Wood / Bamboo.
~ The Metal Bone is the most used Boning for historical Costumeparts. It is available as a Strap or as a Spiral Spring Strap (see Picture). The Qualities of Plastic and Metal Bones are very close..
Disadvantage: you need a tin Snips, End Caps (or a lot of Tape) and can be more expensive.
Advantage: they are flexible despite the Weight, keep the most Traction and remain in the Bent Form, if necessary.
I prefer Plastic and Metal. But it depends on the Corset and the Person who wears is.
Step 10 ❤❤❤
Cut the Boning in the right Length.
The important Thing is: The Corset is closed in the End (see the Seam on the bottom Edge). To prevent Needle Breakage, the Boning must be shorter than the Length of the Tunnel. At least one Seam Allowance above and below.
Do you cut off all Bones (and possibly put the Caps on), then push it into the Tunnel.
Now close them with a Seam. So the Bones can't slip out.
Tip: Just take your Thumb or Forefinger as a Measure Tape.
Step 11 ❤❤❤
Time for a beautiful (useful) Decoration Part 1:
Take a Bias Tape and sew it on to the Fabric. Turn down the Bias Tape around the Edge and sew it again.
Who can sew around the Curve or is uncertain, may at any time to sew the Bias Tape by Hand.
Note: You can see different Bias Tape Sewing Techniques in my Book "Sewing for Beginner 2".
Step 12 ❤❤❤
Beautiful Decoration Part 2:
If you want, you can always sew Laces, Ribbons or other onto the Bias Tape per Hand or Machine.
Step 13 ❤❤❤
The Final Step!
Everything is sewn and the Decorations are attached to the Corsets. Up next we'll insert the Eyelets.
Mark the Places on which you'd like to insert the Eyelets from the Inside.
With a Punch Pliers, a Nail Scissors or an Unstitcher you cut the Holes.
Uses the Eyelets and seals them.
You can use a Tongs or a Hammer.
Threaded into the Cord and have fun!