Tutorial For Joining and Lining Tight Lacing Corset Panels

This post is to help you join and align your corset panels for a perfect finish. 

This tutorial is for tight laced corsets that are going to have considerable stress on the seams and waistline. 

I have been sewing corsets for many years, there is no single right way to do it but this is reliable and will make a corset that will last many years.

There is only one rule here, do not take short cuts or skip any steps!

Most tightlacing corsets depend on the linings for strength.

Most real tightlacing Corsets are  three layers thick. There is the top fashion fabric  layer, the middle lining which is a tightly woven cotton or poly cotton, and the main lining which is usually cotton coutil.

The top / outer layer is your decorative fashion fabric. the choice is huge here but quality counts.

Simple natural fabrics are the easiest and most rewards – but really anything goes if you can sew it., and it is not too heavy or bulky.

The middle lining helps to stabilise your fashion fabric. 

Each corset panel is flat lined with  pre washed cotton lining. A good weight is s 135g per metre. dark for dark fabrics and white for lights.

The main lining is coutil, again pre washed for shrinkage. Press. 

The pieces will have been cut out with the waistline on the straight grain for max strength, unless a pattern piece indicates otherwise.

Seam allowances for joining the corset seams on most of the Harlots and Angels corsets is 20mm or 22mm (approx 3/4 inch).

This allows for the bone channels to be made from the seam allowances and provides perfect padding so no poking uncomfortable bones ever. 

This tutorial starts with the busk (or swing clips) centre panel ready prepared. 

Once all the pieces are flat lined just treat them as one layer. 

If you are not experienced then pin/ baste  or your pieces and double check the waistlines are matching. 

Sew each seam together with a small to medium stitch length. 

 

Do the first waist, bust and hip check. The corset will lose approx 10mm or half inch overall (5mm 1/4 inch each side when topstitched and second lining is added. 

The centre back panel will have a large fold allowance so you need to measure just to this line which is clearly marked on the pattern piece.

Now is the time to do any last adjustments by taking in  a seam or letting it out.

Clip any bust or hip curves now, small snips not big wide chunks, the fabric needs the fullness taking out not big gaps left that will show and weaken the bone channels.

This is how it looks from right side. The seams now need topstitching flat. 

The topstitching is done approx. 10mm from the seam join. 

The seams are always folded TOWARDS THE BACK.

 

Showing the topstitching stage. One line is in middle of the seam allowance sewn though all thicknesses. 

The topstitching is done approx. 10mm from the seam join. 

The seams are always folded TOWARDS THE BACK.

Complete both side of corset before you start to attach main lining. 

Next the main lining is sewn on piece by piece, starting with joining no 2 lining to your already attached centre front main lining, (which was sewn as part of your busk or swing clip centre panel construction.)

Turn to wrong side of corset fold the lining back along the seam and mark inside of main lining with edge of tailors chalk. even when cut out perfectly you can get movement and you want this lining to fit so near perfect. 

Join the back main lining piece by piece. After each piece is joined , trim any excess, clip any curves and topstitch the lining seam flat. 

 

This is how the back looks when you   have joined no 2 piece of  lining and have top stitched the seams flat approx. 10mm from the join.

Top stitching is always done from right side of corset.

This is how the back looks when you   have joined no 2 piece of  lining and have top stitched the seams on both main corset and the main lining. flat approx. 10mm from the join.

Top stitching is always done from right side of corset.

This is now ready to sew the bone channel.

Hand baste first if you are a novice. Align the back lining to main corset and top stich close to the joined seam.

You are sewing though all thicknesses. its slow and thick fabric so change machine needle if needed. 

Repeat the joining of your next lining piece, exactly as you did before, folding back the seam allowance and marking with chalk to make sure you are joining the lining exactly same as the main corset.

This is done because  fabric thickness and texture can and will cause small changes to the seams.  By checking each seam the corset will be prefect and symmetrical.

The topstitch seams as before. Repeat for all lining pieces. 

Pin or hand baste the loose centre back edges together to keep neat. 

The last line of topstitching will complete your boning channels.

Top stitch from right side of corset a third row, equally distant from the centre row.

Repeat for all the seams.

Not the best picture but your corset will now look something like this. 

Showing the centre back raw edge or corset ready for marking, turning under and making the eyelet channel. Go to the next tutorial on inserting eyelets here

 

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