This is something that confuses a lot of costume makers wanting to have a go at corsetry for the first time.
Whether you're a Goth, just getting into Steampunk or a hardcore historical re-enactor or just love live roleplay, a corset is a useful thing to own, and if you've made it yourself-even better! There are loads of good patterns out there, truly victorian, reconstructing history, past patterns, mantua maker and laughing moon all publish corsetry patterns from an assortment of eras... but don't forget to make a mock up version first - you can't ever expect a bought pattern to just fit perfectly!
Anyway, to accompany my articles for Your wardrobe Unlocked and Foundations Revealed on corset and bustle making, I thought it might be useful to go over the basics ;0 One of my articles is about re-creating the corset shown on the left, moddelled beautifully by Rhona. It's a factory made corset from 1898 (ish) created by a company called Charles Bayer Corsets ltd. It's a gorgeous pattern with a very pretty engraved busk.
step 1 lay out yourfront pattern pieces with the right sides upward, place the busk the right way round on top of these pieces, with the double hook at the bottom and the studs facing up. Separate the busk and put the side with studs and it's corresponding fabric panel to one side....Cut a facing the width of one side of your busk plus 2cm seam allowance, it should be as tall as your corset center front.
step2 place the busk on the pattern piece and mark in the seam allowance, either side of the loops.
step 3 pin the facing, right sides together along the center front edge and mark with pins the gaps for the busk loops. sew along this seam, stopping and starting at each gap, leaving an opening for the busk to poke through. Stitch backwards to secure the thread at the beginning and end of each little section...
step 4 iron the seam open
step5 iron seam closed, folding the seam allowance inside.
Insert the loop side of the busk through the holes, iron the raw facing edge in to neaten.
step 6 with a zipper foot sew very closely all the way round the busk to hold it in place.
step7 cut another facing for the stud side of the busk. place it right sides together with the front fabric piece and sew all the way down the seam.
step 8 iron the seam open and then closed as before.
step9 place the two piece together as they will be when completed and mark where the busk loops cross over.
step10 using a small awl make holes in the fabric by separating the fibres (don't cut holes or the fabric will tear) just gently tease apart - use a knitting needle
too if necessary.
step 11 insert the studs from behind one at a time. If you try to make all the holes in one go, the first will close up by the time you get to the last.
step 12 sew closely round the busk as before....