Corset Making Supplies

Corset Making Supplies
A corset can be worn in any way you imagine

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Working with Fosshape by Farthingales

Fosshape is a non-woven, heat-activated fabric. It feels like thick felt and is soft and flexible but with the use of heat and/or steam it can be formed and shaped into solid shapes.

It’s a great alternative to ''Buckram'' because it becomes it maintains its shape but remains breathable.
Fosshape activates in the range of 212° - 265° F (100° - 130° C). It can be painted ( I prefer spray paint as it can absorb a lot of paint and get heavy if the paint is brushed on).  Fosshape is surprisingly strong when set but is lightweight, which makes it a great option for masks and hats.

You can use a steam iron, vertical steamer or heat gun (I’ve had my best results with a vertical steamer from my local thrift shop). The Fosshape gets stiffer with more heat, time and pressure, so working with molds is advantageous but not and absolute need.

Being an experienced seamstress, I love the fact that Fosshape can be sewn and cuts easily with a scissors and, like felt it does not fray. Best of all it bonds to itself …and not your iron!

Instructions for Use

Cutting:  Use scissors or a matte knife.

Shrinkage:  Fosshape can shrink up to cut your pieces larger than you need

Sewing:  You can sew Fosshape by machine or by hand. I prefer to use a machine zigzag stitch and butt the edges together, rather than sew a standard seam which would create more bulk – but it means being very careful when steaming or the seam can separate.

Forming:  You do need to support the shape – steam the Fosshape over something and use gloves to protect your fingers from the heat of the steam

Layering:  Fosshape will stick to itself when heat is applied, but will not stick to you or your iron. This characteristic allows it to be layered achieve the required rigidity. A steam iron pressing the Fosshape against a hard surface will create a very smooth hard surface that will look nothing like the felt it resembles prior to heat and pressure.

Heating:  Keep your heat source 6-12 inches away from the Fosshape surface to start, then slowly bringing it closer. Move the heat source around so it’s not foc back and forth to keep the shrinkage uniform. Let the item cool – while it’s warm if can still be shaped.

Decorating:  Fosshape can be painted - no primer needed- and it can be dyed dyed. Decoration may be stitched or glued on. 100% synthetic, it will hold up well in humidity or rainy conditions.

For more information see our free PDF downloadable book:

To look at or purchase Fosshape or Wonderflex click on the link below:


Sunday, January 28, 2018

McCall's Cosplay Pattern M2103 "Carpathia"

I ordered this McCall's Cosplay pattern on-line because my local fabric store didn't have one (and I could be wrong but I think maybe this is one that is only available on-line)and I was excited to see a neck corset pattern.

I was also excited to see that the floral fabric chosen for the pattern image, is one of the floral brocade coutil fabrics  that Farthingales sells. It's going to take a few months as I have many other commitments, but I plan to make both the corset and the collar. I'll be posting about my experience here, so this is Chapter One of my McCall's Carpathia story.

The first thing I want to say is that this is not a pattern for someone who has not sewn much or has little experience with sewing patterns, on the flip side this is a pleasant challenge for those who are experienced.

Having made many, many corsets and developed corset making techniques and taught corset making to several hundred people (I've also got a corset class on the on-line class platform "Craftsy") I see corset making as a more streamlined process than is outlined in the directions. I've read the instructions all the way through - (I strongly recommend that everyone do this and never assume you know how a pattern was planned to be put together.) and I've had a few thoughts:

  • when using coutil - you don't need interfacing to help stabilize or strengthen the fabric, so I skipped this step
  • they suggest 4 types of boning - I usually use two, but am not commenting on this until I get to the point of needing bones as it could be that I agree.
  • I rarely line a corset because my finishing technique leaves my corsets as clean and tidy on the inside as they are on the outside and...adding a lining adds time. I may find I have to add a lining to this one, though I'm hoping to avoid it. 
  • lacing tape is mentioned on the pattern back in the supplies section but it's not referred to in the instructions. Here's a link to show how it's used, hint: you need to be aware of where the grommets will be set.
  • The method of busk application suggests you create the hole for the busk knobs and apply seam sealant. My experience indicates that you need to get the busk knobs in place before adding the sealant otherwise you may find your holes are to small to get the knob through. AND, if you are using coutil you may not even need the sealant.
Despite these minor personal issues I like the pattern style and am looking forward to working through it. At the moment I have all my pieces sewn together for each side, but have to stop for today.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

2018 Means 20 Years in Business

20 years ago this month I was stocking shelves and getting everything ready to launch Farthingales on-line costume and corset supply store in January. I wasn't thinking about 20 years ahead and really just intended to sell to theatres and and costume makers across Canada. At that time there was me and only me and there were a lot of hats to wear in order to cover all the bases.

Many people didn't have computers in their homes yet and Farthingales was the first company on the internet selling corset making supplies. Technology has grown at an incredible rate and we sell way beyond the borders of Canada and to a much more diverse clientele than I imagined possible.

What does our being in business for 20 years mean for you?

On the 20th day of every month throughout the year of 2018 
there will be a SALE posted on Facebook 
20% off for one day only.

Be sure to follow us on Facebook 
so you don't miss the sales

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Corset Mesh

Farthingales now stocks corset mesh in 5 colours! This fine nylon mesh is approximately 58" wide and is surprisingly strong despite being very light. The current colours are white, black, beige, red and pale purple. When there is only a single layer over the skin you can barely see the colour of the corset mesh but add more layers and the colour becomes more intense as you can see in the images below.

For more details on this corset mesh visit:

An article an making corsets with corset mesh the link below.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Farthingales and the Word DISCOUNT

Farthingales’ has never applied full retail mark-ups to the products we sell. This means that it’s difficult to “wholesale” but we do want to show appreciation to customers who buy larger quantities, as larger quantities are more economical to process. They are also more economical to ship – based on cost per unit.  For example: the price to ship one busk is about the same as the cost to ship 10 busks (depending on length/destination/service). So if it costs $10 to ship one busk and it costs $10 to ship 10 busks…then for one you’re paying $10 for shipping and for 10 you’re only paying $1 each for shipping.
There are various ways to get discounts based on quantity on the Farthingales website. Note: you’ll see the discount listed when you get to the shopping cart.

·         There are various ways to get discounts based on quantity on the Farthingales website. Note: you’ll see the discount listed when you get to the shopping cart.
  • ·         Scroll over the tab “Corset Making Supplies”, you’ll see a drop down menu and the very top listing is “Bulk Corset Making Supplies”. You’ll see bulk quantities of bones by the pieces and by the meter, and busks. These quantities are designed for costume shops or anyone who can purchase 100 bones per size or 10 busks per size.
  • ·         Most items have a “View Quantity Discount” button the page (there is no button if there is no discount). Click on the button to see what quantity you need to purchase and what the discount is. For example: coutil requires 15 meters to get a discount of 20%, but it also indicates that the 15 meters of coutil can be any mix of styles or colours – you don’t need to purchase 15 meters of one coutil – though you can if you want to and you’ll still get the discount.
  • ·         On multi-size pages where you can click on several sizes of an item and add them all to your cart. Look for the caption under the image to see if there is a quantity discount. For example: “spring steel bones 6mm” have the caption “order 50-100 bones, any mix of sizes and save 10%”. For this discount you simply type in the qty in the boxes of each size of bone that you want and add them to your cart. As long as the total is between 50 and 100 pieces you’ll get the discount.
  • ·         And of course there is the “Sale” page where we have discontinued items and odd lengths of fabric from the end of bolts.

Always check out the discount options to see if there is anything you can add to your order to make it most cost effective to ship, and you’ll save with the discount to.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

My Version of McCall's Red Reign Costume - The Cage and Skirt

When making McCalls pattern M2091 called Red Reign I followed some instructions and not others and I think that most of us do this, I do however always read the instructions as that's the only way to know how the pattern was intended to work. This is what McCalls Red Reign Cosplay pattern looks like.

I've outlined briefly my how I made the corset and bolero in two early blog posts. I have really enjoyed making all the pieces of this costume.

For the skirt I opted to use a layer of tutu net (from the longer layer and the red/black light weight shot taffeta (from for the shorter top layer. They get sewn together and gathered into the same waistband, which I made in the same red/black shot taffeta - the lower binding of the corset was done in the same fabric so they blended well. I added a third layer of dotted net (which also came from Vogue Fabrics) and modified the long back skirt pattern piece to get the shape and included it with the other layers when I attached the waistband. Why did I add this third layer? Because I could :-)
I like how the three different fabrics work together with the lovely light net draping over the red layer, I almost wish I'd used it on the front too. Note, the dotted net is sewn into the side seam of the skirt in order to keep it in place.
Before the three layers were sewn together, I added ruffled trim to each. The light dotted net is trimmed, with the same black organza ruffle that I used on the corset and the bolero. The red layer is trimmed with a gathered black grosgrain ribbon (I had serged the raw edge of the hem first to keep it from fraying and to stabilize it) - I also used this ribbon to trim the bottom of the sleeves on the bolero. The tutu net layer is trimmed with the same red/black shot ruffle that I used at the top, center front of the corset. I used a fairly close zig zag stitch to secure it to the net. All three trims have been used in the various pieces of this costume and all came from my stash. There is now almost nothing left of any of them - Yay!

There are several ways to make a cage crinoline and this method can make a functional and fashionable one since you make casings for the hoop steel/hoop wire. Interestingly the pattern envelope suggests using hoop connectors but they are not referred to in the instructions.

I thought I did follow the instructions fairly closely for the cage crinoline but I did use hoop connectors so I had to tweak how I made the casings for them, however as I read them now I realize that, yet again I did my own thing...because it made more sense to me to so.

So, what did I do differently?
  1. I used Petersham ribbon for my vertical tapes ("straps" is the term used in the instructions). No fashion fabric, so they are just black - hmmm, wish I'd added black lace along the edges!
  2. I did not use webbing as the only webbing I could find was rather bulky.
  3. I used 1" twill tape instead of webbing for the back of the hoop casings
  4. I sewed my fashion fabric lengths for pattern pieces 20 & 21 (for the hoop casings) together at both ends to create a continuous circle. BE SURE TO TRIM THE SEAM ALLOWANCES so that the hoop wire can't catch on them when you try to feed the hoop wire through the casings
  5. I cut my twill tape in one length so it would have no seams. The length of the twill tape was 1" shorter than the circumference of the fashion fabric circle. I folded each end of the twill tape under by about 3/4" and zig zag stitched the raw edges down to secure them. The twill tape was then about 3" shorter than the circumference of the fashion fabric circles (both the larger and smaller one)
  6. I have a serger and I set it to a rolled hem setting then serged the twill tape to the fashion fabric which created a dark black edge to the red/black shot fabric. Make sure the seam allowance side of the fashion fabric is against the twill tape as unpicking this stitching would be a nightmare.
  7. The pattern instructs to cut the hoop steel longer than the hoop casing so that the ends of the hoop steel can overlap. I cut mine about 1/2" shorter because I used a hoop connector and they add a bit of length. The hoop connector has a rounded edge, that makes sliding the hoop steel through the casing easier. You can get hoop connectors HERE
Doing it this way means there is gap in the twill tape once the twill tape and fashion fabric are sewn together. This gap should go at the back of the cage. I aligned the center back tape to one side of the gap so that the tape could be securely sewn to the twill tape. In the image below you can see the white hoop steel with the hoop connector in the gap between the twill tape ends. This is facing the body so no one will see it and it means you can easily dismantle your cage for storage or travel. The vertical tape can be seen to the left and the red/black shot fashion fabric can be seen behind the hoop wire.
Click HERE to view a video on How to Use Hoop Connectors
I added a strip of black crystals to the top casing; I didn't have enough for the larger hoop and I'm glad I didn't. The strip of crystals was "stick-on" and the backing stuck really well to the fabric but the crystals began to come off the backing! The backing was impossible to remove once stuck of the bad things about "stash". The cage crinoline is a very simple shape and was not too time consuming.

Once the skirt was over the cage crinoline it was almost impossible to see the crystals or the areas where they had come off.
And the final result!

I've also been working on a Fosshape top hat and I'm trimming it to coordinate with this costume.

Tomorrow I'll get to see it all on a person.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

My Version of McCall's Red Reign Costume - The Bolero/Jacket

I've written about the McCall's Red Reign corset and now I'm onto the jacket or bolero part of the costume. I'm writing about the costume pieces in the order that I made them not in the order listed in the instructions. I'll admit I'm not inclined to following sewing pattern instructions (which my brother and husband would be surprised at, since I follow most rules even when no one is around) as I've got forty plus years of sewing behind me and ... I like to do things my way, when it comes to sewing. So, not only did I only use the instructions as a guide I also exercised artistic license on the design, and more so on the jacket than the other pieces.

This is the original pattern.
As you can see the little bolero does not have two identical sleeves according to the pattern. This somehow just didn't feel right to me, and since the great thing about sewing is making what you want - I made two identical sleeves that are a variation of the left sleeve above.
The fabric that I used for the bolero was red/black shot light weight taffeta for the body and spotted black net for the outer sleeve (both from mail order) and black "corset fabric" (not coutil) for the lining, along with tutu net to support the outer sleeve and to create the stand up collar and a small piece of woven boning sometimes called "Rigelene" to support the center back of the collar. You can see it in the image above and it will keep the collar up despite hair or head movement. (all these items are from The ruffled trim is all from my stash and some of that is from my local Fabricland here in Canada.
I used the upper sleeve pattern; both the inner and outer sleeve for both sleeves, keeping my sleeves symmetrical. I had thought of adding the longer sleeve and the cuff ruffle but the longer (forearm) sleeve required stretch fabric and I wasn't sure my fabric had enough stretch to allow arm movement. I also happened to have some long gloves in an almost perfect shade of red and the gloves seemed like a much cooler look. 

Cutting the collar from tutu net meant it would be sheer but would still stand upright really well. I cut the tutu net using the same collar pattern but I added ruffled lace trim along the outer edge and didn't need the interfacing layer called for in the pattern. The net pleated really easily and I could see the collar shape even as it lay on the table. I was having some difficulty handling the light taffeta fabric so I didn't sew the collar between the lining and the outer layer, instead I sewed the lining to the outer layer, clipped the curves turned the pieces right side out and top stitched at 1/4" from the edge. Then I added the collar, pinning it to the outer layer and sewing through all layers. To hid the raw edge of the tutu net collar I added a layer of black organza ruffle. The same organza ruffle trim that I put on the bottom of the corset after everything else was finished. It finished the whole perimeter of the bolero perfectly.
The back of the bolero is two pieces and they get laced together in the pattern. It was my plan to do the same but once I had added my black 2" braid (yep, more stash) and saw the bolero over the corset I really liked the way it looked open, so I'm not lacing it.

The pattern included pieces to make applique's that could be added to the back, but I wanted to use up more scrap that I had so I skipped the applique bits and cut strips of black lace for the shoulders and a small piece of different lace for the upper center back - the shape of this last trim worked perfectly (gotta love when that happens). I added heat set crystals to add a bit of bling. I also added a strip of black crystals to the woven boning collar support, but I did that after this picture was taken.

I'm still thinking about possibly adding more bling, maybe in the way of a broach. I'll likely decide once I see this on my friend and model Grace.

Next on my list to blog about is the cage and the skirt of McCall's pattern #M2091
The Cosplay pattern Red Reign