Corset Making Supplies

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

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Coutil, Lacing Bones & Bra Cups

We've recently received samples from two of our manufacturers; 5 new coutils and new lacing bones.  The lacing bones were not quite right another sample is being made. I'll test them when they arrive and post the info here.

The new coutils include two vintage blue/grey ones - one is the same very fine herrringbone we stock in white, beige and black and the other is a matte satin. They match each other so would make an incredible double layer coutil corset - strong and beautiful.

The other three coutils are all brocades; black with deep red roses, black with deep red dots and a very pale lavender rose patterned brocade coutil.

I'm also waiting on "bra cup" samples and hope we'll be able to stock two different shapes in both black and beige but the samples have not yet arrived so time will tell. They could be used for bra making but we'll demonstrate how to cover them on the "tips n tricks" section of our web site.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Using "D" rings on a corset

Tips & Tricks

Click the title above to buy product or find more costume and corset making tips.

"Lacing Rings" are "D-rings" that have been mounted on a tab that has a hole in it, the hole is there to allow you to attach the ring to the corset, either by sewing or riveting.

Instead of using grommets or eyelets to lace up a corset you can use "Lacing Rings" or "D-rings" and the best way to attach either lacing rings or d-rings is to use rivets. You could sew them on using a button hole stitch and quilting thread but rivets are more secure.You can also decorate a corset with rivets. It's best to attach rivets with a rivet setting die on a press or twist machine.

For security give serious consideration to using lacing bones with your riveted "lacing rings", the lacing bones mean the rivet will be secured in the steel bones rather than just in the fabric.

The photo shows all the parts without the fabric; white steel lacing bone, rivet base, rivet cap and "lacing ring" or D-ring. All are in an "antique brass" finish.


I'm not using fabric so that you can see exactly what is happening. Imagine the bone is in your finished corset. (See "How to use Lacing Bones", in the Tips and Tricks section if needed) .

Place the rivet base through the lacing bone hole from the wrong side (inside) of the corset.


Place the "Lacing Ring" (D-ring unit) on top. Keep in mind your lacing bone is encased in the corset fabric. As you can see in the photo below, the rivet is fairly long but depending on the bulk of your fabric (especially if you're using heavy upholstery fabric) you may have a problem so always check before you try and set the rivet.


Now add the rivet cap.


Once the rivet cap is placed on top take the unit to the rivet setter. Some people do use a mallet (a metal hammer will crush the rivet cap/head) but the best set is with a rivet setting die on a machine.

Consider switching colours around. Here we show a brass rivet with a black lacing ring.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Binding the Edge of a Corset

The following is an excerpt from the book "The Basics of Corset Building", by Linda Sparks. You can order a copy of this book here through our secure shopping cart.

Bias tape can be any width and it’s a simple strip of fabric that has been cut on the bias of the fabric rather than with or across the grain. Some bias tapes come prefolded but you’ll likely make your own so that it matches your corset fabric. Contrasting bias tape can be an attractive and simple design feature and can be made of any fabric.

Bias tape is commonly used to bind the top and bottom edges of a corset to finish these edges. The important characteristic of bias tape is its ability to stretch and shrink to accommodate both concave and convex curves without puckering or pulling. An ordinary ribbon doesn’t respond the same way and can’t be used to bind the curved edges. A cotton or cotton/viscose petersham ribbon will work but you need to be sure it’s a real petersham ribbon and not polyester. Many terms are misused and you may think you’re buying petersham ribbon and it’s not. The right petersham ribbon won’t have smooth selvedges. The edges will be bumpy. If they’re smooth then there is a woven selvedge to stabilize the ribbon and it won’t stretch and shrink as needed. Bias tape will always work and is the best product for the novice corset maker to use.

Pertersham Ribbon

Test your choice in ribbon before sewing. It should pin neatly into place without puckering or pulling. The visual effect of your bias binding will change with the width of the bias binding you use and the size of the seam allowance. You’ll get a wider flatter look if you use a wider bias binding. Sew a ½” (13mm) seam allowance and don’t trim it down, and you’ll get a smaller more three-dimensional look if you use narrower binding, or trim the seam allowance down and use the double bias method.

Making Your Own Bias Tape

This is simple if you have the right tools: a two-inch wide see-through ruler and rotary cutter or scissors.

First: Do the Math!

For Single Bias Binding

Bias tape needs to be at least four times the desired finished width of the binding. Add ¼” (6mm) to 3/8” (9mm) total to help with the stretching and easing you may have to accommodate when binding curves.

measuring single Bias Tape

For Double Bias Binding

Bias tape needs to be at least six times the desired finished width of the binding. Add ¼” (6mm) to 3/8” (9mm) total to help with the stretching and easing you may have to accommodate when binding curves.

measuring double bias tape

  1. Decide on the width of bias tape you want. This depends on your seam allowance at top and bottom, what kind of effect you want, and which method of binding you choose, either single or double. Assuming the seam allowance is ½” (13mm) and you’re using the single bias method, then you’ll need bias tape that is at least 2” (50mm) wide plus 1/4” (6mm) for a total width of 2 ¼” or 56mm.
  2. Spread your fabric out on the table. It should be pressed and wrinkle free. Your see-through ruler should have small squares on it and you can line these squares up with the selvedge so it is running diagonally through the squares.
  3. Use disappearing ink or chalk to draw the lines on both sides of the ruler for the first strip and use one of these lines to line up your ruler for the next strip. Repeat to get the number of strips you require.

marking bias strips on your fabric

Note: You may want to measure the lengths of the top and bottom edges to see what lengths you’ll need. If the lengths are longer than what you can get in one piece of bias tape, then you’ll need to piece the bias tape before sewing it onto your corset.

  1. Cut the bias strips along the lines you have drawn
  2. If you need to piece them together do so by using the angles already found at either end. Don’t cut these angles off as you need to sew the pieces together on the bias to keep the stretch characteristic.

joining bias strips

Applying Bias Tape

There are two basic methods of applying bias tape to a garment; single and double binding. Double binding is sometimes known as French binding.

Single Binding

single binding, stitched to edge

  1. With right sides together and raw edges aligned stitch the bias tape to the edge of the corset, having folded back the end of the tape so that it will be encased within the bias binding when finished. You’re stitching along the seam line.
  2. Flip the bias tape over the seam allowance.
  3. Press the bias tape seam.
  4. Fold the raw edge of the bias tape toward the raw edge of the corset.
  5. Roll the folded bias tape over the seam allowance so that the folded edge is on your stitching line that attached the bias tape to the corset.
  6. Hand stitch the folded edge into place.

applying single binding

Double Binding

diouble bias binding, folded in half

  1. Fold the bias tape down the center lengthwise, wrong sides together, raw edges together.
  2. Place the bias tape on the edge of the corset (right sides together) with the raw edges of the bias tape lined up with the raw edge of the corset. Fold back the front and back ends so they will be encased in the bias tape once it’s sewn into place. Stitch the bias tape to the corset along the seam line, stitching through both layers of bias tape and the corset.
  3. Flip the bias tape toward the raw edges and roll it over the edge to the inside of the corset. The folded edge should come to the stitching line you have just sewn.
  4. Hand stitch the folded edge of the bias tape in place.

applying double biasd binding

Both methods have been illustrated using 2” wide bias tape, a common size available for purchase at most retail stores.

applying single bias binding to a curveapplying double bias binding to a curve

Making and Applying Petersham Ribbon

Petersham ribbon can also, be used to bind your corset edges and is even simpler to use than bias tape. Petersham ribbon can be difficult to find and good color matches may be impossible so bias is often a better choice as it can be made out of the same fabric as your ) corset.

If you do choose to use Petersham ribbon the 25mm (1'') wide size is a good choice.

  1. Cut a length of Petersham ribbon the length of the edge you need to bind plus 25mm (1") The 1'' is to allow both ends to be tucked back by 1 13mm (1/2") each.
  2. Press the Petersham ribbon in half length wise.
  3. Fold one end of the ribbon under by 13mm ( 1/2" )
  4. Start pinning the ribbon in place.
  5. When you get to the opposite end fold it under. The ends should line up with the front and back edges of the corset.
  6. Machine stitch the ribbon, with right side of corset up, catching both edges of ribbon on the right side and the wrong side. Be very careful not to hit a bone!
    You can hand stitch this if you are unsure about catching the edges of the ribbon on both right and wrong sides.

Monday, January 23, 2012

How to Apply Shrink Tips

Applying Shrink Tips

Lacing tips are sold by the foot and are actually a shrinkable tube.

20-7070-00 clear
1/8"diameter before shrinking


Cut a piece of tubing about ¾" long. Using a needle and thread (contrasting thread used for illustration purposes, you'll probably want yours to match!) bind the end of a lace, do not cut the thread! Drop the needle through the piece of tube and tug gently until the cord end is well within the tube. Hold the tube close to a candle flame or hot iron; be careful not to touch either. The tube will begin to shrink and tighten around the cord. Let cool and cut off excess tube. Repeat with opposite end of cord.

For more costumeing tips check out Farthingales Tips n Tricks

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Costume making tips

Farthingales is not just about selling product. You can find lots of information about making costumes and corsets on the web site and you can access it from to.  Just look for the "Tips n Tricks" section, you'll find it listed near the bottom on the left side of the Home Page (where the above links will take you).

Why set grommets when you can sew on Lacing Tape?

Applying Lacing Tape with Bone Casing

  1. To ascertain the length of lacing tape you need, measure the back edge of your corset where the lacing tape will be sewn to. (Note: you may have to remove part of the pattern if it has the grommet section on it) You will need two times this length – one for each center back.

    To ascertain the length of lacing tape you need, measure the back edge of your corset where the lacing tape will be sewn to
  2. Open the folded edge of the lacing tape and place the lacing tape right side to right side of the corset back with raw edges together.

    Open the folded edge of the lacing tape and place the lacing tape right side to right side of the corset back with raw edges together.
  3. Stitch, following the fold line. Flip the bone casing into place and keep the raw edges (just sewn) in between the folded edges of the lacing tape.

    Stitch, following the fold line. Flip the bone casing into place and keep the raw edges (just sewn) in between the folded edges of the lacing tape.
  4. Top stitch and you are done.

    Top stitch and you are done.
  5. Slide in the bones of your choice 50-8206- series or 50-8308- series both fit. Bind the top and bottom edges as usual.

    Slide in the bones of your choice 50-8206- series or 50-8308- series both fit.  Bind the top and bottom edges as usual.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Make Your Own Garters

How to Make Garters

Making your own garters is simple and means you can design your own garters to!

You don't even need a sewing machine, but we've used one here.

Choose your supplies, you'll need:

  • elastic (how much depends on how long you want them)
  • links (these attache the garters to a garment)
  • garter tabs
  • slides or buckles to adjust length


I've chosen black elastic, with black links, black garters and silver buckles and I've made mine longer than most people would want.

Elastic # 47-7339-90
Garter # 91-8985-90
Link # 02-8629-90
Buckle # 91-8645-20

All you need to make a single garter, just multiply by the number of garters you want…and it’s totally your choice. Some people like just one garter per leg and some like as many as 4. We sell supplies in “half dozen” (6 pieces) so you could have 3 garters per leg.

Cut your elastic into pieces the length desired…maybe 6 inches.

Slide one end through the enclosed hole in the link and stitch it.



Slide the buckle onto the elastic with the “flap” on the “right side” or satin side of the elastic. The elastic should be between the “teeth” and the bar and not through the silver loop.


Next, hook on your garter, or if you’re not using a detachable version slide it on to the elastic.



Now take the end of the elastic (that does not have the link sewn onto it) and thread it through the back of the buckle…through the silver loop.


Sew the cut end of the elastic so that it is permanently attached to the silver loop of the buckle.



Your buckle should look like this:


Adjust the length of the garter to where you think you want it and them close the buckle “flap”.




Your garter is ready to wear. If you need to adjust the length, just open the buckle “flap” and slide the elastic to where you want it then close it.

ALLWAYS remove your garters from the garment before laundering. This is really easy when you use a “link” at the top.

You can get garter making supplies at

They also sell ready made garters, sold by the 1/2 dozen.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Lace corset

I made the lace corset on a foundation of "flesh" coutil in hope that it might look like just lace on skin when on the body. And it actually does but I'm not happy with the pink lace.  The colour just isn't right but it's good to know the idea works.  It's a waist cincher corset; pink lace on flesh coutil with beige petersham bindins and pale pinl satin ribbon. The lace was bought locally and everything else came from Farthingales

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Blast from the past

I hadn't looked forward to cleaning up my many memory sticks but then I discovered photos of corset we made while in L.A. for various clients....some famous and some on their way to fame.

This was a simple black waist cincher and it worked so well with the white guitar - that I had not known the client had. It was one of those moments "Couldn't have planned it better."

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Corset Copied from a Vintage One

This is one of two corsets I made recently after taking apart a vintage corset I had bought a few years ago and making a pattern from it. It was an awesome exploration process. I used fine herringbone coutil 74-1140-01 which was the exact same pattern as the vintage coutil and made mine a single layer corset just like the vintage one. The original bones were a selection of bailene and spring steel but I used spiral bones for the bailene ones. I included garters as the original had them. I tried to replicate all elements and everything but the lace came from Farthingales Corset Supplies

Ribbon Corset

I've loved this ribbon since I bought it about 8 years ago but had not come up with a project for it until I got thinking about making another ribbon corset. Don't know why I didn't think of it before. The ribbon is 2" wide so it was perfect for this project. I used green ribbon as it seemed to make the floral pattern stand out on the red ribbon. I'll be including instructions on how to make this type of ribbon corset and other types in the next book