Corset Making Supplies

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

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Corset Pattern for 1870-1895 Corset

A few months ago I made the Mantua Maker pattern for a 1880's corset. These are some details I incorporated.                                           I used only one layer of coutil - "diamond coutil" #74-1130-20 and white bone casing tape (thre is a beig one that mathces the coutil, but I wanted my casings to be very obvious.                       This is an interior view of the back, the rust colour is pre-packaged bias that I used to bind the raw edge of the back facing. Notice the two bones on either side of the grommets and close to them.

The top and bottom edges of the corset were also bound with the purchased bias tape and - hard to see here - the seams were top-stitched in rust thread to match.                                                      A single layer of coutil makes for a strong yet thin corset which creates and holds the desired shape without adding bulk. This "diamond" coutil is one of the strongest coutils and is very tightly woven.                                                                                       Sometimes simplicity is beauty.                                                                                                                                                                                          The finished corset has simple lines and has been finished with minimal decoration. 
To find our more about this pattern visit our web site and visit the Tips n Tricks section for more information or go directly to the "Buy Corset Supplies" section and check the list for "patterns".  You'll also find this coutil and many others on our web site along with bones,busks, grommets, lacing and bone casing tape.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Corset Making Class in Ontario Canada

Linda Sparks of Farthingales will be teaching a hands-on corset making class in October, 2012. The class will run for two consecutive weekends and be held in Stratford, Ontario Canada at the "Off the Wall" studios. "Off the Wall" offers several different classes for the creativly inclined. If you're interested in a corset making class check out the link below....

Monday, April 16, 2012

Corset Chick Corset Review

 A corset by anyother name is still a corset....but are all things called corset the same.     By all definitions the garment in the image is a corset but there are many people (who if they were to handle it) might not agree.  Why not? because it's very light and does not appear very strong, it has minimal curves drafted in and is not going to make many women look much curvier than they already are.  So some would say this is not really a corset, but a corset fashion piece or a corset top. 
But it is a corset and it's the perfect corset for some women. The important thing is to know what you  are looking for - not what other people tell you to look for.

This is a super affordable corset and in my opinion it's remarkably well made for the price!  BUT you need to be aware of what you get for a "super affordable price". Otherwise you might be disapointed.                                                                                What do you get?     Well, from you get:   a well constructed corset made from a fashion fabric that appears to have been well fused to a strong foundation - no flimsy fabric.  The corset bone casing are secure and straight - no fraying seams either. Bindings are neatly finished.  For this price range this is the best corset I've seen.                                                                   What don't you get?    Let's be realistic you're not going to get eveything for this price.  You don't get steel bones, at least they don't feel like steel as they are very soft and there is not a lot of support and the bones will likely not withstand much wear before getting bent out of shape (depending on your body). You don't get double bones down the center back - there is one but not on the stress side of the grommets - so there is some risk of grommets popping if you lace too tight. You don't get a stong busk - the busk bends easily.
So what do you want with a corset like this - a fun evening - either out with friends or in with a special friend!  This is not a daily wear corset and it's not a body changing corset. Got a party coming up? - on a tight budget? this is a great option. It's well made so it will look good. BUT, be sure to get the right size as this corset is NOT for cinching down.                                                                           I 've seen what some of you try to do :-).

If you're wanting to wear a corset daily or to trim a few inches off your waist this is not the corset for you. So determine what you want from your corset. Knowing what you want will help you find the right one.                         See more fashion corsets from

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Silver Spiral Bones

Okay, no they are not made of silver but they do look it!  In fact they are coated with Zinc which means they're light in colour and don't shed the grey dust that many spiral bones do.                    This means they're a great option for use in wedding dresses because you won't see the shaded lines where the bones rest below the fabric and your fabric and hands won't get dirty when you insert them.                                                     These bones are currently only available in 10mm or approximately 3/8" wide and in a small selection of lengths.
They're wider than some spiral bones, and stronger so they offer more support but they are still flexible for comfort and to enhance curves on those voluptuous women whose experience has been that spirals don't work.  These NEW bones are worth checking out at          

Monday, April 9, 2012

1856-1889 Hoops and Bustles



Laughing Moon Mercantile Hoops and Bustles 1856-1889 for Civil War, Victorian, Dickens, Science Fiction and Bridal.

Pattern includes sizes 4 - 36! waist 22"(56cm) to 50"(127cm). All of the hoops and bustles in this pattern have been researched and are copies of period hoops and bustles and all with the exception of view F require steel.


  • View A is a bell shaped hoop suitable for 1856-1863 and 1869-1876
  • View B is an elliptical hoop for 1863-1871
  • View C is a bustle train supporter 1869-1876 and 1883-1889
  • View D and E are bustles for 1883-1889
  • View F is a basic bustle pad common throughtout the 19th century

Click Here for our hoop steel page and to see our hoop connectors and "tips" for tipping hoop steel for bustle making.  If you want a hoop skirt or bustle of this type  it's best to use  good quality spring steel - hoop steel. Hoop steel made of spring steel is the best because it doesn't get bent out of shape easily so you can sit down without worries - it collapses under you and then springs back into shape when you stand up!

The bustle and train supporter (view C) caught my attention and I could not wait to get started on it.
I wanted mine to clearly illustrate all that was happening in this amazingly shaped garment so I chose to use striped fabric and highly contrasting bias on the outside rather than on the inside of the garment. The pattern instructions tell you to sew the casing on the inside which is better but would not have been obvious in these pictures.

laughingmoonbustlemine1121243.jpg laughingmoonbustlemine21121242.jpg
A lack of legs on the dress form means the bustle tips forward at the bottom. Legs and the inner panel stop this tilting on a person.
This bustle and train supporter was not difficult to make as the instructions were clear and well illustrated. I did however find that I needed to change one thing and that was due to fit and could be because I am shorter than average - it was not a big deal or a problem. There is internal or hidden structure to this bustle (and to most others). This internal structure consists of simple panels that rest across the bum and across the calves.
I found the upper panel, the one that rests against the bum, to be too large. Even when it is laced tight as in the photo it did not pull the bustle shape to where it would suit me... or my taste. I have narrow hips and this could be the issue. Were I to make this for myself again I would scale down the top panels. I also found that I needed to move the lower panel that is at calf level. The pattern instructions indicated that this panel be attached further to the inner curve of the bustle but I found it bounced off my calves too much when I walked - this may not have happened if I had a skirt over it to add weight. I moved the panel to the front edge of the bustle and preferred the balance this gave.
These comments are not to say there are problems with the pattern. You should probably follow the instructions given with the pattern especially if you are wearing a skirt with a train. I've made these comments so you understand that you may need to make some minor alterations to suit your purposes, and that altering this pattern was quite easy.

Friday, April 6, 2012

How to Use Alternating Hook and Eye Tape

How to Apply Alternating Hook and Eye Tape

It's best to first explain what alternating hook and eye tape is. Typically, you can buy hook tape and eye tape at most fabric stores. One of the tapes has hooks on it and the other tape has eyes on it, usually these hooks and eyes are sewn into the tapes. With alternating hook and eye tape. The hooks and the eyes are riveted to a single tape and they alternate in placement of hook followed by an eye followed by a hook followed by an eye and so on.

The advantage of alternating hook and eye tape is that once the hook and eye tape is done up it is very difficult for it to come undone without effort. Standard hook and I tapes come undone fairly easily. Alternating hook & tape are an advantage in the back of dance costumes, because no matter what motion the dancer does, there is limited to no risk of the hooks and eyes coming undone.

The image on the below shows two rows of alternating hook and eye tape.
The hooks and eyes are fairly substantial corset hooks and corset eyes that are riveted on to a stiff twill tape.

Notice how each twill tape has a hook and then an eye in alternating sequence.

Be sure to confirm how the hooks and eyes line up before you cut the tape! A hook needs to be opposite an eye. If you’re not careful you can end up with the problem below.

Keep in mind it's also very difficult to undo a garment you're wearing yourself if you have used alternating hook and eye tape. Not easy to get into or get out of, but sometimes this is a good or even important detail.

When using hook and eye tape it is important that the hooks and eyes close in a manner that does not allow the skin to be visible between the two edges of fabric. If the tapes were sewn to the edge of the fabric you would get a gap between the edges of the fabric as indicated in the image below.

“right side”                                    “wrong side”


Fold and press your fabrics along the “center front” line (or the “center back” if you are applying the hook and eye tape to the backs). It is important to press this fold. Once the hook and eye tapes are sewn on, it will not be possible to press this edge.


Using a narrow foot on your machine (likely a zipper foot), check that the foot will fit inbetween the hook and the eye on the tape.


Open the pressed fabric edge up and align the hooks and eyes of the tape, with the fold line that indicates “center front”. Using a pencil or pen mark the center point between each hook and eye both on the tape and on the fabric. You’ll use these lines to confirm placement of the tape so mark carefully and be sure the tape does not cover the marks you make on the fabric.

Stitch each of these short lines between every hook and every eye. Sewing only through the tape and the single layer of fabric. Stitch from the raw edge to the fold mark and back so that each row is double stitched.


Fold the raw ends of the tape under and stitch in the same way unless the tape will go all the way to the end of the fabric and will get bound off with it.

Refold the fabric along the “center front” (or “center back”) line. Pin along the fold to make sure the fabrics stay in place. Stitch close to the riveted edge of the hooks and eyes, stitching through the tape and both layers of fabric. This will create a bone casing that allows you to slide a bone behind the hooks and eyes for further support…it does increase the challenge of getting the hooks and eyes done-up and un-done.

If you have no need or interest in creating a bone casing stitch the tape to only one layer of fabric at this point by not folding the fabric along the “center front” line.

The following steps do not include a bone casing.

The fabric was not folded back into place and the long row of stitching to secure the tape to the fabric was sewn through the tape and one layer of fabric only.


Now fold the fabric into place along the “center front” line, pin along the fold and stitch a second row of stitching along the edge of the tape. Stitching through the tape and both layers of fabric.


Attach the hook and eye tape for the other side onto the “sewn on” hook and eye tape. This will determine the placement of the second tape on the other piece of fabric. Slide the other piece of fabric into place so that the folded edges of the “center front” or “center back” butt snuggly against each other. Mark the tape and the fabric as outlined above.


hookandeye11markingsecondside800x600.jpg hookandeye12thesecondsidemarked800x600.jpg

Stitch the tape to the fabric in the same way as outlined above. BUT, notice that the placement of the hook and eye tape on the fabric may not be the same. I prefer the opening not to be centered over the bar of the eyes.


View from the inside

View from the outside
hookandeye15rightsidefinished600x800.jpg hookandeye9rightside800x600.jpg


If you want to try "Alternating Hook and Eye Tape" go to and look in the "Buy Corset Supplies" section