Corset Making Supplies

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

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Two New Coutil Patterns at Farthingales

Farthingales Corset Making Supply will soon be adding to their already extensive selection of coutil.
Currently they stock around 25 different coutil fabrics that range from the most basic herring bone weaves to satin, tiny dots and various brocade patterns. The two new coutil fabrics are due to arrive by early August and while they are not new patterns they are new colour combinations.
The "Spot Coutil" is an incredibly durable coutil, very dense and very easy to work with; it's a favorite of several theatres.  The new colour is black with tiny charcoal dots; the black is a matte satin weave and the dots are a shiny satin.
The "Rose Brocade Coutil" has been very popular in all the colour variations that Farthingales offers and the new one is matte black with shiny "champagne" coloured roses! Evening wear designers have been buying it to use as a foundation for strapless bodices.
Both of these coutil fabrics are cotton viscose blends.

More coutil fabric can be found on the Farthingales web site

Check out the whole selection!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Tips on how to make a Hoop Skirt

This hoop skirt and corset were made using Farthingales corset making supplies and their "hoop steel" and custom "hoop connectors".

The hoop skirt has several full circle hoops  and 3 open hoops. The hoops are made of hoop steel; hoop steel is a actually "spring steel" and is called so because it want to "spring" back to it's original shape and this is important. Using "spring steel" for hoops means you can sit with relative ease and pass through narrow doorways without risk of bending or denting your hoop skirt. The "spring steel" hoops collapse and then spring back into shape when you stand or get through the doorway.

A hoop skirt can feel surprisingly light when worn.

To create full circle hoops it's best to use "hoop connectors" that will join the two cut ends of the hoop steel. Slide the "hoop connector" onto one cut end of the steel; then feed the "hoop steel" through the casing; leading with the "hoop connector" which has smooth rounded ends that won't catch on the casing. When the steel is through the casing slide the back end of the "hoop steel" into the open end of the "hoop connector"...that's it!  "Hoop connectors" are great if you have to travel or store your hoop skirt because the hoops can come apart, get coiled up tight and the "hoop connector" can keep the coil small. This hoop skirt fit in the outside pocket of my suit case where it could easily be checked out by airport security if needed.

The open hoops need to have the ends of the cut spring steel blunted as they'll be very sharp. There are two options for this; you can apply "bone tips" - also known as "U" tips. This requires two pairs of needle nose pliers or you can use "plastic ends", which can be sewn through so you can secure them in place.

You can find all of these supplies on the Farthingales Hoop Steel Page

For more costume building tips visit

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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

New Book on Corset Making

The manuscript for my next book "The Art of Corset Building" went to the publisher a few months ago and has been accepted!  However it needs to be pared down from over 500 pages to close to 400 so I've still got some work to do.

The publisher is fine with me publishing the "out cuts" to this blog or to the website . So check in occasionally to see what mkaes it here.

The first book was titled "The Basics of Corset Building" and very little of what was covered in it will be in book two. It's available on the above web site as well as at and at both Chapters (in Canada) and Barnes and Noble (USA) as well as several other on-line sources.

The new book will not arrive in stores until Fall of 2014.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Grommet dies for a Grommet Hand Press Machine

Grommet Setting Machine

A "hand press machine" makes setting grommets a lot easier, a lot faster and a lot healthier. A  "hand press machine" is actually a tool, unless it is motorized; but they are typically called machines anyway.  If you don't have a "hand press machine", then chances are you are using plier style hole punches mallet to  set grommets.  The pliers are hard on your hands and hammer setting grommets can be both time-consuming and inaccurate.
  There are several styles of "hand press machines"; some have handles that pull towards you, some have handles that pivot, and some have handles that get pushed down.   The one used in this article has a handle that gets pushed down.  Farthingales sells this one and one that pivot's.

Regardless of which type of "hand press machine" you choose to use the machine must be securely anchored to a stable surface.  .  The photograph shows a large C clamp securing the "hand press machine" to a tabletop.  .  You can also use bolts to permanently secure a "hand press machine".
Various dies can be purchased to fit the machine and serve different purposes.   Pictured below  are; "adaptors" in to sizes and a hole punch and anvil set. The "adaptors" consist of a post and a threaded hole .   The post fits into the machine, and dies gets screwed into the threaded hole. 

To set eyelets or grommets you have to use the dies that are specific to the grommets or the eyelets . They look very similar but setting a grommet with an eyelet die will not work as well as setting a grommet with the grommet die.
There is another type die available for setting grommets.  It's called pick die and has a spike that pokes through the fabric; creating the hole and setting the grommet simultaneously.   It sounds like a great idea and saves the time of hole punching but my experience is that it pulls the fabrics and creates marks aroundthe grommets.   So I don't recommend this die but there is a picture of it below.

 For more information on how to set grommets with a hand press machine / grommet setting machine / eyelet setting machine or to purchase one go to