Corset Making Supplies

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

Monday, July 29, 2013

Corset Busks; regular, wide, spoon and colours

Corset busks that open have been around since the mid 1800's. Made of metal an opening corset busk consists of two parts; one side has knobs and the other loops. When the loops are hooked over the knobs the busk acts like a clasp to hold a corset shut. This means that you can get into a corset without someone to dress you. Always loosen the corset laces before attempting to get into and out of the corset. Since a corset is essentially smaller that your body, trying to put the corset on without loosening the corset laces will be impossible and trying to take the corset off without loosening the ties will potentially damage the busk.
You have choices when buying a busk.  The most common busk is a "regular busk" or "straight busk" which is white with silver coloured knobs and loops. More colour options have become available in the last few years so you can now get "gold busks" that have gold knobs and loops,  "antique brass busks", "black busks" and even ones that have "diamonds"/clear crystals set in the knobs that are called "diamond busks" (though no, they are not real diamonds). Having colour options means you can co-ordinate the busk to the fashion fabric.
There are also "wide busks" and "spoon busks" both of which are silver in colour and made from stainless steel. The "wide busks" are extremely supportive and a good choice for women or men needing/wanting more support - they don't flex nearly as well as a regular busk so they don't curve over the chest well.  The "Spoon busk" is historically accurate for corsets of the late 1800's and the bowl of the spoon is meant to cup the stomach...not the chest!
The busk (regardless of style or colour) should be put into the corset with the loop piece on the right-hand side so that the wearer can pull the loop section with their right hand while holding the left side in place. Hooking the loops over the knobs.
Busks can be found in many lengths from 4" to 18" so you can likely find one for any project you have.
The link below will take you an article about getting into and out of a corset with an opening busk.
The next link will take you to a wide selection of articles related to costume making
and the last link will take you to a web page to see all the busks that Farthingales offers for sale

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Making a Mesh Corset

There's been a lot of chat lately about "mesh corsets", likely because it's been so hot just about everywhere. Farthingales sells several types of net and mesh so I thought I try my hand at making a mesh corset. I started by choosing a mesh and decided on the one that has the smallest holes - why? because a corset is tight and who wants to have flesh  squeezed through hundreds of little holes! It would make for a very uncomfortable and likely itchy corset experience.

So I chose item #24-5550-90a very fine nylon mesh (it is not elastic or stretchy). I decided to not use any coutil so the front and back panels are two layers of the mesh, this meant the corset busk would be visible if I used a white one, so I opted for a 10 " black busk #15-85BL-10. To encase the bones I chose black bone casing tape 74-3412-90 and black eyelets for the back. I bound the top and bottom edges with black bias time I'll use Petersham as the mesh looks really nice and the bias just isn't quite as nice a finish.

This is the result so far:

The corset front panels w the busk sew in. Despite the fabric being mesh the main part of the busk is not visible because it to is black. Only the knobs and loops are visible as they are exposed and they're a black metallic.

This is the left side of the corset as it rests on a white surface, you can see how fine the mesh is, there is no way any flesh can get squeezed through this. It surprisingly strong! I did set eyelets down the center back and they seem quite secure (they are set in 4 layers of mesh when the seam allowance is included).

 The corset on a mannequin - unfortunately all of my "squishy: mannequins are covered in black so the corset would not show on them. This mannequin is a hard body one and while the corset does fit fairly accurately is does not allow for the waist cinching effect, but you can see what the corset looks like.

I expect to get someone in next week to try it on so I can get pictures of it in on a human

All supplies for this mesh corset project are available from

direct link to the Mesh page

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

New Coutil

Coutil is the ultimate fabric for making corsets; it's not inclined to stretch, it's durable and it's attractive! Theatre's don't just use it for corsets - they use it as the under-structure for gown bodices of many time periods because it holds the shape well and encases bones safely. Ballet  and Opera companies also use it as durability is important.

While coutil is extremely functional don't assume it can't be pretty!  The images below are two new coutil patterns that are now stocked at Farthingales. The just arrived today and they are worth looking at.

The newest addition to the Rose patterned brocade coutil is black with a champagne coloured rose. Farthingales has this same rose patterned brocade coutil in other colours; white on white, beige on beige, black on black, red on black (really stunning) and pale pink. A cotton rayon blend means the rose pattern on this coutil has a subtle sheen against the matte background.
The "dot coutil" or "spot coutil" is the most popular among theatres because while it is a little pricey it's incredibly durable and easy to work with. The newest addition to this coutil pattern is black with a pale silvery grey dot. This fabric offers awesome support all on it's own. Other colour options for this "dot coutil" are: white on white, black on black, pink on cream and red on black.

The Rose Brocade Coutil and Spot Coutil are not the only coutil fabrics available. Farthingales Corset Making Supplies had over 25 colour/pattern options to choose from so you can co-ordinate your coutil with a fashion fabric or use it alone and still get a very fashionable garment.


To see the whole selection of coutil patterns and colours visit:


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

New Corset Lacing

Farthingales has just received a new corset lacing cord that's made in Canada which means we can offer it at a great price.

The new corset lace is a flat braid corset lace made of 100% NYLON so it's got a really nice sheen! It measures about 3/16" wide (5mm) and is sold by the meter (which is 3" longer than a yard) or by the spool (183 meters/200 yards).

This is a really pretty and strong corset lacing cord. Nylon is a material that can be dyed but we have not tested this yet.  65 cents a meter or $91.00 a spool!

See details at

look under "lacing"
To finish the tips...just melt them using the flame from a candle or lighter.


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Black coutil Underbust Corset

The black under-bust corset that I worked on last week is now finished!

It's pretty tiny as it's size 20 and it does not fit any of my dress forms so the shape is not illustrated well here. It's a very curvy piece of work.
The busk may look silver but it's actually black metallic. Red stitching and heat seat crystals embellish one set of bone casings.
The image below shows one side ( the left) of the corset. You can easily see the curve built in to accommodate hips. The back has minimal embellishment since I felt I'd overdone it a bit with the crystals on the front.

The side seams have exterior bone casings covered with the same Petersham ribbon that was used to bind the top and bottom edges. I love working with contrasting thread to make design details like that below.

This is corset is ultra strong being made of 2 layers of coutil. The black spot coutil is on the outside and red spot coutil is on the inside...yes, it looks like it could be worn inside out but it might be a challenge to get the busk done up!
The coutil, busk, bones and Petersham
To see more of our projects  visit our Facebook page
and look a the photo album

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Coutil Long Line Waist Cincher is my Current Project

.A "Long Line" waist cincher is a corset that comes low over the hip but leaves the bust exposed...unless of course you wear a bra, pasties or something else.  It's a great style to keep a smooth line over the hip area and offers more belly support!

This corset is made from two layers of spot coutil / dot coutil. The outer layer is black coutil with black spots and the inside layer is black coutil with red dots. Two layers of coutil makes for an incredibly durable corset - not matter what it's used for. I used a regular busk but it's a black busk not a standard silver busk. Some of the bone casings are mid-panel and decorative and others are on the seams - some inside and some outside.

This is just one half of the corset and it's still not quite finished

The spot coutil has been embellished on either side of the busk

And some bone casings have also been embellished
The bones will be a mix of spiral steel bones and white steels. There will be grommets with lacing up the back, and the top and bottom edge will likely be bound with black satin bias tape...have not decided this yet.


All the product I used came from:

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Hoop skirts are easier to make with hoop connectors!


So what  is a "hoop connector"? 

 It's a small rust resistant clip that slides onto the ends of a length of hoop steel to connect the two ends and create a hoop.
The ends of the "hoop connectors" are rounded so it makes sliding the hoop steel into the casing easier because there are no corners to catch on the casing.

Slide one end of the hoop steel length into a "hoop connector" then slide the "hoop connector" into the casing. When the "hoop connector" comes out the other end of the casing, slide it onto the back end of the length of hoop steel...creating....a hoop! 

Making hoops couldn't be easier to make, or easier to take apart for compact storage - and for travel (my Civil War hoop petticoat fits in the outside pocket of my suit case - easy access at the airport if needed). Great for hoop skirts and Mascots....think the big bellied ones.
Want to know more? Click here "Hoop Connectors" .
"Hoop Connectors" come in two sizes and are custom made to fit Farthingales hoop steel which is 10mm (approximately 3/8") and 14mm (approximately ..but not quite 5/8").  Farthingales "hoop steel" is "spring steel" so it keeps it's shape and yes - you can walk through narrow doorways or sit down without any problems.  The hoop steel is coated with a white finish so there is no worries about oxidation/rust.   offers more than just corset making supplies!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Corset Gores

What is a Corset Gore?

Gores are usually triangular in shape (though not always) and they are used to add fullness to a garment. They're most commonly used in skirts to allow the skirt to be very fitted over the hips and then get very full.

Corset gores can be added to increase fullness at the bust and or at the hips. Allowing for greater bust fullness and hip fullness; using "gores" is a an advantage when making corsets for voluptuous women who may have a full bust and hips but relatively small waist.

In the photo above the "bust gores" are solid red satin; cut in a contrast fabric they become a design elements as well as being functional.  The "bust gores" in the corset  below indicate clearly how the gores add fullness to the bust of a corset to accommodate a fuller chest.  These "bust gores" have been stitched with decorative stitching that makes them pretty and adds structural support. 

Gores used in the hip area can also be decorated.  The image below is a "hip gore" that has  decorative stitching along the bottom. All of the gores on this page are "in-seam" gores; these and other types of corset gores will be outlined in the next book - due to arrive in stores in the fall of 2012
For more corset making tips visit
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