Corset Making Supplies

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

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

How to Finish the Ends of Corset Bones

Ever have difficulty finishing the cut end of steel bones?

This video may help and there are several other corset making themed videos on the Farthingales Channel.  Just click on the title of this post.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Spiral Bones; How to Choose

Not sure what a spiral bone is?

A spiral bone is a flat and relatively narrow strip of steel wires that have been coiled together and flattened.

Spiral bones; one capped with a "U" tip and the other "dipped"

Spiral bones are commonly used in corset making, they add flexible support to the corset, and to the body wearing the corset. While corsets are what spiral bones were designed for (back in the 1900’s), they can be used anywhere that some flexible support is required…I’ve known them to be used in men’s doublets, ballet bodices, soft boots (up either side of the ankle), in the princess seams of contemporary ladies suits (well, that was back in the 90’s) and to make choker style jewelry.

So, how can a spiral bone be so versatile?

Spiral bones come is various widths and are sold both by the piece and by the yard/meter, which means you have choices. This article may help you understand how to choose the spiral boning you need.

The smallest spiral bone available (at least readily available) is 4mm wide which is about 3/16 of an inch.

4mm wide spiral bone with "U" tips
These are delicate and will not offer support to a body but will support smaller sized gowns; you can use them in the seams of the body of a gown to keep the lines of the gown smooth…the body wearing it will still need to wear a bra. You can also use them in corset making – place two, three or four side by side to get the support needed.
Two 4mm spiral bones in one bone casing (that was stitched down the center)

The most common size of spiral bone is 6mm or approximately 1/4 of an inch wide; the wires on these are a bit thicker than the wires of a 4mm spiral bone so they are more supportive and can be used in any corset where you want to enhance curves.

6mm Spiral Bones by the piece and by the yard/meter

A lesser known spiral bone size is 7mm which is also very close to ¼ of an inch wide but the 7mm wide spiral bones have a thicker wire than the 6mm size so while they are about the same width, the 7mm is more supportive than the 6mm. The 7mm spiral bones are sold only by the yard/meter

There are also 11mm and 7/16 of an inch wide spiral bones and they are the most supportive spiral bones as the wires are thickest.  The 11mm wide spiral bones at Farthingales are nickel free and are only available in pre-finished lengths. These larger bones are perfect for larger bodies as they offer more support and are more proportional to the body size.

There are "U" shaped tips available for all sizes of spiral bones; so if you cut the bones to the length you need, you can cap the cut ends to blunt them. 

To see a video on how to cut and tip spiral bones click HERE

 All spiral bones are flexible, they function much like whale bone stays used to in that they can flex in any direction. This means that they enhance curves rather than minimizing them. It also means they should not be used to support the grommets - if you lace the back of a corset and place these bones on either side of the grommets - the center back of your corset will become distorted as the bones are not strong enough for this purpose.
There is no perfect spiral bone size, it's a matter of which bone is right for your project. I suggest ordering a few bones of each size to keep as reference; then you can test the bones with each project and order those you want/need.
For more information on these products and products related to them visit Farthingales Corset Making Supplies      Especially of interest is the new Bone Tipping Tool.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

And the Winners are...

Canada Cups Blog Tour...had some prizes to win...

Giveaway Winners are...

Are you one of the lucky 10?

  1. Lavender and Lace bra-making class from Braphoria: Reece Montgomery (Canada)
  2. Two $25 CAD store credit certificates (for you and a friend) from Bra-makers Supply: Denise Marie (USA)
  3. Exclusive pre-release Latte bra kit from The Emerald Studio: Jodi Barrington (Canada)
  4. Complete bra kit including findings, underwires, and lace from Uplift Custom Bras: Angela Smith (Canada)
  5. The Sophie Swimsuit online class, incl. PDF pattern from Closet Case Files: Yiling (USA)
  6. $50 CAD store credit from Blackbird Fabrics: Chelle (USA) [Not again! This woman has a horseshoe hidden somewhere!]
  7. $25 CAD gift card from Ann’s Fabric Shop & a PDF pattern from Jalie: Jeannie (USA)
  8. $50 CAD gift card from Central Sewing Machines: Patricia (Canada)
  9. Complete bra kit from Custom Bras: Kelly Boggs (Canada)
  10. The 10th prize is a bundle of 3 classes from Craftsy, worth more than $200 USD. Their Giveaway is still open until tonight, 11:59 PM MST. This lucky skunk of a winner will be notified directly by Craftsy. (I’m so jelly!)

If not, don't despair you can still get in on some great discounts!

Discounts From Our Sponsors

—> Get the two Craftsy classes Marsha reviewed. If you love the look of corsets (they’re hot this Fall), and you can operate your sewing machine, then you definitely want to pick up at least one of these classes: Sewing Corsets: Essential Techniques – Alison Smith and/or Custom Corsets: Bones, Casings & Busks – Linda Sparks. Expires: Sept. 30
—> Visit Jalie for 20% off when you buy 3 or more PDF Patterns. Code: JALIE3PDF
—> Stop by Custom Bras for 10% off any item in stock. Code: Tour2016
—> Pop over to With Love Lingerie and score big with 50% off any order over $40. Code: Bloghop2016. Expires: Dec. 15, 2016
—> Drop in at Farthingales for 15% off your order. Code: Cancups Good for one order only, Expires June 6, 2017
—> Pass by Miss Maika Fabrics to get 15% off some yummy fabric. Code: LINGERIE16. Expires: Sept. 30

Monday, September 19, 2016

Canada Cups Blog Tour - Time to Enter to Win

Don't forget - prizes will be announced tomorrow enter now

You could win a prize!
Enter TO WIN, by Noon TUESDAY, September 20th at:
 Seam of My Pants  
(one of the blog site stops on this Blog Tour).

Prize winners will be posted here on Tuesday Afternoon

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Canada Cups Blog Tour for Bras, Corsets and Panties!

The Canada Cups blog tour has come to an end. If you followed the tour you’ll have read a blog or two every day that outlined someone’s experience as they followed an on-line underwear (making bras, panties or corsets) class by mostly Canadian instructors on “Craftsy”; the on-line platform with more creative classes than anywhere else! Some classes have been taken by more than one blogger so you get to read about more than one person’s experience – what a great way to find out about classes you thought you may want to take!

For those involved in creating this amazing blog tour it’s been a huge amount of work as they not only had to write about the classes they took, they also had to learn about so many technical bits for Facebook and Blogging – it scrambled my brain at times and I wasn’t taking a class and having to write about it too!

The blog tour has been an awesome if overwhelming experience, for as challenging as it was it brought so many women together, many of whom have never met! It also got them sharing their challenges behind the scenes and on their blogs.  If you haven’t been a part of the tour or if you missed some of the blogpost stops along the way, there is a list below – check them out, and applaud the effort it took each woman to create the garment and to work to the time line.

And...let's face it, if it weren't for "Craftsy" this blog tour would never have come into being. Craftsy has given millions of us (yes, literally millions of us!) the opportunity to take classes we'd never have access to otherwise. They gave Beverly Johnson and myself, Linda Sparks the opportunity to share our knowledge with all of you via teaching classes on Craftsy - Beverly teaches Bra Classes and I teach one of the Corset Classes. So, if you somehow haven't taken a Craftsy class yet...I think the blog tour will have inspired you to give some a try. Everyone's blogs have had links to discounted classes so check out all the blogs on this tour.

If you're interested in upgrading your corset making skills you can get my corset class "Custom Corsets; Bones, Casings and Busks"
Click on the highlighted link (in the next line) - where you'll also find hundreds of other classes including those used by bloggers on this tour.  The Corset Class and More  Clicking the link lets you preview the class and gets you a discount if you decided to sign up! [As the teacher of this class I am an affiliate of Craftsy and due earn a small commission on sales]
Note: Farthingales is working on creating downloadable patterns identical to those used for the class. The first set have already been posted to the website in the "patterns" section; look for "pattern, waist
Use coupon code "cancups" for a 15% discount on the website. The code is only good for one order so shop the whole site before checking out.

You could win a prize!
Enter TO WIN, between Noon TODAY and Noon TUESDAY, September 20th AT: Seam of My Pants  (one of the blog site stops on this Blog Tour). Click the link to enter to win.
Here is a list of Prizes click on the links to see details.
Prize Winners will be announced on Tuesday afternoon

Prize Pack
Mrs Weaver/Braphoria
Online Bra-making Class
Lavender & Lace bra-making class

Bra-Makers Supply
$25 CAD store credit
The Emerald Studio
Bra Kit
New Release – Latte Kit
Pink & Gold non-stretch lace, Blush Bra tulle for lining, Latte Powernet
Matching Findings with: 3/4" band, 3/4" strap, 3/8" band, Channeling, 3X3 Hook & Eye, Silver Sliders & Rings, Bow
Uplift Custom Bras
Bra Kit
Full kit, with findings and lace from Linda’s private stash, and underwires.
Ann’s Fabrics
$25 CAD Gift Card
Closet Case Files
Online Swimsuit Class
Blackbird Fabric
$50 CAD Store credit
PDF pattern
Any PDF available on this page: or 11.99 CAD off a paper pattern
Bra-Makers Supply
$25 CAD store credit
Central Sewing
$50 CAD Gift Card
* Winner can place an order by phone, or wait until the new website is launched
Custom Bras
Bra Kit (colours may vary)


Here are the stops along the blog tour way...just incase you missed some.

Sunday, September 11

Monday, September 12

Tuesday, September 13

Wednesday, September 14

Thursday, September 15

Friday, September 16

Saturday, September 17

Sunday, September 18
Whoohoo! It’s giveaway day today!

Monday, September 19
Have you entered the giveaways yet? Today’s your last chance.

Tuesday, September 20
Giveaway winners announced on all the blogs:
Life of a Fairy Bra Mother, Little Heart Threads, Glitter in my Coffee, Michelle’s Creations, Mrs. Weaver’s Finest Unmentionables, Braphoria, Gracious Threads, Élégantine!, Shelaine’s Designs, That’s so Venice, Sprouting Jubejube, Flying by the Seam of my Pants, The Wild Stitch, Farthingales Corset Blog

Monday, September 12, 2016

How to Make Underwear Blog Tour - The Road Map

Tour Itinerary

Follow the magical tour to see what we all have under our clothes

♥ Sunday, September 11
♥ Monday, September 12
COMING UP (not available until dates posted)
♥ Tuesday, September 13
♥ Wednesday, September 14
♥ Thursday, September 15
♥ Friday, September 16
♥ Saturday, September 17
♥ Sunday, September 18
Whoohoo! It’s giveaway day today!
♥ Monday, September 19
Have you entered the giveaways yet? Today’s your last chance.
♥ Tuesday, September 20
Giveaway winners announced on all the blogs:
♥ After September 20
  • Come back to visit all the blogs for followup posts. It’s always fun!
  • Craftsy class discounts expire at midnight Sept. 30

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Read about the experiences of others who have taken lingerie classes with Craftsy.
It will start at this Blog
On September 12
and end here on the Farthingales Corset Blog on the 18th

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Canada Cups - Lingerie Blog Tour

I'd never heard of a "blog tour" but now I'm apart of one, though far from understanding just how it all works - I can tell you the basics.

Several women are blogging about underwear! Not where to buy it, but how to make it....panties, bras, corsets. Some of them are taking classes on Craftsy and going to blog about their experience. It's a great way for anyone reading the blogs to gain a lot of information with little effort. All the effort - and there is a lot of it - is being put in by the bloggers.

You can follow us on FaceBook and Instagram starting in just a few days! Read all the blogs and discover classes you may...or may not, want to take.

Fb Tags @TheFairyBraMother @GlitterinMyCoffee @Mrsweaversfinest @graciousthreads @ThatsSewVenice/ @farthingales @seamofmypants @Michelle'sCreations Names @Beverly Johnson, @Michelle Schuh, @Lisa Thibault, @Karin Triel, @Jessica DeWit, @Michelle Noble@Valérie_Dufort, @Shelaine Heskin, @Rachelle Baker Bigham @Marsha Lawrence, @Rachel Felix @Deb Zaleski @Linda Sparks
Instagram #
@seamofmypants @valerie_dufort @michelledschuh @graciousthreads @mrsweaversfinest @shelaineheskin @thatssewvenice @farthingales @thewildstitch @deborahzaleski

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

On-line Corset Class is now Live

If you've ever wondered about expanding your corset making skills, this may be the class for you. The new Craftsy on-line corset making class is called "Custom Corsets: Bones, Casings and Busks" Check out this brief video trailer

For more information and to purchase this class at 50% the link below

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Corset Making Class on Video!

Linda Sparks of Farthingales is on Craftsy

Craftsy is the fastest growing crafty community on the web with over 5 million members in over 200 countries but so many people I meet, have never heard of this group. If you follow this blog or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram you'll soon hear about Craftsy because Linda Sparks, owner of Farthingales Corset Makings Supplies and the author of The Basics of Corset Building has taped a Corset Making Class with Craftsy.

You can take a Craftsy on-line class and watch it whenever and wherever you want and your access to the class never expires! You can even take "virtual notes" while watching the videos and post questions to the instructor. So, if you've ever wanted to take a corset making class but couldn't get to one, you can now.

The title of this Craftsy corset class is "Custom Corsets - Bones, Casings and Busks". It was developed with the "newbie" corset maker in mind; someone who has made a corset but wants to expand their skills. Linda demonstrates various techniques such as how to make "invisible bone casings" and an "invisible busk", but that's not all...she also demonstrates several bone casing techniques that make bone casings into design details and she demonstrates how to cut and tip bones easily.
Learn how to:
  • Pipe your seams and use invisible bone casings at the same time
  • Create decorative mid panel bone casings to make your corset one of a kind
  • Adjust a pattern so your busk will be invisible
  • And many more techniques to increase the esthetic value of your corsets

Use this link to get preview the class and get 50% off if you choose to buy it!
Coupon Details: Get the Craftsy class by Linda Sparks for 50% off. Cannot be combined with any other offers. Expires March 6, 2017

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Corset Class on Craftsy by Farthingales

Just Taught a Craftsy Corset Class

I've been back for a bit over a week now and am back into my usual routine, so now the dust has settled I can write about my Craftsy Class.

I started working with Craftsy in the early spring to develop a class that does not build a corset...sounds strange right? They already had a basic corset construction class so our goal with my class was to expand on basic knowledge. The class is still for the "newbie" corset maker but it certainly helps if you've built one already - otherwise it won't make much sense. If you've never built a corset before you may want to take the basic construction class they offer by Alison Smith, her techniques are a bit different than mine but it's still a great starting point.

So....what is my class about?

My class is all about bone casings...and two methods of busk application, of which neither is the standard method. The class is about two hours long and we tried to keep each section to 20 minutes...amazing how long a minute can feel and how short 20 minutes can seem!

I demonstrate some ways to make bone casings into design features and how to make bone casings invisible! So no matter why you want to make a corset you'll discover different ways to deal with the bones AND you'll learn how to cut and tip both spiral and spring steel bones easily.

If you've got invisible bone casings then you just may want an "invisible" busk too...and I demonstrate how to alter your pattern and put the pieces together in order to get "An Invisible Busk"...very cool. The other method is what I call a "Floating Busk", because there is no visible stitching to hold it in place.
Invisible bone casings and a "floating" busk can be seen...or not, in this image. When this corset was paired with a matching skirt it looked like a strapless sundress...all the support of a corset - never having to haul it up and yet, it looks like a strapless dress!

Want a chance to win this class free? 
Click the link below

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Truly Victorian TV141 - 1860 Round Cage Crinoline: Three Short Versions                   

Using the Truly Victorian round cage crinoline pattern we’ve created 3 contemporary versions of a cage. We’ve made all in size medium for a waist up to 39” (99cm) but have used different materials for each. Products used are listed below – if the product is sold at Farthingales the item # is included.         

Cage 1

o   6mm hoop steel #50-8406-06 (approximately 10 meters)

o   ½” wide white bone casing #34-7212-01 (approximately 10 meters)

o   1” (24mm) white Petersham for waistband and vertical ribbons #70-7625-01

o   Buckle #54-8730-34 (1)

Cage 2

o   10 mm hoop steel #50-8405-10

o   Hoop connectors #00-8400-11

o   no casings

o   1” pink Petersham for waistband and vertical ribbons

o   3 hoop connectors to close bottom three hoops #00-8400-11

o   Buckle #54-8730-34

Cage 3

o   11mm German plastic boning #50-8125-11

o   no casings

o   1” black petersham ribbons and waistband #70-7625-90

o   Buckle #54-8730-34

o   used a large denim needle in the machine

These are Victoria’s notes

            The process for each cage was more or less the same and I did follow the pattern instructions, with a few changes made to accommodate the different materials being used. Because I was making a short version of the cage, the “bag” for the four lowest hoops was not necessary.

  I began my cages with the waistband and ribbons, opting not to cut my hoop steel until I was closer to needing them. I used the guide provided to determine the length, however I chose to measure the guide rather than simply laying the ribbon along it, which is what the instructions seem to suggest. I also added the step of pressing all my ribbon before cutting my pieces, as well as pressing the fold of each ribbon before marking the stitching lines for the slots. This ensured that all my ribbon was sitting nice and flat as I was marking, so that all my marks would be accurate and in the same place on each ribbon. At this point, I didn't follow the pattern completely. The markings on the guide in the pattern give a 1” wide slot for the hoops while the pattern calls for 3/4” wide bone casings and 1/2” hoop steel and I thought all those numbers were a little more different that I cared for. Instead, I marked and stitched the top of each slot (as well as the waistband) then measured the width of my boning or casing and marked my second line according to that measurement. Regardless of how you do it, marking is a must.

            Side Story: The process of stitching all these very short lines is a bit tedious, there's no denying it. There is also no way around it. I had thought there might be when I made the third cage with the sew through boning (German Plastic), but I was wrong. I had thought that I could use only one layer of ribbon and simply mark where the boning had to sit on each ribbon and then sew the ribbon to the boning, however I was forgetting the part where you need to be able to adjust the position of each ribbon as you go. We'll get to it in a moment.

For the Judy I was using, this meant my spaces were between 2 1/2” and 3” wide. This differed a little between each of the three cages I made. On my first cage, I pinned each ribbon to the waistband and into the dummy and proceeded to insert the hoop steel, however on the second and third ones I felt pretty confident with my spacing and decided to go ahead and secure the ribbons to the waistband before inserting the hoop steel. I decided to secure my ribbons by hand by doing a small whip stitch around the open edges of the waistband slot, but this step could be done by machine. I simply preferred the look of having done it by hand. (I mention all this because I used the same Petersham for my waistband as I did for the ribbons instead of belting and wanted to add a little more detail about the process than the pattern gives.)

Note: there are little snowflakes sewn to the bottom of the ribbons for decoration.

            Here I once again skipped forward a bit. I made my waistband by stitching two 35” lengths of ribbon together along the outer edges, attaching a buckle to one end and finishing the other by hand (I did an adorable and easy-to-thread-through-the-buckle little point). I then threaded all my ribbons onto the waistband and fastened it around a Judy. Once on the Judy, I made sure that all the ribbons were evenly spaced on the waistband.     



   With ribbons on my waistband, it was time to get to the hoop steel and casings. I only used casings on my first cage and left the hoop steel exposed with the other two. The top two hoops of each cage are cut significantly shorter as they don’t go all the way around the body (providing an opening to get into the cage. I cut these hoops the length indicated by the pattern - for all three cages, which seemed to work just fine. The lengths of the lower hoops varied a bit between each cage, partially because they were all being finished in different ways. For the first cage with the 6mm hoop steel and casings, I cut my bottom two hoops 6” longer than stated in the pattern so that I would have a good overlap (because there are no “hoop connectors” to fit this size of hoop steel), which proved to be more than generous. I cut the lower three hoops of the second cage 4 3/4” shorter than indicated to remove the overlap allowed for in the pattern, as well as allow for the gap created by the hoop connectors. These hoops were still too long and I ended up cutting several inches off of each of them. For the third cage, I cut all five hoops the length indicated in the pattern and still ended up shortening the three lowest hoops by several inches each. In general, I suppose it's better to have hoops that are a bit long rather than too short. Had I been building the full cage crinoline this likely would not have been an issue.

            When threading the hoop steel into the ribbons, I always started at the top and moved down, but I don't think there's really any reason not to start at the bottom and work up if you wanted. This is where I discovered the necessity of the slots in the ribbons. I had hoped to omit then with the third cage. Basically, I would thread the hoop steel into the slots, then adjust the spacing of the ribbons along the hoop steel as necessary so that they were more or less (I did eyeball this bit) evenly spaced and the whole cage was taking on the shape I desired. Without that slot, there is nothing to hold the hoop steel in place while you insert the other hoops or make adjustments. So, it's a bit tedious, but the slots are necessary. 

            Once I was happy with the spacing and the shape of each cage, it was time to finish it. For the second two cages, this meant folding up the excess at the bottom of each ribbon and stitching it in place by hand so that it looked pretty. For the first cage, this meant hand stitching the bone casing to the ribbons at each slot. This was another tedious task and I would highly recommend that you don't forget your iPod at home. This step isn't absolutely necessary, as evidenced by the other two cages, however, it does mean that all that meticulously adjusted spacing won't get thrown out of whack when the wearer moves or sits. If the slots sit fairly tightly around the hoop steel, this shouldn't be a huge problem.  In the end, the only time I actually took advantage of being able to sew through the plastic boning was when closing up the lower hoops. I used a heavy needle in the machine, but still had some problems with the thread shearing. In the future I would use a heavier thread or even “Koban” when stitching through this boning. It is also a bit fiddley sewing through two layers of boning as the presser foot and the feed dogs aren't able to get the same grip on the plastic hoop as they can on fabric, and a firm hand is needed. I also ended up having to walk the needle through the first few stitches.

            My overall impression is that the pattern works and I was happy with the finished product. I did tend to find that the lower hoop steels were too long, but that is preferable to them being too short, and the instructions tended to be a bit brief, but they cover all the really necessary points. I do think that they could be laid out in a more logical order though, i.e. getting the waistband and the ribbons all constructed and put together before you start cutting hoop steel so as not to have unwieldy hoop steel floating around and getting in way longer than necessary. The pattern also makes no mention of using a Judy, which I think is perhaps the most important tool you have in the whole project. It made spacing my ribbons evenly and inserting the hoop steel very easy. It also allows an instant visual of how everything is sitting and where adjustments are needed.

            The German plastic boning is easier to work with as it is lighter, it can be sewn through, ends don't need to be tipped (at least not on this kind of project) and it can be cut with scissors. The finished cage was also a good deal lighter than the other two which could be more comfortable for an extended period of time, however it didn't hold the perfect circle as well as the steel boning and the cage was not as stiff as the other two. It might not hold its shape very well under a heavy skirt. You don't really need any particular tools to work with it, aside from a bigger needle, but the finished product might be a bit wobblier than you want it to be. The steel holds a beautiful shape and will feel overall like a sturdier garment, but it is tough to cut and you do need special cutters for it as well as tips for the ends.

The upper hoops are not complete hoops – they’re open at the front to allow easy entry into the cage and to allow fabric to lie more flatly over the stomach area.
The front ribbons have a slot sewn into them for the steel and the very front edge is sewn closed with hand stitching so that the hoop can’t protrude beyond the front ribbon.


Victoria used hoop connectors with the hoop steel to make the hoops easy to make and removable for easy storage.


o   Slide the cut end of the steel into one end of a hoop connector until it’s secure
o   Slide the hoop steel into the hoop casing, leading with the hoop connector as it has a rounded edge and should not catch
o   When the hoop connector comes out the other end of the hoop casing – slide it onto the back end of the hoop steel, until it’s secure
To remove the hoop from the garment, grip the hoop steel on either side of the hoop connector and pull.

Many thanks, to Victoria Bruer for her efforts on construction and notes of this method.

Even McCall’s suggests using these hoop connectors in their Costume Pattern #M7306

To find out more about hoop connectors click the link below