Corset Dress / Top




How to make a corset dress / top

As I am not an English native speaker, I will try to to my best to explain how  I have made this 
little dress/top. :)

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Step 1: Materials List

Materials list (pattern):

- dress form
- needle pins
- measurement tape
- cardboard
- plastic tracing sheet with pen
- satin tape (3 mm)
- pattern paper
- scissors
- ruler

Materials list (dress/top):

- shell fabric (medium-weight to heavy weight)
- heavy-weight lining
- yarn
- scissors
- needle pins
- sewing machine
- electric iron
- ironing glove (optionally)
- satin tape (2, 5 cm)
- eyelet kit
- tailors' chalk

Step 2: Making the Pattern

First of all we need a pattern. One option is to buy a pattern. But I think it is more fun to create the pattern on a dress form.
If you make the pattern for yourself, you should have a dress form in your size.:) Nowadays dress forms aren't that expensive, so if you  like making patterns on a dressform you should buy on.

Besides the dress form, we will need some needle pins and a thin satin tape. (3 mm) Let's start to mark the centre front, centre back and waistline with the tape. Afterwards you can get creative, as you can mark the top and bottom of the top and also the division seams. 

Step 3: Tracing the Pattern

Now it is time for tracing your design to the plastic sheet. To ensure that the pattern will fit yourself, try to place the sheets as plain as possible to the dress. Try to avoid any tuckings whenever possible. 

Step 4: Creating the Skirt Part

Now let' s move on to the skirt part. As I wanted to have a flared skirt, I put some paper under the skirt, to get more width.
Once I have draped my skirt with some paper, I elongated the centre front and centre back with a ruler.
After I decided how long my skirt should be, I measured this length from the waistline.

Step 5: Pattern

I have transferred the pattern to a cardboard, as it is easier to work with.
Fabric should always been cut on grain. The grain line is parallel to the centre front. (upper part)

I have bias cut the skirt to get a nice shape. (picture 2)

Step 6: Sewing the Upper Part and Skirt

After cutting the fabric I have sewn all panels together. (1x shell fabric, 1 x lining, 1 x skirt) 
Don' forget to ironing flat the seam allowances. It is always easier to ironing after every step, so 
the result will be better at the end.

Step 7: Sewing the Shell Fabric and Lining Together (Upper Part)

The shell fabric and the lining can be sewn together at top area. 

Step 8: Sewing the Upper Part and Skirt Together

I have sewn the upper part and skirt part together. (from the shell fabric as well as the lining)
Afterwards you can sew the shell fabric and lining together at hem and centre back. Please leave the centre back open from the upper part as otherwise you cannot turn the dress to the right side. (please refer to picture 2 for reference)
Does it look like a dress already.:)

Step 9: Sewing Centre Back (Upper Part)

Upper Part:

Topstitch very close to the lengthwise edge.

Step 10: Inserting Eyelets

I have made a pattern for the eyelets as you can see. 

Step 11: Lacing and Finishing

We are almost at the end.:)
I have used a 2,5 cm satin tape for lacing as I think it looks really nice. 

I hope you enjoy making it. :)

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    25 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Why does your pattern look slightly different from the finished sewn part?? like the middle part is not there :/ (im asking cos i dont have a bodice so i guide myself on already made clothes and patterns and want to understand how you made your corset)

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    I think it's on the far right in the photo of the pattern. My guess is that the far right edge of that pattern piece is placed on a folded edge of fabric based on the lack of seam allowance (dotted line) on that edge of the it.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Great instruction. Very sexy corset dress! Wow


    Thank you very much! The dress form was a gift and there is no hint of the manufacturer unfortunately. :(


    6 years ago on Step 11

    making a dress pattern is not easy, very hard to go from a body to a flat pattern, your good

    1 reply

    6 years ago on Introduction

    I suggest that you use some interfacing on the panels that have the grommets in them to keep the grommets from coming lose. Otherwise a very nice ible on making a pattern from scratch. Not very many people sew clothes in this day and age as it is a lost art.

    1 reply

    6 years ago on Introduction

    i love how simple the tutorial is. definitely the best one yet on describing how best to make your own patterns.

    1 reply