Corset Making

About: Extreme hill rolling, babydoll.

Decorative. Not for serious waist training. After all we don't want anyones organs popping out.

--Not Quite finished yet, but you might get something out of it--

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Step 1: Gather Your Materials..

For this endeavor you will need:
-fabric of your choosing. I know it may seem counter productive but try and make sure its not strectchy. We'll talk about what kinds you'll need later.
-boning. Can be fancy store bought but if you are like me just get some bendable plastic storage bins and a good box cutter and scissors.
-A sewing machine. Trust me it will save a lot of thread, time, and asperin.
-Thread for the machine in appropriate colors..
-Duct tape. If you are on the larger side might as well be safe and make sure youve got loads of the stuff.
-Old t-shirt you won't mind cutting to pieces.

Most importantly, time, patience, good music and some friends who you aren't afraid to expose yourself to.

Step 2: Make Your Pattern.

If you already had a store bought pattern, I'm assuming that you wouldn't be reading this, but just skip to the fabric part if so.

Anyway, have in mind what you want the corset's basic design to look like. You can alter it later, but it helps.
Put on the t-shirt and start wrapping yourself in duct tape. Not too tight, but pretty snug. Wrap the duct tape exactly how you want the corset to fit. If you want your boobs squished, then do it now. If you want it to be low cut or the bottom to come down low, do it now. If you are confused you'll get the picture when you are in the process yourself. By the way it helps to have a friend helping you with this.

Step 3: Cut Yourself Out.

Now that you are covered, mark lines straight down in these places:
-Straight down the middle in the front
-One right over each nipple
-One right down each side under your shoulder
-One straight down your spine
-One halfway between the line under your arm and the line over your spine

Cut yourself out first by the cut in the front. Label each piece by side and number.
left side spine--L5
side next to spine--L4
one next to that--L3
you get it.
Then cut all the pieces out along the lines.
you should have 10 pieces.

Step 4: The Tricky Part

Fabric. You'll need two kinds:
The main fabric that you are going to see on the outside. You could try different fabrics for the different panels, but lets stick to one for now.
And you'll need a lining fabric for the boning. This should be a soft, but strong fabric.

Lay the main fabric down on the floor nice side down. Lay the pieces tape side down on the fabric, and trace the panels onto the fabric, and label them appropriately.
Once you've got all the panels traced, cut them out and make sure you don't lose them.

Step 5: Even Trickier!

Pin two corresponding (ex.L2+L3) sides right sides togeather along the seam that meet at. This should be a long side. If you want you can pin it all together at one time, but I don't recommend it. Sew along where the pins are. Repeat for all sides until you have one strip of fabric. This strip should not lie flat, and if it does you've done it wrong. The parts where it rises or falls match the contours of your body. If you are confused about this part at all, it should make more sense when you come to this step yourself or by looking at the pictures. In any case, if you are still confused feel free to e-mail me with any confusion!

Step 6: Cutting Your Boning.

Boning is the stuff that keeps your corset up while you are doing whatever you are doing. It also keeps it from getting nasty rumpling when you sit or bend.

Measure the length of your corset at its longest. Cut lengths of the plastic container with a width of about 1/2 more or less.

Now, take your lining fabric and sew a little pocket for the boning over each seam. Make sure the boning will fit. Slip the boning into the pocket and sew it up to keep it from falling out. These little pockets will make it more comfortable to wear your corset by covering the seams, and keeping it up by holding the boning. I suggest going over your stitches a couple times to make sure that they are very strong.
You will also have to put a peice of boning along each side of the spine.

Step 7: Hemming and Fastening

Hem the top and bottom if you wish.

Sew your fastenings to either side. The two most conventional fastenings are hook and eyes or lacing. The sides have to touch if you are using hook and eyes, but if you want some skin showing in the back, use lacing or get creative and think of something else. I used long loops and buttons for mine.

For lacing, you will have to get grommets as well. First, punch holes in the boning where you want them, then attach the grommets to the holes as necessary. You will need a special punch for this. Then just weave cord of some type through the grommets and you are set!

Step 8: Strike a Pose

and go get em you sexy beast.

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    28 Discussions


    8 years ago on Step 8

    i love this i was dying looking everywhere for a pattern for a corset! who needs a pattern when you have duct tape!!! ahhh duct tape is the answer to all isnt it, you are a genius!!! im going to try instantly!!! well not instantly i need to get a friend over here and it is almost 5 am... but still asap!!! love this great work you made my day and i better look like a sexy beast lol


    9 years ago on Step 8

    This has made my day, Thank you soo much, who would have thought! Duck tape! Amazing!


    9 years ago on Step 6

    !!!! Absolutely fabulous! I have searched everywhere, and boning is seemingly impossible to find. This is a great solution. Thank you!


    10 years ago on Step 1

    oh and i had been wondering about the expose urself to a friend thing until i started cutting my friend out of her tape prison. that's what that meant! funny tho if ur comfortable but i would assume awkward if ur well not wanting to expose urself. wear bra!!!!!


    10 years ago on Step 1

    me and my friend did this last night, to be honest it's kinda fun to be ductaped just a wierd experience. but um word to the wise, when cutting the pattern off point the scissors away from the skin as far as possible and still be able to cut, sometimes scissors dont slide over skin very well and we had a few close calls. plus definitely use a t shirt, we used ribbed tanks from the dollar store and we had to put some tape on our skin, not funski :( but we've only gotten this far and to b honest it's just a fun thing to do and it's even more fun when u used colored duct tape from target :)

    This is a DIYer's jackpot! This was extremely helpful, Thanks! I've been looking all over for inexpensive ways to design a corset; can't beleive I didn't think to use duct tape. Cost me 5 bucks at the thrift store for 3 plastic tubs (for the lids) Cheap boning was 3$ a yard! I've used this as a basic pattern for several corsets now and they are all freakin' sic! Thanks again.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    This didn't help myself at all hope I find easier instructions to my self..


    11 years ago on Introduction

    I didn't understand at, how u can even make the line urself ducted ur self, I have try to search some easier pattern to make it work. And all I go was 4 lines every where, i hope I find better pattern for myself.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    hey i think this is a really gud idea and is simple. im just not sure about how you do the band across the bottem, and wen u say storage box's do you have another picture so i no what type of storage box's you mean? kornflower xxx


    11 years ago on Introduction

    I like your tutorial very much. I am teaching a class in corset making and found some good ideas on your site.


    11 years ago on Step 2

    Don't forget when you're cutting out the pieces to add 1/4-1/2" so you can stitch them all together and still fit. I didn't see this in the instructions and just wanted to make sure that it is here. GREAT site, love the instructions, and the pattern, and will be using this to create my own top very soon!! THANKS FOR SHARING!!


    11 years ago on Step 7

    heyyyyyy, holes in the boning instead of the whole grommet punching process! what a great idea...... i just made a corset last week with the grommets and the metal punch thing, and now im beating myself up for going thru the trouble lol. holes in the boning seems like it would be a lot sturdier... thanks for the idea!


    12 years ago on Introduction

    I came across this page and I just had to sign up and comment.

    This is an interesting idea to say the least. However anyone wishing to make a corset of their own, I would strongly recommend firstly buying one and getting to grips with it's construction and fit, it's hardly going to make your 'organs pop out'.

    Also I really don't like the idea of having a layer of duct tape between the fabric as this would definitely increase sweating and would most probably be uncomfortable.

    Another thing I would like to mention to anyone making a corset is do NOT use a cut up piece of plastic as your boning strips, not only would it cut into the fabric and ruin your work it would cause discomfort. Buying boning from a fabric shop is really not expensive and while you at it I really think that buying an actual corset pattern is your best bet, even if it's your first attempt there is no point starting it this way if thats what you want to achieve, especially if you want to get into designing like myself.

    Finaly, if you really want to get into making corsets I would say start a clothing and construction course rather that use a self help site with incorrect information.

    V xXx

    2 replies

    Wow. Im gonna have to tackle these one at a time.

    I am fully aware that this corset will not make your organs pop out. It was a reference to the maladies caused by victorian style tightlacing and the more recent girdle( Yes it really happened.). Its called humor. haha.

    Im assuming you didn't actually read all of it, since it is explained that the duct tape is ONLY for the pattern. So unless you've been sewing those silly bits of paper that are commercial patterns into your fabric, you are were not paying attention to the instructions.

    Spring Steel boning for corsets is extremely expensive. The slightly more affordable alternative is Flexible Nylon boning. I am not suggesting you use just any kind of plastic, but from colored storage bins, which are made from a similar material. The blue or white ones, not clear. It is almost exactly the same. The ends are cut and rounded off, so there are no sharp edges to puncture the fabric. I assure you, from personal experience, it is if anything, more comfortable than spring steel.

    Perhaps you have missed the point of do it yourself altogether, but just because you can buy it doesn't mean that everyone will. Unless you order from a specialty store, you are unlikely to find a quality pattern. You will then have to tailor it, which in my experience is tedious and tricky. Using duct tape to make a pattern requires no knowledge of pattern-making, which you will need to alter store bought patterns.

    Not everyone wants to be a designer, and not everyone is able or willing to pay top dollar for a corset they may not enjoy. There is no way in the world any teacher at any school will let you simply skip to advanced clothing construction (ie. corsets) without taking multiple basics courses. Not everyone is able or willing to do this either. After all, what is the point of paying hundreds for something you will only use a few times in your life.

    Finally, this is not a "self-help" website. Its a diy site.

    I am a designer and I totally agree with you, ILN! I've taken many pattern making courses, studied all over the world, and even had my own custom-clothing business. A commercial pattern and a ready-made corset example are definitely not necessary to the success of this project.

    The secret about fashionable corsets, like the one you've got here, is that they are probably one of the easier projects for a new sewer to tackle, especially if you make little waist-cincher number that stops just below the boobs. I've never been able to understand why it's considered so advanced, especially when making the fly on a pair of trousers or setting in a sleeve requires more skill.

    Nobody needs to take a construction course if they have enough inspiration and resourcefulness. Archeologists have found sewing needles that are 20,000 years old. To me, that means every technique has probably been done before and the only "correct" technique is the one that gets your project where you want it to be. And you won't learn that in a sewing course.

    Using duct-tape to make the prototype is a completely legitimate way to make an accurate pattern, and will definitely provide a more custom fit than using a commercial pattern.

    I agree with isantis regarding the zip ties. If you round off the cut edges with a metal nail file and cut the pieces an inch shorter than their pockets, then you shouldn't have any problems with tearing your fabric. Personally, I'm too lazy to cut boning from storage bins. Spring steel is great if you want to shell out the bucks and can get it cut and capped to size. Just don't buy the stuff that comes in a roll, you want your boning to be be straight, right?

    I love grommets on corsets, but I don't recommend putting them in yourself with the sets that require you to use a hammer or that plier-like contraption. This is a good time for professional help. Instead, as the last step, ask at the home-decorating store or section if they can set grommets. Or ask at your local shoe or luggage repair. It's not very expensive, the eyelets will be much, much sturdier, and you'll save yourself loads of frustration.

    Consider splitting your corset at Center Front (CF) if you have lacing in the back. Use hook and eyes (and heavy duty thread) to connect the two sides and your corset will be much easier to put on because you won't have to unlace it each time, and you'll probably wear it more than a few times in your life. Don't forget that now you'll need boning at CF! Oh, and extra-long shoelaces from the grocery store work perfectly as lacing. I've worn mine to some big Italian dinners and had to discreetly loosen my stays during the evening. The extra-length is important.

    Okay, last tip: Skip the sewing altogether and cover your duck-tape prototype in some of DT's more fashion colors, playing with stripes, etc. Clean up the edges with scissors, add holes at CB with one of those hand-held hole punchers, and lace it up with some nice, 1/4 inch elastic so you can slip it on without unlacing. Party like it's Prom 1999.

    Complimenti! Brava! This is a great Instructable and a thought-provoking discussion on DIY.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Lol this is a very creative way to make a corset :D plus its easy as hell. Thanks a lot !


    12 years ago on Introduction

    Omg this is so kool!! am going to make it ina couple of weeks so i will get back to you with the result fantastic idea ignore the negative comments if they could think to do that themselves then they wouldnt b looking at ur ideas xx


    12 years ago on Introduction

    Hi there - This is a fantastic idea. Thank you for posting! A couple of things- after cutting the cutting the pattern pieces and tracing them into your fabric, you don't mention adding a seam allowance. I imagine this is because you are looking for a "cinched" effect in a corset. However, particulary in the front aroudn your boobs, if you sew the pieces together without a seam allowance, you will change the alignment of the pieces over your nipples from 1-2 inches, depending on how far into the fabric you sew. That could be the look some people want, but an option for those who prefer less boob squish, would be to add a seam allowance when tracing to the fabric. Another thing - if cutting boning strips from a plastic container is more effort than you want to put in, you can use heavy duty zip ties (cable ties) for your boning. Cut off the square head, and you are set. Not only is this easier, but all your strips will be of a uniform width. Thank you again for posting this project. It is a great idea!