Intermediate Corset Tutorials

Intermediate category holds many introductory methods for more advanced pattern adjustment. These corset tutorials will start you off with basic concepts of some serious shape manipulation. We will build on these concepts in more detail, later on, in the Advanced category.

Explore your courage here!

Fitting the corsets underbust line

How to fit a corset mockup to redistribute the underbust circumference better?

When we make corsets, there are many elements to consider as we hold all the power over the finished corset. So, during the mockup stage, we might (read:definitely will) encounter problems with the fit. One of those fit problems might be a back muffin top. Now, they can be challenging as there are a few different things that cause them and different causes, require different solutions. For that reason, the tricky part with fitting, is in identifying what is causing the problem and it’s not always obvious.

Drafting a High Back

How to make a high back and why would we do that to a corset?
One of fit problems might be a back muffin top. Now, they can be tricky as there are a few different things that cause them and different causes, require different solutions.

To figure out if the back muffin top is caused by the corsets edge and the bra band working together to squeeze our flesh into an unsightly problem, we need to try the mockup (or finished corset) without the bra on. If the back muffin top basically disappears when we remove our bra… the bra band is causing it and we can go on ahead and apply this tutorials method to fix it!

Removing the back lacing gap

It is simple really. All you need is a pattern that’s made to fit with a back lacing gap, a pen, a ruler and some tape!

Before you learn how to remove the back lacing gap from your corset pattern, literally close it, I want you to know why you’d want to do it.

There are people that prefer the corset fits them with the back fully closed. They can count on the corset fitting them over other garments with a little back gap due to the added garment thickness.

Others really love the way it looks. It doesn’t matter why you’d might want to remove it. Point is to know how to do it, if you ever need it!

Adding the back lacing gap

All you need is a pattern that doesn’t already have it, a pen, a ruler and some tape!

Before you learn how to draft in a back lacing gap to your corset pattern, I want you to know why you’d want to do it.

There are people that prefer the back lacing gap as it allows them more flexibility when wearing their corset. They have the control over how much or how little they can lace in that day. Others really love the way it looks. It doesn’t matter why you’d might want to add it. Point it to know how to do it, if you ever need it!

Removing gore with split in 2

How to remove corset pattern gores by splitting in two?
You might be surprised by this but the process is very simple!

We have the parent pattern piece that has the slit for the gore, and the gore pattern piece. You have to cut both of them in half, right through the gore point. When you have both the left and the right side prepared for both the parent and gore piece, simply connect them together!
Sure, there are a few details that need to be ironed out. Aside from those, it’s as easy as a lemon squeezy!

Offsetting center boning channels

We run into a little problem of asymmetry with corset constrictions that place just one bone on one side of the connecting seams. One such method is demonstrated in tutorial “Welt Seam Method Strength Layer with Floating Lining”, for example.

By offsetting the boning placements on the middle of pattern pieces, we correct the asymmetry. This in turn, makes the corset look a bit more balanced.

Straighten a curved center front line

Corset patterns can have a curved center front and/or back seam line which makes them unsuitable for using on the fold of fabric.

Sometimes we really want that center seam line to be straight but we can’t just take a ruler, draw a new line and call it day.

I’ve made this tutorial on how to properly straighten that curve while keeping the original dimensions of the pattern piece.

Start your corset making journey now!

Adding suspender tabs to corset patterns

You can add suspenders tabs for extra functionality of the corset or it can be a purely decorative thing. Doesn’t really matter, in this tutorial, you will learn how.

Suspenders can be sewn on to a corset without adding fancy suspender tabs but there isn’t a lot of fun there. To hold up stockings, we need at least 1 pair of suspenders, one per side but the sky is your limit. Or, more precisely, the size of the corset is the limit.

For this tutorial, I’ve made an example that uses 2 suspender tab pair. One for the front and one for the back. Further more, front pair is placed right on the seam line while the back pair sits on the middle of a pattern piece. Both options are fine, just a matter of preference and style.

Drafting more sizes on multi-sized corset patterns

We apply the magic of grading pattern sizes!

This is very simple to do on a multi-sized pattern simply because we already know the differences between sizes and where to apply them. With this knowledge you can use that one pattern you have been eyeing forever but didn’t get it since it didn’t come in your size. Because you can make your size!

In this tutorial, you will learn the very basic ideas of grading as you will focus on grading corset pattern sizes primarily on the horizontal proportions, also known as torso circumferences. You simply have to measure what is already present on the pattern and replicate it until you reach your goal size.

Removing hip wrinkles

Due to the characteristic extreme side seam curve on (mostly) modern corset patterns, directional wrinkles in the fabric have a tendency to show up.

While most wrinkling can be solved by adding more boning, there is the option of manipulating the pattern piece to minimize the pull on the fabric on the problematic pattern piece itself. This specific method is covered in the following tutorial.

Still, if you don’t like these options or are interested in simply learning more, check out how to get rid of wrinkles by drafting gore or gusset pattern pieces.

Turning an overtbust to a waspie corset pattern

Simple! You take a corset pattern that you like and know fits you well. Then, you make it shorter. Much shorter. Like a lot more shorter but there is a catch. There is a limit to how tiny your waspie corset pattern can be before we can freely consider it to be a very fancy belt.

Ok, fine, you got me. There aren’t clear rules or definitions on what makes a corset a waspie corset or what exactly makes it different from an underbust corset. Or a fancy belt.

I’ve made this waspie corset pattern tutorial to prepare you for more complex pattern drafting, redrafting and cut manipulation I want to dive into in the future. So, this is an introduction to the waspie topic. A starting point that, I hope, will inspire you to play with your favorite patterns more.

Removing gores from corset patterns

In this tutorial, example gore pattern is located on the lower part of the corset and it runs over the hip circumference line. Same method can be applied on a gore piece laying over the underbust or bust circumference line too.

Also, example gore is triangular in shape, having just one point and, again, the same process of this tutorial can be applied on to trapeze shaped gores as well!

Any corset that has gores can be reshaped to better suit your needs. Hope I have sparked creativity in you to bravely manipulate corset patterns, bend them to your will!

Adding gores to corset patterns

I know that gores are difficult to sew into to a corset. They are stubborn and plain weird but they can be a great choice to spice up your design. Also, they are a versatile helper when you need to remove wrinkles.

When dealing with fabric wrinkling due to pattern pieces being aggressively curvy, drafting a gore can be just what you needed! As you will see in the tutorial, wrinkling likes to occur on the side hip seam. This is where corsets usually have their most craziest curves. Those super curvy curves tend to lay spot on the bias line of the fabric.

Removing hip wrinkles with gussets

There are many different methods on how to minimize them, if not remove completely.

One such method is making a gusset pattern piece and realigning it’s grain line. Simplest way to make a gusset is by drawing it’s shape on the offending pattern piece and cutting that part out. This way it can be used as a separate pattern piece.

Other potential way to remove or minimize wrinkling of fabric is to add more boning, drafting a gore pattern piece or reshaping the seam lines. As you can see, there are many options and if you don’t fancy the one shown in this tutorial, try another!

When sewing corsets, we want to make sure we are working with the characteristic of our fabrics and helping materials, instead of against them.