How to make bone casings using pressing bars?

How to make bone casings using the pressing bar tool?

There are many different ways of adding boning to corsets. It’s not surprising because you don’t have a corset without boning. And you don’t have boning without bone channels, casings or tapes!

Different methods of making boning channels have different pros and cons. Making your own boning casings gives you the complete power and control over the durability and looks of the channels. With that in mind, it is more time consuming than other methods because you have to make it from scratch.
Think about it and choose wisely.

In this tutorial we will use the tool called a Pressing Bars. Yes, these are literally plastic sticks. Laugh all you want but all wizards need their wands to cast magic!
Investing in this tool will pay itself off in no time if you like making corsets with this type of boning channels.

After you’ve made ALL of the bone casings, only thing left is sewing them on to your corset but this will be covered in a future tutorial.

Don’t be silly and try to use steel boning instead of Pressing bars as that poses a work safety risk and you could potentially damage your sewing machine.
Pressing bars aren’t very expensive but there are other methods for creating very similar boning casings like the Bias Maker Tool Method.

Tutorial sample is made using 200g cotton calico, 8 and 10 mm wide spiral steel boning.

Happy sewing!

Free corset patterns

Aside from the instructional tutorial being available online, it can also be DOWNLOADED as a PDF file for offline viewing.

Front page for the tutorial on how to make boning cases using pressing bars

This tutorial  will show how to take boning casing tapes out of strength layer fabric, using the pressing bar tool

This method can be used on many different fabrics and corset styles.

Boning tapes made with this method  can be used as internal or external boning channels.

Tutorial sample is made using 200g cotton calico, 8 and 10mm wide spiral steel boning.

Different sizes of pressing bars and corresponding spiral steel boning

Making our own boning casings means we have full control over the look and durability.

It also opens interesting options like creating sturdy lightweight corsets made out of fabrics such as mesh and net.

Start by choosing the boning type and width. If using more than one size of boning on the same corset, plan out bone casing details for them separately.

Find the pressing bar size closest to the width of your boning. Choose the larger one if your boning falls in between two sizes.

Prepare your strength fabric by ironing it.

How to make bone casings using the pressing bars

Cut the strips of strength fabric on the fabric grain to save fabric or on the bias for easier sewing and less wrinkling.

Width of the strip should be around:
Pressing Bar Width x 2 + 2,5cm or 1” (minimum seam allowances)

Thicker fabrics might be making it difficult to sew the strip together evenly because you might loose a lot of  seam allowance width due to “turn of cloth”.

Turn of cloth is the amount of fabric lost by wrapping or folding fabric  over something.

Pressing bars come as 6, 9, 12, 15 &18 mm.


Sewing the fabric strip folded over the pressing bar using a zipper foot

Start by ironing the fabric strip in half.

Slot the pressing bar into the folded strip.

Push the bar all the way inside. Have it sit in the very edge of the fold.

Put a zipper foot on your machine and make sure you are as close as you can get to the pressing bar with it.

With a straight stitch, sew the folded fabric strip together.

Be careful that everything is in its place as you sew and use an awl or tweezers to help you position the bar deep into the folded strip as you sew.

Ironing seam allowances open and trimming excess with

With the fabric strip stitched in a tube, twist it around the pressing until you position the seam line on the middle of the bar width.

Iron open the seam allowances with the bar still inside. Push the bar through the fabric tube as you iron.

With seam allowances presses open, trim excess width if they are wider than the bone casing you’ve just made.

Usually, it is enough to trim the seam allowance width in half just be sure all raw fabric edges will be covered when you stitch the bone casing on to the corset.

After you’ve trimmed all seam allowances, steam and press all boning casings again but this time, seam allowances facing down.

Don’t drag the iron back and forth over the bone casing!

Press, steam, lift and move to a new spot.

Make samples to test your work and check if you are satisfied with the look and how it performs before you make all boning casings for your project.

Boning casings are ready to be applied to your corset, internally or externally.

Happy sewing!!!