Corset class – Tisket, tasket, notions in your basket

Corset-making notions

The notions you’ll need for corset making may seem unusual, unfamiliar, or hard to find.  A lot of people substitute out less expensive or more readily available alternatives for the “correct” notions with various degrees of success.  If your first corset will be a one-time-wear for a comic book convention (and you have three other costume changes for the weekend), or if you don’t intend to wear it much until you perfect your pattern and skill – these alternatives are fine.  However, just like with a lot of things, using the correct tools for the job will likely give you more consistent and enjoyable results.

After picking out your fabric, you’ll need:

  • Waist stay tape – I recommend a 1″ wide twill tape.  This will not be seen, so any colour (that won’t show through your fabric) is fine.
  • Double fold bias tape – I recommend the wider width available.  You can also purchase tools to make your own if you can’t find any in the package to match what you are looking for.  This will be seen.
  • Grommets & a setting tool – I recommend size 00 2 piece  grommets and a grommet press – however this is out of most budgets (and you’d need to be making a lot of holes to justify the price). Purchase twice what you think you will need plus a few extras.  These will be seen, and are available in a few colours.
  • Interfacing  – I like the ease of the iron-on kind, but whatever you are comfortable with works.
  • Grommet support washers – optional, however I recommend them.  These will not really be seen.
  • Corset lacing – I recommend a nylon round cord.
  • Lacing tips – completely optional
  • Boning – I recommend waiting until you have your muslin ready before ordering or purchasing your boning, even if your pattern instructions tell you how much of each size you’ll need.
  • Boning tape – or you can make your own out of your interlining fabric or coutil.
  • Thread – to match your fashion fabric and your lining.  (If it doesn’t match your interlining, that’s totally ok.
  • Busk or other front opening – optional but highly recommended.  Like your boning, you should wait until you have your muslin ready before ordering this.
  • Decorative trim – optional.  (Lace, braid, piping, appliques, etc)

Ribbons and fabric and cord - oh my! Creative ribbon storage by Sew Many Ways


Most of these items you can find at your local fabric store, while others you may need to travel to a specialty store or order online to purchase.

Find at your local fabric store:

  • Waist stay tape
  • Double fold bias tape or the tool to make it
  • Thread
  • Interfacing
  • Decorative trim

You may be able to find these items at your local fabric store, or you may need to go to a specialty store for these:

  • Grommets & a setting tool
  • Grommet support washers
  • Corset lacing

You likely will need to order these items unless you live in a major center:

  • Boning
  • Boning tape
  • Busk
  • Lacing tips


Hopefully you’re not feeling overwhelmed!  If you need me to explain any of the notions you’ll need, let me know in the comments below!
If you’re  just joining me… click the Corset Class category (on the right hand side, or this link) to read all of the posts so far in the Corset Class.

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