Dawn’s Corset Class: Shopping list

Exposed PVC bone casings on a ghost-print cotton couture, custom-made corset

Exposed PVC bone casings

If you’re ready to make your first corset (with me and my in-person corset class, or otherwise) you have some shopping to do…

Here’s my corset-class shopping list to get you started.

Fabric

First determine how many layers you want for your corset. A single-layer corset is an option, as are two, or three layers. If you include interfacing this might even be four or five-layer corsets! Your pattern will indicate how much fabric you’ll need for each layer. If you’ve drafted your own corset, look at the pieces and a possible layout to determine your fabric requirements.

Close up on the silk and sheer lace overlay on the purple silk corset

Close up on the silk and sheer lace overlay on the purple silk corset

  • Fashion fabric – You can use nearly any fabric you like for this layer – this will be the fabric that is seen. Choose something that doesn’t fray much. If you’re a traditionalist you’ll want to use linen or coutile.
  • Interlining – for 3+ layer corsets
  • Lining – for 2+ layer corsets
  • Interfacing – fusible interfacing is the easiest to use here. Pick one that is a good quality and a colour that matches/coordinates with your fashion fabric and lining wherever possible.

Read more about fabric choices here.

Notions

  • Thread – to match your fabrics
  • Boning – you can either order steel bones online, or use plastic boning available at your local fabric store for your first corset. Buy the right amount based on your pattern and our discussion in class.
  • Grosgrain ribbon or twill tape. About 1″ wide, as long as your waist plus about 4″ extra. This is for your waist stay, and should be a colour that won’t show through your lining. (Unless you’re ok with that!)

    Inside close up of the white silk overbust corset showing the grommets, ribbon, and the slight pink of the waist stay

    Inside close up of the white silk overbust corset showing the grommets, ribbon, and the slight pink of the waist stay

  • Twill tape – the really narrow tape. It comes in a package at the fabric store or Wal-Mart. One package should be enough, but get two if you are plus-size.
  • Lace, rhinestones, fabric paint, piping, etc… anything you want to decorate your corset with. I suggest keeping this simple for your first corset.
  • Lacing cord – read more about what to use for lacing here.
  • Bias tape – You can buy pre-made cotton-poly bias tape in a package at the fabric store or Wal-Mart, or you can make your own with your fashion fabric. You’ll need your bust measurement + waist measurement + about 8″.
  • Busk – the bust style right for your corset based on your preferences and our discussion in the corset class.
  • Grommets or eyelets – as per our discussion in the corset class, get what is right for you. You’ll need 10-16 per side. You’ll also need the related tool to set your grommets/eyelets.
Grommets for lacing on a couture, custom-made corset.

Grommets for lacing with nylon cord

Tools

You should already have the tools you’ll need, like a sewing machine, needles, iron, pressing ham, pins, etc.

 

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