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A Guide to Corsets

Corsets give that classic hourglass figure, and they can improve posture and help people lose weight. Like an external lap band, a corset can keep you from stuffing yourself! So how can you turn a loose pile of materials into a finished corset?

Measuring for a Corset

Measure underbust or band size, the natural waist, the upper hip, and the torso length. If you’re making an overbust corset, you’ll also measure bust size.

Get Your Pattern

If you’re making your first corset, keep it simple! There are plenty of free designs on the internet, but you can buy them, too.

Gather Materials

The classic fabric for corset making is coutil. You can also use cotton, silk, leather, velvet, or a fabric of your choice. For the skeleton of your corset, which gives it shape, you’ll need “bones.” While actual bone has been used, these days, steel is common. You’ll also need busks, grommets, and laces (more about these below).

Prepare the Materials

Before you start sewing, become familiar with the parts of a corset. We’ve mentioned the bones, but you’ll also need:

  • Busks: Usually made of steel, these are flat pieces that make up the front opening

  • Channels: The tubes that contain the bones — you’ll be sewing these with your fabric

  • Panels: Panels are the fabric areas between the channels

  • Laces: Laces are what you’ll need to tighten the corset

  • Grommets: These metal holes are where you’ll route the laces

  • Lining: The fabric that’s on the inside next to the skin

  • Modesty Panel: This goes between your skin and the laces — it keeps your skin from pushing through, increasing comfort and aesthetics

  • Shell: The outer layer of fabric – since this is the part intended to be seen, it’s supposed to be the most attractive

Cut the fabric according to the pattern.


Pin the fabric together. Once everything is in the right place, sew according to the pattern. Go slowly and go straight! Once sewn, press your seams and trim any extra fabric.

Lace It Up

Lace from top to bottom in a crisscross pattern and stop at your waist. Then repeat the process going from bottom to top. Tie the laces as you would a shoe.

Put It On!

When you start wearing it, don’t tighten the laces all of the way! Give it a few days to mold to your body. After a few days, you can lace it tightly. If you’ve followed the instructions and used quality materials, you’ll have a cool, custom-made corset!

Corset Materials and More from GoldStar Tool

If you want to make a corset or any other garment, you’ll find everything you need at GoldStar Tool. Contact us and tell us about your project, and we’ll ensure you get started on the right path!