Corset Making Tips for Beginners

Created By:

Erica Bunker

Skill Level: Intermediate

This was my first ever corset and while making it, I learned some invaluable lessons that I want to share in case you are interested in making one for yourself. Just like with any part of sewing, everything you do is based on trial and error. Once you’ve walked through the process, you’ll learn where you need to make your own personal adjustments.

When making a corset, it’s extremely important to choose the right fabric and hardware. If you’re a novice at corset making, you want to select a fabric that is durable, yet easy to work with. Think along the lines of cotton, canvas, or brocade. I’d suggest heading to the upholstery department to choose a fabric. That’s the weight that you should be selecting.



Cotton – As far as price and accessibility, cotton will probably be your best choice. It’s easy to work with, it takes pressing well and it’s breathable.

Cotton Canvas – Like cotton, it’s cheap and durable. It’s not the prettiest fabric, but if you’re making a corset for daily wearing like waist training, this fabric will get the job done.

Brocade – Now if you want fabric that’s sturdy and pretty, brocade fabrics will get the job done. This corset will be the star of the show.

The more difficult fabrics…

Satin – In general, satin fabric can be fiddly to work with. Unless it’s sewn perfectly, you’ll end up with rippling seams. But if this is how you’re envisioning your dream corset, make a muslin first and work out any fit issues. Because satin is unforgiving to picked seams. And splurge on the good, heavy satin… not the cheap costumey stuff that’s sold in the big box craft stores.

Leather – This will make a smoking hot corset! Hot in many ways. It’s a showstopper style and may also be hot to wear. Save this for the cooler season. And make sure you’ve researched the best way to sew with leather.

Mesh – This the fabric that you see in beautiful lingerie corsets and bustiers. If you’re unfamiliar with sewing and handling this type of fabric, you may want to ease yourself into it before attempting to sew a corset.

Always prewash or pretreat your fabric to prevent any shrinkage prior to cutting.

For your thread, use all-purpose high-quality thread such as Mettler or Gutermann.

Interfacing – When selecting interfacing for your corset, you can select anything from fusible to sew in. This is one of those things that come with trial and error. You must just play around with swatches and see what works best with your fabric selection.

Boning – Plastic bones vs steel bones, that’s the question. Plastic bones aren’t as comfortable or durable as steel bones. Plastic bones are easily accessible… you can basically find them in any craft store. But they’re not meant for long-term wear. They will bend out of shape eventually

Steel bones will not bend or break, not matter how tight you make your corset. And they are just a lot more comfortable to wear for a long period of time.

Busks – The first time I set out to make a corset, I had no clue about a busk. But Google is my friend! This is your closure on the front. These are metal and very sturdy.

Eyelets – You’ll also need metal eyelets and the tools needed to install them.

Awl – You’ll need an awl or some sort of hole punching tool to create your holes for your eyelets.

Bra Underwires – Not all corset patterns require these, but Vogue Pattern 1876, which I used does. You can purchase a set based on your cup size or you can recycle some from an old bra.

Lacing – You can use cording, corset lace or ribbon for your corset.

Make sure that you take accurate measurements and make a muslin prior to cutting out your good fabric. Happy Sewing!

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