Lingerie-making has hit a peak this year, with so many people using their quarantining to pick up a new skill, and as a result, it looks like corsets are here to stay! However, they don’t need to be exclusive to lingerie. The Parker Corset can be thrown on over an oversized button-up like our Kiri or Lunaria Dress. Finish the look off with a slouchy blazer such as our free Nepeta Blazer!
Purchase Materials Used Below:
- 1 yard Lilas Polyester Stretch Power Mesh
- 1 yard Arcalod Blush Double-Wide Polyester Voile
- 2-3 yards Clear Rigilene – 8mm/0.375″
- 1 Metal Underwire Bra Set of Two – Size 32
- 1 Clover Bias Tape Maker – 12mm
- 1 pkg Clover Wonder Clips – 50 pcs
- MDF249 – The Parker Corset Sewing Pattern (free download below!)
All seam allowances are 1/2″ unless otherwise stated. See chart below for sizing specifications. Note, this specific pattern is available up to a size 30.
Once you have cut your pattern using the mesh fabric (lilac/transparent colored in the photo above), you will cut and sew with 1/2″ seam allowance with right sides together. Later we will use the seam allowances to serve as the actual bone casing unless you choose to make all of your bone casing from bias ribbon you can sew the wrong sides together and hide the seam allowances under your bias tape casing so the inside of the garnet will remain clean finished.
Cut your center front on the fold, and two of each remaining pattern piece with fabric right sides together.
I opted for sewing the right sides together. First, I laid out all my cut panels to be sure I don’t sew wrong sides together. Always correspond with your patterns in case you get confused with what patterns attach to the next. Don’t forget to mark your notches!
Start with joining your center front to side front panels.
Move along joining the remainder of your panels, center front to side front, side front to side back, and so on.
If you are using the seam allowances for boning casing, press them towards the center back. Be sure to test a swatch of fabric first and using a pressing cloth (muslin or any light color scrap cotton fabric) so your iron doesn’t melt the fabric.
Use a zipper foot and sew your raw edge of seam allowance at roughly 1/16”.
I created bias tape using my Clover 1/2″ bias tape maker, then folded the bias tape a second time known as ‘double fold bias tape.’ I use this for my seams where the center front and side front meet and throughout this post to cape all my raw edges.
To use the bias maker, cut bias strips from the polyester voile on a 45-degree angle from straight grain at 2” wide.
Next, feed your bias strip with the right side facing down into the bias tape maker.
Press your bias tape flat so that both sides have folded towards the center:
For creating the double fold, fold both creased sides so it is a 1/2″ wide strip of bias ribbon.
I pinned my bias strips to cover my seam allowance where the center front meets the side front. I pinned on a vertical so my pins would not pull at my mesh fabric or make indents on my bias tape.
Using zipper foot again, tack down both loose sides of the bias strips at 1/16”.
Optional: you can cover all your seams with bias strips, it’s a bit more time-consuming but gives a nice finished look and opportunity for a more creative finish.
Rigilene boning is usually wound up when packaged or stored so consider pressing it flat before putting the boning into each casing section. Read the following instructions before cutting your boning.
Now you can feed your bones through each casing. Consider your ½” seam allowances when cutting your bones. I usually cut my bones 1/4″ shorter than each channel to consider seam allowance and also give a bit of distance between stitch lines when securing closed your boning channels however you decide to finish the top and bottom edges of the corset.
Depending on how you plan to finish your top edge of the corset, you can use bias strips to create a channel for your underwire. When using double-fold bias tape for your raw edges be sure to sandwich the raw edge of the fabric against the centerfold of the double folded bias tape. (I trimmed my cup seam allowance off to use this method of casing the underwire so it did not add height to my underwire area, this is an underbust corset so the bias tape will move to fit under your bust.
Using your zipper foot again join the raw edges of the folded bias tape with 1/16” topstitch for both cups. I used wonder clips to hold the bias tape in place at the underwire shape.
After attaching both bias casing pieces for your underwire, insert your underwire with the taller side pointed towards the side seams.
Add a strip of bias tape to clean the top edge of the area between the underwires:
Down either side of the center back take a strip of bias and cap those two edges, later I add buttonholes to serve as my ribbon exit points. Topstitch with 1/16” from the folded edge to join to the center back panels. (Edge closer to the mesh fabric)
Take another piece of the double fold bias to clean the top edges from the open-end of the underwire casing towards the center back.
With any extensions or overhang of your bias, fold over towards the inside of the garment to cap those edges. Tack by hand or machine to secure these areas.
Lastly, for the bias tape, pin along the bottom edge and topstitch 1/16” from folded edge to secure to corset.
Once you’ve attached the bottom strip of bias tape (the bias will allow for stretch and retraction of this area of the garment) you can tuck those excess ends under and topstitch or hand tack to the wrong side of the garment.
I used rounded button holes as my lacing and made a strip on straight grain the entire width of my fabric for my lace-up. This fabric is very delicate, button holes add a soft and subtle touch or you can use small-sized grommets on top of your center back bias tape.
To slash open your buttonholes, place a pin at one end and use your seam ripper. The pin will stop the seam ripper from slashing your sewn buttonhole. Repeat this for all your buttonholes (they should be level to each other on both center back sides of the corset).
The strip of cord I made using the polyester voile was on the straight grain to be more stable for the lacing.