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Topic: Fabric stiffener on corsets?  (Read 4295 times)
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« on: March 10, 2011 03:23:57 AM »

Has anyone used fabric stiffener when making a corset? I'm planning on making a corset soon and I was thinking of using a fabric stiffener on the lining in addition to the normal interfacing. Has anyone ever done this before? If so, did it make any difference in how well the corset held its shape when wearing it? Also, if anyone's used fabric stiffener on any clothing items did it irritate your skin? I have pretty sensitive skin, and break out in hives a lot so the other thing i'm worried about is that if I use fabric stiffener on the lining it might make me break out (I don't usually wear anything under corsets, I generally just wear them as a top or in place of a bra). Any thoughts on this would be much appriciated.

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« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2011 10:44:57 AM »

You mean like liquid fabric stiffener?  I think it would wash out, and possibly not even evenly.  I like to line my fitted tops like that with something heavier than my outer fabric, but softer than the duck canvas I use for interfacing.  Usually twill or denim or a blend that's about the same weight will do the trick.  You get some added structure, without anything uncomfortable, temporary, or allergy-inducing.

Sewers are for ninja turtles--seamstresses are for sewing Wink

My wist!  http://www.wists.com/aislynn
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2011 12:47:30 PM »

I've only made one proper corset, but what I did is I flatlined sew-in interfacing to the fashion fabric and used a soft cotton bedsheet for the lining. It's not for tight-lacing, though, just for fun. For really squishing yourself, you should use coutil (specifically designed for corsetry), or pillow-ticking (what down pillows are made from; it's very tight-woven so feathers don't poke out). Like Aislynn said, duck canvas, denim and other twills are also good at taking strain without distorting very much.

The only problem I have is that I SHOULD have used a waist-stay, which is just a band of twill-tape around the waistline to take some of the strain off the fabric. If I'd done that, I wouldn't have slight rippling at the front waistline.

If you do want to use a stiffener, why not just plain old starch? Assuming you're not allergic to potatoes, you can make your own in the kitchen. It washes out, of course, but if your corset is white or off-white, it's a good option for stiffening the corset up a bit.

Man, every time I read about someone making a corset, I want to make another Tongue Soooo labour intensive, though!


Just thought I'd add the Truly Victorian forum link:


Lots of discussion about corsetry.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2011 01:24:33 PM by Alexus1325 » THIS ROCKS   Logged

« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2011 02:08:39 PM »

I tried to use fusible interfacing on the outer stain layer, in addition to the coutil, and that was a huge mistake.  If your outer fabric is very thin it might work, but mine was too thick and it looked lumpy and broke a few needles.  I gave up and started a new one.
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2011 02:09:59 PM »

i meant "outer satin" layer
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2011 12:38:28 AM »

Thanks guys.
I'm going to Joann's tomorrow so I'll see if I can find some better fabric for the lining. I've looked for that coutil stuff before and couldn't find any (living in a small town sucks) but maybe I can find a soft twill or something. This is gonna be my first corset so I don't wanna go through the hassle of ordering stuff online just in case it comes out horrible (same reason I'm using plastic boning instead of steel).
My pattern calls for interfacing but now I'm worried about it coming out weird like you said yours did. I'm just using a normal light cottoney type fabric for the outside, so maybe It'll work. I bought extra fabric so maybe I'll do a tester with the interfacing, which would probably be a good idea anyway since despite all the sewing I've done, I've never actually used interfacing before.
Thanks for the tip about the waist stay too. I was looking at a corset making tutorial online and they put one in but my pattern doesn't call for it and my store bought corsets don't have it so I was wondering if it was worth putting in. But from what you say it seems like its worth the extra step.
Thanks again everyone. It's probaly gonna be a while still before I actually get around to making it (all those peices to cut out are quite intimidating) but when I do I'll post the pictures.

« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2011 05:35:55 PM »

What pattern are you using, and what are you using the corset for?  Just curious.
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2011 01:21:29 AM »

I'm using this pattern
just because it looked pretty simple and basic so i figured it would be good for my first corset.
But I also have these patterns
because I have a tendancy to buy patterns I like when they have the 99 cent sales. So if I'm any good at this whole corset-making thing I'll probly try the other patterns. I really wanna try one of the ones with all the crazy boning, I know its gonna be a pain to do but it should look amazing.
And I'm just kinda making the corset for the heck of it, something different to wear when I go out. Plus I like having corsets to wear when I wear a strapless dress since I they don't make strapless bras in my size.

« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2011 01:38:42 AM »

Ah! I see! I always check this website when I consider buying a neat pattern:


The first one, Simplicity 5006, seems to be really popular and generally well liked, aside from the lack of a lining, but lining a corset is no big deal if you plan to bias bind both edges.

View C of Butterick 4254 also seems to be popular, though some people don't like the construction method.

Butterick 4669 is more a costume bodice than a support garment, but if you can make it fit impeccably, it'll work.

« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2011 03:29:34 AM »

Yeah I know Butterick 4669 is a costume one to wear over another top, but i figure it'd be fun to wear to a renisance fair or something like that, or to use as part of a pirate/wench costume for Halloween. But like I said, the patterns were only a buck so I really don't mind if they end up not working out.
Thanks for that link though, that'll really come in handy. I'm always bugging the old ladies at the craft stores asking them advice on what patterns have worked good for them in the past, so being able to look it up online will definately help.

« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2011 06:11:18 AM »

i've never made these patterns, but good luck.  If you decide you like it (and you will)  I hope you continue.  Corset making can be addictive.  also, as a difficult to fit 30G bra size, I suggest that you don't be afraid to try bra-making.  It could change your life!
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2011 03:16:11 AM »

oh I'm sure I'll get addicted to corset making, I have a habit of when I make one of something I want to immediately make 5 more in every color/pattern I can find.

I've thought about making my own bras (I'm a 32H so I share your pain of not being able to find anything that fits), but I just have this image of it coming out horribly wrong and looking like something that would only fit a mutant. Is it hard to get the sizing right? Did you buy a pattern or do you make your own pattern? Where do you get the underwire? Cuz if its not too crazy hard to do I'd totally make my own bras. Actually it would be awsome cuz then I could also make swimsuit tops that fit too. A while back a belly dancer at a renicance fair showed me how to tie a scarf into a binkini-type top which is what I've been using, and it works and is cute and all but it'd be nice to have a normal looking swimsuit top that actually fits.

oh and you might wanna check out this site www.brastop.com that's where I get all my bras. They're a UK site but they have really good sales so even with the exchange rate all their bras are really cheap and they go up to like a K cup. And they're return policy is good too if you end up ordering the wrong size.

« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2011 03:24:29 PM »

bramakerssupply.com has underwires, and patterns, and all the other materials, and the owner is awesome.  I made my first pattern from an old bra, and I'm pretty sure that site has a link to the tutorial somewhere.  They have kits, etc.  Very full service
« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2011 12:58:09 AM »

awsome, thanks! i'll go check it out and put bra-making on my to do list of future projects

« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2011 03:45:04 PM »

If you're dropping by PR to check the patterns, make sure you pop in on the corset sew-along too!  http://sewing.patternreview.com/SewingDiscussions/topic/55473
..and Tuesday nights are semi-official corset chat.  ("Official" as in there are several corset people who, er, live in the chat room..  and so we declared that on Tuesday nights we're "supposed" to talk about corsets, and then announced it in the sew-along.  *ahem* not that we don't talk about corsets EVERY night..  Wink )

« Reply #15 on: March 17, 2011 01:06:25 AM »

lol. Thanks. I will definately check out the corset sew-along, and now that I know it exists, I'm sure I'll be joining the Tuesday night corset chats when I start mine.....actually the more I think about that, the more I know I'll be joining the chat cuz I always want someone to talk to about my projects and usually when I do that people just start getting that glossed over look in their eyes and change the subject :p

« Reply #16 on: March 17, 2011 08:06:27 AM »

Well there are a couple of people whose eyes glaze over.. I think was part of why we declared a scheduled corset night.  But talk goes to corsets most other nights too.  And we've got one chat regular to used to be afraid of them until we nagged her into trying one!

Have you checked out the Corsetmakers LiveJournal group?  There are a lot of professionals there, I haven't gotten up the nerve to actually post, but there's lots of information, not to mention pretty pictures!  And they just started a new "Tips" thread. 

There are also some free articles on Foundations Revealed, including one with awesome instructions for drafting your own corset. 

« Reply #17 on: March 18, 2011 01:19:20 AM »

I haven't really looked around at many corset making sites yet so thanks for the links. I have a few patterns that I bought cuz they were on sale for a dollar, but as with pretty much everything I make, I'm sure I'll be making my own patterns once I get the hang of it, so that last one sounds likt it'll be helpful. Eeee!!! I can't wait to get started on my corset now. I have a couple other things I gotta finnish first  (I really need to stop trying to make 5 things at once :p )then I think I'm gonna start on it.

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