How To Make A Corset Back For A Dress: Step-by-Step Guide

If you’re looking to add a touch of elegance and versatility to your dress, why not consider making a corset back? A corset back is a beautiful and functional addition that can transform any ordinary dress into something truly extraordinary.

A corset back provides several benefits for your dress. Not only does it lend an air of sophistication and femininity, but it also allows for customizable sizing.

Choosing the Right Fabric

When making a corset back for a dress, selecting the right fabric is crucial to ensure both comfort and functionality.

Here are some key factors to consider when choosing your fabric:

  1. Durability: Opt for fabrics that are sturdy and can withstand tension without tearing or fraying easily. Some suitable options include satin, silk dupioni, cotton twill, or denim.
  2. Breathability: Since corsets can be tight-fitting, it’s important to choose a fabric that allows air circulation to prevent discomfort or overheating. Fabrics like cotton lawn, linen, or lightweight silk organza offer good breathability.
  3. Flexibility: Look for fabrics with some stretch or give so that they can comfortably conform to your body movements as you lace up the corset back. Stretchy materials such as spandex blends or knit fabrics work well in this regard.
  4. Lining: Consider adding a lining layer underneath your chosen fabric for added comfort against the skin and to provide structure and support to the corset back. Suitable lining options include cotton voile, polyester charmeuse, or lightweight muslin.
  5. Color and Pattern: Select a color and pattern that complements the overall design of your dress while reflecting your personal style preferences. Solid colors offer versatility while prints can add visual interest.
  6. Ease of Maintenance: Keep in mind how easy it will be to care for your chosen fabric after completing your dress project. Fabrics with machine washable properties can save time on cleaning while delicate materials may require special care like dry cleaning.

Remember that besides these considerations specific to creating a corset back, you should also take into account any requirements mentioned in the original dress pattern instructions regarding recommended fabrics.

white and brown striped textile
Photo by Jamie Coupaud on Unsplash

Taking Accurate Measurements

Follow these simple steps to get precise measurements:

  1. Bust: Measure around the fullest part of your bust, ensuring that the measuring tape is parallel to the ground.
  2. Waist: Wrap the measuring tape around your natural waistline, which is typically where your belly button is located.
  3. Hips: Measure around the widest part of your hips, keeping the tape parallel to the ground.
  4. Torso Length: To determine your torso length, start at the base of your neck and measure down along your spine until you reach your natural waistline.
  5. Shoulder Width: With arms relaxed at your sides, measure across from one shoulder tip to another for an accurate shoulder width measurement.
  6. Armhole Depth: Place one end of the measuring tape at the top edge of your shoulder and let it hang down vertically towards underarm level; note this measurement as armhole depth.
  7. Back Width: Measure horizontally across from one armpit to another while keeping both arms slightly extended outwards for an accurate back width measurement.
  8. Sleeve Length (if applicable): For dresses with sleeves, measure from where you took shoulder width down along outer arm until desired sleeve length is achieved.

Remember these tips when taking measurements:

  • Use a flexible measuring tape for accuracy.
  • Stand straight but comfortably without sucking in or pushing out any parts.
  • Have someone assist you if possible for more precise results.
  • Take each measurement twice and compare them for consistency.

By following these steps and paying attention to detail when taking measurements, you’ll be on track toward creating a well-fitted corset back for any dress!

Creating a Pattern for the Corset Back

  1. Measure the wearer’s waist: Use a measuring tape to accurately measure the wearer’s waistline. Write down this measurement as it will be crucial in determining the size of your corset panels.
  2. Determine the number of panels: Decide how many panels you want for your corset back. This will depend on personal preference and style but typically ranges from 4 to 8 panels.
  3. Calculate panel width: Divide the waist measurement by the number of panels you have chosen to determine each panel’s width. Round up or down to ensure an even distribution of fabric.
  4. Create a rectangle template: Using paper or cardboard, draw rectangles according to your calculated panel width and desired length from top to bottom (usually reaching just below where you want your lacing ends).
  5. Add seam allowance: Along all sides of each rectangle, add approximately 1 inch as seam allowance for sewing purposes.
  6. Cut out templates: Carefully cut out each rectangle template using scissors or a craft knife.
  7. Transfer templates onto fabric: Place each template on top of your chosen fabric and trace around it with chalk or fabric marker, ensuring accurate representation.
  8. Cut out fabric pieces: Cut along traced lines through both layers (if applicable) until you have individual rectangular pieces representing each panel required.

9 . Label and organize pieces : To avoid confusion during assembly, label each piece accordingly (e.g., Panel A, Panel B), and keep them organized in separate piles based on their position in relation to one another when constructing the corset back later on.

Cutting and Sewing the Corset Panels

Follow these steps to achieve the perfect fit:

  1. Measurements: Take accurate measurements of your waistline, bust, and hips using a measuring tape. These measurements will determine the size of your corset panels.
  2. Pattern Preparation: Use a commercial pattern or create one yourself by drawing out the shape of each panel on paper. The number of panels needed depends on your desired level of support and style.
  3. Fabric Selection: Choose a sturdy fabric that has some stretchability but is not too elastic, such as cotton twill or satin blend. Make sure it matches well with your dress fabric.
  4. Cutting: Lay out your fabric flat on a clean surface and pin down the pattern pieces securely using sewing pins or weights like pattern weights or cans filled with sand to prevent any movement during cutting. Carefully cut along the lines of each panel, ensuring smooth edges.
  5. Marking Seam Allowance: Using tailor’s chalk or washable marker pen, mark seam allowance around each piece according to your chosen measurement (usually 1/2″ – 5/8″). This will guide you while sewing.
  6. Sewing Panels Together: Place two corresponding panels together with right sides facing each other and align their edges precisely along the marked seam allowance lines. Pin them in place before stitching along those lines using a strong thread and either a straight stitch or zigzag stitch depending on personal preference.
  7. Finishing Edges: To prevent fraying, finish raw edges by either serging them with an overlock machine if available or applying an overcast stitch using regular sewing machine settings.

8: Repeat steps 6-7 until all panels are sewn together into one long strip that matches approximately half of your waist measurement.

Remember to press open the seams after sewing and trim any excess fabric for a neat finish.

Adding Boning for Structure

Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Gather the necessary materials:
  • Dress with a back seam
  • Spiral steel boning (preferably 1/4 inch wide)
  • Boning tips or plastic caps
  • A measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Needle and thread
  1. Prepare the dress:
    Start by turning your dress inside out so that you have access to the back seam.
  2. Measure and cut the boning:
    Take your measuring tape and measure the length of each section of the back seam where you want to insert boning. Cut pieces of spiral steel boning according to these measurements.
  3. Insert the boning into fabric channels:
    Carefully slide each piece of cut boning into its respective fabric channel on either side of the back seam, ensuring they fit snugly against your body when worn.
  4. Secure with stitching:
    Using a needle and thread, sew along both sides of each fabric channel, securing the boning in place.
  5. Add boning tips or plastic caps:
    To prevent any sharp edges from poking through your garment, attach small metal or plastic caps to both ends of each piece of inserted boning.
  6. Test for comfort:
    Try on your dress with the newly added boni

Installing Eyelets or Loops for Lacing

These components provide the structure and functionality needed for lacing up the corset back.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to install them:

  1. Choose Your Eyelets or Loops: There are various options available in terms of size, material, and design. Select ones that match your dress style and preference.
  2. Mark the Placement: Decide where you want to place the eyelets or loops on each side of the dress back. Make sure they align symmetrically.
  3. Prepare Your Dress Fabric: Reinforce the fabric at these marked points by adding interfacing or extra layers of fabric underneath.
  4. Make Pilot Holes: Use a small sharp object like an awl or nail to create pilot holes at each marked point on the fabric.
  5. Insert Eyelets/Loops from Front Side: Place an eyelet (if using metal) with its flange facing outward into one of the pilot holes from the front side of your dress fabric.
  6. Secure with Setter Tool: Position a setter tool over the inserted eyelet/loop and apply pressure using a hammer until it flattens against your dress fabric securely holding it in place.
  7. Repeat Steps 5-6 for Each Point: Repeat this process for all remaining marked points, ensuring even spacing between them.
  8. Test Lacing Compatibility: Before proceeding further, check if your chosen laces can pass through these installed eyelets/loops smoothly without any snags or obstacles.
  9. Finish Back Edges (Optional): If desired, finish off both sides of your dress’s back edges with bias tape or ribbon to give it a polished look while providing additional reinforcement against fraying.

Lacing Up the Corset Back

  1. Prepare your lacing: Cut two long pieces of ribbon or cord that are at least three times the length of your corset back.
  2. Start from the bottom: Begin by inserting one end of each lace through the bottom pair of eyelets on either side of the corset back.
  3. Cross and pull tight: Cross over the ends of both laces and pull them tight so they are snug against your body.
  4. Alternate sides: Take one lace and insert it into the next set of eyelets on its side, then do the same with the other lace on its corresponding side.
  5. Cross and pull again: Cross over both laces again and give them a firm tug to ensure they’re secure before moving on to the next set of eyelets.
  6. Continue up: Repeat steps 4 and 5, working your way up towards the topmost pair of eyelets until all have been used.
  7. Finish at top: When you reach the top pair, tie a secure knot using both laces to keep everything in place.
  8. Adjust for fit: Once fully laced up, adjust tension as desired by pulling tighter or loosening slightly until you achieve a comfortable fit that accentuates your figure while providing support.

Remember, practice makes perfect! Don’t worry if it takes some time to get used to lacing up a corset back—it will become easier with experience. Enjoy this opportunity to add an elegant touch to any dress with a beautiful corset closure!

1Prepare two long ribbons or cords.
2Insert one end of each lace through the bottom eyelets on either side.
3Cross over the ends and pull tight.
4Alternate sides, inserting laces into the next set of eyelets on each side.
5Cross over both laces and pull tight after each set of eyelets.
6Repeat steps 4 and 5 until all eyelets have been used.
7Tie a secure knot at the top using both laces.
8Adjust tension for a comfortable fit as desired.


Remember, practice makes perfect when it comes to sewing techniques like this one. Take your time, follow the instructions carefully, and don’t be afraid to make adjustments along the way. Whether you’re revamping an old dress or adding flair to a new one, mastering the art of creating a corset back opens up endless possibilities for customization.

So go ahead and give it a try! Experiment with different fabrics, colors, and lacing styles to make each dress uniquely yours. Not only will you have fun in the process but you’ll also have an amazing wardrobe full of stylish dresses that are sure to turn heads wherever you go. Happy sewing!

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