How to Make Corset Dresses

Written by lauren wise
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How to Make Corset Dresses
(Courtesy of Photobucket)

Corsets have been around for centuries and are a beautiful way to enhance a woman's body and bring out her natural assets. Making your own corset will allow you to be creative with the types of materials, style and embellishments you decide to add. These dresses can be worn to elegant events, or for a dressy night on the town.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • A simple dress in the desired colour and style
  • Scissors
  • Desired fabric for corset, measured to your size, or else 4 feet long by 2 feet wide
  • Desired material for corset string, at least 10 feet long
  • Measuring tape
  • Needle and thread or sewing machine
  • Various embellishments, if desired (lace trim, crystals, etc.)

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  1. 1

    Decide what type of corset dress you want to make. The most simple and elegant way is to purchase a dress that is knee-length or longer (although, if you choose, you can go shorter) that has a simple upper half, either with thin straps or strapless. This way, the corset top can easily fit over the upper body. Depending upon the colour and type of fabric of the dress, purchase a material for the corset that matches or contrasts with the skirt. You can get very creative here, mixing and matching different types of materials (such as silk and velvet) or bright colours (such as coral and yellow).

    How to Make Corset Dresses
  2. 2

    Lay the dress aside. Measure the size of your bust, waist and hips and measure out the corset fabric accordingly. The corset should go from the top of your bust line to the top of your hips. Once you have marked the measurements on the fabric, use the scissors to cut out the corset frame.

  3. 3

    Use the needle and thread or the sewing machine to create a 1/4 inch hem along the top, bottom and two sides of the corset. The sides will later be laced together with the corset strings.

  4. 4

    Add embellishments if you desire. This can include sewing a lace trim onto the top and bottom in various colours. You can purchase tiny diamonds with holes in the edge that you can attach to various parts of the corset. Do this by sewing a loop through the end of the jewel or diamond into the corset fabric. Other ideas include sewing on sequins, butterflies, fake flowers, petals or appliques.

    How to Make Corset Dresses
  5. 5

    Lay the corset front down so the two back edges are flat in front of you. Use the marker to draw holes down the edge of one side of the corset. Create the first mark 1/2 inch in from the outside edge of the corset, 1/2 inch down from the top. From here, make another mark every 1/2 inch down. Repeat this on the other side of the corset fabric. Take the scissors and insert the blades slightly into each mark to create a hole. Once completed, both edges of the corset will have numerous holes equally spaced apart from each other by a 1/2 inch.

  6. 6

    Take the string or material you chose to lace up the corset. This material can range from a sturdy shoelace-type materials, to a gauzy thing material that can be gathered into a narrow string. Start at the top of the corset. Insert one edge of the string into the first hole on the left, and then insert the other side of the string into the first hole on the right.

  7. 7

    Take the string from the left side and insert into the second hole on the right side. Then take the string from the top of the right side, and insert it into the second hole on the left side. Repeat this process until every hole is laced. Make sure the lacing is tight and secure.

    How to Make Corset Dresses
  8. 8

    Take the dress, and if desired, cut off the dress straps. Put on the dress. Slide the corset over the top of your body, and have someone lace it up for you (this is the best way to get the most secure fit of a corset). Once secured, the corset will keep the top of the dress securely on the body, and it will end right above your hips where the skirt of the dress starts.

Tips and warnings

  • If desired, you can sew or apply different embellishments to the skirt of the dress to accent it and match the corset.
  • It's useful to have someone to help measure your body and secure the corset tightly.

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