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How to Make Corset Tops

Updated February 21, 2017

Corset-style tops, designed to imitate the look of a corset without the tight cinching effect, have become popular as clubwear and for spicing up everyday outfits. Often worn over basic shirts and tank tops, the corset top accentuates the natural shape of the body and adds a touch of naughty detail while still remaining comfortable. This article of clothing is constructed by connecting a series of panels together, much like a real corset, and running comfortable plastic boning through the seams to hold the shape. To make your own glamorous corset top, follow these steps.

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  1. Purchase a good corset top pattern in a style that you like. One versatile pattern is New Look 6207, due to the option of sleeves. One thing you may want to take into consideration is that different patterns will depict different back fastenings. New Look 6207 uses loops, or hook-and-eye tape, but can be easily adapted to eyelets and laces if that is the desired style. Simply add extra boning to the back panels and punch eyelets on either side of the center back line.

  2. Take your measurements at the bust, waist and hips, and decide how long you want the centre front and center back to be. Remember that the corset top should hit you above the bust and, depending on the pattern, either at or just above the hips. Cut the pattern closest to your measurements.

  3. Make a full practice version of the corset top out of cheap muslin, following the pattern instructions. Stitch all panels together and create bone casings as directed, then attach the back closures and lining. Cut the boning to the appropriate lengths and insert each bone into the casings. Finish the top and bottom edges. If your pattern has sleeves, attach them to the markings at the top of the corset top before finishing edges. Put the corset top on to test the fit.

  4. Remake the corset top in the fashion fabric of your choice, following the recommendations on the pattern. If you have made many adjustments to the practice corset top, take the practice version apart and use it for pattern pieces.

  5. Put the corset top on before binding the top and bottom to check the fit again. If the fit is satisfactory, bind the top and bottom.

  6. Add all decorative touches to the corset top. If you would like lace or ribbon on the top, hand stitch the lace or ribbon to the top binding. You can also add beads, crystals and embroidery to the top, centre front and panels.

  7. Tip

    Before inserting the boning into the casings, put the practice corset top on to test the fit. Make adjustments directly onto this version of your corset top. You can reuse boning from the practice version by cutting open the practice bone casings. To hide any raw lace edges, you must either turn the edges under or attach the lace before you have attached the front and back panels to their lining pieces.

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Things You'll Need

  • Corset top pattern
  • Muslin
  • Fabric and matching thread
  • Plastic boning
  • Laces, cording or hook-and-eye tape
  • Eyelets and eyelet punch
  • Sewing equipment and supplies

About the Author

Melissa J. Bell

A writer with a Bachelor of Science in English and secondary education, but also an interest in all things beautiful, Melissa J. Bell has handed out beauty and fashion advice since she could talk -- and for the last six years, write for online publications like Daily Glow and SheBudgets.

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