Corset Mock Ups
I've written a detailed tutorial on making and fitting a corset mock up on the Tutorials page of this website.
You can find it HERE.
This is a supplementary blog post with a few extra pointers following questions i've seen in online groups and in my inbox.
Use the best type of fabric for corset mock-ups
Fabric should be non-stretch. Idealy Coutil. If you can't make it from coutil, then a medium weight non stretch calico will do the job just fine. This is only a mock-up. You want to check fit and shape once. That's all. Calico is all you need. Unless you're fitting a client, then only coutil will do.
Fabrics NOT to use: Any and all types of linen, upholstry fabrics, stretch fabrics, twill unless it's herringbone twill, drill, denimn (especially upcylced), poplin, ripstop, nylon, scuba, synthetic fabrics such as a thick satin unless it's corsetry cotton backed satin.
Fabrics I personally wouldn't use because I think it's too thick: Ticking, canvas
What is Coutil? And why should you use it?
|Coutil is a special fabric made especially for corset making. It is very densly woven, but very smooth and light. Plain cotton herringbone coutil is ideal for making a mockup. At under £10 a metre it's not that expensive. You'll only need half a metre for most size of toile if you cut carefully.
Follow the instructions on the corset pattern
All indie corset pattern brands are owned by professional corsetieres. They all have different methods of pattern making. Their metrics are all different. They all include very specific instructions with their patterns, on
Read the instructions in your pattern through several times before you start. Make notes. Highlight important parts. Corset patterns are not the same as dress patterns and if you're a first time corset maker, trust me, you don't know how they work on your body. Follow the instructions, make the toile. Take each step one at a time. Remember, all corset makers are different.
Note: Don't even think about using a corset pattern from a commercial company if you want to make a real corset. Just don't. There are plenty of explanations as to why this is in the blog post linked above and in other articles on this website.
Eyelets and Facings
You need facings on your corset mock up at the centre back. You don't need metal eyelets. Remember this is only ever going to be worn once.
Having said that, your lacing panel does need to be strong enough to withstand pressure for that one time fitting so use your facings. That's a double layer of non stretch fabric for your centre back panels where you will then cut the holes for your lacing to go through. If you want to make it a triple layer, then do so.
A single layer will rip as soon as you start pulling the lacing in, so double or triple face and you're good to go. No point wasting corset grommets or eyelets, they're not re-usable.
I personally am not a fan of lacing strips. They are innacurate, they look untidy and they get in the way. Just make your back panels, add a 'seam allowance' of 3-6cm, fold it under once (3cm) or twice (6cm), et voila! automatic facing with no extra sewing.
Personally I'm a fan of sewing a corset toile more or less as I would sew a corset, with a few shortcuts. This means that I do use boning tape. And the reason for this is because it's good practice! Yes, i'm sewing all the time, but you can never know everything, and you can always improve. So I don't use lacing strips, I don't use busk strips (these seem to be a new thing!), and I don't use lacing tape either. Getting to know a corset as it goes through all of it's stages of development is in itself, an essential tool in your mental toolkit and will ensure that the final item is really tip top.
One more tip. If you don't stitch your bones in the channels at either end, you will get wrinkling as the corset bones force their way out of the channels under the pressure of you wearing the corset mock-up. I was absolutely horrified to read a corset making book which gave the reason for these wrinkles as a sway back or an asymetry whilst at the same time showing a picture of bones poking out of the top of their channels. If your bones are not secure in their bone casing, then you will get wrinkles, so stitch them into the corset mock-up at the top and the bottom before you try it on.