How to insert a corset busk fastner


how to insert corset busks

How to Insert a corset busk

A split or two peice corset busk is the front fastner of your corset.  There are several types of busk and several guages of busk.  At Sew Curvy, we stock two part stainless steel busk fastners as standard as they are a nice weight, not too sturdy and not too flexible. 

The Corset busk is not always an opener, it can also be a flat peice of metal or wood - either type of busk is there to keep the front of your corset nice and flat and smooth.  A busk can help with tummy control especially when used with boning either side.

Many people are daunted by the thought of inserting a two part corset busk into their corset.  But don't worry! It's not as hard as it looks.  Here's a headache free guide to help you.

You can if you like, cover your busk before inserting it into your corset - covering the busk  with a light cotton fabric will ensure that the fastening of your corset lasts for longer as the fabric covering will prevent the metal from rubbing against the true fabric of your finished corset.  It also makes for a tighter, more secure fastening.  The method is the same but use a light cotton such as voile or lawn rather than your heavy coutil or fashion fabric.



You will need:

  • Chalk for marking - my favourite is the Prym cartridge pencil as it gives a lovely fine line
  • Tapered Awl - must be tapered for a gentle opening effect on your fabric
  • Zipper foot - so you dont break your needles
  • Busk fastner - our stainless steel busks are the best on the market!


inserting a corset busk There are two sides to the busk, the loop side and the hook side.  Obviously, the loop side is the side which has loops on it. There are two pieces of fabric for each side of the busk. Each side of the busk should be placed in the middle of the fabric so that there is one inch above and below.

Start with the loop side of the busk. 

Place it in the centre of one of the peices of fabric, lengthways so that you have an inch either end.  With the chalk, mark out where the loops are from the edge of the fabric as shown.You may need to extend these lines to your given seam allowance (usually 5/8"), so that you can see where you are sewing to.

Now pin the two pieces of fabric together, with chalk marks facing up, and sew together as follows.

busk3 With the sewing machine, sew a seam between the loop markings, making a double stitch at the beginning and end of each section.  You should now have gaps which correspond exactly to the position of the busk loops and your cover should now look like the picture on the left.

Press open the seam with an iron.

Tip:  You might find it handy to 'glue' down the seam allowances with hemming tape.  This will not only strengthen the cover but will also prevent annoying ruching of the seam allowances after you have sewn the busk into the cover.

Turn the cover right side out and press.  Then insert the busk loops through the holes in the seam.  You may want to pin the busk in place so that it is tight against the seam when you stitch it in.


With the zipper foot on the sewing machine, sew the busk into the cover as close as possible to the edge of the busk.  It must be done nice and tight so that the busk loops don't move when you are eventually trying to fasten your corset.   You may get a tighter fit by adjusting the postition of the needle - be careful not to break it!   

This side of the busk cover is now done

busk6 And should look like this!  Note that there is a good allowance at either end.  The length should match the length of your corset centre front.
busk7 To cover the studded side of the busk, take your two pieces of fabric and sew them together with a 5/8" seam allowance, press in the same manner as with the hook side - ie: press open, "glue' the seams down (optional), turn right side out and press along the seam line to make a sharp edge.

Place the busk in the vertical centre of the fabric INSIDE the fabric with one inch spare at either end.


Butt the edge of the busk right up to the internal edge of the seam and  mark where the studs are with chalk

busk11 Remove the busk and make holes where the chalk marks are using the tailors awl by separating the fibres with the point - this will ensure that your fabric will be stronger than if you cut it and will close tightly around the stud.   Apply fray check to the holes for extra strength, and then insert the studs into the holes.

With the zipper foot foot on the sewing machine, sew the busk in as you did with the other side (step 5) making sure that you have a nice snug fit.

The busk is now covered and ready to use.  It can be trimmed as necessary when making up the corset and then inserted into the corset using exactly the same method that is described here.

Further links:

Buy a busk

Go to other free corset making tutorials