March 18, 2010

elasticized shoulder strap

Figuring out how to construct the shoulder straps was more difficult than I expected. I wanted a way to keep them snug against the body yet also allow some flexibility for movement. A simple tube of fabric pressed flat may have worked, but a should strap like that would almost certainly cut into the shoulders or be too loose.  I did not want to have them tie like the 1780 stays, that just didn't seem right, and I also didn't want them to be just plain elastic. We'll know how well my solution works when the corset is finished.

I started by making a 1 inch wide tube of brocade, the same width as the elastic I am using. You can see the elastic will just fit inside.

After the seam allowance was pressed open and trimmed I turned the tube right side out and pressed it flat, so the seam allowance now ran down the center. I sewed the end of the elastic to a piece of twill tape, then pulled the twill tape through the tube of brocade.

I pulled the tape until the elastic was inside the tube under the folded under edge. Then I stitched the across the folded opening sewing the elastic and the brocade together. After flipping the strap-to-be over I stitched the length from the front side 1/16 from each side, securing the twill tape inside to the brocade.

I'll attach the elastic end of the strap to the back of the corselet so there will be two inches of elastic exposed and hopefully the strap will function as planned. 


  1. I did almost the same to a strapless dress we needed straps on for work. But i made the tube of fabric for the elastic the length it was supposed to be when done, and the elastic a bit shorter. When you don't wear it it looks wrinkled, but it did the trick when on and the lady was happy with it =)

  2. I was so happy with my couple inches of elastic, but of course! I could have covered a whole strap's worth of elastic. That would have looked so clean, why didn't I think of that?

  3. cool, excellent idea. Having the tape attached to the elastic and sewn firmly inside the fabric tube is brilliant.
    i don't think that having the elastic showing is a bad thing. Since it sewn neatly and nicely, I think it is an interesting display of functionality.

  4. The other thing I've seen done is to have the elastic run further inside the tube (e.g., 3") and attached there. The elastic (ending where the tube ends) is then attached to the back, but not the tube. That means you still have 3" of elastic that allows for give, but in a "resting" position, the tube covers the elastic so it's hidden... this only really works if the tube is stiff a little or has some interfacing at the end...