February 27, 2012

1911 - lacing, and perfectionism rears its ugly head

I can not tell a lie. My corset is not finished. I know! I should be done, right? I'll go into the lame explanation as to why it's not done in a moment, but first I should go over how I'm lacing this corset for those who have stayed on schedule.

Before I start threading the lace through the grommets is tie a small slip knot in the center on the lace. That way I can't accidentally pull the laces through with one side way longer than the other. Once the corset is laced I just undo the knot. Easy. I bring the lace through from back to front, or from the interior to the exterior, of the corset.

When I reach the waist I skip one grommet.

The loop is made by threading the lace on the open grommet above on the same side, then crossing to the grommet below the threaded one on the opposite side.

The loop on the other side is made the same way.

Then I continue lacing back and forth to the bottom of the corset.

The ends are tied together in a bow. Making the loops at the waist with the extra cross keeps them from slipping when you are putting the corset on. The extra cross isn't necessary, it just helps.

So now on to why my corset isn't finished. I'm still having issues with the top edge. I bought lace and ribbon and spent Saturday morning dying both. The lace was originally so white it glared against the fabric, and of corse there was no ribbon to be found that was the same color as the garters and trim on the bottom. So I bound the edge with black bias and pinned the lace in place. Maybe, OK, obviously, I'm over thinking it, but the lace isn't quite right. It's too sugary for my taste.

You can see I pinned ribbon over to get an idea of what it would look like if I bound the edge with aqua bias and left just some of the lace showing. But I'm still not sold. It competes too much with the print of the fabric. Here it is with only plain ribbon to mimic the aqua bias.

That is my favorite. Of course by time I finally arrived at this point the Oscars were ready to air and I had to watch. But I've made the correct decision, right?


  1. I like it this way! You're right, the lace competes with the pattern.

  2. I prefer the lace with the ribbon poking through it. The ribbon alone feels like the top edge is way to hard, it needs to be a little softer I think. Go with the lace!

  3. I agree, the aqua bias is perfect. The lace makes it too busy. That fabric stands on its own -- gorgeous!

  4. I like the aqua bias, and it will finish the edge. If someday down the road you find the perfect lace for it, you can always buy it and add it later.

    I also like the lacing technique. I still don't have the ribbon for mine, the cord looks like a good option, are you using a special type? Joann's had some in the upholstery section that matches my tarty red corset.

  5. squeee! The lace is pretty but it looks perfect with just the bias! And you have matching lacings! I'm dying over here!

  6. drat - re: lacing....I can't find a good link and this is hard to explain, but if you lace the corset so there's a full x on the top and a full x on the underside instead of a series of v's, it will reduce the amount of friction the the fabric by the grommets. Rather than come up from under every time you go through a grommet, you come up from under, then go down from the top, then up from under, etc etc

    does that make sense?

    1. It does. Lacing a corset the way you describe also makes it easier to lace your self in because you just grab every other X and pull. It also allows you to lace tighter, the laces aren't crossing over the center back edges thus them from meeting. Lacing this way is an option, I just don't happen to use it often.

  7. I like it with the lace, but that is just me ;)

    And as to the comment above I think this is the link you were looking for