Monday, June 24, 2013

Corset-a-Long: Tools and other Materials

Got a little behind, but we'll catch up on mock-ups on Wednesday!  Tomorrow I'm going to add in a tutorial on making lacing guards, which will make corset mockups much easier.

I like denim needles because we're using some pretty heavy-duty fabric.  Have more than one because they'll break.


I recommend silk pins because they're thin and they make small holes.  It's especially important if you're using a delicate silk fashion layer.


Use your best scissors.  You need something that is strong and yet cuts a smooth and accurate line.

Safety Glasses
When you break a needle on a bone you'll be happy for eye protection.  I can't count the number of times I've had a needle shard ping of my glasses.

Grommet Setter

 (We went over this with grommets, but I wanted to say it again)  My favorite is an anvil and a driver. These are sold in sets for $20-$30 USD. Some people prefer pliers, which usually run $15-$40 a set. I don’t like them because it hurts my hand to squeeze them together, but some people prefer that to the risk of hitting a finger with a hammer. Pick whichever scares you the least. The last method is a table press. Professionals use these machines. They are basically the pliers set into a base that sits on the table, so you can throw your weight into the press. They are very nice, but also costly, $100 +. I’d save this purchase for when you are an experienced corset maker and know you’ll use it in the future.

An awl is useful for spreading holes for grommets and for putting in the busk.  In a pinch you can use a sharpened pencil, chopstick, or something similar, but an awl is not expensive and you'll find all kinds of sewing uses for it!  There are some at your fabric store, but they're cheaper at the hardware store (but can be hard to find).  Look for one that has a really gradual point because it'll be easier to use to spread fabric.

Hole Punch

Useful for putting in holes for grommets.  Ones with different hole sizes are useful because you want to make your holes smaller than the grommet and then spread the threads.  My favorite is a leather punch set from Tandy Leather.

Bolt Cutters/Tin Snips
Necessary if you'll be cutting your own boning.  Look for heavy-duty ones with big, comfortable handles and serrated blades.

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