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Seams and boning channels

As we all know, there are many ways to skin a cat (or, in this case, join corset panels). Over time you may discover other methods that you prefer, but the method outlined in this tutorial is a great starting point. It’s a good all-rounder and works wonderfully for most corsets. It does start to get a little on the bulky side when you’re using multiple layers of fabric but is perfect for single layer coutil corsets as it gives a nice clean finish on the inside.

Before you start sewing panels together, I would recommend laying out the whole corset in order, with the panels the correct way up to avoid any mix ups or upside-down panels (SO easy to do!).

Select the panels to be joined (Panels 1 and 2 in my case) and place them right sides together. To match up and anchor the waistline, put a pin straight through the point where the waist and seam lines meet. Flip your panels over to make sure that the pin is coming out through the same point on the bottom panel. Pass the pin back through to the front to anchor your panels together and keep your waistlines lined up.

Pin the rest of the seam, right on the seam line. Flip the panels over to make sure that you’re pinning along the seam line of the bottom panel too.

Stitch the panels together without catching the waist tape and removing the pins as you go. Press the seam open. Now you need to decide where you want your boning channel to sit as this will dictate which way you press your seams. I want my boning channels to sit on the back most panel, so I will be pressing my seams towards the back (i.e., on to panel 2 in this case). It may make this step a little clearer if you skip ahead to have a look at the final photos so you can see what we’re aiming for!

Before the seam gets pressed into its final position, we need to remove some of the bulk. Whichever way you are pressing your seam, trim that side to 5mm and clip the waistline.

Next, press your seam over and then lay your waist tape across the seam and pin it in place. Now flip your corset and top stitch the seam from the right side. Aim for a top stitch that sits approximately 1mm from the seam. Make sure you catch the waist tape underneath (and don’t forget to remove the pin before you sew over it!).

To create the bone channel, pin your tape or casing to the inside of the seam, with the tape edge sitting 1-2mm over the original seam line (not the top stitched line). If your tape doesn’t cover the whole seam allowance then you’ll need to trim the seam allowance a little. Place your pins horizontally so that you can easily pull them out as you sew.

Flip your corset over again and stitch in the ditch of the seam, making sure that you catch the tape underneath. This step can be frustrating, but just take your time and try to be patient with it. It helps to make sure that you’re using a thread as close in colour to your fabric as possible, not a starkly contrasting one like mine!

Once you’ve completed the ditch stitching and removed all the pins, measure your bone channel width from the ditch stitching and sew another line to catch the tape underneath and create your boning channel.

And that's it, one seam and internal boning channel finished! Give yourself a pat on the back and crack on with the other 10 or so seams!

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you've found this post helpful. Please feel free to comment with questions/feedback/suggestions for future posts!

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