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Introduction to corset boning channels

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In corset making, deciding how you want the boning channels is something you do early on in the process. You can’t sew it up if you don’t have this figured out, let alone cut the pattern pieces. If you like visuals, this YouTube video is simple and straightforward. Below, I’ve laid out some common boning channel options for corsets. They vary from 1 to 2 rows of boning per seam, and anywhere from 0 to 2 lines of visible topstitching. Like in the video, RS means right side, and WS means wrong side.

1 row of boning with no stitch lines

Twill tape

For this seam, use 3/4” or 1” wide twill tape.

  1. Stitch seam line with RS together. Press open.
  2. Position the twill tape so it is centered on the seam allowances on the WS. Pin in place.
  3. Sew twill tape to the seam allowances on both sides only (not to the outer fabric).
  4. Insert boning.

1 row of boning with 1 stitch line

Flat fell

For easy sewing, cut seam allowances twice the width of boning +1/8”.

  1. Stitch seam line with WS together.
  2. Trim seam allowance of the side you want to fold the seam towards to 1/8”.
  3. Fold untrimmed seam allowance over the top and underneath the trimmed seam. Press.
  4. Top stitch very close to the folded edge.
  5. Insert boning.

Welt

Seam allowances have to be at least the width of the boning +1/8”.

  1. Stitch seam line with RS together.
  2. Press both seam allowances toward the side you want the topstitching.
  3. On RS, topstitch over seam allowances the width of the boning + 1/16”.
  4. Insert boning.

1 row of boning with 2 stitch lines

Twill tape

For this seam, use 3/4” or 1” wide twill tape.

  1. Stitch seam line with RS together. Press open.
  2. Position the twill tape so it is centered on the seam allowances on the WS. Pin in place.
  3. On RS, mark width of boning + 1/16”, centered on stitch line. Topstitch both sides through all layers.
  4. Insert boning.

2 rows of boning with 2 stitch lines

Double top stitch

  1. Stitch seam line with RS together. Press open.
  2. On RS, mark the width of the boning + 1/16” on both sides of the seam. Topstitch both sides. 
  3. Insert boning.

Conclusion 

Corset boning channels are an integral part of the garment. Not only are they functional, but they can alter the look of the corset, as well. Choosing the one that gives you the right amount of strength and visual appeal can take your corset to the next level.

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