A faux-ribbon corset

To go with yesterday’s sparkly pink tipped corset bones, I’m making a little underbust corset.

The goal of this corset was to make Jill Salen’s ribbon corset using ribbon the same size as that used in the original.

Problem:  I couldn’t find fabric ribbon in 2 1/4″ widths

Solution: take fabric, cut it into 2 1/4″ strips, and bind the edges.

While I was scouring the fabric stores for ribbon, I picked up a cute black and white floral remnant.  It went perfectly with some spotted fabric in my stash too!

How cute are those together?!?

I’d actually had my eye on the black and white floral for a while.  It’s a gorgeous 100% cotton grosgrain, so soft and lovely to work with!  The cartoon-y aspect of the flowers dissuaded me from using it for a larger project, but I just couldn’t resist the last half metre (and on half off too).

To make my ribbons, I cut 2 1/4 strips of the floral, and the polka dots.  Then I cut the strips into the correct lengths, as I was afraid that if I made my ‘ribbon’ before cutting, the bound edges would start to come undone where I cut through the threads.

Floral for the fronts, dots for the backs, with black ribbon

Then I dug out some 1/2″ black nylon ribbon from the Nana stash (yay Nana!) to bind the edges with.  I lay my floral and dotted fabrics wrong sides together, lay the ribbon 1/4 inch over the edge of the floral, and topstitched the ribbon to the floral:

The front and reverse of my half bound 'ribbon' strips

Then I flipped the strips over, folded my ribbon over the edge, and sewed again from the polka dotted side.  The black thread on black ribbon completely disappears, so it didn’t matter if the lines of stitching weren’t perfectly on top of each other (though most of the time they were).

My bound edges, with, yes, one tiny mistake

Then I laid out my sides for the corset:

Ta da! Ribbons! All pinned out as corset sides too!

And then I decided that an all floral corset was going to get too busy and confusing, so I got all excited and cut extra polka dotted strips for the front and sides.

Polka dotted fronts and sides

Then I got super excited, and realised that I could use the ribbon to make boning channels, and have a floral and dotted and striped corset.

Dots on the inside, flowers on the outside, stripes on both

Pretty snazzy  huh?

My ribbon boning channels

I think the lines help break up the florals, which is really important.  If I had more for the floral fabric I would have gotten ambitious and worked out a clever kaleidoscope effect with the pattern, or at least arranged to slice through every single ‘cartoon’ flower, leaving only the cool spikey ones whole.

But I didn’t.

But I still think it’s a pretty fun corset.

Yep, pretty fun

All the pink-tipped bones are now in, so all I need to do to finish it is to sit down and hand sew down the loose ends of my ribbons.  I’ll do that as soon as there is something decent on TV.  In that case it might be a while, though they are (finally!) bringing Downton Abbey to NZ.


  1. Natalie says

    Wow I really really like this! I wish I was as creative as you are. AMAZING!

  2. Madame Ornata says

    Oh so cute, gorgeous!!!!! WANT. What a clever combination of fabrics. I’m an absolute sucker for dots and stripes. And trust me fellows readers, I’ve seen it (albeit earlier) in the creative process and it is even lovelier (like the seamstress who made it) in real life. Photos often struggle to do justice to our endeavours eh?

  3. Stella says

    Wow, that is awesome! I love the flowers! I have a similar one I made with white and gold brocade and black velvet (because somehow my love of the texture always overrides my hatred of sewing silk velvet), except that I used the Nora Waugh Corsets and Crinolines pattern. I used cording instead of steel for the side bones in mine, and that worked well.

  4. Oh this is sending a thrum down my spine it is so lustworthy. I hope you realise that when a Certain Person sees this she is ging to have a corsetgasm of hitherto unseen proportions!!

    • Elise says

      Hahahahaha! We used to use that term after a long day working at the Ren Faire for when the stays came off! Cute pattern and results!

    • Joie de Vivre says

      Corsetgasm is an understatement. This fills me with so much happiness I may never need anything else to make me happy again.

  5. Tamsin says

    That’s fabulous – I love the combo of the floral, the spot and the ribbon. Beautiful. I can’t wait to see the finished product 🙂

Comments are closed.