Custom Corset Lacing

Remember this dress? It has made an appearance before and as I recall that it had a nasty little velvet belt that neither bride was too excited about.

Wtoo Della

Here we have the bride with different beaded straps seeing if either works for her to keep the bodice up. You may notice that the top edge is much wider than the bride, this will be altered with inside and outside darts. Also there is a piece of tulle between the cups that needs to be tightened up. OK…front looks doable.

But walking around to the back tells another story. The first photo shows a screaming zipper and the bride not being able to inhale. The second photo shows the real truth. Her mother asks for a corset back which will solve the issue.


An outside dart is pinned out under the arm and an additional grosgrain ribbon is pinned into place to suggest a halter strap.

New corset loops are attached and that nasty little velvet belt has been folded in half and stitched to turn into the lacing. One good thing about stiff velvet ribbon…it holds the loops and won’t slip away…hooray!

Let’s tackle that dart by cutting the lace motif in a curved way on each side. Then slide it over as much as we need. The satin and lining will be tucked on the inside by hand.


Even with the 2 new darts, the top edge still needs some taming, so I used the twill tape trick to snug up 1.5 inches on each side.

Then the desire/need for straps came into play and I suggested that we just do some tulle straps/sleeves and both the mother and bride were happy with that as the tulle compliments the dress and could cover more of her arms.

The satin train was shortened along with the tulle as she did not want a bustle.

On the third fitting, the bodice was still too wide in front so I added another dart as a tuck without cutting any lace. This is the outside so it is not so noticeable:

The inside was hand stitched down next to the first dart. You can also see the tulle straps hand stitched to the lining. Everything I have done to this dress can be converted back to the original dress by snipping threads and removing the corset loop strips and attaching the zipper again…well, that is for the next seamstress!

The bride asked that I send her a photo measuring the width of the lacing for whoever was going to lace her up. You may notice that there is no modesty panel and I left the zipper intact as the mother wanted exactly 3 inches to be zipped up. At the top of the zipper teeth I have a big hook and eye. Originally I was going to leave the old zipper in under the lining but it showed through so I had to cut it off. They will not have a bow in back and there is an opening above the zipper to knot the laces and hide them under the zipper area.

Anyone know why there is a safety pin in the lacing?

Such a pretty result with straps:













Let’s add a really long veil!

But wait…the veil has a tear in it! You know I can repair these with invisible thread but what happens when you are missing a piece?

Best way I could see was to overlap the edges, stitch with invisible thread and trim away excess after hoping that the hole will not be too noticeable.

A pretty good result:

Resting on the sofa, you can’t see the repair.

If you are wondering why a bride would buy a dress so tight like so many of my clients…well, I will give you a hint…she shares something with Meghan Markle…12 weeks?

Before I get back to my November brides, I wanted to share this link just when you think squares and triangles when someone mentions quilts.

By now all you readers in the northern hemisphere should have lots of fallen leaves to rake/sweep up before Old Man Winter sets in. Storing leaves in bags for a year or more makes the nicest leaf mold for mulching.

Have a super week before the goblins arrive!!!!!


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15 Responses to Custom Corset Lacing

  1. susew says:

    Wow- that’s a lots of work to get it to fit. At first, I was going to account for the different fit on the bride to be as a result of a short waist compared to the model – 12 weeks accounts for a lot.

  2. upsew says:

    I love the lacing at the back – it really adds to the dress – wonderful work as always

  3. erniek3 says:

    Re-using the nasty belt for the win! Do you end up doing any dyeing to match?
    Love that couch.

  4. mrsmole says:

    Thankfully, I have never had to dye anything but satin buttons. I drop some into strong coffee to make them darker. I love anything green!

  5. Susan Hart says:

    The pin is in the middle of the corset tie so that the lengths can be evened up when lacing and the pin is removed when all done!

  6. mrsmole says:

    CORRECT Susan!!!!!

  7. Mary Lou Vanderpool says:

    How did you give her enough ease to lift her arms, but the tulle straps don’t seem to sag too much?

  8. mrsmole says:

    I cut the tulle straps so they are cut on grain with the least amount of stretch front to back. Then when she raises her arms, the main stretch goes from her shoulder to her bicep. If you cut the straps crossgrain with the most stretch, the straps don’t really do a good job of holding up the boobs.

  9. Fabrickated says:

    Ingenious fitting job Mrs Mole. My daughter was 7 months gone when she got married, but she more or less fit into her dress – the bump was only obvious from certain angles, but it does add a complication, doesn’t it? I was impressed with the idea of inside and outside darts – now you have got me thinking. A very successful edit and the neat mend on the train is impressive. And I learned about the safety pin!

    • mrsmole says:

      Thank you, Kate…wrestling with invisible thread for hand sewing is a real torture but it
      s the only way I know to get edges together other than super glue! High bumps, low bumps…a seamstress has to deal with them all…ha ha!

  10. maryfunt says:

    The tulle straps are perfect and soften the look. 12 weeks does make alterations a challenge.

  11. mrsmole says:

    Yes, Mary, every week can bring new challenges and you just hope the date is close!!!!

  12. Pingback: The Works | fit for a queen

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