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Lace Bustier

Updated: Jul 27, 2018

We invite you to follow along on this creative journey

Just like a #corset, a #bustier is the"light" version of corsetry with less compression of the waist.

We'll begin with a bustier that is commercially available. We're going to use it as our base, and alter it to fit like a tight second skin.

From a Simple Under Garment to Fancy Lace

This project requires hand sewing as well as #couture techniques.

In this case we are not going to "re-invent the wheel" or "bustier"... So, let us take a close look at some vintage bustiers. Yes, the ones that are used as an #underpinning for fancy gowns.

We can compare them to contemporary ones to see what materials and techniques are available to us today. See below:

Vintage Dior Gown with Coset Underpinning

Contemporary Corsets under Bridal Gowns (photos:author unknown)

Using the pictures above as a reference point, we can begin making our own bustier.

The commercial corset needs some adjustments, alterations and #boning on the front.

A polyester kind will be sufficient. But, since they don't come with a cover, we have to create one with an exact match of fabric content, and color.

Plastic Boning, Loop Turner, and Sleeve

The plastic boning allows for a straight front w/o folds or wrinkles

Once we have covered the polyester boning with a similar fabric to that of the bustier, we can attach them with a slip stitch making sure the stitches don't show on the right side.

Once we have perfected our base (bustier) with the proper alterations, and adjustments, we have to pick the fashion fabric. We chose a lace with some give to it. This will allow us to mold it on to the base.

A sheer lace fabric with Spandex/Lycra

The backing already basted to the lace

The fabric being sheer, lacks a backing. In this particular case, we cannot apply it to the right side of our bustier as is. We'll have to attach one with similar fiber content, hand, and color as our bustier. See bellow:

Placement of Lace with Backing & Center Dart (pinned and basted)

Side Dart Placement

Once we have basted our lace and (front/side) darts, we must check it on a dress form to make sure everything is fitting fine.

Checking our Work for Accuracy

Everything looks good. Next, we'll add a binding to the raw edge of the lace where it turns towards the back (the cup areas on the front).

We've used the straight band from the lace design (see previous photo of lace fabric) that runs along the selvage.

We'll now use a black cotton bias binding (1/4") for the bottom edge.

At this stage, we can slip stitch a lining to the back of the front panel. The lining is optional, as it is only necessary for aesthetic reasons.

Lining Applied to The Front. Binding on the edges

Below we can appreciate a view of the edges. A one inch elastic band has been attached to the back panel starting from the dart seam (side). Hint: Whenever attaching bindings, facings, elastics, etc. to the reverse side, always attach them a 1/8 inch from the edge. Why? Simple, if you do not, they will show on the right side of your garment. This will scream unprofessional, or inexperienced.

Edges with Front and Back Views

Ok, we are approaching the final steps. We move on to the zipper installation. We recommend basting the zipper in order to hold it in place, specially invisible zippers, before the final machine stitching. In the garment industry, they use "binders or folders" that allows them to correctly install them in a matter of seconds.

A binding strip has been attached to the zipper edge. It will keep it firm/straight in place, so it won't buckle or bend.

Invisible Zipper Attachment

We decided to leave a 1/8" space from the zipper teeth, so as not to damage the lace when in use.

The Finished Back with Zipper Installed

Let us compare! ... not bad, very nice indeed. Finished you said? Don't be silly darling!

It looks too plain for our eyes. Keep reading...

Comparison to The DIor Bustier

The zipper must be trimmed (red line), but not so short as to make it impossible to get inside of it! Measure your hips, and that will give you the circumference necessary for the bottom edge of the bustier (including the zipper tail).

Back and Side Views

Let's add some twinkle. Just a little sparkle to add dimension to it. Small beads around the motifs will do.

Next is the trim. This one is optional. You can leave it plain with no lace trim for a sleeker/streamline look.

Left: Trim attached. Right: Pining Trim for Placement

Close Up of Lace Trim Attached

The Complete Look ... and yes, those leggings are Made-2-Measure

Front and Back Views

Do not forget your accessories and shoes :-)

Choker, Bracelet and Earrings

Lace Shoes with Bow

Beaded Clutch Bag


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