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Working with Countil Corsetry Fabric

Coutil is a woven fabric especially made for corsets. It’s tightly woven structure helps to take the strain and resist stretching as well as helping to prevent the bones from poking through.

The coutil I have been sent to try by Minerva has a lovely Jacquard pattern that would look lovely on show on a single layer corset but I have opted to use Simplicity 1183 which is a fabric faced style. The coutil is a viscose and cotton blend and is machine washable. The outer fabric I chose to use with it is dress weight Microfibre Fabric.

When making a corset there is zero wear ease so it’s important to measure accurately and this pattern has a great explanation to help in this process.

Once cut each panel has to be layered, fabric onto coutil, and basted as the panels are sewn together as one piece.

Each seam is then pressed open and trimmed before a tape is stitched over the seam line. This tape is stitched down both sides producing a casing for the bones to be inserted.

For my corset top I am using spiral metal boning but you could also use plastic boning. Whichever boning you use it is important to use end caps on the bones to prevent any sharp ends from digging in and becoming uncomfortable.

As I chose to make View B this bodice only has a back opening which is laced up. Once the back section is made its time to punch in the holes and set in the eyelets. I use eyelet pliers as I find them so much easier but if you haven’t got one you can use the eyelet tool, that comes with the eyelets, and a hammer.

The corset is constructed in two parts, front and back, and the fit is adjusted at this stage by trying on and checking the side seams. This seams need to be straight and the fit correct before the finishing off can be started.

The top and lower edges are finished off with bias binding. This needed to be pinned and stitched on the right side before folding over, encasing the raw edge, and hand stitching in place on the inside.

The final touches include attaching a grosgrain ribbon stay to the inside and a modesty parcel to sit behind the lacing.

The pattern explains two methods of lacing. One where it’s tied at the bottom and one where you tie at waist level. I prefer the option where you end up with loops of the lace in the center as I find it easier to tighten myself when it’s on.

This coutil feels soft and smooth again the skin but gives the firm structure required for this make.

I really pleased with how this turned out. It feels comfortable to wear but supportive. It’s a sew that you need to take your time over with the amount of panels, seams and hand sewing but the coutil is not difficult to work with and presses well to give a nice sleek shape.  

Thanks for reading, 

Nicky @ Sew and Snip

Comment (1)

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Joyce Mussett said:

Absolutely gorgeous - excellent job of sewing · 13th Apr 2019 09:37am