Adding a Corset Back to Your Dress…Option #2

You may have already read my post on Adding a Corset Back To Your Wedding Dress.

Today I am going to show you another way to add a corset back to your dress.

A customer brought me  her prom dress this week:

It didn’t zip all the way up in back, so she opted for the corset back addition.

Only, instead of loops, she wanted to use satin ribbon for the loops and ties.

I took this roll of satin ribbon and cut it into 2 inch lengths:

For this dress, I needed 10 of them. I like to use and odd number when possible. It just looks better to me.

I folded each of these 2 inch pieces in half and stitched close to the cut edges:

Then, I took out the zipper as far down the back as neccessary.

In this case, I took the zipper out to the waist area.

I trimmed the zipper leaving an extra inch or two.

Make sure you add thread bar tacks across the top of both sides of the zipper.

That way, when you zip up, the zipper tab won’t come off of the zipper tape:

In the photo above, you see that the lining is separate from the dress fabric.

I like to open up only what I need to to get the job done.

That way, when I’m finished, I don’t have to sew up alot.

On this dress, I also needed to make a new center back line. I couldn’t use the original center back line or you wouldn’t be able to see the ribbons and the corset back.

So, I drew a line from the waist diagonally up near the princess seam under the spaghetti strap and folded it back. I couldn’t fold it back all the way to the princess seam because of the boning in the dress.

On this dress, I couldn’t press the fabric on that line with an iron due to the sequins that were on it.

So, I topstitched that fold in place.

But my preference would have been to just press it in place.

Be sure and turn back the lining the same amount and press it.

Don’t forget to check the content of the lining fabric. It may need a cooler iron than the main dress fabric.

Now, sandwich those ribbon tabs that you made earlier, between the lining and the dress fabric. Make sure that each one sticks out the same amount (in this case, I thought 1/2 inch would look best):

Stitch these into place:

You’ll notice that I ended up using only four on each side. I realized that if I used five, the bottom two tabs would be smooshed together and the dress wouldn’t lay flat along the back, so I took the bottom ones out.

Now take the rest of your ribbon and “thread” it through the loops.

That’s all there is to it!

(I didn’t thread the ribbon through this dress because I didn’t want to wrinkle the ribbon for the customer, but you get the idea.)

You can thread the ribbon from bottom to top or from top to bottom.

Either way, it gives you a whole new way to solve the problem with a dress that doesn’t fit through the bust or back.

As I mentioned in the first post, you can put a modesty panel behind this area to cover the back if you don’t want the skin to show there.

Just add that piece when you sew in the ribbon tabs, leaving one side of it open so you can get into the dress.

See my first post on corset backs, for more details on that.

If you feel that a corset back isn’t for you, you can put in gussets instead.

To learn that technique, read this post on How to Put in Gussets.

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