Corsets, which are historical foundation garments most used in the Victorian era, have become extremely popular as costume and clubwear. Although corsets are figure-flattering and fun to wear, they are also fairly expensive to buy, as the construction requires a great deal of time and skill. One inexpensive alternative to the high-priced historical corset is the duct tape corset, which may not provide as much foundational support but can be just as visually appealing. This no-sew project uses only a few simple items.
Things You'll Need
- Duct tape dummy
- Silver duct tape
- Permanent marker
- Scissors or craft knife
- Corset boning or hanging file folders
- Colored duct tape
- Size 00 grommets
- Size 00 grommet punch
- Corset laces or cording
Create a duct tape dummy of yourself, or use an existing duct tape dummy that you already own. This will make the construction much easier than if you apply the corset tape directly to your body. You can find instructions for making a duct tape dummy in Resources, or can make a simple version by having a friend wrap duct tape around your torso, over a disposable shirt, then cut the duct tape tube off and stuff it with batting.
Place a tight-fitting T-shirt over the dummy to cover all the areas you would like your corset to cover. Create the base layer of the corset with the silver duct tape, by covering the entire area with one layer of vertically placed strips of tape, and one layer of horizontally placed strips of tape. Use small pieces of tape in the curved areas, and make sure that the tape clings tightly to the form.
Use a permanent marker to mark out where the top and bottom of the corset should be, as well as the center front and center back vertical lines. Make a deduction of 1 inch horizontally at the center front and center back. Also, mark out the vertical places where you would like to add boning, which is usually beside the center back and center front, along the sides and on both sides of the grommets. For this corset, your grommets will be at the center front and the back, so take that into account.
Lay strips of corset boning down over each drawn boning line and put a strip of duct tape over them to keep them in place. Instead of regular steel corset boning, you can also use hanging file folder strips for the same effect.
Layer strips of colored duct tape over the silver duct tape, vertically, using your marker lines as guides. Lay the duct tape on as neatly as possible, as this will be the layer everyone will see. When you are finished, cut the corset off the duct tape dummy straight up the center back, through all layers, including the T-shirt.
Lay the corset flat on a surface, and trim off the excess T-shirt and duct tape. Even out the top, bottom and center back, then cut the center front and trim off the excess 1 inch. Around all of the rough edges, neatly lay a piece of colored duct tape and fold it down to the inside layer.
Mark out the grommet placement on both sides of the center front and center back, which should be between two pieces of boning. Poke a hole at each of these markings with an awl, then fit the protruding grommet sides through each hole, from the inside layer outward. Place the washer side of the grommets over each of the other grommets, and arrange them on the die. Hit the grommet punch through the grommets with a mallet, so that the pieces fold together. Run laces through the front and the back of the corset.
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