Hunting and Foraging: Sourcing Fabric for the Union Jack Corset

Well, a week has gone by because we’ve both been really busy with other things. With film work, summer guests and the sunshine that has finally deemed us worthy of its’ presence in Vancouver, we’ve had a hard time finding time to blog and finish the Union Jack Corset.


Roll of cord

Today we’ll be talking about fabric and notion sourcing.  Sourcing always  requires you to have already gone through the design process with a fine tooth comb.  What type of fabric will give the look I want?  How will it be to work with?  Do I have machinery that will handle this fabric?  Is there a way to get the look I want with a fabric that will be easier to work with?  Will this fabric wear well?  Is it washable?  How much does it cost?  What other bits do we need to acquire?  Do we have the appropriate colour thread for the job?  What type of closure are we using and do we need to purchase any part of it?  What types of inter linings and interfacings will work best with the fabric we want to use?  Are we using any trims that we need to get samples of?  These are just a few of the questions we ask while looking for fabrics to do a project.

For the Union Jack Corset, we had many of these same questions, except we already knew that we would need certain corsetry hardware. It was really more a question of fabric choices, and busk length.

We tend to buy components in bulk because…well,… because we just don’t know how to buy for just one unit! hehe


Here is a shopping list for the Union Jack Corset based on one unit.

Cotton/Linen Red- .3 meters

Cotton/Linen White- .3 meters

Cotton/Linen Blue- .5 meters

Coutil White- 1 meter

Busk- 14″

Polyester Bones- 10 meters

Polyester Lacing- 5.1 meters

Shrink Tips- 3″

Nickel 2 Part Eyelets 7/16″- 28

Buckram- 1″ X 1 meter

Because Deb is backing each panel with coutil and also lining with it, the consumption is double.  She also purchased a 50 meter roll of the polyester boning, which she will cut and file the tips on each piece.

Cord Lacing and Shrink Tip

Although, the polyester lacing is not picking up the dye as we would like, it will be a much stronger lacing to use. (one of those judgement calls we need to make) Shrink Tips also known as Aglets, can be purchases by the meter at various corsetry supply houses.

Eyelets and dies

When choosing an eyelet, we always  go with a two-part type because they tend to stay together better and not tear out of the fabric.

The Buckram is used between the layers at the centre back where the eyelets will go to add extra strength.

We usually buy in bulk to reduce the overall cost of the finished product, however, we still break the price down for each unit. (We will discuss in a later post how to cost your work out)

Back in the days before most businesses were on the internet… only about 13 years ago… we had to source things by taking trips to the store or wholesaler or by calling long distance to them. Now we are so lucky to not only be able to find the product on-line, but to also be able to see a picture of it and purchase it and have it shipped to our door!

Here are a few good sources for Corsetry hardware and fabrics.

Farthingales Corset Making Supplies– Ontario, Canada

Richard the Thread– California, US

CorsetMaking– Philadelphia, PA

Sew Curvy Corsetry– Oxfordshire, UK

Phew – that’s enough purchasing, buying, organizing and finding of corset fabrics and all that hardware……..time for some cutting and sewing…….stay posted – Deb’s flying away at the machine and last I checked there were bone channels going in and binding going on.



About Costume People

We are two women with over 30 years of combined experience in making costumes for film and television. Even after all these years we still love the thrill of seeing our creations in close up on the big screen. Now it's time for us to share our expertise.
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