I learned this technique while making an 1820s corset.
It is a simple, if time consuming & fiddly process.
To give credit where credit is due the pattern I used for the corset, Past Patterns 001 (view b),
provided some basic instructions of this technique, which I have adapted slightly here.
I must also credit the amazing Jen Thompson with providing the idea of using hemp instead of cotton cording.
For more about using hemp as boning see my alternative boning page.
The following was used in this demonstration:
hemp cord, 1/16" in diameter
one layer of drill, one layer of muslin, sewn into 1/8" channels
floral wire, 28 gauge
small screwdriver, crane scissors and bone stiletto (a tailor's awl would replace these)
scissors (paper not sewing)
There are five short videos complementing this tutorial, showing some of the steps in action.
Look for the little flower icon and click to view or right click to download the file (save target as).
These videos were taken with a digital camera, so my apologizes for the poor quality.
1. Push the threads of the fabric (lining side) aside using an awl, to form a hole large enough for the cording to pass through.
Be very careful not to break any threads! Repeat on other side if needed.
2. Cut cording to correct length.
3. Insert threading tool (in this case floral wire looped at one end).
4. Feed cording thru tool, doubling the length.
(doubled length of cording)
5. Pull cording through runner, making sure the cording is not twisted inside.
(pulling it through)
(out the other side!) Be careful not to break the threads!
6. Cut cording off the threading tool.
Repeat steps 1-6 as needed. (I found it easier to work each section in stages.)
7. Trim cording on one end, so that all the cording ends are even.
(one side trimmed)
8. Pulling from other end, bring the cording to just inside the hole.
9. On the other end, force fabric back from the cording, being careful not to pull cord out other end. You only need 1/16" or so ease.
10. Trim cording very closely to the edge. Flatten fabric, holding cording at "pulled side" (step 9). The cording should sink, just inside the hole.
11. Work the threads of the fabric back to their original place.
Repeat steps 7-11 until all holes are "filled".
Ta da! It's magic!!