Tutorial: Covering Garters

So pretty much every single corset of the 1910s had garters attached. Observe:

However, unlike in the 1910s, you can’t just buy wide ruffled elastic is multiple colors today. Even my attempts on etsy to find some totally failed.

From Bridges on the Body. Why doesn’t elastic like this exist anymore? šŸ˜¦ Kent State University Museum, accession number 1983.1.1500

This pattern didn’t come with garter instructions, so I had to make something up. I was somewhat inspired by the garter tutorial from Bridges on the Body, but I couldn’t find any garter hardware sold in pieces, only entireĀ garters, so I made some changes.

I started with 3/4″Ā garters from corsetmaking.com. It looks like most extant garters are more like 2″ wide, so I would recommend finder wider ones if you can. See here, or here, or here.

Most garters these days have a hook at the top to make the garters removable from the final article. RemoveĀ the stitching to take offĀ the hook from the top. (Seam removed here, the pin is where the stitching was.

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The garter in pieces:

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Sew a tube of fabric and turn it inside out. The length should be twice the length of the garter. The width should be 2 x garter width + 1/8″ + seam allowance. My garter was 3/4″. So, I cut a 2″ wide strip and I sewed the seam allowance at around 3/16″ (the first garter I sewed the seam allowance at exactly 1/4″, and it was So Difficult to pull the tube onto the elastic later. Leave yourself the bit of wiggle room.

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Use a safety pin on the end of the elastic to help feedĀ it through.

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Elastic is partway through here.

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Once the fabric tube is all the way on, pull it down so the free end is sticking out. LEAVE THE PIN ON. If the elastic gets sucked up back inside the fabric without a pin you will never get it out again.

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On the clasp end, use a pin or something to turn the raw edge under.

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Pull the fabric all the way up to the edge of the clasp and do a running stitch across.

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Turn the end of the fabric under on the other side of the garter, then pull it to the edge. Be very careful not to let it go past the edge.

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Whipstitch around the end making sure you go through the elastic. This end will be hidden under the corset so it doesn’t need to be super pretty.

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What happens when I accidentally pulled the fabric too far over the elastic and couldn’t get the elastic out. I did the row of diagonal stitches so the elastic didn’t go further in.

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Put the garter grip back on and thread the garterĀ back through the clasp. You willĀ need to stretch the garter out to get an even amount of fabric on both of the claspĀ instead of bunching up on one side.

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Admire all your garters!

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Whipstitch the garter to the inside of the corset. Alternately, if you want them removable, sew the hook back on, and add a bit of elastic or ribbon here for the hook to attach to.

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Admire your corset with matching garters!

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This entry was posted in 1910s, Corsets, Edwardian corset, Tutorial. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Tutorial: Covering Garters

  1. C weiss says:

    Quite inventive. And you’re looking good in the picture in your custom corset

  2. Gina White says:

    Your corset turned out beautifully and brava on the garters! I too wish they made ruffly elastic! It would be so fabulous and I KNOW that all Edwardian/Teens corset makers would purchase it by the yards! Well done on everything!
    Blessings!
    g

    • avantgarbe says:

      Thanks! Tthere are so many things that just aren’t made these days that costumers would go nuts for – Ruffly elastic, superfine linen, all those 18th century brocades…

  3. Your corset is so pretty! Great job!

  4. Veronica says:

    Wow, it looks great! I want a teens corset but hate making underpinnings so much. The eternal struggle!

    • avantgarbe says:

      Thanks! I definitely have a love-hate relationship with making undergarments (although corsets are growing on me). Especially the basics like chemises, don’t tell anyone I still wear a tank top under my 18th century stuff šŸ˜‰

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