Design Sketch and Hand-Sewn Beaded Seam Corset Project from The School of Making


Our Beaded Seam Corset is easy to make for yourself by following the pattern with instructions from page 145 of Alabama Stitch Book, by using our Corset Pattern, or The Corset Kit.  As one of the most popular garments in our collections, the corset is designed to show off a woman’s best assets, enhancing natural curves.

A digital version of the Corset pattern, along with instructions and tips on altering the pattern for size and style, are also available in Alabama Studio Sewing Patterns from our Studio Book Series.

The instructions below for the beading seams can be used on any of our garment and project patterns, available in physical and digital format. Be inspired and make it yours. #memade

The School of Making Corset DIY Kit and Sketch of Pattern Panels

Follow the instructions below to make your own Beaded Corset:


Alabama Corset Pattern from Alabama Stitch Book, Alabama Studio Sewing Patterns, or our pattern shop
2 yards of 100% organic medium-weight cotton jersey
Garment scissors
Embroidery scissors
Rotary cutter and cutting mat
Large plastic ruler
Tailor’s chalk
Hand-sewing needle
Button Craft thread in color Red (or color of choice)


1. Prepare pattern

Photocopy the corset pattern, and use your paper scissors to cut the photocopied pattern to your desired size (see page 53 of Alabama Stitch Book), cutting as close to as possible to the black cutting line. Lay all the pattern pieces on top of your fabric before cutting out the pieces to make sure they all fit. Every pattern piece in the garment has a ¼” seam allowance built into each edge except for the neckline, armhole, and hemline, which will be enclosed in a cotton jersey binding (see step 6).

2. Cut pieces for Corset’s Top and Backing Layers

Place the corset’s center-front pattern on the folded fabric with the pattern edge marked “Place on Fold” on the fabric’s fold. Next place the middle-front and side-front pattern pieces beside the center-front piece, with the longer middle-front piece in the middle. With the tailor’s chalk, carefully trace around the pattern pieces, remove the patterns, and cut the front pieces, cutting just inside the chalked line to remove entirely. You’ll have five garment panels that will make up the front of your corset.

Fold the fabric’s back panel in half lengthwise down the center, and place the center-back pattern piece on the folded fabric, positioning the edge marked “Place on Fold” on the fabric’s fold. Then place the side-back pattern beside the center-back pattern, trace around and cut out the patterns, as you did for the front of the corset. You’ll have three cut pieces that will make up the back of your corset.

3. Baste Neck and Armholes

Using a single strand of all-purpose thread, baste the edges of all the necklines and armholes on the cut pieces, as labeled on the pattern pieces, to prevent them from stretching while you’re working on your corset (see page 37 of Alabama Stitch Book).

4. Stitch Together Front and Back Pieces

With the wrong sides of the fabric together and the cut edges aligned, pin the two Middle-Front pieces to each side of the center-front piece. Following the directions for sewing felled seams on the wrong side on page 43 of Alabama Stitch Book and using a straight stitch (see page 36 of Alabama Stitch Book) and the buttonhole thread, begin sewing the pinned pieces together ¼” from the raw edges, starting at the top edge of the corset. When felling the seams, add one red bugle bead to each stitch. Wrap-stitch (see page 45 of Alabama Stitch Book) the beginning and end of each seam to secure it.

Repeat this process to attach the side-front panels to the middle-front panels. Then repeat the process to join the three pieces of the corset’s back, stitching one side-back panel to each side of the center-back panel.

5. Assemble Corset

Pin together the completed front and back panels at the shoulder seams, with the fabric’s wrong sides together ¼” from the cut edges. Repeat this process for the side seams, sewing the wrong sides together. When felling the seams, add one red bugle bead to each stitch. All seam allowances will show on corset’s wrong side.

6. Binding the Neckline and Armholes

Use the rotary cutter, cutting mat, and large plastic ruler to cut fabric strips across the grain and 1 ¼” wide to use as the binding for the corset’s neckline and armholes. You’ll need about 80” of cut strips for the binding.

Press the length of cut binding in half, wrong sides together, using your iron and being careful not to stretch the fabric while pressing it. Starting at the corset’s center-back neckline, pin the folded binding around the raw edge of the corset’s neckline and then overlap the binding’s raw edges at the center-back about ½”, trimming any excess binding. Stitch through all layers, using a beaded Cretan stitch (see page 78 of Alabama Studio Sewing + Design) and seed beads. Repeat the process to bind each armhole—omitting the beads for your Cretan stitch.

Beaded Cretan Stitch Detail and Instruction Illustration from The School of Making

Cretan stitch instructional illustration; Detail of the beaded Cretan stitch with Red Chop Beads and Button Craft Thread on Bright White Extra-Long Staple Medium-Weight Cotton Jersey

Notions and Materials to Make The School of Making Beaded Seam Corset

Clockwise: The Corset Custom DIY Kit in Black/Peacock Small Polka Dots with Reverse Appliqué; The Corset DIY Kit contents in Black/Black New Leaves; Bead Sampler #2 featuring Red Sequins, Satin Grey Bugle Beads, White Sequins, Brown Chop Beads, and Dark Grey Chop Beads; Alabama Stitch Book; The School of Making’s newest Bead Mix, “Disco”; The Corset Pattern envelope



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  1. Gabriela

    I love all of your patterns! I just finished the fitted top in black unembellished but I am now starting an embellished one tonight! It fits perfectly. Thanks for sharing all your ideas! I love your philosophy on sharing.