Your corset probably already came pre-laced and ready to go. Why go to the trouble of relacing it? To answer that question, here's a picture of the typically laced corset which I found on some corset website somewhere. Every corset I've purchased (I've owned five now) has been laced like this:
There are two problems with this method of lacing. Since the laces are always inserted from the same side, they cross the corset edges and tend to rub on them. Over time, this will wear away the cloth, and so this method of lacing can shorten the life of what is, let's face it, an expensive article of clothing. I prefer a lacing method which never crosses the edges of the corset. If the lace comes from underneath the corset on the left side, then it should enter the corset from the top on the right side and vice-versa. This forms upper and lower X's, and doesn't produce as much wear on the corset.
The second problem is more critical for waist trainers or tightlacers. I've always found it odd that the point of the corset where we want the most tension, which is the waist, is the point where there is no lacing at all! This is clear from the drawing of the traditional bunny ears. There are no laces right where you want them most! The usual way to get more tension at the waist is to lace the corset straight up, so you tighten it from the top or bottom. This works, but then it becomes vastly more difficult to put the corset on by yourself.
The method I show here, which I discovered by looking at photos of the famous waist trainer Cathie Jung, keeps the bunny ears and eliminates the gap. Cathie has the Guinness Book of World Records for the world's smallest waist, so I think she must know a thing or two about corset lacing! When I changed my lacing, I was instantly able to decrease my waist size by an entire inch, just becuase of the lacing change!
These two considerations are independent, so if you don't want to use the tight-lacing variation, you can still use the "over-under" method to lace your corset with the traditional bunny ears. Or vice-versa.
I like to mark the waist of the corset with painters tape. This is where the "bunny ears" come out. You can use the waist tape as a guide, but sometimes that is hidden by a lining. So before you unlace your corset, just put some painters tape between the two grommets that the bunny ears come out of. I also use a piece of tape to mark the center of the cord, so I come out evenly at the end.
If you use the over-under lacing method I advocate, you need to pay some attention to how the lacing starts. Bunnie ears start from underneath the corset, then immediately back in the next grommet from the top. For this to happen, if you have an even number of grommets between the first hole of the bunny ear and the top of the corset, then you start lacing from underneath. Otherwise, you start from the top.
Let's Do It!
Especially for corset lacing, a picture is worth a thousand words:
Note the lines where the two grommets that mark the waistline are. This is where your bunny ears will be. Since there is an odd number of grommets between the top of the corset and the first bunny ear grommet (only three in this diagram), we start the lacing from the outside of the corset. Since we started on the outside, the next lacing should come from the inside, then the outside, and so on.
When we reach the bunny ear grommet, you have two choices. You can bring the cord up from the inside, pull out a length of cord for the ear, and then immediately reinsert it, finishing up the lacing. This is the traditional method. Or you can use the tight lacing variation which I show in the diagram. To do this, you skip the first bunny ear grommet and come up from beneath on the second bunny ear grommet. Now you insert the cord into the first bunny ear grommet, which is just above the one you exited. Do this on both sides, then continue as you started.
Incidentally, I pull out a lot more length for the bunny ears than I show in the diagram, but do whatever you like.
To finish, you tie a simple knot. I usually hold the ends together, treating both cords like a single piece of cord, make a loop and pull the ends through it. This holds well for me.
This Will Change Some Things
The tightlacing variation causes two differences that will take some getting used to. First of all, there will be one less "X" to pull on when you are lacing on your corset. Secondly, you will discover that the bunny ears work "backwards." With traditional bunny ears, when you pull on the top part of the loop, it tightens the top part of the corset, and the bottom part of the loop tightens the bottom part of the corset.
With this tight lacing variation, the top part of the loop tightens the bottom of the corset, while the lower part of the bunny ear loop tightens the upper part of the corset. You will forget this the first few times you put on your corset, but you get used to it quickly.
That's it for today. Thanks for reading and if you have something nice to say or a good idea or suggestion, you can always message me on Twitter