Corset Quick Tips: How to Adjust Uneven Laces
Uneven corset laces are a problem many corset wearers encounter. Though it’s not a huge issue, it can be a minor annoyance, making laces harder to tuck in and generally creating a messier appearance. Often, the laces will end up uneven because the wearer tends to pull on one side more firmly during the lacing and/or unlacing process. Or, the corset may simply have been laced up unevenly by the maker. Luckily it’s something that can be easily and quickly fixed in just a minute or two. If you lace yourself into your corsets, start by putting your corset on a pillow. If you have the assistance of a partner or lady’s maid, they can make the adjustment at the beginning of lacing you in, just after the busk is fastened but before tightening at all.
First, identify which side is longer… if the difference is slight, just loop a hand or finger through both “bunny ears”/waist loops and slowly move back until one side is taut and the other is slack. I’ve made it pretty exaggerated for purposes of this demonstration.
From the longer side, start moving the slack upwards. A properly laced corset should have an inverted waist loop, so the bottom of the loop leads into the top portion of the lacing. Take all the slack up to the next cross over until your waist loops are the same length.
Follow the path of the lacing on that side all the way up to the top. You’ll notice that the lacing is tied off at the bottom; the knot there keeps the bottom half of the lacing fairly stable, which is why we are only messing with the top lacing. You can generally skip about every other grommet, which makes it easy to keep an eye on which piece of ribbon to pull. For example, with this lacing pattern, I am always grabbing the ribbon on the outside of the corset that angles up to the left.
Eventually, all the slack is collected at the top of the corset. You can distribute all the waist loop slack from both sides up if you find it easier to track the symmetry that way.
Then start distributing the excess lacing back down towards the waist on both sides. You’ve taken all the extra up to the top, and are now splitting the difference.
If you notice that you’ve acquired an asymmetry as you work your way down, pause a moment…
Distribute the extra from the one side back up to the top…
…then distribute it back down on both sides.
Continue until all the extra lacing is back in the waist loops, which should now be even in length.
And voila! You’re now ready to lace up as tightly as you like.