April 5, 2009

drafting the pattern

I enlarged the pattern on the copy machine (first enlarging 200%, then 190%) until the scale at the bottom was 6 inches.

The waistline will be the smallest measurement across the pattern. I drew several lines straight across where I thought the waist might fall, and measured. The waist on this pattern measures 19 1/2 inches (9 3/4 per side).

To compare, the waistline on the last pattern I enlarged measured 27 1/2 inches, so this was a small corset. To expand the pattern I slashed down the center of each piece and  spread them apart until I hit the measurement I needed.

I measured 4 inches below the waist, roughly the top of the hip bone, and 3 1/2 inches above the waist, the underbust, measured across, then figured out how much I'd have to reduce or enlarge those areas. I drew the new seam lines in blending the new points into the old using a hip curve.

I added an inch to the top edge of the pattern so I'll have plenty of fabric to work with when fitting the bust.

One last adjustment. I made a corset for myself and drafted the underbust line and bust apex at my real life measurements. The finished corset looked matronly, the bust looked heavy and there was overflow at the top sides. Not pretty. So I decided to slash through the pattern between the waist and the underbust and lengthen everything 1/2 inch. Hopefully this helps ward off a potential repeat of that unattractive situation.

After I true the seam lines I can cut this out, trace it off on fabric, add seam allowance, and sew the mock-up.


  1. l noticed that this pattern doesn't have the additional grommets at the waist. Any ideas as to why?

  2. This corset is designed with a spoon busk which are designed to cup the belly. I probably should have gone with one 1 inch longer than what I used because I had to choose whether to leave a gap at the top or the bottom of the corset. I went with extra fabric at the bottom and put the grommets there. But really the busk should have been lower. Live and learn.

  3. Is there any particular reason why you slashed the front 4 pieces only and left the back panel whole?

  4. I expanded the pattern around 1 3/4 inches so I could have divided that amount equally and split it between all the pieces, but I tend to have a narrow back and wide hips so I chose not to add any at the back but put that width around the body. I may have distributed the extra width needed differently if the pattern had more, or less, panels.