January 18, 2011

from fitting to pattern

I shimmied into the 1844 corset one more time, pinned away all the excess I could, and marked the waistline. After carefully taking the corset off I measured all the pinned sections and wrote the amounts that needed to be removed from each pattern piece. Then I went to work blending the new points into the pattern's seam lines. To keep those lines nice and smooth and as true to the pattern as possible I lined a hip curve up to the seam line paying attention to the point where the reduction needed to be. Maybe a picture will help.

If you look at the numbers you can see the waist line hits the ruler at 9 1/8 inch, and there is a small red dot 1/4 inch in on the waistline. You can also see a red dot 1/2 inch from the seam line at the top edge of the panel. I need to connect these points. So I line the hip curve to the mark on the waist line at the 9 1/8 inch mark, then pivot the other end until it connects with the mark at the top.

After drawing the new curve in, and doing the same thing for all the other alterations needed, I've got my pattern. Here is it before being cut out, the blue highlighted areas will be trimmed off.

You can also see the waist line, which runs at an angle across two of the panels. Yikes. Thanks Mali, for suggesting a sturdy waist tape. I hadn't even thought of using a waist tape with this corset but I think it will be important so it doesn't stretch.

So now I have to unpick all the seams so I can recut the pieces. Normally I keep track of all seams I rip out, but do these count since I knew I'd be ripping them out?


  1. Nice to see how you do thing, very meticulous. I am working on this same corset pattern myself, on and off, but I'm using syntethic materials and such so it won't be as 'real' as yours =)

    Good luck, looking forward to see more.

  2. Yours will be just as real! It will just be made from a textile with contemporary fibers. Will you post your on your blog? The things you make are gorgeous! I wish I could read Swedish!

  3. Very insightful!

    To get this straight:
    1. You cut the muslin and try it on
    2. Then mark the corrections on the muslin
    4. Trace the corrections on the pattern
    5. unpick the piece, and sew it together again

    Why do you unpick all the seams?
    And have you tried to analyze your trimmings and measured them, to find any correspondences?
    This leads to my question: Have you tried yet to make alterations FIRST, and then trying it on?

    many warm greets and thanks big time for the insight! :)

  4. I have made alterations to the pattern first then sewn the mock up, I just thought I'd try a differnt process this time to see how it worked. I imagined this would have been a way of working that would have avoided all the up front patterning math. I hadn't thought of sewing the finished seams with the alterations then trimming the seam allowances, too late now though, the unpicking has already begun. Normally I'd move on the the final fabric, but since I'm using the same fabric, what was the mock up will be the inside layer of the corset, I figured I should pull out the current seams and alterations, press the pieces flat, and recut. Now it sounds like I makde more work for myself than I needed too!

  5. When I do get around to continue on my corset I probaby will post something on my blog. I will leave a comment when I get around to do it =) At least there will be pictures to look at.

  6. No I don't think so :) I didn't know you planned on using the same fabric, in this case I would have done it like you did, I think :)

  7. Nice work. I came across your blog while “blog surfing” using the Next Blog button on the blue Nav Bar located at the top of my blogger.com site. I frequently just travel around looking for other blogs which exist on the Internet, and the various, creative ways in which people express themselves. Thanks for sharing.