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Draft Your Corset Pattern

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Perfectly fitting patterns at last! Muhahaha!

One of the most frustrating challenges in corsetmaking is to get the darn thing to fit properly. Corsets are such unforgiving, tightly fitted garments that a good one must have a perfect fit; there's no room for error.

After getting frustrated with commerical patterns, you're probably starting to wonder how to draft (draw out) your own patterns from a list of measurements. Here's how, in a step-by-step format specially designed for complete beginners.

(You can also play with pattern drafting a basic bodice with our equally simple (and free) Easy Pattern Drafting tutorial at our sister site.)

After giving this method a try, I hope you will start to see the awesome designing and dressmaking power that drafting skills can give you. Taking your measurements and drawing out your own pattern can save a lot of money and a lot of time fiddling with fit.

I've devised these instructions for you based on corset designs of the late 1870s. You'll still need a mock-up to check, but you will be very surprised how well it fits. And furthermore, as you can tell from the photographs below of corsets made using this tutorial, it can easily adapted into a variety of styles.

Thank you very much, the [beginner's corset drafting] tutorial is really wonderful and easy to follow, even for a beginner like me! :)
- "chobap", Livejournal

Corsets made using this tutorial

Corset by Hannah Light Corset by Ivy Rose Designs Corset by Ivy Rose Designs

[Above left photo] This is the first corset I drafted for myself using the above tutorial; I've not used a commercial pattern since! Construction wise it's not great (I've learnt a few things since then) but I'm still pretty happy with the shape I managed to create. Thank you for inspiring me, and enabling me to get creative with corsetry! - Hannah Light, UK

[Above centre and right photographs] Both of these designs started as the FR tutorial... - Rachel Haggerty, Ivy Rose Custom Corsetry


1900 dress form

A tape measure for taking your measurements. Not a solid ruler, not a metal tape measure from the toolbox, but a dressmaker's fabric tape measure.

A friend to help you take measurements.

A notebook to write your measurements in.

Sharp pencils (preferably hard pencils such as 2H) and an eraser.

A metre ruler or yardstick. It’s just about possible to draft with a shorter ruler, but not half as easy or as accurate. I struggled for a long time without a metre ruler but was amazed what a godsend mine was when I finally bought one from www.morplan.com. At the very least, look for something long and very straight that will help you draw accurate long, straight lines, and then measure them with a normal ruler or tape measure. But if you possibly, possibly can - you need the real thing to get it right.

A set square (preferably a big one) or something rigid with an exact right angle at the corner, such as a hardback book. Again, you can buy a real patternmaker’s square at Morplan and again, you really need the right equipment to expect to get a good, accurate draft. If you're watching the pennies the book will do, but it's really no substitute. (A right angle is the angle at the corner of a square.)

A calculator (to prevent brain meltdown). If you’re using inches, you may find the Patternmaking Calculator useful – it’s a calculator that uses fractions! And it’s free!

A Flexicurve (optional) to help you draw smooth curves. Again, you can buy proper curves at Morplan.

A large sheet of paper. If you don’t wish to buy a large roll of patternmaking paper, try using a roll of brown paper or the back of an old roll of gift wrapping paper.

A large, flat working surface. The higher, the better, to save your back!

Scissors. Make sure you use a different pair of scissors for cutting paper and card from your fabric scissors; cutting paper with fabric scissors will blunt them faster.

Sticky tape (eg. sellotape or Scotch tape), for sticking sheets of paper together if necessary.

Tracing paper, both a small piece and a couple of large sheets. You'll need the large sheets to trace, from the draft, a pattern that you can cut up and pin to fabric.

Scrap fabric, which you'll need to make a mock-up of the finished draft. Classically, we use calico or muslin but I recommend cotton drill for mocking up corsets.

Once you have your equipment assembled, it's time to take your measurements.

 


Victorian dressmaker measuring her client

Taking measurements is a vital element in the creation of a perfectly fitting block or garment. Extra care at this stage can save you an extraordinary amount of time, effort and extra expense later. So before we begin, I need you to make me a few promises:

  1. You will be honest about your measurements. Telling little white lies will only result in a garment that does not fit. I can guarantee that you will not be satisfied with the resulting corset if you have not given your true measurements.
  2. You’ll take it seriously – too often, a costumer is left working with inaccurate measurements because she had a measuring party involving herself, her best friend and a few too many glasses of wine! Make sure you get it right, I can’t stress that enough!
  3. The measurements have been taken whilst you’ve been wearing what you would normally wear under the finished corset, as much as possible (a slip and well-fitting bra are fine but there’s no point measuring yourself for a fitted bodice block whilst wearing a sweater.) It may help to wear a close-fitting top with sleeves since you'll need to know where your "armscye" (armhole) is.
  4. Yes, that's right, wear your bra too when you're measuring for a corset - it'll ensure that your bust is in a more similar position to its final, corsetted location and make it easier to find the measurements of the corset that'll hold it there!

Do we have a deal? Right, here goes!


Tie a string or ribbon around your waist, where you bend naturally – not too tightly, just snug, and horizontal. This will help you to take the vertical measurements accurately. Move around, bend from side to side and so on until it sits comfortably. Wear a well-fitting bra. (Even though you won't wear one under the corset, it will help position your bust in a more accurate corset-like position!)

Remember to stand up straight (but not overly so) with your weight evenly distributed.

Here are the measurements you'll need to draft your own corset:


Corset measurement chartBust (1) - Around the fullest part of your bust, with the tape straight across your back, as usual.

Bust to waist(2) - Measure at your side from the waist tape up to the level where you took your bust measurement.

Underbust (3) - measured along your bra band, directly under the bust.

Apex to waist (4) - measure from one nipple (ie. the fullest point of your breast) down to the waist tape at the side front, over the contours, not straight there.

Underbust to waist (5) - measure vertically from your bra band to the waist tape at the side front.

Desired waist (6) - Suck it in and pull the tape tight! Alternatively, measure your relaxed waist and take away your desired reduction from this value. (Beginner corsetwearers should aim for 5cm-10cm (2"-4") of reduction only for best results.)

Hips (7) - Measure around your hips at the fullest point. Note how far your measurement is below the waist tape.

Waist to hips (8) - The distance down your side from the level of the waist tape to the level where you took the hip measurement.

Front hip - The part of your hips at the front of your body. Measure along your hip line again as above, from the side seam on one side to the side seam on the other.

Back hip - This is just [your hip measurement] - [front hip], so you don't need to measure it again unless you wish to double-check.

Lap (9) - Sit on a hard chair (like a kitchen or dining chair) and measure from the waist tape at the side front straight down to the point where your thigh meets your torso. This measure will help to ensure that the corset doesn't extend too low here so that you can sit down in it!

Finally, for the following six values, measure vertically from the waist tape to the point where you'd like the edge of the corset to be.

Waist to top edge of corset (centre front)
Waist to top edge of corset (side)
Waist to top edge of corset (centre back)
Waist to bottom edge of corset (centre front)
Waist to bottom edge of corset (side)
Waist to bottom edge of corset (centre back)

Finally, don't forget to check all your measurements one more time, just to make sure. Measure twice, draft once!

 

Accounting for cup size

You'll need to split your bust measurement into "front bust" and "back bust". This will help the pattern to take account of your cup size, but you can work it out without any more measuring.

Your Back bust (the part of your bust behind your side seams) is worked out as follows:

 

Work out [Your underbust measurement] + 10cm (4")

Halve this to get your back bust measurement.

So if your underbust is 30", add 4" to get 34". Then halve this to get a back bust of 17".

Your Front bust (the part of your bust forward of your side seams) is

 

[Your bust measurement] - [your back bust measurement]


In other words, if your bust is 36" and your back bust is 17", then your front bust is 19".

 

Preparing the paper

 

Width of the paper = [half of front bust] + [half of back hip] + 10cm (4")


So if your front bust is 24" and your back hip is 26", then the paper should be

 

[half of 24]+[half of 26]+4 = 29" wide.


The height of the paper will depend on how long the corset is from waist to top and from waist to bottom. Pick the biggest of your three waist to bottom measurements. Then pick the biggest of the three waist to top measurements (or the apex to waist measurement, if it's bigger than all those three.)

The height of the paper is these two biggest measurements added together, plus 10cm (4").

Ready? Here we go!

 


OR

 


These downloads require Acrobat Reader - download it free here!


AND DON'T FORGET - the most important thing...

IF YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND OR CAN'T DO ANY PART OF THIS, IT'S BECAUSE I HAVEN'T EXPLAINED IT PROPERLY!! So if you find any part of this doesn't make sense, email me at cathy dot hay at harmanhay dot com! Good luck, and do let me know how your corset turns out!

"I would LOVE to thank you for actually getting back to me. Every other site hostess I've emailed in regards to their tutorial just gave me something along the lines of "I'm too busy being amazing. Go away." So you rock my socks. Hands down!!" - Chance, California, USA

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soundbrigade  
  A really good instruction for me/us who want to advance beyond the ready-to-use patterns.
However, I cannot access the printer-friendly version.
 
 
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madamenoire  
  hi
I too cannot access the print friendly version
thanks
madamenoire
 
 
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soundbrigade  
  I still cannot access the printer friendly version. I am in no mood to use up a ton of toner just to get a hard copy of this article. >:o  
 
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cathyhay  
  So sorry, the printer friendly version is now fixed and I've emailed all of you to let you know.  
 
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Pamela Donovan  
  Hello Cathy. I am from Australia and I was wondering if I could purchase a download corset pattern. Please advise. :)  
 
Jasmin  
  I love this!

just a heads up, on the bit where it first says about drafting for the larger bust, it says to turn to page 'XX', instead of the page number :-)
 
 
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cathyhay  
  Oops, sorry Jasmin!! Next time I revise the pdf, I'll make sure I correct that. Thank you!  
 
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Thomi  
  This is fantastic , thank you so much. I have taken my measurements 3x to make sure they are correct and I have re-drawn my graft pattern 3x and still when I get to "p" and "q" (the start of the forth panel from the back) "q" ends up over lapping the previously panel by almost an inch. Any idea as to what's wrong? I've triple checked everything and it turns out the exact same.  
 
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Cathy Hay  
  Hi Thomi, thank you for giving the tutorial a try! You haven't done anything wrong at all - as it says below the diagram on page 30, "the line p-q may cross the line m-n on your pattern - this is fine, you haven't gone wrong."

The pieces you end up with may overlap each other on the draft. When you've finished drafting, you'll just need to trace them onto a new piece of paper to cut them out. This is recommended in any case at the end of the tutorial - then, if you make any changes on your mock-up, you can transfer them back to the original draft and use it again.

Best wishes, Cathy
 
 
Crystal  
  Question: Why, when calculating the front and back bust measurements, do you add 10 cm/4" to the underbust? (And for that matter, why do you add that same measurement when preparing the paper?) Does it have something to do with seam allowances or pattern pieces that I haven't looked at yet because I haven't downloaded the drafting directions yet? ;)

It's just a little worrisome that taking my actual side-seam-to-side-seam measurements in a shirt that fits me doesn't give me the same results as that calculation, but maybe that's on purpose?

Thanks much for any clarification. ;D
 
 
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tracey iris  
  :-D i thought id lost this pattern formula!
I downloaded it when it first came out, this is the kind of patterndrafting i was taught so i found it easy to follow.
I did botch it up the first go i had of course, then had to put it aside for other projects and couldnt find it.
 
 
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Becca  
  I've been needing something like this and look forward to trying it out!  
 
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Michelle  
  I want to thank you sincerely for providing this information. I have always wanted to try wearing a corset (more for back problems than vanity). You have provided me with a possible means to starting out.

Thank you again and as soon as I can I may be subscribing to your publication.:-)
 
 
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Tovah  
  I think it would be easier to follow if you had 2 pdf choices. One for the larger busted, and one for the smaller busted. I am of the smaller busted crowd, and I found the instructions confusing when trying to figure out what to do next. Since many of the pictures at the end are for the larger busted, the extra pattern peice gets confusing. It would be much easier if you could have one for each group, then people could pick the one that applies to them. Just a suggestion. :P  
 
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crookedfingers  
  Page 2 doesn't seem to be woking properly on your non-printer version, could you tell me what the instruction is please?  
 
Cathy Hay  
  Crystal, the extra bit added is just to ensure you've got enough room on the paper to space the pieces out.

Tracey, Becca, Michelle, thank you, I'm flattered that you're using this!

Tovah - good idea!

Crookedfingers, page 2 of the non-printer version says, "We'll begin as we did before, with a vertical line down the left hand side of the paper. Place it about 2" (5cm) from the edge. Mark point 1 on the line, 2" (5cm) from the top of the paper."

All commenters - please note that if you want a quick answer, do email me at: info at harmanhay dot com!
 
 
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Kristin  
  Wonderful that you took the time to post this, very helpful! a few questions..
(1) is it necessary to bone the muslin mock-up?
(2) is this pattern generator one that will require a something to be worn underneath or does it cover all of the breasts?
Thanks!:-D
 
 
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daisy1  
  This such a success! After making a less than well fitting purchased pattern corset for my heavy busted daughter, I took the plunge and drafted to her measurements , and produced a perfectly fitting corset- she loves it and I am delighted. It wasn't a lucky fluke either , because I drafted a corset toile for a client with some tricky personal measurements, and once again, a beautiful fitting corset THANK YOU!  
 
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cathyhay  
  Kristin, yes, always bone the mock-up - you won't see how the real thing will behave if it isn't boned.

Secondly, it's a mid-bust - it'll just reach nipple level, as the 1870s corset did, although you're welcome to go a little higher or lower as fits your needs.
 
 
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tina  
  Love your website  
 
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MJ  
  Hi! I'm going to use this guide to draft a pattern for myself. It looks so easy, when I read it through! I just have one question.

In bra size, I fluctuate between C and D depending on the design of the bra. Mostly the cup size depends on the shape of the wire; my breasts are not busty to look at but often cup C wires won't go around all the way.

How would this translate when wearing a corset, and which version of the pattern do you recommend I use? The C and below, or larger than C version?
 
 
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cathyhay  
  HI MJ, I'd go with the larger-than-C version - it's a lot easier to take it in than to let it out!

Since corsets don't generally have cups, I would think that your issues with underwires won't translate; I wouldn't have thought that you'll have problems. The problem comes when you try to mass-produce a garment to fit every unique woman in a standardised set of sizes!
 
 
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Samantha Tailor  
  This is a wonderful guide to basic corsetry and will come in fantastic use. It is clear easy to follow and well set out a good job and a big thank you for sharing this with the online community! :)  
 
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anabbear  
  HELP! :) i really want to learn how to properly draft an s-curve Edwardian corset but im completely lost even after a whole day of frustrating research and attempts. please let me know how you learned :)!  
 
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straitlaced  
  If you have the formula to adjust a paper pattern corset, can you adapt this method to redraw it rather than the 'cut and spread' method? It doesnt make allowances for the separate front and back measurements though, it just uses the full circumference.  
 
cathyhay  
  Hi Laura, this tutorial allows you to draw a specific style of corset from scratch. if you want to resize an existing pattern, I recommend http://www.foundationsrevealed.com/free-articles/68-the-new-corset-drafting-masterclass.  
 
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Nicole  
  I loved this tutorial! It's excellent. This is my first corset project, and the first fitting required only one quick modification. Thank you so much!  
 
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Gabriela  
  Muy interesante el tutorial pero no puedo acceder al PDF sad
Me lo puedes enviar vía email? Gracias!!!
 
 
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cathyhay  
  Gabriela, no me lo diga a su dirección de email! Envíenos un email a info @ harmanhay . com y te lo enviaremos a usted!  
 
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CJ  
  Just wanted to say thanks for posting an awesome step by step instruction... Ive made 2 corsets so far and very happy with the results... I just wanted to point out one thing... the portion that explains Front Bust, Back Bust, Front Hip, Back hip, and Desired Waist; Aren't explained very well.. I had to guess that the desired waist length was the half length. Once I decided to go with my interpretation, things went smoothly! Thanks again and looking forward to more sewing!  
 
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Heather  
  Neither of the versions are working for me. The first page downloads but the rest of them are blank. Help i want to make this!  
 
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cathyhay  
  Heather said :
Neither of the versions are working for me. The first page downloads but the rest of them are blank. Help i want to make this!


Heather, let us know your email address and we can send it to you by email.
 
 
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natata  
  Hi,
The links that you put in the "drafft your own Corset" section,both doesn´t work,please send to me a work well link to my email quikcly.
Thanks soo much.
Natata.
 
 
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cathyhay  
  Amber said :
hey there! I have made the "blue prints" of my measurement for the corset but dont know what to do next? how do I transfer it all from the paper to the fabric? Also which part of the measurements do I use...?
Thank you,
Amber


Amber, look again at the last part of the tutorial, page 53. You need to trace the pattern pieces from the draft onto a new sheet of paper, add seam allowance and use these as your pattern.
 
 
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cathyhay  
  maria s magistratti said :
Hi,
The links that you put in the "drafft your own Corset" section,both doesn´t work,please send to me a work well link to my email quikcly.
Thanks soo much.
Natata.


Maria, the links work well, but you may need to use them at low-traffic times as they are big files. I have emailed the tutorial to you.
 
 
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cathyhay  
  Andrea said :
Hi! I'm not able to view the tutorial; the page seems to be broken. Am I the only one with this problem? sad


Andrea, the links work well, but you may need to use them at low-traffic times as they are big files. I can email the tutorial to you if you use the "contact us" link to provide your email address.
 
 
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Suzy  
  Hi there, I'm almost through drafting my first corset, so far it's gone quite smoothly, however I'm not sure if the Waist to Top Edge measurements conform to the bust curve (as is done in measurement 4) or straight up (like 3) does anyone know or have any advice?  
 
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cathyhay  
  Suzy, the Waist to Top measurement goes straight up.  
 
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straitlaced  
  I have used the calculations to find my back and front bust, but my back is coming up bigger than my front. is this right? or should i swap them?  
 
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lwiles  
  I was wondering if we could somehow turn this pattern into an underbust corset. I prefer your instructions over Marianne's. Is there a way to convert these instructions to make an underbust?  
 
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deuxlunes  
  The "problem" I am having is that my 'a' and 'd' points overlap, muck like my 'p' and 'q', but you addressed that in the instructions. Is this a problem, or just something you forgot to mention in the instructions. The primary reason I think I have done something wrong is my resulting bust dimension over all the pieces is 13mm (1/2") too short. Possibly when you say "back bust" measurement you mean this minus the 2.5cm times two for the opening allowance? Although I guess this would apply to the "back hip" as well.

I hope that you someday show the derivations of the math for all of these calculations. As a very technical person, with a fair amount of experience in pattern making, I have been trying to back out the numbers you use on my own. Plus I was hoping that figuring this out would help me solve my "problem."
 
 
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emma  
  I actually found this quite difficult (maths is not my strong suit and some of the instructions were incomplete although it was a while ago and this may have been remedied). The corset it made was quite good albeit with more fitting problems than the commercial patterns I have tried so far.

Still, this is the sort of article I joined Foundations Revealed for. I hope there will be articles on pattern making in the future.
 
 
Cathy Hay  
  Emma, do drop me an email at info @ harmanhay . com and tell me more. Where did the instructions seem incomplete? What fitting problems did you experience? If you give specific details, I can use them to improve the tutorial.  
 
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debsta13  
  Hi, I drafted this pattern and made up the toile. The back fits really well but the chest is huge and the top seams needs taking in 6cm each side. It has to be tugged to meet in the middle - is this normal? Also (this is most likely a very silly question) but is this an over or underbust corset?  
 
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debsta13  
  Please will you clarify the back hip measurement. In the drafting it seems to say this is your hips minus your front hips. On page 6 there is an example of a back hip measurement of 80cm which throws me even more. as well as plotting the centreback line it is a measurement also used in the paper size so seems important?: confused  
 
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Cathy Hay  
  Hi Debsta13, 80cm is not a common back hip measurement, I admit; I think I must have picked a figure out of the air there to use as an example, and it wasn't necessarily a number you might expect.

It is simply the part of your hip measurement that goes from side seam to side seam around your behind. I mention it in determining the size of the paper just to ensure that you begin with a piece of paper that's big enough!
 
 
josedano  
  From wht I read this is a great article but I often find out that what I think is great may not be so. I can't wait until I try this in action. I plan on keeping a small sewing book while trying this on my self and my daughter. I am also going to to a block front anf back for my self and my daughter from the sister site. I can't wait to report back and let you know how it worked out for me. If it does work well I am going to let all of my renn / re enactors to join the sites to get great information for newbie sewers. unsure  
 
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Ali Wiltz  
  Hi my name is Ali and I am trying to make my first corset. The hardest part for me was figuring out the pattern and how to make the shape. Thank you so much by the way for having this online tutorial, but I would like to know with these measurements how do I make the shapes to create the type of design I want for example I wanted to try a Sweetheart and also a Victorian style design but I am not sure how to draw the 6 or 8 pieces to start sewing them together. I hope I am making sense but if I am not just message me so I can explain where I lost you. lol Again thank you, hope to hear from you soon.  
 
Cathy Hay  
  Hi Ali, thank you for giving it a try!

First of all, this *is* a Victorian design, so you're all set there. As for the pieces, just follow the instructions as written here and you'll end up with the pieces you need all mapped out. Thirdly, a "Sweetheart" design is simply a shape that gives a heart shape at the top front, over the bust. You can do that by completing the tutorial, making the mock-up (practice) corset, and drawing the shape you want on the top edge. Then just transfer those markings back to the paper pattern and begin cutting the final garment!
 
 
Alice Armstrong  
  I just wanted to say thanks for this pattern. I am very short waisted with narrow hips. The combination of non-standard vertical proportions and non-standard bust-waist-hip measurements have meant years of not-quite-right corsets and back pain.

This pattern was the solution, and I cannot recommend it enough. Thanks!
 
 
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Natalia  
  Thank You so much!!! It is easy to understand.. I will defenately use the patern and will share it with my friends! Printer friendly version is working just perfectly well ! rolleyes  
 
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Natalia  
  Thank You so much!!! It is easy to understand.. I will definitely use the pattern and will share it with my friends! Printer friendly version is working just perfectly well ! rolleyes  
 
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Enid  
  Hi
Thank you for sharing this instructions.
I have one problem, my underbust measurement + 4" is more than my bust measurement the half front bust ends being less than the half back bust.
is there a ideal proportion or other form to get this measurement?
thanks for all
 
 
Cathy Hay  
  Enid, thank you for your question. I would get a more accurate measurement by actually measuring around your back at bust level from side seam to side seam (ask a friend to help!)  
 
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Beth  
  I have been sewing for 40 years now. I have made patterns for easy things and recovered car seats by taking the old ones apart and using them as patterns. I have a unique body shape that is now 51 years old. I was looking for a corset online and they are all designed for young ladies. I am so excited about trying this out. I rarely fail at anything I set my mind to and think this is going to be a fun project. Thanks for sharing. I'll let you know how it comes out. If it comes out well I am going to have a blast mixing my quilting skills with this to make some very unique corsets!!!
 
 
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Beth  
  Tried it twice and lines over lap. I know I don't have a barrel shape, so there should be some change in the waste and bust area. Even had hubby go over the math with me to no avail. Neither of us could get it right. Feeling frustrated!  
 
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cathyhay  
  Yes, the lines on the draft may overlap: the draft is just your diagram. As you can see in the final pages of the tutorial, you will need to trace off each piece to use as your pattern pieces. Then your draft will still be intact if you need to check or change anything. Best wishes, Cathy  
 
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cathyhay  
  It sounds as though you are having further issues too, as well as the overlapping - please give more details so that I can help you. Best wishes, Cathy  
 
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Maureen  
  I've done it! I've mapped out all the lines, but now I'm at the waist to top and bottom and I'm not sure what contours I should be looking at. Should the back be below the shoulder blades? The front just over the nipple? The sides should be higher than front and back I believe? I'm new to corset wearing so it's all new to me. Thanks so much for a wonderful drafting tool!  
 
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cathyhay  
  You're welcome, Maureen, thank you for your kind words and I'm glad you're having fun with it!

The top and bottom edges can be wherever you wish. As a guide I recommend using the waist-to-top and waist-to-bottom measurements that you took as a guide, and drawing smooth curves between those marks. As an extra tip, make the top on the high side and the bottom on the low side, and when you make you mock-up you'll be able to trim it to size.

Best wishes, Cathy
 
 
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Maureen  
  Thank you, Cathy. great site. Lots of work on your part. Sure do appreciate it. Off to cut out my pieces now. I'll let you see the finished product when I get that far :) thanks for the hand holding.  
 
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Teresa Ayerra Ballesteros  
  sorry to say I cannot get my free corset pattern. How can I get it?
Your web is an extraordinary one. I enjoy it each time I read it. thanks very much
 
 
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cathyhay  
  I'm glad you enjoy the site, Teresa! To download the pattern drafting tutorial, just click on the links above saying "Download colour-coded version" OR "Download printer-friendly version". Best wishes, Cathy  
 
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starbuck82  
  when i get to points a, b and c are they calculated on half back, desired waist and back hip or the whole measurement?  
 
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cathyhay  
  They are calculated on back bust, desired waist and back hip, as it says in the instructions. The http://foundationsrevealed.com/index-of-articles/free/beginner/74-draft-your-own-corset?showall=&start=2 of this article shows how to find all of these measurements. (Back bust is under the heading "Accounting for cup size".)

Thank you for giving the tutorial a try!
 
 
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Tara  
  Hey, thanks for the tutorial. I was wondering if this could be drafted directly as an underbust corset patttern or would I need to draft it as an overbust and then use the D line to adapt it to an underbust. I took my measurements last night and I am getting ready to draft.  
 
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cathyhay  
  Hi Tara, you could use this tutorial and then change the top line, although you'd need to take it in around the top to fit snugly under the bust. http://foundationsrevealed.com/index-of-articles/corsetry/corsetpatterns/345-underbust-pattern-drafting  
 
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Tara  
  Thank you. I decided to try drafting as an overbust first and then going across line D to make it an underbust. Also, when I did the math, I got that my front bust and back bust were equal.  
 
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Myranda  
  I get MUCH more dramatic shapes on the front parts of the corset than the back. the back tends to be pretty straight. Im completely confident in my measurements and that it will work out in the end, but Im just wondering how normal this is.  
 
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cathyhay  
  There are all types, Myranda. A corset is a very close-fitting garment that emphasises a figure's individuality. It highlights the truism that's concealed by modern, mostly shapeless mass produced clothes - the fact that we are all vastly different. Modern clothes MUST be shapeless in order for a handful of pre-determined sizes (not) to fit all of us!  
 
MARU GUERRERO  
  Hi
I want to get the instructions, how do I do?
Thanks
Maru
 
 
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pollyanna  
  Hi there Maru,
I'm not sure what you're stuck on, as the instructions are all in the article. If you get to the bottom of the page, just click 'next' and it should take you through, stage by stage. There are also links to some of the other key articles and bits of information you'll need.
If there's something specific you can't find or need advice on, please contact us at info@harmanhay.com and we'll do all we can to help.
Thanks,
Pollyanna (Harman Hay web mouse)
 
 
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Georgia  
  My front and back bust measurements are the same! Is this normal? Help.  
 
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cathyhay  
  Hi Georgia, this is not unusual. The tutorial should work for you whatever your measurements and proportions are.  
 
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Lars  
  Greetings from Western Australia
Hi Cathy, my name is Lars. I am making some corsets for my lovely partner who is in Ethiopia...we have only measurements to work with, so drafting seems to be the way to go.
Thank you for your tutorial. It is nicely done.
Once completed, I understood what is going on.
Some angles were not identical to it's mate, so I evened them up without changing the total measures at top and bottom, if that makes sense. Also I evened out panel size, to make them even at waist-line. Again, without changing the totals top & bottom.
My question: Do you see problems in doing this?
I wish to make an underbust. The pattern is 70mm over at the underbust line. I simply adjusted the pattern to be correct according to the underbust measurement, thus ignoring the Bust measure...this seems right to me. I guess I'd like to just make sure, if you will be my sounding board whistle

Thank you kindly for your time and effort.
Sincerely yours
Lars



 
 
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cathyhay  
  Hi Lars, it sounds as though you have a meticulous approach - that will serve you well. All of your alterations sound intuitively correct, and yes, to make it an underbust you will indeed need to reduce the pattern around that area to fit snugly there. If you are fitting your (very lucky!) partner at a distance, I'd strongly recommend making a mock-up to send first to check the fit is right and make any changes needed, as there'll always be minor tweaks that you can make to improve it for the individual body in question. Meanwhile, a mock-up also means that you'll get a practice run at it if this is your first corset! Good luck!  
 
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ALISON  
  I don't even know what to do. I have drafted the beginning part fine before the multiplying comes in and then it is an epic fail. This multiplying by this and that has me so screwed up. Lines are crossing where they shouldn't be.  
 
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Lena Duchanes  
  I was just wondering, does the equation found in the "Accounting for Cup Size section" work for those of us who are a bit chestier?  
 
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ltm1801  
  I am very new and I have done the "draft your own" tutorial....fabulous instructions BTW!

My question is probably so mundane for most but is there somewhere on the site that I can get instructions on how to create an overbust pattern from it?

Any help to point me in the right direction would be greatly appreciated.....thank you
 
 
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Nichole  
  Hello, my name is Nichole. I want to thank you for putting the tutorial up and ask you some questions about it.
I'm on the step where you find point (a) using the back bust measurement times .22. My back bust is 18 in so that times .22 gives me 3.96. However when I go to mark it, it's less than an inch from point (P), my total distance from (M) to (P) is only 4.5 in and I am marking (a) by starting at (M) and measuring out towards (P). So I'm wondering, is that how it should be based on my measurements or do I halve the back bust measurement?
Thank you
 
 
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Danielle Paladino  
  Hello! I have a question. I tried this pattern out with a cotton mock up and it fit perfectly! My one problem is it seems this corset really only goes up to the nipple line, but I need to know how to curve the pieces in to go over my breast. Is there a measurement or step that shows that bit?  
 
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Riri Herbani  
  wow.. Thanks for sharing I really want to try to make this. Regard from Indonesia.  
 
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Charlie  
  Hello! I was wondering if there was an article on how to put this draft together?thanks! X  
 
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Byherhand frommyheart  
  Been at this for over a year drafting and failing, you finally made it all make sense!Thank you!  
 
emmacapponi  
  Hi Cathy,

I have admired and used your tutorials since the beginning of my corset making journey. I've recently started teaching classes and I have used Illustrator to make graphics similar to those you use in your tutorial. I am in awe! I am ready to give up after six - let alone however many you made for this tutorial. I have a new found admiration for the time you've put in to making these tutorials so clear and well illustrated. I've said it before, but I'll say it again - thank you!

Emma
 
 
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cathyhay  
  You're most welcome Emma, thank you for such a lovely comment!  
 
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NathanLaurie Yoder  
  We would like to subscribe to your email newsletters, please.
laurie_wallick@ yahoo.com. Also, do you have a Facebook page?

Thanks,

Lorili Design, Inc.

 
 
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aisling  
  Hi

I've added you to our mailing list.
Our Foundations Revealed Facebook page is at
http:// www.facebook.com/Foundations-Revealed-The-Corsetmakers-Companion-160554519117/

-Sharon
Harman Hay Publications
 
 
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Maladignia  
  You write that one should wear a bra when taking measurements. But I suppose this should be a bra without any padding?  
 
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cathyhay  
  That depends on whether you want to pad the corset too! If you want a corset without padding, then wear an unpadded bra when you measure. If you intend to pad the corset to the same proportions as you enjoy in a padded bra, then measure over the padded bra!  
 
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Kimberly Morningstar  
  Does this pattern include seam allowances or do you add that?  
 
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cathyhay  
  Once the draft is complete, the pattern pieces are traced off, and seam allowances added then. This step is explained towards the end of the instructions.  
 
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queenlily69  
  HI Cathy,
okay, I have a problem. Your drafting method was the first one I ever tried, and from recollection, it went great. I haven't used it for quite a while, but I"m making an overbust for my 34H cup daughter. And I am a tad confused about something.

I'll refer to K (Bust to waist) I know this is measure from the side Waist to the level of the bust measurement. That's all good. (I'll use an example measurement of 17cm)
Then we have the Apex to Waist, which is from 1 nipple to the Waist at the side front, over contours. (example measurement of 22)

My assumption is that the Apex is in line with the bust (ie the fullest part of the breast) So when inserting #8 (which is apex to waist @ 22cm) of course it comes higher than the full bust line. So I don't understand that one.

Second question in next message (I've run out of spaces!)
 
 
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queenlily69  
  Secondly, the instructions say to use the tape measure to measure along the curve from t through r and u through s to find 9a and 9b, which are both Apex to Waist measurements. This is on a different measurement again from #8. So essentially, I interpret that we have W-8 which is Apex to Waist, then we have the curved t-r and u-s producing 9a and 9b, which are also Apex to Waisst. And then of course, there is the measurement of Waist to Bust, of which I know is a straight line measurement, but at the same time, the bust line should be roughly the same line as the apex is on?

Am I as clear as mud? wink

Kelly
 
 
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cathyhay  
  Hi Kelly, thank you for your question. I've emailed you directly, but here's my answer again for anyone reading these comments who has the same question:

In answer to your first question, yes, 8 does come out higher than the K line when you're working with a large cup size. When the shape is in 3D, 8 and K are at the same level, but when you flatten that shape out into 2D, weird things happen. If you look again at the diagram on page 47, I have placed 8 higher than K. It's the purple line above the number 8.

9a and 9b come out lower than 8 because you're measuring with a tape measure along a curved line, rather than a straight one. Trust the process, it will come out right!
 
 
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Clarissa  
  So, my back bust is larger than my back hip, and my front hip is larger than my back bust. In short, my pattern looks a little funky (i.e. the pieces in the back curve in from the waist to the hip, and the pieces in front curve out from the waist to the hip). Is this normal and/or is this something I would need to correct for when drafting?

TLDR I'm worried that the finished corset will either look funny or provide pressure in funny areas in some way or another and thus be unsafe to wear.
 
 
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cathyhay  
  Hi Clarissa, thank you for your question. Yes, this is normal in the sense that you're not doing anything wrong - the pattern is designed to follow the contours of your body. Depending on how "squishy" you are, you may want to play with re-distributing some of the width among the pieces to give a more classic shape, but whether that will work will depend on what your body is willing to do. Some people are very squishy, finding it easy to redistribute their curves where they want them, others are firmer and would find that pressure uncomfortable. I would concnetrate on the reduction of the waist, as far as you want to go with that, and let the bust and hips swell out in their own unique way.  
 
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Mary  
  Hi,
I tried the pattern instruction and it helped me a lot in understanding corset structure. However I noticed something unexpected while I was validating my drawn corset pattern. To validate I was summing values on each level of corset (bust, waist, hips), here are my results:

BustLevelSum = 2*50%*FrontBust + 2*43%*BackBust = FrontBust + 86%*BackBust
ExpectedBustLev elSum = FrontBust + BackBust - 5cm

WaistLevelSum = 2*47%*DesiredWaist = 94%*DesiredWaist
ExpectedWaistLe velSum = DesiredWaist - 5cm

HipLevelSum = 2*50%*BackHip + 2*39%*FrontHip = BackHip + 78%*FrontHip
ExpectedHipLeve lSum = FrontHip + BackHip - 5cm

Of course I could made mistake in counting. Assuming that I counted and understood it correctly, sums are not consistent with body measurement. I don't understand why the pattern sums and expected sums are different. Maybe there is a kind of strategy under it..? Could you let me know why it is this way?
 
 
cathyhay  
  How extraordinary! I would say that the first two percentage discrepancies take account of that 5cm gap, and the differences in the percentage account for the fact that 5cm is a bigger percentage of the expected waist than of the expected bust. But at the hip level I may indeed have made a miscalculation, I don't remember making that kind of unusual distinction (remember I wrote this ten years ago!) I'm overhauling this site as a whole this year, and as part of that project I'll be refreshing this tutorial and putting it front and centre, so your observation is very timely, and I'll certainly take a closer look at that as I revise and update the tutorial! Thank you Mary!  
 
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