Monday, 1 September 2014

1884 corset - Pattern alteration and mock-ups

I now I have not shared a lot of the progress with the 1884 corset here, but boy has it been a journey! In terms of corsetry I definately consider myself a beginner and this was to be my third corset ever. My corset-career started of with a pre-bought kit for with a simplicity pattern and after that I went on the the truly victorian s-curve corset. This time I have to say that I really stepped up my game by choosing av pattern from a contemporary fashion magazine (links to website and pattern here).

Dealing with the pattern alterations was difficult, but I daresay I learned a lot. The pieces for all of the patterns in the magazine are fitted onto only two pages and my pattern can be found on the sheet below.

Quite a jumble right? So the first thing I did was to outline the pieces I needed.

Somewhat more orderly. For the first mock-up I simply enlarged this pattern to fit a busk I already had lying around, cut it out in a cheaper fabric and put it together. The result? Waay too big, no waist reduction (barely an hourglass shape) and no support for the bust. The bust gores started just above my natural waist.

 After this failure I put the project on hold for a very long time and did not take it up again until I signed up for foundations revealed and read an article about scaling patterns with photoshop. Being a proper nerd I thus set out to learn photoshop.

Using this method was awesome because it gave me the possibility of cleaning up the pattern pieces and aligning them on the computer without fearing that the scaling got fucked up (I am talking to you MS Word). So, after the first go with photoshop I had something that looked like this:

I then scaled the pattern to approximately fit my hips. I also cut it horizontally and increased the distance between the waist and underbust to compensate for my extremely long torso. At this point I started to suspect that the pattern was intended for someone with a body type vastly different from mine. Before doing a new mock-up from the pattern I reduced the waist measurement, mainly around the third panel from the left.

Mock-up no. 2

The fit was greatly improved with this mock-up and I started to feel enthusiastic about the project again. There were still some issues though. The mock-up closed in the back so it would have to be further scaled down. There were also still issues with the bust gores, they started too far down and were too wide which meant that they still offered no support whatsoever.

Moving on to mock-up no.3 I went back to photoshop, simply marked the whole pattern and reduced it to 95% of its size. I then even further increased the distance between the waist and underbust to get the gores to sit right. Once the pieces were printed out I again reduced the waist by hand.

Mock-up no.3

This time I was very happy with the fit. The gap in the back was acceptable, I liked the shape it gave me, it fitted smoothly over the hips and it supported the bust okay. After this I felt ready to move on the the real fabric with just minor alterations, like raising the underbust another inch and making the front gore a bit smaller.

That was all for this post, next one will be about the construction of the real corset!

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