As some club members know, Ms Nancy and I are taking a corset making class at NSCAD Extended Studies. We spent the first couple of weeks drafting our own custom Victorian corset patterns, with me using a friend as a model cause there ain’t much to squish on me… not that it’d squish much, anyway.

The pattern drafting was from scratch. Blank piece of paper. Take a bunch of measurements and do what seemed like a gazillion calculations, drawing lines, squaring off at right angles, squaring off more at distances from line intersections, drawing points left and right of them to the millimetre, joining other points using straight lines or curves, etc. I believe we marked about 60 points that had meaning to the pattern!

Then we identified which of the shapes were pieces on our corset, and which were throwaway space before cutting it out.

Now, that’s not really helpful for helping you draft your own custom Victorian corset pattern. And definitely not worthy of the “How to” in the title. So why did I put that there? Because I found pretty much the same technique online, brilliantly shared in all its glorious detail via a 54 page print out PDF you can download and try yourself!

Foundations Revealed Custom Victorian Corset Pattern Drafting Instructions

The link is to page 3 of the full post too long on one page, but most of the key info is there, anyway. The download is near the bottom of this page. They even have two versions, one printer friendly and one colour coded that will make life a fair bit easier for you to understand.

I highly recommend you try this, or just even look at it, just to see what’s involved compared to your regular pattern drafting or alteration of patterns. The art of the art is amazing! They promise you can ask them questions until you get a satisfactory answer! The rest of the corset making involves some other skills not covered, but Ms Nancy and I can answer some of those after our class is over if you want to ask. You can’t badger us relentlessly till you get a satisfactory answer, though! 🙂

Our class is over the night before the December meeting. If things go well, we may have something interesting for Sew and Tell! Well, at least that’s what I’m calling it! 😛

May not be too interesting for me because first time around, it’s hard to design given some things might need to be done between certain steps. Until one has the insight into all the steps, one could easily miss out on when one needed to put in something, or do it only to have it get in the way of the rest of the process. But I’ll guarantee you there’ll be at least a second corset coming after this first one, fully designed, after I get to know all the steps!

In the meanwhile, if you want to see some corsets, there are many on Pinterest (just search for “corset”). I have my own Corset Board if you want to see my tastes in corsets, and also some more resources on my Corset Making board.

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