How to Draft Your Own Custom Victorian Corset Pattern

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.

Foundations Revealed Site for Corset Making

A friend in the costume studies program at Dalhousie University recommended some content from this Foundations Revealed site to start learning about corset making before the NSCAD class begins in mid-October which was written about in the previous post. The site is only partly free. I don’t know enough about it to recommend paying for it or not, but there is still some pretty serious stuff that is free regarding corset making.

My friend specifically pointed out this PDF called The Corsetmaking Revolution, the New Corset Pattern Drafting Masterclass. She said it was really helpful when she started out, even though she’s tailored her techniques and methods from it with experience and personal preferences.

For those of you taking the class, or just interested in corset making, you might find it and the Foundations Revealed site interesting. Enjoy and tell us how you find the rest of the site!

More Machines for Sale

We seem to have a secret agenda to be taking over the Sewing Section of Kijiji or something! This notice is from our new President, Josée!

These two old sewing machines, for those who rescue old sewing machines, can be found at the Re-store in Dartmouth.

121 Ilsley Avenue, Unit U
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia B3B 1S4

Email: restoremanager@habitatns.ca
Phone: (902) 405-3755

Map

 

The Necchi has lots of accessories and a price tag of $100.  As for the Brother machine at $80, she could not find any accessories.

Good luck if you’re going after them!

Pattern Printing at Staples

I have been thinking about creating patterns with software. Wild Ginger had been suggested to me by Nancy. I’m not there yet, but one deterrent had been the thought of having to print out things on letter or legal sized paper, then cutting them out and piecing them together with crop marks on each sheet to make a bigger pattern piece. Most pattern pieces would be this way so I’d be doing it a lot, if so. I know what that’s about, having been a graphic designer, and it’s NOT fun!

So today, I finally got out to a Staples store a block from where I live to see what their printing capacity was. Turns out, they could print things up to 36″ wide (with 24″ and a few other standard widths being the option). And they could print any length a pattern might use since it’s on a pretty long roll of paper. You could even upload it to a Staples copy and print site (Canadian site), in PDF format which Wild Ginger produces, and pick it up rather soon or after 2 hours for a discount! Talk about saving time and money of a plotter, essentially, rather than a printer!

Cost for black and white wide printing is 49 cents a square foot if you can wait the 2 hours, 64 cents a square foot if you can’t. That would be the square footage of paper used, not of your pattern. So if you had a tie piece 6″ wide and 18″ long, for sake of an example, to make 0.75 square foot for your pattern. If you printed only 1, you’d still be paying for 3 feet wide by 0.5 foot long or 1.5 square foot. Or 1 square foot if you printed on a 24″ roll (2′ x 0.5′).

Figure out square footage by taking width x length in inches, and dividing by 144. And for costs in your mind, basically think 2 square feet for a dollar (plus tax). It’s a pretty good deal!

There are two slight drawbacks to this process. First, I’m not sure Wild Ginger would allow you to make the most efficient use of paper by jamming your pieces optimally. I’m glad I have software to manipulate that with Adobe Illustrator. Second, Staples doesn’t print on soft paper like pattern paper. It’s a bit more like your office paper. Still, to be able to print my patterns somewhere close by at an affordable price, without having to wait at the store or come back for a second trip, is fantastic!

Now, where can I buy time cheaply to learn this Wild Ginger software? I’m starting a new job Monday where I have 3 courses in software I have to take already.

p.s. I’m sure other places provide this sort of service as well. Maybe they’re cheaper, maybe not. I haven’t done the full market research and won’t be given the Staples solutions works for me.

Free Patterns from Allfreesewing.com

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Allfreesewing.com is a great site I found for free sewing patterns of all sorts! Better yet, they have their patterns organized in so many ways, from purpose to season to difficulty levels, and more. A quick browse of their categories show Read more

Creativ Festival YouTube Channel

The Creativ Festival (formerly the Creative Sewing and Needlework Festival) is Canada’s largest consumer show dedicated to sewing, knitting, quilting, beading, needlework, scrapbooking and crafting, designed to intrigue, indulge, excite, educate and inspire. They now have their own YouTube Channel on which they plan to have many “how to” videos, among others. A quick review shows some very practical videos, like this one about how to sew zippers by Linda McGehee

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