Beginner Corsetry:

~Main index~

-shapes
-patterns
-fabrics
-hardware
-construction
-lacing

-purchasing a corset

-wearing a corset

 

Drafting an Underbust Corset:

~Main index~

~Type One~
-measurements
-calculations
-drafting instructions

~Type Two~
-measurements
-calculations
-drafting instructions

 

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  How to Draft your Pattern

Start by drawing a large horizontal line across your paper. Mark off a spot on the left side. This is the front of your corset. Now get out your calculations sheet. Measure along the line you drew and make a mark at the length of (A). This mark is the side of your corset. From (A), measure out the length of (C) and make a mark. This is the back of your corset.

Now you need your vertical marks. From the front mark, measure up the length of your upper busk (3) or ribcage busk (13), whichever is longer. Make a tic for the second, shorter measurement. Then measure down from the front the length of the lower busk (4) or hips busk (14), whichever is longer, and make a tic for the other. Repeat at the back mark using upper back (9) and lacing ribcage (15) on the top, and lower back (10) and lacing hips (16) on the bottom. Finally, repeat for the side, using upper side (11) and lower side (12).

Next we need to make pieces. Take your number of pieces (20) and divide the long line into that many pieces. Ensure that the front center piece is at least 2x the width of your busk and that the back piece closest to the lacing is at least 2.5” wide. After that, I usually make the two pieces closest to the side line an inch or two bigger than the others, since we will take more reduction out of them. After you’ve marked your spots, extend them into lines until they are at least as long as the lines for the ribcage and hips on the front and back.

Next we are going to round the hips. Use a smooth line to connect the bottom of the center front with the bottom of the side line and back line. I usually like my front kind-of pointy and a larger curve on my backside, but it’s up to you. Just ensure that the point is wide enough to encase the busk you plan on using.

Next comes the waist reduction. Get out the calculations sheet again. Find measurement (E). This is the amount of reduction you will be getting on each front piece. From each piece line ON THE FRONT HALF, measure right along the waistline the amount of (E) to the left and make a tic. Do the same to the right. Ignore the left side of the front piece, we will not be doing a reduction there. Now focus on the side line. You are going to take an extra piece out of each side of the side line. This will make a greater reduction on the side of the corset, where your body is the squishiest. Measure two lengths of (E) on the front side of the center line.

Now we are going to do the same on the back half. Find measurement (H). This is the amount of reduction you will be getting on each back piece. From each piece line ON THE BACK HALF, measure right along the waistline the amount of (H) to the left and make a tic. Do the same to the right. Ignore the right side of the back piece, we will not be doing a reduction there. Now focus on the side line. Measure two lengths of (H) on the front side of the center line.

Now we need a smooth top line so we can do the top reductions. Draw a faint line that connects the top of the ribcage busk measurement (13) with the ribcage lacing measurement (15). These may or may not be the highest points on the front and back lines, so measure if you need to. Ignore the side line for now. This line is the ribcage line.

Next we’ll be taking the top reduction. Find measurement (J). This is the amount of top reduction you will be getting on each front piece. From each piece line ON THE FRONT HALF, measure along the ribcage line to the right the amount of (J) to the left and make a tic. Do the same to the right. Ignore the left side of the front piece, we will not be doing a reduction there. Now for the side line. Measure two lengths of (J) on the front side of the center line.

For the back, find measurement (M). This is the amount of top reduction you will be getting on each back piece. From each piece line ON THE BACK HALF, measure along the ribcage line to the right the amount of (M) to the left and make a tic. Do the same to the right. Ignore the right side of the back piece, we will not be doing a reduction there. Now for the side line. Measure two lengths of (M) on the front side of the center line.

Now that all your reductions are marked, you need to connect the dots. Make a smooth curve that connects the ribcage reduction with the waist reduction and the point where the hip line meets the bottom line. I like my curves to be close to the waist, it puts less pressure on the ribcage and hips that way, but it’s really personal preference.

Finally, you need a top line. Use a smooth curve to connect the upper busk mark with the upper side mark and the upper back marks. These marks may be higher or lower than the ribcage line, so double check to make sure. Also, ensure that the breast area is below the ribcage line. Otherwise it’s not an underbust, and squeezing your breasts into the top will be pinchy.

Now your corset is done! Cut out the pieces and use to cut your fabric. Remember, the lines we have drawn do not have a seam allowance, so you may want to re-trace the pieces on another sheet of paper to add in an allowance before you cut. The goal is to sew exactly on the lines you’ve drawn.

 

**Illustrations coming soon.**