Modifying Patterns

Specifically this post is about altering an existing corset pattern, but you can use the same technique to modify any other commercial patterns that need a little tweaking.

Tru-Grid Graph Material
Colored Markers
Pattern to Modify
Tape (optional)

My workspace already has a gridded cutting mat on it, which makes it really easy to line everything  else up.  Most pattern pieces will mark the natural waistline, which is an excellent place to start.  I laid out all my pattern pieces across the table in the order they are sewn to each other, lining up the natural waistline.  This gives you a sense of the garment's overall shape; how high it comes in the front, how low in the back, etc.  You may want to tape the pattern pieces down so they don't shift.

Next I placed my Tru-Grid Material (which is somewhat transparent) on top of my pattern pieces.  You may also want to tape this down.   I began with a red line all the way across my Tru-Grid to define the waistline. If you want  to lengthen or shorten your pattern this line will be crucial.  Next, I traced out the original pattern in the size I chose.  If you're between sizes, you can even mark those changes now (i.e. size 14 chest, but 12 waist).  You will also want to transfer the supplemental lines for boning and all the pattern notches (triangles) on your new pattern.

All that's left to do is redesign your pieces.  I recommend using a different color marker than you used for the original outline.  For the floorshow corset, I recommend straightening out the top across the bust, and shortening the bottom to get the right  effect (their corsets of course are worn completely backwards and upside down).  I also lengthened the lower back of mine.  For men, I would reduce the severity of the curved seams.

The instructions are generally the same,except you'll want to put eyelets where the corset busk would normally go in front, and a zipper up the back.

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