Caroline's corset blog

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Category: Projects

  1. Corset comfort survey

    Posted on

    The subject of fit and comfort is central to corsetry and as a pattern maker it is imperative that my designs can be worn, with ease, by everyone who makes them. It would be great to have a set of rules to draft by, but one set of rules, whilst effective for one body, will not work for another, and so corset makers need to know how to design and tweak their patterns for optimal fit and comfort. This subject is often over-looked in pattern instructions and literature, with only sizing and construction techniques being covered.

    By creating this short survey I wanted to reach out to the corset wearing community and tap into their experience so I could expand on my own literature that I send out with my patterns, but also by sharing these findings it will hopefully help makers who are currently struggling with creating a truly comfortable corset.

    Here are the charts from the survey:

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    Summary

    • Fit is key for comfort. There are no surprises here but it does illustrate that an off-the-rail corset is not going to be as comfortable as a made-to-measure, and all patterns will need to be ‘tweaked’. Even if a corset wearer conforms exactly to a standardised measuring system, there will be improvements that can be made to comfort by making a toile. Distribution of flesh has an effect on comfort and the look of the corset and making a toile is the only way to assess this.
    • The jury seems to be out with regards to number of panels. More panels to a corset do seem to be slightly more favourable however with fewer panels, less mistakes are made, so precision is better.
    • There seems to be a preference for lots of bones. I was surprised that there was little mention of bone placement as being a factor in comfort.
    • Over-busts are often sought as a replacement for bras – there is huge potential here, especially in the larger bust fraternity. More patterns concentrating on bust support are required!
    • More training and coaching would be good for those wanting to move to digital drafting.
    • Unusual body shapes are not catered for in the commercial pattern market – especially those with short waists and large hip springs.
    • Bust and hip gores get the thumbs up.
    • Room for the ribs was cited often as being a factor in comfort.
  2. Patterning in CAD

    Posted on

    I've spent most of the summer writing a manual for corset makers who might want to have a go at drafting their patterns in CAD. I'm going to be presenting my techniques at the next Oxford Conference of Corsetry (August 2017) and this book came about whilst I was thinking about how to explain CAD to beginners. CAD can seem daunting and it certainly isn't something you can learn over a weekend, but with a little dedication it is quite straightforward moving from your dressmaker's paper to the screen. We live in a digital age after all - I find it so much easier filing, retrieving, amending and having a play around with designs in this way. I shall be listing my book in my Etsy shop in the near future but if you would like a copy (and not have to pay VAT if you live in Europe), please contact me with your e mail address and, via a PayPal payment, I can organise a copy to be delivered direct to your inbox. The book will retail at £18 initially.

    CAD front cover

  3. E Hume 1917 pattern

    Posted on

    So I have been working on the E Hume 1913 pattern so I can create a corset for the Foundations Revealed 2015 competiton, and thought I'd share the pattern in my etsy shop. It's a really lovely design however I think rib cages must have been much smaller in Edwardian times! Some tweaking will definitley be needed to fit the modern body!

    E Hume

    And here are a couple of pictures of progress so far;

    hume 1hume 2