Caroline's corset blog

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  1. In my quest to increase the size variables in cupped corsetry I have been wanting to first get a bra pattern out. I took a course in bra making a few years ago and have made 4 or 5 of my own bras but I had always used a commerical pattern. And guess what, they were never comfortable!

    So I have spent the last two months or so teaching myself how to grade bra patterns using Beverly Johnson and Shin's text books, and Youtube. The complicated radial grading didn't appeal so I decided to make every size individually. I've managed 50 sizes so far and there is probably another 50 to go!




    I want makers who use my pattern to think about the size and shape of the breast and use the direct measurements of the cup (bottom cup depth and cross cup depth) against the frame (wire cradle)/ band to result in a perfect fitting bra. 

    The pattern I made for myself does not actually team the 'appropriate' cups with the 'appropriate' band as I realised when drafting that I had probably been wearing the wrong wire all these years (but the cups were always too large with a larger wire). The result was that I teamed smaller cups with the larger wire (frame/cradle) and adjusted the top cup so that it was flush with the top of the frame. I have included an instruction sheet in the pattern that shows how this is done. The result was a perfect fitting bra!


    I'm now going to take the cradle (frame) that I've developed for these 50 sizes and insert them into a corset body. I'll keep the straps I think for this next cupped design - i t means some of the larger sizes will then be fully supported.



  2. I'm coming to the end of my Level 2 Fashion and Pattern Cutting course at the WMC and was lucky to be given the opportunity to photograph some of my garments in the studio last week. I managed to get a model (Lina Piprek) and a MUA (Nicole Bailey-Barker) at the last minute to shoot three looks that I've been madly working on these past few weeks.

    The theme we have been working to is London Mechanic and I have been reserching all things man-made above and below the river Thames - my title being 'The River Thames - Man Made River'.

    As a corset designer I am all about geometry and shape so it is this aspect that interested me the most with this project. I wanted to emulate the bold shape of the flood barrier domes in my corset (which was also quilted to mimic the steel cladding), and the swirling crescent shapes of the tunnel supporting structure that disappear into the distance getting progressively smaller with perspective. Colours used were silver for the barrier and gold/browns for the tunnel.

    Below are a few of the pics with the inspirational photo;

    1. The Thames flood barrier

    close up


    floating on air

    back close



    back slate

    2. The first Thames tunnel 



    DSC_0006 1

    DSC_0068 2

    DSC_0013 2

    The garments based on the crescent shaping have formed the basis of a mini collection - an under-bust corset will complete the look;

    all options

    Thanks to Darren Corbin for the photography

  3. I have been attending a fashion and pattern cutting course since January (just one day a week)  and have loved it. The theme we have had to work to (London Mechanic) has thrown up a lot of ideas - I have been researching all things River Thames (Man-made River is my title) and I kept going back to one image of the first Thames tunnel. The colours (browns and golds) were lovely, and the swirling shapes of the supporting structure disappearing into the distance reminded me of crescent shapes.


    I kept waking up with images of crescent shapes interlocking together and thought I would start with a bra and see where it took me.

    I initially draped the shapes on to my mannequin but the resultant cups were too flat so I took a bra block and chopped it around in CAD to arrive at this 5-pannelled piece.


    I wanted to create an ensemble pattern that is comprised of a bra, a cupped corset, an under-bust corset, a skirt, and a dress by working down the body with horizontally panelled shapes that inter-locked and loosely resembled crescents.

    Here is the under-bust;

    front 1

    And the skirt;

    front (2)


    The cupped corset dress is the final garment - in the next part of this blog I'll talk about whether it was successful or not as this is proving the most challenging part of the project. Here is a view of the back of the dress so far;



    And the cups I'm currently wrestling with;