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Making a Corset Pattern with Duct Tape

Author: Robin

Filed in: corsets, corset, duct tape, crafts, sewing, pattern, corset pattern

If this is your first time doing a corset, then a pattern might be the best, however that patterns tend to fit the "average" figure. To make a rough pattern of what you are, just as a starting point I would suggest the old tee shirt and duct tape method. You need a friend to help or you must be very limber, an old tee-shirt, medical tape scissors (Sharp but rounded point), Sharpie Marker and a dressmakers tape measure.Remove the sleeves. Put on the tee shirt (If over the bust then a bra too) and start to tape.

 I liked to run the first tape from the top of the tee shirt to the bottom edge (Both front center and back center) and then from under the arm straight down to the edge of the shirt. Mark on the end of the tape the vertical center lines of the tape. Next piece is under the breasts. These do not have to be one continuous piece of tape, but they must go from tape to tape. Make sure the line of tape is even all the way around. .Work your way down with row after row of tape, it should be snug.  Make sure it is flat and smooth. If this corset is over the bust, then the piece the bust in place if there are cups, otherwise tape as you have been doing.

Add shoulder straps in needed. Please do not get to fancy, the edges can be rough. You are just trying to get an idea of what the pattern will look. Make sure all of the tee shirt is covered with layers of duct tape. Oh did I mention you may want the air conditioner on? Mark with the Sharpie vertical line for the front, back, sides (Under the arm, and under the front back of the arm, under the bust) a line around the corset under the bust, the waist, etc) Mark front, back,
the top of the shoulders (if you have straps), the bust points, etc. Use the dressmaker's tape measure to help make the line straight down.

Before you cut the it off, you need to make a few notations on the outfit, at least on the front center line. Place pattern markers >< at the top middle and bottom of the front along the line. Label them FT,FM,FB (front top, front middle, front bottom) on both side of the line. Once you feel it is about right, and then cut the shirt off, cut along the front of the shirt straight down the line you drew in the front. You should be able to get out of it now.

The next part will require a straight edge metal ruler, razor blade and a cutting surface (not the dinning room table).  Mark the back and side lines with the >< and what notation you wish to use, making sure they are unique. These are the pattern point where  you will have to reassemble the corset to.

Cut down the middle back (along the line) and the sides (the line under the arm pit and the shoulder straps at shoulder. You should have four pieces; put one side away for now unless you are asymmetrical.

Start the back piece, find a point somewhere half way between the back and the side and mark a line. Add the >< marks and label before cutting. Do the same in the front, those who have straps of over the bust with cups will have to remove the straps and cups, remember to
mark the >< where you feel it would be helpful. Draw a line on the front between the front and side, mark and cut. You should have 4 basic pieces for the corset (not including cups of straps). Depending on your figure, but you may have to cut section the corset into more pieces. From here you can make either a paper or muslin pattern. If you sew the muslin (you will need two of every piece) without adding more material for seam allowance, the pattern as it exists will be 4" smaller than you are. You can smooth out the edges as needed.

If you already have a commercial pattern that you like, you may want to compare the pattern with the one you just made and use the commercial pattern as a guide to where you want to cut the duct tape piece into. I hope I have not confused you.

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