Monday, January 16, 2012

The Edwardian Stays Pattern

It was a completely productive weekend. After a bit of a set back I managed to get my Edwardian stays pattern completely ready. I stupidly did my first attempt at patterning the wrong way. to be fair, I was following what someone else had suggested and not the way that I would normally go about it. Let me explain.

I am going to be making the 1918 stays pattern from Jill Saleen's Corsets. I photocopied the pattern out and enlarged it to full scale. I taped it together and then set in for some maths. Basically, I measure the bust, waist and hip on the pattern and worked out the difference between it and me (taking into account a 4 inch lacing gap at the back). I the proceeded to split my pattern pieces down the centre and add a panel in a inverted v shape so that I could get more fullness over the hip (where I need it most), through the bust and bit more through the waist. Unfortunately this is a really bad idea because you don't end up adding an exact amount on each section, and instead just spreading the pattern while keeping the proportion the same. I'm not that shape. But I made a mock up - which laced closed and didn't really do anything. So, I took my pattern in a little and did a second mock up. Way way way too small. The back had about a 9 inch gap in the lacing. Colour me un-impressed.

So, I went back to the drawing board and did it my way. (At least now I know what really works for me in the future). I again, measured the corset. Then I measured me. Bust, Waist and Hip. I also measured my waist to bust depth. I compared that to the corset and added an inch between waist and bust to give me the bust support that I wanted. Then came the maths. I measured my back bust, back waist and back hip and took these measurements from the total measurements and then deducted 4 inches for the lacing gap (and weight loss, hopefully). I then divided this measurement in half (as you are only working on half of the pattern). Next, I worked out the difference between the corset and my own measurements. I divided these numbers by two (as there are two panels in the back) to give me how much I needed to add on each piece. I then marked it out on the edge of one side (the ones that would join), and sketched in the amount. I did the same for the front, using my front measurements and deducting the corset size. As there are three panels, I divided the difference by three. I added the excess amount to the seams between Centre Front and Middle Front and Middle Front and Side Front. For the middle panel, I divided the addition by two and added it to each side.

I then added my seam allowance and mocked it up. And it is just about perfect. The only change I need to make is to give it another 1.5cm on the bust at the front so that it its up a little higher, and to extend the boning on the front down about 1 inch to give a bit more of a smooth front. As I am high-waisted, I need the extra length over my tummy.

So, this week, I am planning to make the couple changes on my stays and the get them cut out. But firstly, I have to order my busk and boning. I didn't do this already as I had no idea what lenghts I would need. All in all, was a productive weekend.

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