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Tutorial 1. Cutting Preparations. Neckline Alteration on a Ready Pattern.

Tutorial 1.  Cutting Preparations.  Neckline Alteration on a Ready Pattern.

I start working on a corset with round quilted cups.

The sewing technique I am going to use here is more traditional.

Compared to the previous corset sewn in the simplified technique this one holds its shape better, is smoother and has more pronounced top and bottom lines both along the back and at the front.

This is a basic technique for sewing either corsets or wedding dresses.

Besides the technique of sewing round quilted cups suits for making separately cut quilted cups.

Please take a look at the scheme of the corset and a suggested pattern design for its cutting:

The front part of the corset consists of 5 pieces (3 pattern pieces):

- central part of the front with a crease - piece 1;

 - medium part of the front - piece 2;

 - side part of the front - piece 3.

The back of the corset consists of 2 pieces (2 pattern pieces):

- side part of the back - piece 4;

 - central part of the back - piece 5.

Calculating values for a non-standard version of this corset pattern for a client can be done exactly the same way as described for the previous corset sewn in the simplified technique.

The difference is that there is an additional curve on this corset which allows for greater freedom of possible pattern alteration.

It is for example much easier to alter the “under-bust circumference” measurement in a corset pattern like this. Altering this measurement usually triggers many questions. That’s why if there is still something you haven’t quite grasped about the “under-bust circumference” measurement of the previous corset - you will certainly solve any issues when altering the pattern of this corset and there will be no questions left!

Tools and Materials Required for Corset Tailoring:

I have made a collage of all things necessary for making a corset and took a picture of it.

You are going to need:

Main and lining fabric:

 - I have chosen crepe as the face (main) fabric;

 - for the lining I am going to use crepe-satin.

Some fine iron-on material such as batiste for face and lining.

Dense iron-on fabric for additional support in the cup area. I am using fabric produced by the German brand, Hansel. I don’t know what kinds of materials are available in your region so I will simply name some important requirements. The material should be dense like stiffening fabric, it should not stretch either along the grain of fabric or along the shoot. Its fusible properties are not as important because the additional details that I’m going to cut out of this fabric can be secured by machine-stitching. However it is very important that the material preserves its shape and durability properties after pressing.

Rigilene bones: both wide (0.5”) and narrow (0.3”). 

Four plastic bones that will be used for securing the lacing.

Measuring tape.


Pruner. I use it for cutting bones.


Small flock of padding polyester.  It is used for covering the cups of the corset.

Thread and needles.


These are the basic tools and materials. If you need something else during the working process - I will let you know. 

You are not going to need very much fabric. I will show you how to cut fabric if it consists of separate pieces - for example clippings left after sewing a skirt.

Neckline Alteration on a Ready Pattern.

And now I would like to go into more detail regarding the pattern of this corset.

The thing is that my pattern was originally designed with a crew neck cut.

Of course I will supply you with a pattern that has an appropriate neckline cut.

But I believe it will be interesting for you to learn how to alter the neckline cut of a corset.

This is not difficult at all!

I start altering the neckline shape of my pattern.

I take a piece of paper.

I stick pieces 1 and 2 of my pattern onto it with some sticky tape.

I prolong the lines of the pattern pieces upwards using a ruler:

I cut the piece of paper to separate the patterns:

I flip back piece 1 (still attached with sticky tape) and cut off all extra paper:

I return piece 1 into its original position and cut the paper along the drawn line:

Now I place piece 1 onto piece 2 matching their seam allowances. The patterns should be overlapped by an inch. I draw the desired neckline with a marker:

Then I cut it out and get a perfectly matched pattern:

The original pattern used for designing the new one has already been calculated and tested and its values have been carefully checked.

Fabric Consumption.

Having altered the patterns I would like to estimate how much fabric is needed.

I lay out the patterns the same way I am going to lay them out on fabric and measure their total length:

I have got 22.8 inches.

This means I am going to need 1.2 meters of iron-on material and fabric.

The width of the relevant fabric should equal the length of the tallest pattern piece which is 17.7 inches.

I tear a piece off my iron-on batiste. The piece is 1.2 meter long and 35.4 inches wide.

I cut the batiste into two pieces 1.2 meter long and 17.7 inch wide because I am using different fabric for the face and the lining. 

I am going to use whole-piece fabric for the face side; and for the lining I am going to use several individual fabric pieces (rags) left after sewing some other garment.

I place a piece of batiste (that I’m later going to fuse on) to the crepe used for the face fabric:

However the crepe-satin piece for the lining has an irregular shape and I can’t fuse the batiste onto it as a whole piece:

In the next tutorial I will tell you how to cut a pattern in a case like this and how to fuse its pieces.

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