# Tutorial 3. Calculating the Pattern after Individual Measurements.

## Tutorial 3. Calculating the Pattern after Individual Measurements.

All arrangements have been made in advance. I have sewn a corset mock-up and used it for taking all necessary measurements for my pattern. We are yet to do this together some time later. But for now I will use the measurements I got off my mock-up.

Let me draw a table first.

The first column lists the types of measurements and I need eight more columns for writing their values.

I write all types of measurements I need to calculate into the first column.

They are the following measurements:

- Bust front (BF);

- Under-bust front (UBF);

- Bust circumference (BC);

- Under-bust circumference (UBC);

- Waist circumference (W);

- Stomach circumference (S). For this particular corset I have taken the stomach measurement 9cm below the waistline both off the client and off the mock-up.

- Bust middle (BM);

- Clip.

The clip measurement is taken in the following directions: from the middle of the bust to the middle of the underarm (1) and from the middle of the bust to the corner (2).

Instead of measuring the distance between the middle of the bust and the middle of the neckline (3) on the central cup piece I have decided to take another measurement that would suit a crew neck and a strapless neckline better. It is better to measure the distance from the bust-line straight up to the neckline (4) for this purpose.  It is a lot easier too. This measurement equals 4cm on my client.

This mark indicates the deepest point of your crew neck. It will help you draw a beautiful neckline later. Due to these changes I’ve denoted the clip measurements by a “tick” that represents the distance to the underarm area and to the corner of the corset and an “up-arrow” that represents the distance between the bust-line and the neckline.   = =

- Side length (SL);

- Back length (BL). This is the distance between the waistline and the shoulder-blade. Whenever I take measurements off my clients I ask them to move their arms to find the spot where the shoulder-blade ends.

- Hip circumference (HC). I mention this measurement just in case. In my particular pattern the length from the waistline to the bottom is 18cm.

Our pattern is designed for a long corset. We are going to re-model it into a short corset – the one I drew before, with a down-pointing triangle at the front. I will demonstrate you how to re-model and alter it to achieve a beautiful bottom line at the front. The side seam will be rather short in this case (9cm from the waistline); in other words the side length of the corset will end at the stomach level.

Nevertheless, this pattern will come in handy if you decide to sew a dress with a see-through corset top. You can attach any kind of a skirt to the bottom of a long corset to turn it into a pretty dress. And in this very case you will need the “hip circumference” measurement that equals 18cm or any required length of your corset.

The remaining columns will contain: client’s measurements; pattern measurements; alterations along the middle of the bust (BM); alterations along the side seam at the front (F-Seam); alterations along the side seam at the back (B-Seam); adjusted alterations along the side seam at the back (Adj. B-Seam); alterations along front princess seams (F-Curves) and    .

All values in the table are measured in centimeters.

Now I just need to re-write my client’s measurements from my notebook into the second column of the table.

I write measurements taken off the mock-up sewn after the original (unaltered) pattern into the third column.

You should always make sure you know what you’re trying to achieve before recalculating a pattern after your client’s measurements. I receive a lot of e-mails with related questions. Perhaps you’d like to have a V-cut at the back? In other words you want to have a lacing or a closure in shape of a triangle with bare skin or some underlay fabric seen through. Or maybe you’d like to have a fixed distance between the lacing bars (for example 5cm). Or maybe you prefer the halves of the back to close tightly in the middle. Make up your mind in advance! Remember that in such cases you will need to make additional alterations!  You will need to account for a relevant distance (either for a V-cut or for a specific distance of 5cm or other). If you want a 5cm wide opening at the back, you will need to add this 5cm to all pattern measurements and then recalculate them after your client’s measurements with this value accounted for. In most cases I don’t do it and here is why. Judging from my own experience clients who order wedding dresses well in advance tend to put on weight at first and then start losing it by leaps and bounds as the wedding day approaches. There have been cases when lacing bars would just start overlapping. I had to take emergency measures as quickly as possible. However I leave it up to you to decide whether you should account for these alterations in advance if you need to produce a garment within a short term.

I will make all recalculations presuming that the lacing bars at the back close tightly. We’ll see what comes out of it but I’ve always found this way more convenient. I calculate the actual measurements without adding any extra space.

So, here are three measurements you should focus on above all:

- Bust front and under-bust front. These will determine the location of the side seam at the front and in general.

- Bust middle. This measurement will show how much you need to alter the central front piece including the cups (if relevant).

In my case the client’s bust middle measurement is 18.5cm and the one on the original pattern is 19.5cm. It is clear that I’ll end up with an extra centimeter if I cut the corset according to the pattern. This centimeter has to be removed. But since this piece has a fold line, we need to divide one centimeter in half and as a result narrow the centre of the front piece by 0.5cm. This 0.5cm should be kept in mind during the whole recalculation, for all measurements. That’s why I write -0.5cm into every =line of the third column. I write it down for the “hip circumference” as well – although this measurement is optional, we might need it later.

We are done with the bust middle and now I start calculating the location of the front side seam using the first two measurements and accounting for the alteration of the central front piece.

Bust front measurement:

It is 45cm on the pattern and 47cm on the client.

It is obvious that the side seam is going to shift.

Let’s calculate this shift.

However we have already narrowed the bust middle down by 1cm.

Therefore:

45cm – 1cm= 44cm

44cm– 47cm= -3cm

This is the value our pattern lacks. That being said, we need to add a half of this value (1.5cm) to the pattern. I write this value into the table (column 5, line 1).

Under-bust front measurement:

37cm on the pattern correspond to 39cm on the client.

However we have already narrowed the bust middle down by 1cm.

Therefore:

37cm – 1cm = 36cm

36cm – 39cm = -3cm

This is the value our pattern lacks. This means we need to add a half of this value (1.5cm) to the pattern. I write this value into the table (column 5, line 2).

Well, we have found two main values and they seem logical if we look at the front side and back side patterns. But we are talking about the side seam of the front.

If we need to add 1.5cm at the bust-line and the under-bust line levels, then it is reasonable to assume that the same 1.5cm should be added along the whole side of the front. If something doesn’t match well later, we can work on the back princess seams and on the front princess seams that go down from the waistline. Of course no alterations can be made for the front princess seams under the bust. But our front piece consists of three parts, i.e. there are two princess seams at the front. If we add 1-2mm to each edge of both seams, the resulting shape alteration will be inferior whereas the gain of circumference will be considerable. This way we can alter the pattern significantly with the help of an inconsiderable adjustment of these seams. But I’ve run ahead of time – for now we should add this 1.5cm along the whole length of the corset. There is no alteration in the bust middle of course.

And since we are talking about the front, let’s see what we should do with the clip.

Clip to the scye:

It is 12cm on the pattern and the client’s measurement is 9cm so I need to remove the following value:

9cm – 12cm = -3cm

Clip to the corner:

It is 12cm on the pattern and the client’s measurement is 10cm so I need to remove the following value:

10cm – 12cm = -2cm

And I need to lower the neckline by 2.5cm:

4cm– 6.5cm = -2.5cm

Now the neckline should look beautiful and correspond to the measurement.

I write the values into the table (column 5, line 8).

Side length:

It is 20cm on the pattern and the client’s measurement is 18cm. This means the standard side length should be shortened by 2cm.

18cm – 20cm = -2cm

I write it down in the table (column 5, line 9).

Back length:

It is 19cm on the pattern and the client’s measurement is 17cm. This means the standard back length should be shortened by 2 cm.

17cm – 19cm = -2cm

I write it down in the table (column 5, line 10).

Now let me calculate the side seam of the back.

Needless to say, there are no bust front or under-bust front measurements now. I write a dash in lines 1 and 2 of column 6.

The next measurement is bust circumference:

It is 82cm on the pattern and 85cm on the client.

I have already accounted for the adjustments of the bust middle (-1cm) and along the front side seam (3cm).

The value for two halves of the pattern equals:

-1cm + 3cm = 2cm

Thus:

82cm+ 2cm = 84cm

84cm– 85cm= -1cm

This is what our pattern lacks. And therefore we need to add a half of this value or 0.5cm to its bust circumference. I write it into the table (column 6, line 3).

Under-bust circumference:

It is 72cm on the pattern and 70cm on the client. I perform the same kind of calculation:

72cm + 2cm = 74cm

74cm – 70cm= 4cm

As we can see, we have extra 4cm that needs to be removed. If we divide it between two sides, we get the value of -2cm. I write it into the table (column 6, line 4).

Waist circumference:

It is 62cm on the pattern and 64cm on the client. Let me calculate:

62cm + 2cm = 64cm

This value corresponds to the client’s measurement. That means we don’t need to change anything. I write a zero in the table (column 6, line 5).

Stomach circumference 9cm below the waistline:

The client’s measurement coincides with that on the pattern – 78cm. But we have already added 2cm (1cm for each side) and it should be removed now. I write the value of -1cm into the table (column 6, line 6).

Bust middle – no alteration; clip – no alteration; side length – -2cm; back length – -2cm.

Hip circumference:

It is 92cm on the pattern and the client’s measurement is 96cm. Let me calculate:

92cm + 2cm = 94cm

94cm – 96cm= -2cm

This shows that the pattern lacks 2cm. So we should add 1cm to each side. I write this value into the table (column 6, line 11).

Now we have all necessary values for adjusting the pattern.

Let’s see what’s happened to the side seam.

I need to add 0.5cm at the bust-line level and remove as much as 2cm under the bust. There are no alterations along the waistline, however I need to remove 1cm at the stomach level and add 1cm at the hips. The result is an odd wavy side seam line.

That’s exactly why we have provided for adjustments of the back and (when necessary) front princess seams.

First of all we need to choose a combined value of side seam alteration that arises logically from our calculations. This value should be the same along the whole side seam. Looking at our table I suggest using a combined value of -1cm. I write it into column 7 starting from the under-bust circumference measurement.

Since I wouldn’t recommend making any changes to the bust circumference measurement, I write a zero there (column 7, line 3). The thing is that there is quite a great divergence between the bust-line and the under-bust line at the side seam of the back (2.5cm). This value is hard to distribute between princess seams. In order to make this task easier, I have minified this divergence by altering the side seam of the front by -1cm. In this case the divergence between the bust-line and the under-bust line will be 1cm and the rest can be distributed between the princess seams.

And now we need to recalculate everything very carefully in order to understand the way we will use princess seams at the front and at the back. The front princess seams at the bust and underneath it should remain untouched – it is a rule (I write dashes in lines 3 and 4 of column 8). Only the seams at the back are involved.

Let us calculate it all over again, accounting for all values written in the table.

Bust circumference:

It is 82cm on the pattern and the client’s measurement equals 85cm.

I need to account for the adjustment of the bust middle (-1cm) and along the side seam of the front (3cm).  And then I look at the adjusted side seam of the back (you can erase column 6). There are no alterations.

The adjustment value for two halves of the pattern is:

-1cm + 3cm + 0 = 2cm

Therefore:

82cm + 2cm = 84cm

84cm – 85cm= -1cm

That’s the value we are to account for in the pattern.

There are two back princess seams and therefore four cuts (red lines in the picture below), or eight cuts if we look from both sides.

So this one lacking centimeter should be distributed between eight cuts.

1cm ÷ 8 = 0.125cm

Putting it shortly we need to add 1mm at the bust-line level of the back princess seams (column 9, line 3).

Under-bust circumference:

72cm on the pattern corresponds to the client’s measurement of 70cm.

I need to account for the adjustment of the bust middle (1cm), along the side seam of the front (3cm) and along the adjusted side seam of the back (-2cm).

The adjustment value for two halves of the pattern is:

-1cm + 3cm – 2cm = 0cm

Therefore:

72cm + 0cm = 72cm

72cm – 70cm= 2cm

So I need to distribute this 2cm between eight cuts.

2cm ÷ 8 = 0.25cm

To cut a long story short, the pattern should be narrowed by 2mm at the under-bust level of our back princess seams (column 9, line 4).

Waist circumference:

Now you can adjust the front princess seams as well if necessary.

It is 62cm on the pattern and 64cm on the client.

I need to account for the adjustment of the bust middle (-1cm), along the side seam of the front (3cm) and along the adjusted side seam of the back (-2cm).

The adjustment value for two halves of the pattern is:

-1cm + 3cm – 2cm = 0cm

Therefore:

62cm + 0cm = 62cm

62cm – 64cm= -2cm

The pattern lacks 2cm. It can be distributed in the following manner: 1cm for the front princess seams and another 1cm for the back princess seams.

1cm ÷ 8 = 0.125cm

So I need to add 1mm at the waistline level of the front and back princess seams (columns 8 and 9, line 5).

Stomach circumference:

I make the same kind of calculation. It turns out that the measurements coincide and there are no alterations of princess seams at the level of the stomach. I write a zero in line 6 of columns 8 and 9.

Hip circumference:

Although this measurement isn’t used in this particular case, let us still calculate it for future reference.

It is 93cm on the pattern and the client’s measurement is 96cm.

I need to account for the adjustment of the bust middle (-1cm), along the side seam of the front (3cm) and along the adjusted side seam of the back (-2cm).

The adjustment value for two halves of the pattern is:

-1cm + 3cm – 2cm = 0cm

Therefore:

92cm + 0cm = 92cm

92cm – 96cm= -4cm

The pattern lacks 4cm. It can be distributed the following way: 2cm for the front princess seams and another 2cm for the back princess seams.

2cm÷ 8 = 0.25cm

As you can see we need to add 0.25cm at the waistline level of the front and back princess seams (columns 8 and 9, line 11).

This way we have re-distributed the “waviness” of the side seam by adjusting the curved seams by 1-2mm. Won’t you agree that a variation of a couple millimeters in our princess seams is not such a great change compared to the variation of a couple centimeters that we had on the side seam initially.