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Garments you can make using this technology:

Features:

  • Sewing technique of a light cocktail dress;
  • Perfect for beginners and for advanced sewers.

Skills you gain:

  • Drafting and altering the sewing pattern;
  • Sewing custom made cocktail dress;
  • Decorating the dress with drapery.

Where to use:

  • The technique in this course is perfect for making not only cocktail and evening dresses, but wedding dresses as well;
  • If you are a beginner in corset making – this is the perfect course to begin with! Understanding this technique will open the world of professional dressmaking before you!

Author: Tatiana Kozorovitsky

Total length: 3h 46m

Tutorial 7. Calculating Pattern Adjustments for Another Client.

(For Those Who Have Understood the Previous Tutorial).

This tutorial is addressed to those who have studied the previous tutorials and got the point behind my pattern adjustment method. Now I want to offer you to re-calculate the same pattern but with minor alterations. I have simply chosen another client with different proportions. And I will show you a fast and easy way of determining necessary adjustments. 

Let us use the same kind of a table for calculated values. There is an additional column in the table, “Bust Middle,” since the bust middle measurement of the pattern does not coincide with the client's.

The first column of the table contains the same key measurements which you need to take off the mock-up and off your client to adjust the pattern after her figure. They are:

- Bust front,

- Under-bust front,

- Bust circumference,

- Under-bust circumference,

- Waist circumference,

- Stomach circumference. I took this measurement 12cm below the waistline, both on the client and on the mock-up.

- Hip circumference. I took this measurement 19cm below the waistline, both on the client and on the mock-up.

- Bust middle,

- Clip,

- Distance from the bust line to the neckline of the corset.

These are all required measurements.


The second column of the table contains client's measurements.

And the third column contains the dimensions of the initial pattern. In other words, they are measurements taken off your mock-up. These measurements fully coincide with the measurements used in the previous calculations.

Bust middle: my client’s measurement is 18cm and it is 20cm on the pattern.

18cm – 20cm = -2cm

It looks like the pattern is 2cm larger than it should be. If I divide this 2cm between the two halves of the corset, then I need to remove 1cm from each side of it. Simply put, instead of placing the edge of the central front piece right at the fold line of the fabric, I will need to shift it 1cm beyond the fold line. If you decide to alter your printed-out paper pattern, you will simply trim 1cm along the centre of the piece and then place it with the edge right at the fold line. By removing 1cm along the centre, I reduce the bust middle by 2cm.


I write -1cm in lines 1-8 of column 4.  Why have I made a separate column for the adjustments of the bust middle measurement? The thing is that this value of -1cm will be involved in all calculations. It should always be before your eyes lest you forget about it and get confused.

After making things clear with the bust middle measurement, you need to determine the configuration of the side seam of the front. All calculated values should be recorded in column 5.

Two measurements are responsible for the configuration of the side seam or the balance of the garment: bust front and under-bust front. These two measurements indicate the configuration of the side seam on the altered pattern. In other words, they show where the side seam is located at the bust level and at the under-bust level. Moreover, these two measurements are responsible for the overall final configuration of the side seam.

Bust front measurement: 46cm on the client and 49cm on the pattern.

46cm– 49cm= -3cm.

It looks like the size of the pattern is 3cm larger than the size of the client. Quite naturally, I need to shift the side seam of the front 3cm inwards in this case. Since the front of the dress is made of two halves, I need to narrow each one down by 1.5cm.

But there is a very important detail! I have already removed 1cm from the bust middle measurement, which means I only need to remove another 0.5cm using the side seam of the front!

There is another way to calculate it.

The bust front measurement of the pattern is 49cm. But I have already removed 2cm from the bust middle measurement.

49cm – 2cm = 47cm

Therefore,

46cm – 47cm = -1cm

I divide -1cm in half because of the two halves. As the result, I need to shift the side seam of the front 0.5cm inwards at the level of the bust front measurement.  I write -0.5cm in the table (column 5, line 1).

You can calculate it any way you like, just make sure you don't get confused!

Under-bust front measurement: 37cm on the client and 40cm on the pattern.

But I have already reduced the bust front measurement by 2cm.

 40cm – 2cm = 38cm

Therefore,

37cm– 38cm= -1cm

I divide -1cm in half. As the result, I need to shift the side seam of the front 0.5cm inwards at the level of the under-bust front measurement.  I write -0.5cm in the table (column 5, line 2).

And now I need to choose a fixed value by which I will shift the side seam of the front inwards to adjust the pattern down. The previous two measurements already make it clear that I need to adjust the pattern down by 0.5cm along the bust line and the under-bust line by shifting the side seam of the front inwards. It logically follows that I need to shift the entire side seam 0.5cm inwards, from top to bottom.

I write -0.5cm in lines 3-7 of column 5.

I have already calculated the bust middle measurement so I put a dash in line 8 of column 6.

Let’s look at the clip measurement. Instead of making a separate column for the clip, I write all calculated values under the side seam of the front since it refers to the front half of the pattern.

- Towards the armscye: 9cm on the client and 11.5cm on the pattern.

9cm – 11.5cm = -2.5cm

I need to remove 2.5cm in the armscye area. I write -2.5cm in line 9 of column 5.

- Towards the corner: 9cm on the client and 12cm on the pattern.

9cm – 12cm = -3cm

I need to remove 3cm from the clip toward the corner. I write -3cm in line 9 of column 5.

- Distance from the bust line to the neckline of the corset: 5cm on the client and 7cm on the pattern.

5cm – 7cm = -2cm

I need to lower the neckline by 2cm. I write -2cm in line 10 of column 5.

These are all calculations related to the side seam of the front.


Let’s move to the side seam of the back. First I pre-calculate the configuration of the side seam and write the values under “Side Seams Back” (column 6).

Let’s begin calculating. You’ll see what happens after I take into account all measurements and calculations from the table.

The bust front and the under-bust front measurements are not involved in these calculations. I write dashes in the table.

I have narrowed down the standard pattern by 2cm in the bust middle measurement and by 1cm along the side seam of the front in the area between the bust line and the hip line.

-1cm + (-0.5)cm = -1.5cm

-1.5cm x 2 = -3cm

When calculating adjustments of the entire side seam of the back, I need to keep in mind that I have already adjusted the pattern down by 3cm.

Bust circumference: 85cm on the client and 92cm on the pattern.

But I have already narrowed the pattern down by 3cm.

92cm – 3cm = 89cm

85cm – 89cm = -4cm

It looks like the size of the pattern is 4cm larger than the size of the client. I need to shift the side seam of the back 4cm inwards in this case. Since the back of the dress is made of two halves, I need to narrow each one down by 2cm. I write -2cm in line 3 of column 6.

Under-bust circumference: 74cm on the client and 82cm on the pattern.

But I have already narrowed the pattern down by 3cm.

82cm – 3cm = 79cm.

74cm – 79cm = -5cm

It looks like the pattern is 5cm larger at the under-bust level than it's supposed to be according to my client's measurement. Therefore, I need to shift the side seam of the back 5cm inwards. Since the back of the dress is made of two halves, I need to narrow each one down by 2.5cm. I write -2.5cm in line 4 of column 6.

Waist circumference: 71cm on my client and 77cm on the pattern.

But I have already narrowed the pattern down by 3cm.

77cm – 3cm = 74cm

71cm – 74cm = -3cm

It looks like the pattern is 3cm larger in the waist than it is supposed to be according to the client's measurement. Therefore, I need to shift the side seam of the back 3cm inwards. Since the back of the dress is made of two halves, I need to narrow each one down by 1.5cm. I write -1.5cm in line 5 of column 6.

Stomach circumference: 91cm on the client and 97cm on the pattern.

But I have already narrowed the pattern down by 3cm.

97cm – 3cm = 94cm

91cm – 94cm = -3cm

The pattern is 3cm larger in the stomach (12cm below the waistline)than it is supposed to be according to the client's measurement. Therefore, I need to shift the side seam of the back 3cm inwards. Since the back of the dress is made of two halves, I need to narrow each one down by 1.5cm. I write -1.5cm in line 6 of column 6.

Hip circumference: 96cm on the client and 102cm on the pattern.

But I have already narrowed the pattern down by 3cm.

102cm – 3cm = 99cm

96cm – 99cm = -3cm

The pattern is 3cm larger in the hips (19cm below the waistline)than it is supposed to be according to the client's measurement. Therefore, I need to shift the side seam of the back 3cm inwards. Since the back of the dress is made of two halves, I need to narrow each one down by 1.5cm. I write -1.5cm in line 6 of column 7.

Bust middle, clip, and the distance from the bust line to the neckline of the corset are not involved in the calculations of the side seam of the back. I write dashes in the table (lines 8-10 of column 6).

Now I have all preliminary values for adjusting the side seam of the back. Let us study our calculations and analyze their results. There is little dispersion between the calculated values of adjustments along the circumference lines. Basically, I can leave the adjustment values for the side seam of the back as is. It means I will need to shift it 2cm inwards along the bust line, 2.5cm inwards along the under-bust line, 1.5cm inwards along the waistline, 1.5cm inwards along the stomach line and 1.5cm inwards along the hip line. The side seam in the area below the waistline will then shift by a fixed value and repeat its initial configuration on the pattern. But the initial gracefully curved shape of the side seam of the back looks somewhat too straight in the area above the waistline. It is better to re-calculate it a little.

It's best to achieve the same side seam configuration at the front and at the back.

When you put the adjusted pattern of the front over the adjusted pattern of the back, the contours of their side seams should coincide perfectly. And this will only happen if you adjust each side seam by the same fixed value from top to bottom.

In some cases you cannot preserve the initial shape of the side seam: for example, you may have to use a larger value for shifting the side seam of the front or the back at the waistline level. It happens when your client has a guitar-shaped body or when she wants the garment to make her waist more pronounced. In such cases it is impossible to use one and the same value for adjusting the entire side seam. If you do want to make a slimmer fit in the waist, make sure to keep the same degree of tightening at the front and at the back! Suppose you have narrowed the front and the back by 1cm each. If you need to remove another 2cm in the waist, you should do it both on the front and on the back half of the dress. Only then will the side seams have an identical shape. It is described in great detail in my learning materials. You will even find my own formula for calculating the side seam in the case when you have no princess seams but only darts at the front. It is a broad topic, really. I could not possibly squeeze all nuances into a single tutorial. If you are really determined to start sewing professionally and accepting multiple orders, I highly recommend that you purchase my other learning materials because contain the answers to all your questions. I never skip complicated issues. They are explained and described in detail in my manuals.

With this background, I believe I must not leave the side seam of the back the way it is now. The side seams of the front and of the back look different now, which means it will be very hard to sew them together and the result is unlikely to look any good.  The edge of the back might bite into the skin or, vice versa, end up too loose.

Let us improve the adjustments of the side seam of the back (column 7). We will study all calculation parameters and choose a fixed value for shifting the side seam of the back inwards.

I need to shift it inwards preserving the beautiful corset silhouette and, at the same time, bringing it closer to the client's size. I believe it makes sense to adopt the value of -1.5cm because the side seam of the back is supposed to be shifted inwards by this value in the waist, the stomach, and the hips.

Let us adopt -1.5cm as our fixed adjustment value for the entired side seam of the back.  I write -1.5cm in line 7 of column 6.

All other adjustments of the side seam of the back will be applied with the help of its princess seams (column 8). There are two princess seams at the back of the dress and each of them is made of two raw edges. It's why each calculated value should be divided by four.

Bust circumference: 85cm on the client and 92cm on the pattern.

I have reduced the standard pattern by 3cm (2cm in the bust middle and 1cm along the side seam of the front) and by another 3cm along the adjusted side seam of the back.

92cm - 3cm - 3cm = 86cm.

85cm – 86cm = -1cm

As you can see, the pattern is 1cm larger at the level of the bust than it is supposed to be according to my client's measurement. I need to account for it in the princess seams at the back.

-1cm  ÷ 4 = -0.2cm

 I need to shift each edge of each princess seam 0.2cm inwards at the level of the bust. The total circumference of the pattern will then be 85cm, which fully complies with the client's measurement. I write -0.2cm in line 8 of column 3.

Under-bust circumference: 74cm on the client and 82cm on the pattern.

I have reduced the standard pattern by 3cm (2cm in the bust middle and 1cm along the side seam of the front) and by another 3cm along the adjusted side seam of the back.

82cm - 3cm - 3cm = 76cm.

74cm – 76cm = -2cm

The pattern is 2cm larger at the under-bust level than it's supposed to be according to my client's measurement. Again, I need to account for it in the princess seams at the back.

-2cm  ÷ 4 = -0.5cm

Therefore, I need to shift each edge of each princess seam 0.5cm inwards at the under-bust level. The total circumference of the pattern will be 74cm, which fully complies with the client's measurement. I write -0.5cm in line 4 of column 8.

The calculated alteration value for the side seam of the back in the waist, stomach, and hipshas not changed: it is 1.5cm. There will be no alterations in the princess seams of the back!  I write zeroes in lines 5-7 of column 8.

So, the entire side seam of the back will shift 1.5cm inwards. The princess seams of the back will shift 0.2cm inwards at the level of the bust line and 0.5cm inwards at the under-bust line level.

The princess seam of the back will look like this:

In conclusion I would like to add that by including the princess seams of the back into the calculations you achieve the right overall distribution of circumferences, which results in a perfect fit of the garment. We are not doing anything overly complicated. Pure maths allows us to re-distribute the circumferences of the corset between the front and the back and put the side seam in place. 

Any deviations from the fixed value are accounted for in the princess seams of the back, with due attention to the body proportions and the silhouette.

Dress sewing patterns in PDF format.

To print the sewing patterns open the file, press “print” and choose “PRINT IN ACTUAL SIZE”. Then connect the part the way it is shown in the course.

Sewing pattern of the cocktail dress

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