Sunday, April 8, 2012

Back to Drafting!

This is what my living room floor looks like right now:

I'm back at it! Boy, it's been a few years since I've done any major pattern drafting... I am out of practice! Unfortunately, I'm also out of practice taking my measurements, so this has taken a bit more adjusting than I remember! Some of the problem is that I am also paranoid about making a corset that doesn't leave scabs on my hips. Been there, done that... I'd rather avoid it this time around if I can.

I've learned a few surprising things about my body through this process. Specifically, that it does not look the way I think it looks. For instance, I knew I had a high waist, but seriously? Seriously? That is a SHORT pattern. Also, putting my bust point on the pattern where I "should" (read: where I measured it) left me with a way-too-low-even-for-a-basic-pattern-block neckline. Is this a sign that I need to get a better bra? Well, I already knew that...

It's always amazing to me that you can take a few measurements and just draw yourself something that fits your body. I'm not particularly good at math, so maybe that's where some of the mysticism comes in. Obviously, I can find my way around basic geometry (otherwise I wouldn't be able to do this at all), but it's still a bit of a mystery to me how it works; I just follow the directions and figure it out as I go. Incidentally, if you'd like to figure out how to make your very own basic conic block as a starting point for a Tudor corset pattern, I highly recommend Sempstress' instructions. This website has been invaluable for drafting basic Tudor pieces.

Just FYI, in the photograph above, the paper bag was my starting point, the middle piece represents the block after a few changes were made, and the bottom pattern is what I am actually planning on altering into something of a corset shape (add tabs, adjust the straps, reduce the bust), cutting out, and trying on. Darn it, I don't have any lacing strips to use, but I guess I'll just eyeball it with my boyfriend holding it closed for now. That should get me about as close as I could get without putting any boning in, anyway, since I'm planning on leaving a bit of a generous gap in the back. I want it to be able to handle some weight fluctuations.

Wonder what the big picture is? Well, I'm hoping to end up with a foundation garment that will work out for a Tudor and Elizabethan silhouette. For now, I'd like to avoid making anything too specific to any one set of clothes, since I don't know how much time I'll have in the future to devote to sewing, and I'm also not married to doing everything 100% historically accurately. This last point is the one I'd rather not admit; I'm not altogether confident in my abilities, and I'd rather not expend too much expense on undergarments before I've got a pattern that fits me and a method that produces reliable and sturdy results. I expect the shape I'm aiming for will be a good starting point for a Tudor or Elizabethan shape, even if it's not specific to either .

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