Pattern used: Margo Anderson's Historic Costuming Patterns - specifically The Bodice Pattern from The Elizabethan Lady's Wardrobe, 1st edition
The person who owns the body in this example actually owns the 2nd edition of The Elizabethan Lady's Wardrobe. But because I had to reconstruct the pattern alterations after the fact, I had to use the edition I own, which is the 1st edition.
- Longer torso
- Narrower shoulders
- Thicker waist
- Bodice gapping at upper back
- Bodice gapping where strap meets front bodice
As always, click on thumbnail to see larger image.
Scroll down for more information and pictures.
The first step is measuring.
This measuring tape has a built-in slot on the side of the case which secures the tape for accurate measuring. When the red button is pushed, the tape snugs up a consistent amount every time.
Here is a list of the measurements that are needed and guidelines on how to take those measurements. The only thing I do differently from this list is to start the underarm measurement 1 inch above the top edge of the side of the bra.
The other measurement that is needed when working with Margo's patterns is the front shoulder-point-to-shoulder-point measurement.
The measurements are input into the Custom Corset Pattern Generator and the pattern instructions are printed out. The pattern instructions are used to draw the pattern on a cut-up brown paper bag. This photo shows the pattern.
This photo shows the back pattern piece with a two inch wide strip added to lengthen the torso.
This photo shows the front and side back pattern pieces with two inch wide strips added to lengthen the torso.
This photo shows the altered pattern pieces laid over the corset pattern.
This photo shows the back pattern piece, based on the shoulder-point-to-shoulder-point measurement, laid over the back pattern piece based on the bust measurement.
This photo shows the front pattern piece, based on the shoulder-point-to-shoulder-point measurement, laid over the front pattern piece based on the bust measurement. The pattern pieces are merged using the instructions found here and here. Then the merged pattern is traced a new piece of True-Grid.
This photo shows the merged pattern tracing laid over the corset pattern.
When the muslin was prepared and tried on, it revealed some other fit issues which need to be addressed. The upper back gapped. Alternative fixes for this problem can be found here. In this photo, there is a new cutting line marked on the merged pattern tracing which is about 3/8 inch at the top of the center back and which tapers to nothing at the bottom of the center back. The new seam line is marked parallel to the new center back cutting line.
The other fit issue revealed when trying on the muslin was that the strap gapped where it joined the bodice. In fitting the muslin, this gap was darted out. Here the strap has been rotated to match the fabric that was darted out of the muslin.
This photo shows the altered pattern tracing laid once more over the corset pattern. The new seam line, at the center back, has been placed on the center back seamline of the corset pattern.
In this photo, excess bits of True-Grid have been removed.
There was one more possible fitting problem and that was that the armcye was too small. There are two ways of handling this problem. One way is to cut the strap a little longer. This lowers the front and the back neckline edge of the bodice and may not be desirable. The other method is to cut the armcye a little lower under the arm. A combination of both methods can also be done.