Drafting an Internal Corset for an Evening Gown
I felt that my Melbourne Malanka dress required a little more support. In particular I found that the bust section of the bodice didn’t hold in place & would often ‘fall away’ when I moved around. Whilst I interlined with organza, the lining & facing materials were a medium body polyester & so the dress didn’t have quite the amount of support that I needed by itself, so I decided to add an internal corset. Also due to the figure hugging style of the dress, I wanted the waistline to be VERY smooth & an internal corset was the best way that I knew of to achieve this.
I’ve previously posted instructions on how to add an internal corset to a dress with princess seams, which is a lot easier. The problem I faced with this dress was that the contour was added with a series of darts rather than seams. I had two options, I could cut an existing corset pattern & try & make it fit into the dress or I could re-draft the dress pattern to make a corresponding corset pattern. I decided to go with the latter option & it turned out to be easier than it sounds.
This post details the steps I took to create a corset pattern from a form-fitting dress with two central darts at the front & a combination of princess seams & darts at the back. Whilst this is what I did for the Vogue pattern V2720, you could use similar techniques on a different pattern. I will post some information about how I constructed & inserted the corset in a later post. It’s at this point that I’ll note I am in no way an expert in this, this is just what I thought would work. As always, I welcome any feedback on better methods & techniques to achieve the same goal, so feel free to help us all out & leave a note in the comments section.
In this pattern there were 5 pattern pieces that make up the bodice. The front bust, the front skirt, the rear skirt, the rear bodice side & the rear bodice centre.
In my corset I wanted 4 pattern pieces, front centre, front side, rear side, rear centre. I started on the front centre piece.
First I got the front skirt pattern piece & traced along the centre ‘cut on fold’ line, the dart line & the top cut line.
I removed the upper seam allowance (to avoid confusion) & match the seam lines of the front bust piece with the upper seam of the centre corset front. I drew the seam lines onto the front bust piece to make this easier.
I drew a line from the top of the dart on the front bust piece through the bust point & then straight up. This became the seam line for the corset pieces. I traced around the front bust piece & along the dart line & line through the bust point. Here is my almost finished pattern piece (the top & bottom lines are still to be determined):
I repeated this process to create the side front piece of the corset. Next off I moved onto the back side piece of the internal corset. I started by tracing the back side piece of the dress & marking the seam lines (shown in blue).
I then aligned the back skirt pattern piece with the traced side back & traced the side seam & dart lines. I also added a seam allowance to the dart line (shown in green). Here is the side back piece (minus the upper & lower lines which are yet to be drawn in).
The last piece to draft was the centre back. I traced the centre back piece of the dress, marking in seam lines for reference. Once again I aligned the back skirt pattern piece with the traced centre back & traced the centre seam & dart lines. Here is the side back piece (minus the upper & lower lines drawn in).
I now had all of the side seams of my corset drawn, I just had to draw in the cut lines on the upper & lower. I don’t really have many instructions for how I did this. To be honest, I just drew the upper lines so that the corset would steer clear of major seam intersections (thus reducing the chance of unsightly bulk) & yet still provide support. The lower lines were just drawn at a place that wasn’t too high & wasn’t too low – the location was mainly based on my limited experience with corsets.
Finally I double checked all of the seam lengths & proofed the pattern.
So here it is – my internal corset pattern for Vogue 2720.
P.S. Sorry for the massive delay in this post. Work has been super hectic over the last week & I haven’t felt like doing much at all when I get home. I’m hoping to catch up on some sewing (and some posting) this weekend.