All Quiet On the Corset Making Front

It’s been very quiet on Corset Training this month…too quiet some might say. Well it’s not without good reason I assure you. I’ve been busy working on a project with a very talented CAD designer to come up with a digital 3D mannequin on which I can design new corset sewing patterns. This project has been ‘on the quiet’ partially because until there was a pattern completed there weren’t any results to report back on and partially because we didn’t know if it would be successful. Having gotten to mockup phase – and the project isn’t complete so there’ll be more posts to come including how the mockup goes – I can finally let you all in on what myself and Simon my super CAD specialist have been creating. (It all gets a bit Frankenstein, mwah ha ha ha).


The Idea Behind The Corseted Mannequin

The point of this project was partly the need to cut down on production time – for those of you who don’t know, I’m a busy mum and not the worlds greatest juggler so the site and more importantly the pattern making process can suffer timeframe wise – but also to allow me more freedom and greater precision in designing and producing modern and exciting sewing patterns for my printable corset patterns range. The idea was to recreate the traditional process of designing a pattern on a mannequin, transferring it to fabric by draping fabric over each marked out panel, then bringing in the waist on the flat pattern to create a custom corseted fit…. but all on the computer and in one go!


Finding The Right Man For The Job (Or woman obviously) 

This all meant I needed someone who could make a custom mannequin that didn’t only match the dimensions of the female form but in a corseted state. It also needed to be a mannequin that could then be drawn on and have those drawn panels transferred to flat 2D shapes. For this I needed someone who was a bit of a software chameleon as there didn’t seem to be any one single program that would allow all of this to happen. So I needed someone who could improvise and advise me on whether this could firstly be done and secondly be done well enough to equal or improve the end result of the traditional method of draping a pattern.

I hired Simon through a website called people per hour and we had lengthy conversations about how to go about making this digital mannequin before hand. We decided to make one to my specific measurements so I could be guinea pig and so that the fit should custom match my body, before a standard size was considered. Several programs were tried and I think Simon started again from scratch at least once or twice after finding better ways to work around issues.

First attempts happened in a program called 'Make Human'

First attempts happened in a program called ‘Make Human’


Making The Custom Corseted Mannequin

Measurements were taken alongside photos from different angles to help construct the form. Several programs were tried including the ones in the image above and the ones below. Click for bigger pictures.

More rendering methods

More rendering/forming methods


Basic torso with newly constructed crotch/upper leg area before shoulder/upper arm construction

Eventually the basic torso shape was constructed in one program and exported to Rhino where the crotch and upper thigh area was custom formed to allow me the option of making pants and crotched corsets and the shoulder/beginnings of the upper arm for full coverage/jacket type corsets. Then the actual drawing in of the waist and corseting of the mannequin began.

To create the right shape we had to take into consideration the ribs, the hip bones and the iliac crest bones (round upper edge of the back of the pelvis). Rather than work from pictures taken of myself in a corset where the style of the corset would determine the shape, I opted to draw on photographs to try to get a purer standard shape.


Designing A Corset Pattern In Digital

So with our 3D mannequin finally finished there was the test that she must face – could a design be drafted on her, converted to flat 2D pattern pieces and then constructed to fit me? Well the drafting was simple enough, for me anyway, I printed out images of the mannequin, sketched out a design, scanned it and sent it through to Simon.

corset pattern drawing

My Corset Pattern drawing on a print out of the new mannequin

Pattern with one piece taken out

Pattern with one piece taken out

Future patterns will be a lot more hands on, however for testing purposes this was quicker, we wanted to check the fit after so many weeks of waiting so Simon set to work transferring the design to the mannequin and I was sent the pattern in 2D form (‘rolled out’ using a Rhino plugin) to print out and work from along with these super beautiful renders of the design. Click for bigger pics!

The pattern once finished by Simon

The pattern once finished by Simon

Corset Render Back

Corset Render Back

Corset Render Orth

Corset Render Orth

I can’t sing Simon’s praises enough, projects like this where you’re relying on the expertise of someone else can go one of two ways and the success of your project is largely down to them. I’m so glad I found someone who ‘got me’ and understood the project, what it was for and what it needed to be. We’ll be tweaking this a bit more I’m sure and he’s patiently teaching me how to use the software and answering all my stupid questions 🙂 So I highly recommend talking to Simon if you need anything similar made – or indeed anything 3D digital created; he specialises in armour design but does many other things. I told him I’d be giving him a shout out on my website so here are all his details and I’ll be back with another blog post on how the mock up goes very soon!

profile simon
 Simon Jackson – CAD Professional

Thank you Simon!


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