I have been asked on numerous occasions to simply explain how to alter a corset pattern to fit someone bigger or smaller than the pattern is intended for. The easiest way to explain is with pictures. Click any of the photos below for bigger images.
So you have your corset pattern like this –
This is a pattern for half a corset, so measure the waist line of each piece and add them together to get half the waist. Double this and you have the total waist size for this corset pattern.
Measure your waist size (or the person who will wear it). If the corset is to be smaller than the waist, take off 2 – 4 inches to get the size you need the pattern to be.
You may need to add a few inches to the waistline to make it fit, or take off a few.
Say the pattern above will make a corset with a 24inch waist but I need it to have a 27inch waist – so 3 inches bigger. The pieces above are for half the corset so I need to add 1.5 inches to them. I decide where to add them by looking at the pieces; I decide to add 0.25 inches to each piece with the exception of the thinnest one, which I’ll add 0.5 to. If I were taking away 1.5 I might decide to take more away from the widest piece. The added width does not have to be perfectly distributed, don’t over think this!
Now you simply cut the pieces down the middle and move them apart to make them bigger or together to make them smaller. The pictures below show how easy it is to alter this corset pattern.
Pattern piece we will be altering.
Cut down the middle, if you’re making the corset wider you will need a piece of scrap paper behind to stick the halves down on.
(Once you are competent with this method, you can cut at the waist line too and angle the top or bottom in to make the bust or hips smaller, or angle out to make larger).
Use a ruler or tape measure to get the alteration the right size.
Stick the pieces back together and you’re done! You are ready to make a corset with your new pattern!
Remember the golden rule: Always make a mock up to check sizing, always always!