How to Move Changes from Mock up
to Corset Pattern?

With the mock up made and fitting done, it is time to move ALL changes from mock up to corset pattern!
This can be a bit confusing when starting out but every new skill is confusing and frustrating simply because it’s new and we have no idea what we’re doing. Good news is that it’s just a new skill and ALL skills can be learned.

No part of corset making is an intuitive talent you are just born with. Everything can be learned… including the art of moving changes from mock up to pattern.

Since everyone is a bit different, every mock up and fit adjustments will be different so it’s only to be expected that the process of moving those changes to the pattern will also be very different, from person to person. From project to project. No way around it really.

Having the ability fully customize a garment to the individual’s uniqueness is the biggest privilege of knowing how to make clothing.

Cherish it!

PLAN IT!

  1. Start by laying the mock up and corresponding pattern on your table.
  2. Be sure the work area is well lit.
  3. Take fitting notes and go through it. Point by point. Issues by issue.
  4. This way we make sure to go through all fit issues.
  5. Work on ONE issue at a time!
  6. Locate the solution that addresses the issue, on the mock up.
  7. Study the adjustment made on the mock up and measure it in great detail.
  8. Yes, we want to know its eye color and shoe size.
  9. Replicate the adjustment from the mock up to the pattern as appropriate.
  10. There can be more than one adjustment needed on the same area.

 

ALWAYS address major fit issue first!

IDENTIFY ADJUSTMENTS

Having an overall too big or too small mock up are both major fit issues and should be addressed first!

Most “spot” fit issues fall under one of these two categories:

  1. Fit is too tight
  2. Fit is too loose

Each of those differs based on its location on the corset:

  1. On an edge of the corset
  2. On a seam of the corset

Fit adjustments can sometimes include a change of length and/or shape of corset:

  1. Edge shortening
  2. Edge lengthening

Continue reading to find simple examples of each of the fit issues and how to move changes from mock up to pattern.

TOOLS NEEDED

  • Fitted mock up (Fig. 1)
  • Fitting notes
  • Pattern (used to make the mock up)
  • Measuring tape
  • Ruler
  • Pen
  • Sheets of paper
  • Sticky tape (Scotch tape is great)
Corset mock up, corset pattern and drafting tools

Figure 1 : Mock up, corset pattern & tools

MAJOR FIT ISSUES

In this case, we are talking about working with a mock up that is generally too large or too small.
Instead of scraping the “wrong” mock up in favor of creating a new one, in the proper size, we made the “wrong” mock up overall larger or smaller in size. This is usually done by evenly taking in or out the mock up on majority of seams, if not ALL of them.

When this is done to a mock up, we can’t go back and pick a pattern in a different “proper” size because the rest of the fit adjustments made might not result in a better fit. This is why we want to work with the original starting pattern and make ALL adjustment on it. Including recreating the general resize of the mock up.

Such large pattern adjustments NEED to be done FIRST as they will affect everything else done on the pattern. Yes, it is a bit time consuming but well worth the effort.

  1. Measure the difference the starting seam line & size adjusted seam line. (Fig. 2)
    Check on multiple points for more accuracy.
Measuring difference from original and adjusted seam line on the mock up

Figure 2 : Measuring between old & new seam lines

  1. Take ALL pattern pieces affected by the major size adjustment. (Fig. 3)
    Order them as they are to be sewn together so you don’t miss any as you work on them.
Corset pattern pieces affected by the change

Figure 3 : Sample of patterns affected by change

  1. Measure & mark the difference between original & adjusted seam line on to the pattern. (Fig. 4)
    Make sure your ruler is ALWAYS at a right angle on the seam line!
    Mark loads of points. It is better to have too much than not enough!
Measuring difference from original and adjusted seam line on pattern

Figure 4 : Measuring & marking new seam line position

  1. Connect ALL marked spots into a smooth line to create the new seam line. (Fig. 5)
    Use a French curve if you have access to it.
Marking the seam seam line on the corset pattern

Figure 5 : Drawing the new seam line by connecting markings

  1. Repeat the process on ALL pattern pieces that need this adjustment.
    Check if all the right pattern pieces have been altered before moving on to other fit pattern adjustments!

Example shown in the tutorial demonstrates how to make the original pattern overall smaller but keep in mind that the process for making it larger is generally the same. Only difference is on which side of the original seam the adjustment needs to be measured & marked.

If your pattern pieces don’t have added seam allowances on them, you HAVE to tape pattern pieces on to more paper to make room for drawing on the new seam line, in case of general pattern enlargement.

With the major fit issue transferred from the mock up to the pattern, the pattern is ready for fit “spot treatments”.

If you enjoy Aranea Black content, consider financially supporting the creation of free corset making content by buying me a coffee.

TOO LOOSE – ON AN EDGE

Personally, I prefer (and highly recommend) to start with the removal of extra space “spot treatments”.  Specifically, those located on the edges as they are easiest to do.

There is, usually, no need to add bits of paper, size of the adjustment is fairly small, and small changes are very easy to measure on the mock up. All in all, a great warm up for moving spot changes from mock up to corset pattern!

If there are any changes to the edge length or shape, address the “spot treatment” FIRST and apply the length adjustment LAST.
Your gut might be telling you otherwise but, trust me, Guts has no idea what he’s talking about.

ALWAYS start to move changes from mock up to pattern by identifying the adjustment area on the mock up!
Remove clips if they are getting in the way of measuring.

  1. Measure the length of the adjustment from the closest corset edge to the point where the adjustment connects to the unaltered seam line. (Fig. 6)
    With a flexible ruler, it is possible to measure the length on the curved seam lines. (Not sponsored)
Measuring length of adjustment from edge of the mock up

Figure 6 : Measuring length from edge of mock up

  1. Measure the width of the adjustment on the closest edge. (Fig. 7)
    Feel free to measure the width between old & new seam line on a couple different places of its length for more accuracy.
Measuring the width of adjustment on corset mock up

Figure 7 :  Measuring width from old seam (Black) to New seam (Red)

  1. Take pattern pieces that connect on the seam line that’s being addressed. (Fig. 8)
    Measure & mark the length of seam adjustment on both pattern pieces.
    Ignore top & bottom seam allowances if there are any!
Transferring the adjustment length from mock up to corset pattern

Figure 8 : Measuring adjustment length on pattern piece

  1. Measure & mark the width of the adjustment on the edge of both pattern pieces. (Fig. 9)
    Repeat this on other points of adjustment length if seam shape calls for it.
    Keep the ruler at a right angle to the seam line.
Transferring width adjustments on corset pattern edge

Figure 9 : Measuring adjustment width on pattern piece edge

  1. Connect adjustment length point with all width points to for the new seam line shape. (Fig. 10)
    Using a Curved ruler is a great help for making smooth curved lines. (Not sponsored)
Old and adjusted seam line on corset pattern piece

Figure 10 : New seam line (Red)
Old seam line (Black)

  1. Compare the newly drawn seam line to the adjustment on the mock up. (Fig. 11)
    Make further adjustments to the new seam line as needed.
    Seam lengths & other details will be finished with another round of seam walking.
Comparison of adjusted seam lines between mock up and corset pattern

Figure 11 : Comparing seam lines on Mock up (Black ) & pattern (Red)

TOO LOOSE – ON A SEAM 

This pattern adjustment method is very similar to the TOO LOOSE – ON AN EDGE but the widest point of the adjustment is not located on the edge of the corset. It’s deeper on the seam line.

Position makes it a bit trickier to do, both as an adjustment on the mock up and when moving it on to the corset pattern.
Other than that, they are basically the same.

Yes, it is possible to have a combination adjustment where the change starts off on the edge but the widest point of the adjustment is located further in the seam line lengths.

Not a big deal really, just make sure to measure twice!
(Not sponsored)

  1. Locate the 3 major adjustment points: Start, End & Widest Point. (Fig. 12)
    Mark them on the mock up for easier measuring.
Identifying and marking adjustment points on mock up

Figure 12 : New seam line & adjustment points (Red)
Old seam line (Black)

  1. Measure the lengths from the nearest edge to ALL 3 major point. (Fig. 13)
    Measure the width between new & old seam lines at the Widest Point.
Measuring lengths of adjustment points on mock up

Figure 13 : Measuring adjustment point lengths

  1. Take pattern pieces that connect on the seam line that’s getting adjusted. (Fig. 14)
Preparing corset pattern pieces affected by adjustment

Figure 14 : Pattern pieces affected by fit adjustments

  1. Measure & mark lengths for ALL 3 major adjustment points on the pattern. (Fig. 15)
    Start measuring from the nearest edge.
    Take into account the edge seam allowance if pattern has them
Transferring adjustment points from mock up to corset pattern pieces

Figure 15 : Transferring adjustment points to corset pattern

  1. On the Widest Point, measure & mark the width on the old seam line. (Fig. 16)
    Always keep the ruler on the right angle to the seam line!
Transferring the width at the widest point of adjustment on corset pattern piece

Figure 16 : Measuring widest adjustment point on to pattern piece

  1. Connect all 3 major points to create the shape of the new seam line. (Fig. 17)
    Use mock up as a guide.
    Measure & adjust as needed.
    Seam lengths & other details will be finished with another round of seam walking.
Comparison of new seam line on the corset mock up and pattern

Figure 17 : Comparing seam lines on Mock up (Black ) & pattern piece (Red)

TOO TIGHT – ON AN EDGE

After I’m done with ALL “spot” reductions, I move on to areas that need adding more room for comfort and better fit.
As per usual, I start with enlargements located on edges when moving changes from mock up to corset pattern.

Don’t remove pins holding fabric inserts securely on the mock up just yet but do check if they are lying flat on the fabric. Reposition pins if needed as well as add more to make it more secure. (Not sponsored)

Be careful while handling the mock up not to pull out any pins by accident or to move fabric inserts out of place!

When measuring inserts themselves, try to have them lay flat as possible on your work surface.

Take notice of any wrinkling!  There’s probably a curve hidden in the insert.

  1. Measure the length of the fabric insert following the original seam line. (Fig. 18)
    Measure both sides!
    Check if the insert lays flat on table with ease.
    If not, locate where it lifts up and measure that point from the edge.
    We need to curve the seam there!
Measuring length of adjustment

Figure 18 : Measuring fabric insert length

  1. Measure the width of the fabric insert right on the edge. (Fig.19)
    Measure the width on the point where the insert lifts from the table.
    Divide the values in half for later.
Measuring width of adjustment

Figure 19 : Measuring full insert width on edge

  1. Measure & mark the length of the enlargement insert down the seam line, starting from the edge. (Fig. 20)
    Ignore top & bottom seam allowances if there are any!
    Do the same for the point where the insert didn’t lay flat.
Transferring adjustment length pattern

Figure 20 : Transferring insert length from mock up to corset pattern

  1. On the edge, measure & mark half of insert width. (Fig. 21)
    Do the same on the other marked point.
    Add paper to extend the pattern piece if needed!
    Ruler should always be on the right angle to seam line!
    (Not sponsored)
Transferring adjustment width on pattern

Figure 21 : Measuring & marking half of insert width on corset pattern

  1. Connect ALL marked points together to create the shape of the new seam line. (Fig.22)
    Try to match the shape of the adjustment on the mock up.
    Make sure new seam lines are mirror images of themselves!
Adjusted seam line shaped on corset pattern pieces

Figure 22 : New seam lines marked & shaped

  1. Feel free to examine & remeasure the mock up more than once.(Fig. 23)
    Things might have been missed on the first time around.
    Seam lengths & other details will be finished with another round of seam walking.
Adjustment comparison between mock up and corset pattern

Figure 23 : Comparing seam lines old (Black ) & new (Red)

TOO TIGHT – ON A SEAM

Last but not least, enlargement adjustment on a seam line.These usually happen around edge of rib cage and the very top of hip bones (Iliac crest). It’s basically a must do adjustment for small sizes and/or large waist reductions.

Sometimes, the tinniest bit of extra space is just what’s needed for a very comfortable corset. Since this adjustment can be very very small, it can also be a bit annoying to fit and move from mock up to corset pattern. Again, well worth the effort.

Be patient. Measure and remeasure as many times as needed to get it just right.

  1. Locate the 3 major adjustment points : Start, End & Widest Point. (Fig. 24)
    Mark them on the mock up for easier measuring.
Marking adjustment points

Figure 24 : Adjustment points marked on mock up

  1. Measure the lengths from the nearest edge to ALL 3 major point. (Fig. 25)
    Measure the width between new & old seam lines at the Widest Point.
    Divide width in half for later!
Measuring adjustment points lengths on the corset mock up

Figure 25 : Measuring adjustment point lengths

  1. Take pattern pieces connecting on the seam line that’s being adjusted. (Fig. 26)
    Add extra pieces of paper if there is no room on the pattern for the adjustment.
Pattern pieces affected by the adjustment

Figure 26 : Corset pattern pieces prepared

  1. Measure & mark ALL 3 adjustment point lengths from the edge. (Fig. 27)
    Take into account top & bottom seam allowances if there are any!
Transferring mock up fit change point lengths to pattern pieces

Figure 27 : Transferring adjustment point lengths to pattern

  1. On the marked Widest Point, measure & mark half of the measured width. (Fig. 28)
    Keep the ruler on a right angle to the seam line!
    (Not sponsored)
Moving adjustment width from mock up on corset pattern pieces

Figure 28 : Marking the width of adjustment at widest point

  1. Connect adjustment points to create the new seam line. (Fig. 29)
    Use mock up as your guide!
    French curve is a great tool for making smooth curves!
    Seam lengths & other details will be finished with another round of seam walking.
Newly drawn adjusted seam line on corset pattern

Figure 29 : Comparison of New seam line (Red) and old seam line (Black)

LENGTH ADJUSTMENT – SHORTENING A CORSET EDGE

When I’m done with everything else, big fit issues and ALL “spot” treatments for both reducing and enlarging, I am ready to address the length and shape changes of edges.

As usual, making things shorter is easier than lengthening them. Same way it’s easier to take out extra fabric compared to adding it. For this reason, I prefer to deal with edge changes that shorten the mock up.

Shortening can cover just a small area like one pattern piece or the whole width of the corset, with the adjustment stretching over ALL pattern pieces. From front all the way to the back but that doesn’t matter. Moving changes from mock up to corset pattern is the same.

Apply edge changes as needed, where needed and use the mock up as your guide!

  1. Figure out what & how many pattern pieces are effected by the edge shortening adjustment by examining the mock up. (Fig. 30)
    New edge shape CAN require that some pattern pieces need shortening while others need to be lengthen, to achieve the drawn look.
    Focus on shortening first!
New edge shape on the corset mock up

Figure 30 : Examining new edge shape on mock up

  1. Measure all seams affected by shortening on their connecting seam lines, from old edge to new. (Fig. 31)
    Write all measured values down to avoid mix ups.
    It is enough to measure the adjustment on just one side of the seam.
Measuring distance from old to new edge on all mock up seam lines

Figure 31 : Measuring lengths from old to new edge, on seam line

  1. Measure & mark the lengths from old to new edge on ALL affected pattern pieces. (Fig. 32)
    Ignore added seam allowances if they are present on the pattern!
    Double check everything!
Transferring distances from old to new edge on to pattern pieces

Figure 32 : Transferring length from old to new edge on to pattern pieces

  1. With ALL new edge points measured & marked, (Fig. 33) connect marked points on every pattern piece together to for the shape of the new corset edge.
    On front & back center seam line, draw a short line on right angle to the seam for a smooth curve.
    Ignore this step if front & back edge ends in points!
All corset pattern pieces affected by the edge shape change

Figure 33 : All affected pattern pieces prepared for drawing of the new edge line

  1. When new edge line runs through more than 2 pattern pieces, for best results, temporarily tape together ALL pieces. (Fig. 34)
    Seams should be walked from the waist line to the marked point of the new edge shape.
    Make adjustments to the new edge as needed!
New edge shape drawn on corset pattern pieces

Figure 34 : Pattern pieces taped together & new edge line drawn

  1. Make any necessary pattern adjustments such as edge lengthening, seam walking, adding seam allowances & similar, BEFORE trimming excess pieces paper. (Fig.35)
    Seam lengths & other details will be finished with another round of seam walking.
Excess corset pattern parts cut off

Figure 35 : Trimmed pattern pieces new edge (Red) & old edge (Black)

LENGTH ADJUSTMENT – LENGTHENING AN EDGE

As with edge shortening, lengthening can be focused on a small area like one or two pattern pieces. Or it can encompass the full length of the corsets edge, stretching over ALL pattern pieces from front to the back center.

When lengthening the edge, additional spaces needs to be added to affected pattern pieces by taping on pieces of paper where needed, as much as needed.
Have your sticky tape ready! (Not sponsored)

Use the mock up as your guide. Examine and measure it thoroughly especially if the edge shape requires a combination of shortening AND lengthening!

  1. Examine the mock up to figure out what & how many pattern pieces are affected by lengthening adjustment. (Fig. 36)
    Make sure that seams are extended into the new edge shape on the proper direction.
    It MUST flow effortlessly from old to new!
New extended edge shape and seam lines on the mock up

Figure 36 : New length edge & extended seam lengths

  1. Measure ALL lengths on ALL seam lines affected by the change. (Fig.37)
    Follow the direction of the original seam line.
    Write ALL measured values down to avoid mixing up changes or forgetting them!
Measuring distance between new and old edges following corset mock up seam lines

Figure 37 : Measuring lengths from old to new edge, on seam

  1. Take ALL affected pattern pieces and extend them by using pieces of paper and sticky tape. (Fig. 38)
    Extend the seam lines over the newly added piece of paper!
Extending corset pattern seam lines

Figure 38 : Extending seam lines on pattern pieces with paper

  1. Measure & mark distances from the old edge to the new edge following the newly extended seam lines. (Fig. 39)
    Ignore any added seam allowances while measuring lengths, if there are any present on the pattern!
Transferring distances between new and old edge on to the pattern

Figure 39 : Measured & marked position of new edge shape

  1. Connect the marked points together to create the new corset edge shape. (Fig. 40)
    As with shortening the edge, if adjustment covers more than 2 pattern pieces, it’s recommended to temporarily tape pieces together for a smooth line.
Drawing the shape of the new extended corset edge

Figure 40 : New edge shape draw on corset pattern

  1. To finish corset pattern pieces, make any necessary adjustments like changing edge lengths, walking seams, adding seam allowances & similar, BEFORE trimming excess paper! (Fig. 41)
    Seam lengths & other details will be finished with another round of seam walking.
Trimmed excess paper from altered corset pattern pieces

Figure 41 : Trimmed pattern pieces new edge (Red) & old edge (Black)

At this point, you should have moved all changes from mock up to corset pattern making the pattern almost ready to be used
to make another mock up, for more testing, or a gorgeous corset.

Since it’s better to be safe than sorry, make sure to check EVERYTHING once again! Make sure ALL fit adjustments have been addressed and transferred from mock up to pattern. Remeasure every adjustment done to catch any potential mistakes that might have happened.
Walk the seams and make any needed adjustments to make sure seams will sew together correctly.
Add seam allowances if you prefer having them on the paper pattern.
Don’t forget about notches!

When you are sure you have done ALL the necessary steps, get sewing!