How to Make a Corset Pattern

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Use a pattern to ensure that your corset fits you well.
Use a pattern to ensure that your corset fits you well. (Image: Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images)

The corset, that torso-shaping garment with origins dating back to at least the 1660s, made its 20th-century comeback compliments of the pop singer Madonna. Whether you want to create one from an elegant fabric or put one together from a cut-up pair of old jeans, you're going to need a sewing pattern to follow.

Things You'll Need

  • Pattern paper
  • Pattern marking pencil or crayon
  • Measuring tape

Measure your front from the top of your bust to your waist. Draw a line on your pattern paper with that measurement. This is the length of the garment.

Take your bust measurement and subtract 2 inches, then divide that number by 2. Draw a line with this measurement at a 90-degree angle to the top of the first line. If, for example, your bust measurement is 34 inches, the horizontal line will measure 16 inches.

Mark the halfway point on the top line. Mark a point 2 inches to the left of the halfway point and 1 or more inches down (use 1 inch for an A cup, 2 inches for a B cup, 3 inches for a C cup and so on). Mark a point on the quarter-point of the bust line.

Make an "X" the same 1 or more inches down at the end of your bust line. This marks the center-back of the garment.

Connect the marks with a single line. You can make this a line a bit curvy, if you like.

Measure from your underarm to your waist. Draw a vertical dotted line the length of your underarm-to-waist measurement from the second mark you made in step 3 (the mark 1 or more inches down). Then, draw a horizontal line across the paper starting from the first line and ending even with the "X" that marks the center-back of the garment.

Measure your waist and subtract 2 inches from that measurement, then divide that number by 2. Mark that measurement 2 inches below the dotted line.

Connect the end of the curved line (from Step 5) and the mark you just made with a straight line.

Mark the 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4 lines of your waist line.

Connect the bottom points. You can make your corset's bottom go straight across or make it curvy. Cut out the pattern with a pair of scissors and use it to sew your corset.

Tips & Warnings

  • Be sure your measurements are accurate by measuring them several times. Be sure you are standing up straight! Have someone else measure you, if possible.
  • You don't have to make your connecting lines for the top and bottom curved. Get creative!
  • Remember: this garment stops at the waist!

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