Corset Drafting Notes – Gores

Today I received an email asking if I have a tutorial describing how to draft a corset pattern with gores.  I don’t have a tutorial written for drafting overbust corsets of any kind, let alone gored corsets.  It’s a tricky endeavor, and when I do create that tutorial it will require extensive writing and illustration.  It’s a lot of time I don’t have right now for that particular project.

That said, I can give some tips which will probably be most helpful to people who already know how to draft their own basic corsets, or at least already have a vertical panel corset pattern they know fits.  The least technical way to go about it is to base your gored pattern off a vertical panel pattern, cutting off and reshaping parts of the vertical panels into gores.  Make your mock-up, try it on, and have a friend help you pin (or baste) the hell out of it to adjust the shaping.  Alter the pattern, make another mock-up, and go again.  Look at as many gored corset patterns as you can (especially if it is accompanied by a photo showing the final shape), paying particular attention to the shapes of the curves of the gores in different places and the curves of the panel pieces they attach to.  Look at and how those curves affect the shape of the final corset.

For example, if your panel piece is curved and the gore piece is straight, the gore will stick outward from the panel.  If the panel piece and gore piece have the same exact shape, the two will meet flush without any variation in the shape of the corset at the seam.  Most gores are somewhere between the two extremes, generally being straighter where they should move outward from the body piece, and curved more similar to the body piece where the transition should be smoother.  When the gore piece is curved more dramatically than the body panel, it will cause the surface of the gore to pull or curve towards the part of the body which meets the greater curved gore.  This is most easily seen on bust gores, where they are curved more dramatically than the body piece so the cup of the bust will curve back in towards the body.  A gore at the front of the hip will usually be straight (or nearly straight) along the top so it will arch out from the body and the curve of the panel piece around the body will pull the entire panel towards the side with it.

This image is an adaptation of an 1890’s corset pattern I made a couple years ago, and it shows one way that gores can be shaped to create all the curves of the human body.

Modified gored corset pattern from historic Victorian pattern

Modified Historic Gored Corset Pattern


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