So, it's been a while since I've actually contributed something to the community, because, well, I kinda feel like I haven't had much to contribute. Until... now!
A while ago, a friend of mine, who makes her own corsets, approached me with a serious drafting query. Somehow, over the last few years, all of her self-made corsets started to shift and twist at the busk. She asked me to look at her pieces and her patterns to see if she was drafting incorrectly or if she just wasn't cutting the fabric on the grain properly. After looking at her corsets and determining they were kosher, and looking at her patterns and making sure they were trued correctly, I offered to measure her. Suddenly, I realized one shoulder was higher than the other, asked a couple of personal questions regarding any recent injuries and PRESTO. We discovered she was asymmetrical.
"Fack." I said to myself. I have drafted corsets for asymmetrical bodies before, and it sucks hard. Creating a corset for somebody with an asymmetrical body can also be really optically challenging because if you don't bear it in mind when constructing the corset, you could do the opposite of what you want and actually enhance the fact that your client is asymmetrical.
If you are ever faced with the problem of drafting for an asymmetrical body, I prepared a bit of a mental checklist for you to follow! Note that this is for advanced pattern-drafters among us. I'm too lazy to go into basic pattern drafting stuff.
1. Measure the client in quadrants. It SERIOUSLY saves a lot of time in the drafting process and really helps you to determine where the "squish" goes. Sometimes the squish on one side travels in a different way than the other side. Nothing sucks more than being lumpy. The quadrants would be Bust to Waist (Left and Right sides, Front and Back) Lower Hip to Waist (Left and Right Sides, Front and Back).
2. When drafting, draft the smaller side first. I find increasing a lot easier than decreasing on pattern pieces. But, that's just me.
3. Say you need to increase one side by an inch and a half. Divvy it up mathematically and make sure everything is even-steven.
4. When applying bone casings, or internal bone channels, be aware that because one side is bigger than the other, casing spacing could be dramatically different. Mark where your casings/channels are and visually check to make sure it looks even. You can cheat a little per side to make sure it is visually copacetic. Your client will thank you for not drawing attention to her asymmetry and embarrassing her in public.
5. You're making each half separately, so remember to make sure the shaping is exactly the same on each side. True your edges!
6. CLEARLY mark on the pattern which is the left side and which is the right side. There is ALWAYS a possibility of you making a mistake and taking in the wrong side, thereby exacerbating the situation. It may be hilarious during the mockup, but it effing sucks when you've just finished a leather overbust.
And so, I drafted a new pattern for my client and she as happy and excited. We gave the pattern a real run for it's money and made a corset from it.
And if I do say so myself, it's awesome! No twisty busk, a killer shape and comfortable to boot. And You can barely tell the body it's fitting is asymmetrical, yes, no?