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10 February 2010 @ 10:08 pm
Asymmetrical Drafting: How to do it RIGHT!  
Heya folks!

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?


Claire Hummelshoomlah on February 11th, 2010 03:14 am (UTC)
Wow, gorgeous! Such a luscious shape, and it looks perfectly symmetrical. :D

totally_waistedtotally_waisted on February 11th, 2010 02:35 pm (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
totally_waistedtotally_waisted on February 11th, 2010 02:35 pm (UTC)
Thanks! She has an enviable shape, for sure.
Isaraisara on February 11th, 2010 05:29 am (UTC)
just stunning!
totally_waistedtotally_waisted on February 11th, 2010 02:35 pm (UTC)
Thank you! :)
katexxxxxxkatexxxxxx on February 11th, 2010 08:02 am (UTC)
If you hadn't pointed it out, I would never have known. It's lovely.
totally_waistedtotally_waisted on February 11th, 2010 02:36 pm (UTC)
Oh good. Pretend I didn't say anything, then!
(no subject) - katexxxxxx on February 11th, 2010 05:26 pm (UTC) (Expand)
ultharkitty: Art Memling St Barbaraultharkitty on February 11th, 2010 08:26 am (UTC)
Booyah indeed, that's glorious :D

And thanks for the instructions! *bookmarks*
totally_waistedtotally_waisted on February 11th, 2010 02:36 pm (UTC)
No worries. If this can help somebody out in the future, then I've done my job.
trinnyttrinnyt on February 11th, 2010 08:50 am (UTC)
that corset is hot hot hot! -covets!-
totally_waistedtotally_waisted on February 11th, 2010 02:36 pm (UTC)
Haha I covet my client's shape.
Ama or Tiliaamarysso on February 11th, 2010 09:38 am (UTC)
Being asymmetrical sucks, I have to make a full pattern of everything I make. Luckily I'm not as bad as my sister, she's got a real bad case of scoliosis. For my first corset I've actually ignored it and I'm working with a half pattern. Hopefully it won't cause much trouble. If I'm making another pattern and it's not a commercial one, but a self drawn one I'll do a full pattern. Thanks for the tips. :)
totally_waistedtotally_waisted on February 11th, 2010 02:37 pm (UTC)
It really depends on how asymmetrical you are. I'd say if you're under an inch, you'll probably be okay. Anything over an inch (my client pictured above was a full inch-and-a-half bigger on one side) and I strongly suggest drafting both sides.

Can't wait to see your corset!
Crazy cat ladygipsy_queen on February 11th, 2010 09:38 am (UTC)
What an amazing corset! I'd almost give my right arm to have one like it :o)
totally_waistedtotally_waisted on February 11th, 2010 02:38 pm (UTC)
I'll be taking orders again in October! You can start saving now! :p
sparklewren: Pink&Blacksparklewren on February 11th, 2010 10:19 am (UTC)
Beautiful and no, not twisty at all! You conquered that asymmetry! Also, I haz fabric lust...
totally_waistedtotally_waisted on February 11th, 2010 02:39 pm (UTC)
Haha. I am totally not a fan of Asian brocades at ALL, but this one kinda sorta grew on me. I think it has to do with the fact that it's not black, and there was absolutely NO wrinkling. Now, if only I can find a matte duchesse satin of the quality of this particular brocade, I'd be a happy camper when it comes to satin again...
(no subject) - sparklewren on February 11th, 2010 03:08 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Jennywyte_phantom on February 11th, 2010 10:35 am (UTC)
Waht a stunning corset, and such a beautiful dramatic shape!
totally_waistedtotally_waisted on February 11th, 2010 02:39 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm quite proud of my shaping these days.
delirium71delirium71 on February 11th, 2010 11:29 am (UTC)
Wow! Gorgeous shape and fabric and colour! And no, you can't tell at all that there's any asymmetry there.
totally_waistedtotally_waisted on February 11th, 2010 02:40 pm (UTC)
Thank you! :)
Cathy Haypeacockdress on February 11th, 2010 02:07 pm (UTC)
Wow, great shape and I can't tell at all! Great advice too, and extra points for your use of the word "copacetic"!
J.H.Holliday, DDSdoc__holliday on February 11th, 2010 02:30 pm (UTC)
Hahah I use that word all the time :p
(no subject) - totally_waisted on February 11th, 2010 02:40 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - peacockdress on February 12th, 2010 01:03 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
totally_waistedtotally_waisted on February 11th, 2010 02:41 pm (UTC)
You can do it!
(Deleted comment)
totally_waistedtotally_waisted on February 12th, 2010 03:44 am (UTC)
Thanks, Tanya! :)
shinya @ damagepersecond: kawamura waaaaaahdamagepersecond on February 11th, 2010 04:16 pm (UTC)
i must say, this looks so perfect*___*
totally_waistedtotally_waisted on February 12th, 2010 03:44 am (UTC)
Thank you! I do strive for perfection in my work...