TV110 Sizing (or Bra size vs. Corset size)

everything you ever wanted to know about corsets can hopefully be answered here
artemisia
Window Shopper
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2010 12:52 pm
Contact:

TV110 Sizing (or Bra size vs. Corset size)

Postby artemisia » Fri Dec 10, 2010 1:30 pm

I'm confused on how I should get my pattern size for the corset.

I'm a 32DD (fitted by a professional bra fitter)
Full bust measure (while wearing 32DD bra) = 37"
Natural waist = anywhere from 28" - 30" depending on...almost everything.
High hip = 34"
Side length = 7"

The top part of my body is a regular Misses size and the lower half is a Junior size. I have a short torso, petite sizes are too small on top (because of my larger than B size bust) and too big on the bottom. I'm 4' 11" tall. Depending on the corset I've been comfortably laced down to 24". My stomach area is just a big spare tire of mush.

If I use the 32DD measure I had to reduce the cup size 4 times to a B size. My waist ends up a C size. Hips are B size.

My questions are:
Should I use the bust measure (37") or bra band measure (32")?
If I use 37", how do I compensate for the cup size?
If I use the 32DD, where do I begin and end the blending of the pattern lines to make my waist bigger than the rest of the corset?
Taking into account my small torso size, should I shorten the corset 1" at the top and at the bottom or should I shorten 2" just below the waist?

I hope I'm just overthinking all of this. Thanks for your patience. :?
Artemisia Moltabocca
Heather
Site Admin
Posts: 5897
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2004 6:03 pm
Location: Riverside, CA
Contact:

Re: TV110 Sizing Problem

Postby Heather » Sat Dec 11, 2010 9:14 am

Your bra size, of 32DD really only very generally influences your corset size. First, a corset doesn't have "bands" so just toss that out. A corset is more about the difference in sizes between the different body areas than strict numbers and sizes. If that makes sense. And anyway, bra sizing is relative to overall size, so the A-DD designators hold vastly different volumes dependent on the band size. For example, the 32DD is actually the same volume as the 34D, the 36C, the 38B, 40A, 42AA. The only difference between all the above sizes is the shape of the cup and the band length. Which is why no one can pick the correct bra size. But with corsets, the A-DD designators all hold the same relative volume, regardless of the overall size. Meaning the 32DD is the same added bust volume as the 40DD, it's just bigger in the body. But the reality is the bust on a 32DD person is about 1/4 the volume as the 40DD. and this is where the confusion really sets in. So what does all this mean? It means that the 32DD person may be larger or smaller, but will be determined by your waist measure added into the mix.

So, now that I have made the whole thing horribly confusing, let's choose your sizing. :mrgreen: Although, once your ignore your bra sizing, it's really pretty simple:

Start with your waist, and say that 24-25" is comfortable for you. Which gives size C waist. Now, you say you have a 37" bust, so if we go up the C column to 37". We find the Size C, cup D is 37". Perfect. Now we just need hips. 34" hips would be Size B. This corset has rather large hips, so the smaller size will still have plenty of room.

Recap:
Bust: size C/cup D
Waist: C
Hip: B

But, now you have to deal with shortening. The side length given in the chart is you total body length from high into your armpit to the waist. The corset itself will be 1" shorter, or 8" as drafted in the pattern. So my question is, is the 7" the length of your body, or the length of your corset? I would hate for you corset to come out too short. For figuring out the best place to shorten, I think a quick mokup would be best, and just see where the different parts of the corset come too. You will most likely have to shorten at the top, the bottom and the middle to get a good balance.
artemisia
Window Shopper
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2010 12:52 pm
Contact:

Re: TV110 Sizing Problem

Postby artemisia » Sat Dec 11, 2010 7:39 pm

Actually Heather, I understand the volume of the cup situation. I totally understand the 32DD=34D=36C situation. What I didn't really know was that band sizes differ between makers, which is probably why I had to try on 15 different bras at the fitters until I found the two that actually felt right.

I also didn't know that corsets basically hold the same volume. As I'm understanding it, since there is no band nor much give in designing the cup of a corset, there will be not much, if any, difference in the cup volume. Am I understanding this correctly?

This is all very enlightning!

I measured my side length again and I really have an 8" side length. I'm electing to do the mock-up and probably shortening it at the bottom since the waistline on the pattern seems to match up with my actual waistline.

Wish me luck and thank you for your detailed response. :)
Artemisia Moltabocca
artemisia
Window Shopper
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2010 12:52 pm
Contact:

Re: TV110 Sizing Problem

Postby artemisia » Sat Dec 11, 2010 8:44 pm

Upon further reflection...

If for some reason (just really testing a theory here) the top of the corset turned out too big, I should keep the size C corset and only drop the cup size down because the only way to decrease (or increase) the volume on the corset is to drop (or increase) the cup size.

Did I get that right? I hope I got that right...
Artemisia Moltabocca
Heather
Site Admin
Posts: 5897
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2004 6:03 pm
Location: Riverside, CA
Contact:

Re: TV110 Sizing Problem

Postby Heather » Sun Dec 12, 2010 9:38 am

I'm sorry If my first post (or this one even) was kinda rambling. I have a cold, and might not be making as much sense as I think I am. :?

The whole bra sizing thing has gotten rediculous. And I think the introduction of spandex has really messed up everything. In the 1940s, when they made up the size charts, there was only a small piece of elastic at the back of the band to give you room to breath. So a band of 36 was exactly that. But today, the lycra gives you an extra 6" of stretch, and no one bothered to compensate the pattern for that stretch. Which is why now, everyone needs a band size way smaller than the charts say. I think the entire industry has lost it's way, if you ask me.

With corsets, the D cup volume will be the same for the 40 bust or the 34 bust. The A cup volume will be smaller than the D cup, but will also be the same for the 40 bust or 34 bust. So you have the 5 volumes A-DD, as well as the overall bust measures to get a good fit. Most people can use the same size for bust and waist, and then use the cup sizes to get the right amount of expansion for the bust. But you can also use a bust size different from the waist, to compensate for larger or smaller rib cages.

For example, I am in real life, a 44AA. Try finding a bra for that size. The closest I can come is the 42A and that seems to fit well enough. I usually end up making a size H/B cup corset, and these have fit fine for many years. But I have been thinking that maybe I should try making the I bust/A cup with the H waist. More rib cage, less bust.

Or, someone with a large bust and a very small rib cage might use a smaller bust size than the waist, and then use the larger cup size. If I used 36" bust and 25" waist as an example, to use size B bust/DD cup with a C waist vs. size C/C cup, C waist.
artemisia
Window Shopper
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2010 12:52 pm
Contact:

Re: TV110 Sizing Problem

Postby artemisia » Sun Dec 12, 2010 11:11 am

You are not ranting Heather. I'm eating this stuff up. :)

I've read the same thing about bras. The stretch helped skew the entire system. Honestly, I think every woman needs to get professionally fitted for a bra. It gives access to someone who can measure and the store offers a larger selection of non-standard bra sizes. I'm sorry you can't find a bra in your real size, guess I should count myself as lucky.

Let me rephrase what you said to make sure I'm understanding this correctly:
Any cup size has the same amount of volume no matter what the bust measure. The A size volume is the same no matter if the size is a 28A or a 40A. The A-DD cup sizes are standard and do not change. I could have a row of five cup size prototypes on my sewing table for A-DD. What makes these cup sizes change to fit is the measure around the bust, which is the second piece of the puzzle. The letter sizes of the corset not only correspond to waist size, they also allow for more room around the rib cage the higher in letter size you go. For the same person, the larger letter size corset will allow more room around the rib cage and also the bust, which is why the cup size needs to go down.

Edit: removed "so the bust doesn't "drop down" into the corset" after reading the next post in the thread as it doesn't seem correct.

I hope I got it that time. :)

Again, thank you for taking the time to explain all this in detail. I really appreciate it. :D
Last edited by artemisia on Fri Dec 17, 2010 9:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Artemisia Moltabocca
Heather
Site Admin
Posts: 5897
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2004 6:03 pm
Location: Riverside, CA
Contact:

Re: TV110 Sizing Problem

Postby Heather » Sun Dec 12, 2010 5:33 pm

Yep, I think you pretty much have a grasp on it.

Another way of thinking about it is this: the upper torso is like an upside-down cone-shape, with the waist smaller that the shoulder. If a person had no bust whatsoever, then the top of the corset would need to get larger the same amount all around, in the front, back and sides. This cone would be your base size for the corset, A-K depending on the overall size of your body cone. And some people have variation in the shape of their body cone, so some need larger or smaller waist sizes relative to bust sizes, for a more pointy or more square body cone. Now, add the bust to the front part of your body cone, and you will need extra width added to only the front part of the cone. This is where the cup sizes come into play. In TV110, the base body cone is drafted to be 8" larger at the bust level, than the waist level, with this 8" distributed fairly evenly around the whole body. For an A cup bust, there is 1" of width added to the front only, to allow for a small bust. Each bust size up adds an additional 1" of width to the front only, so the B cup is 2", C is 3", D is 4", and DD is 5" more in the front only, on top of the 8" base all around cone.
Bookwyrm
Inquiring Mind
Posts: 360
Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2007 2:17 am
Location: Portland, OR
Contact:

Re: TV110 Sizing Problem

Postby Bookwyrm » Wed Dec 15, 2010 4:04 pm

Heather, thank you for that information! It's really cool to get a look at how you designed the pattern.
mette.wikkelso
Costume Afflicted
Posts: 49
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 2:14 am
Contact:

Re: TV110 Sizing Problem

Postby mette.wikkelso » Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:40 am

Wouldn't it be an idea to post these descriptions in the FAQ page, og lock them at the top of this index? They really describe the system well, and people do as this kind of question alot...

I especially like the last description, it really nails it.
Heather
Site Admin
Posts: 5897
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2004 6:03 pm
Location: Riverside, CA
Contact:

Re: TV110 Sizing (or Bra size vs. Corset size)

Postby Heather » Thu Dec 16, 2010 8:58 am

That's a good idea, I will make this thread a "sticky". I will also think on how to condense it all to the FAQ page.
artemisia
Window Shopper
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2010 12:52 pm
Contact:

Re: TV110 Sizing (or Bra size vs. Corset size)

Postby artemisia » Fri Dec 17, 2010 8:14 pm

Thank you so much for the expanded explanation Heather. This really takes the guesswork out of picking the correct size for your corsets. It also gave me a good education on corsets and bra sizes. I really think I understand it now! :)
Artemisia Moltabocca
Soundbrigade
Costume Afflicted
Posts: 89
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2009 3:43 am
Location: Vänersborg, Sweden
Contact:

Re: TV110 Sizing (or Bra size vs. Corset size)

Postby Soundbrigade » Mon Jul 30, 2012 5:22 am

Well, I almost started a new thread but noticed that there was one on my subject - sizing.

The last time, in May, when I guided a group of women in the world of corset sewing (or building) almost all ran into the very same problem - sizing. And when we were finished most had gotten a corset that was on the smaller side. This problem was most prominent at the smaller sized women, whereas the fully-bodied women got a muc better result.
This area - sizing - is definitely my achillean heel, but in this case I did my best, reading the instructions (we only use the TV110 pattern in my classes) and listening to the odd gurgling sounds from guts. What we did was to start by the waist measurement, then pick the right cup-size and, if needed make adjustments to get a good fitting at the hip. This meant picking out pieces in various sizes and adjusting them accordingly. The problems, as I wrote in the beginning was that most corstes ended up too small, at all heights (B/W/H).
I guess, but this is maybe a shot in the dark, is that subtracting the 1-2 inches from the measurements taken, especielly regarding smaller (non-squishable) women may give these results.

In Novmeber I contracted to give a corset class at the biggest Nordic Inspiration & Sewing event, and I don't want this to end up bad, so please give som good advice how to use the size charts and calculate the correct pattern pieces.

I should make a small notice that this was the first time we had this kind of problem.
Magnus

When in trouble, when in doubt
Run in circles, scream and shout.
Heather
Site Admin
Posts: 5897
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2004 6:03 pm
Location: Riverside, CA
Contact:

Re: TV110 Sizing (or Bra size vs. Corset size)

Postby Heather » Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:17 am

If you are using the TV110 corset pattern, you want to use the size chart as provided in the pattern, taking 2" or so off the natural waist measure only. If you know your corseted waist measure, you can use that measure as it us. Do not take anything off the bust or waist measurement.

When you first make up your corset, it needs to be about 1 size too small. The If it fits the first time you put it on, it will be too big in the end. The corset will stretch as it breaks in, over the first several wearings. It should fit perfectly about the 4th or 5th time you wear your corset. Unless you make your corset with a silk fabric. Silk will not stretch, so it might be best to make your corset 1 size larger if using a silk fabric.
Miss Cindy
Information Junkie
Posts: 938
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 5:16 pm
Location: West Slope, Colorado

Re: TV110 Sizing (or Bra size vs. Corset size)

Postby Miss Cindy » Tue Oct 23, 2012 10:02 am

Heather, when you say subtract 2" from the natural waist only, do you mean that we should not subtract 2" from the natural bust and hip measurements? Making sure for future references. :D
and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 2 Cor 3:17b
Heather
Site Admin
Posts: 5897
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2004 6:03 pm
Location: Riverside, CA
Contact:

Re: TV110 Sizing (or Bra size vs. Corset size)

Postby Heather » Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:59 pm

Yes, do not subtract from your bust or hip measure. You only want to compress the waist area.
LDT2014
Costume Afflicted
Posts: 37
Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2014 3:11 am
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: TV110 Sizing (or Bra size vs. Corset size)

Postby LDT2014 » Tue Aug 05, 2014 3:27 am

Heather wrote:If you are using the TV110 corset pattern, you want to use the size chart as provided in the pattern, taking 2" or so off the natural waist measure only. If you know your corseted waist measure, you can use that measure as it us. Do not take anything off the bust or waist measurement.

When you first make up your corset, it needs to be about 1 size too small. The If it fits the first time you put it on, it will be too big in the end. The corset will stretch as it breaks in, over the first several wearings. It should fit perfectly about the 4th or 5th time you wear your corset. Unless you make your corset with a silk fabric. Silk will not stretch, so it might be best to make your corset 1 size larger if using a silk fabric.

Ah! so that's what I did wrong. My attempts at short stays have always failed as by 2nd time I wear them they don't fit anymore.

Can I add to query as I'm hoping to make myself a corset in the future. In UK sizing I generally wear a F cup but that's not listed?
I fluctuate as well between 37 & 38 inch bust (once I even got down to 36!), have 28inch waist (only thing that I find doesn't fluctuate) and 41inch hip. I have no idea where I would start to pick out a size?
Fortunately I'm short in leg not waist or else that would be another factor.
Heather
Site Admin
Posts: 5897
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2004 6:03 pm
Location: Riverside, CA
Contact:

Re: TV110 Sizing (or Bra size vs. Corset size)

Postby Heather » Tue Aug 05, 2014 9:10 am

To choose as size, start with your waist measure. You give 28" for your waist measure; is that your natural waist or corseted? If that is your natural waist, then you can either subtract 3" for a 25" (Size D) corseted waist, or subtract only 1" for a 27" (size E) corseted waist, depending on how much reduction you want. If 28" is your corseted waist, then choose the E waist size.

Once you have chosen your waist size, go up the same column and fine your bust measure. I would go with the 38" bust measure to allow for some expansion. In the size D column, the 38" bust is the DD cup size. If you opt for starting with the E waist size, then the 38" bust matches the C cup size.

For the hip, go with the size F.
katelanier
Window Shopper
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2014 9:28 pm
Contact:

Re: TV110 Sizing (or Bra size vs. Corset size)

Postby katelanier » Sun Nov 30, 2014 10:52 am

I'm late on this subject, and was just reading through it, but wouldn't you need to subtract from your hips and bust, as well as your waist, for the "spring" in the back? Forgive me if this was covered in the pattern; I haven't used it.
"Let us be elegant or die." -Louisa May Alcott
Heather
Site Admin
Posts: 5897
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2004 6:03 pm
Location: Riverside, CA
Contact:

Re: TV110 Sizing (or Bra size vs. Corset size)

Postby Heather » Sun Nov 30, 2014 1:01 pm

Katelanier, no, not for this pattern. The Truly Victorian corset patterns already have the spring taken out, as well as a little bit extra to compensate for the stretch of the fabric. So all you need to deduct from your natural measurements is for the waist compression. A well fitting corset will only compress the waist, but not the hip or bust. If you are using corseted measurements, then you can use those measurments directly, as the compression is already accounted for.
katelanier
Window Shopper
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2014 9:28 pm
Contact:

Re: TV110 Sizing (or Bra size vs. Corset size)

Postby katelanier » Sun Nov 30, 2014 1:25 pm

Ah, okay! That makes sense.
"Let us be elegant or die." -Louisa May Alcott

Return to “Corsets”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests