The Basic Conical Torso Block (Part 2)

Checking Fit

Before we cut this out, we're going to extend the fronts slightly.  This makes it easier to try on, and gives us extra to play with in case we need to make it larger.

Before we cut this out, we're going to extend the fronts slightly. This makes it easier to try on, and gives us extra to play with in case we need to make it larger.

I do this on both sides, just in case I need it. On a human, I'd do about 3".

I do this on both sides, just in case I need it. On a human, I'd do about 3".

Cut the block out, being careful to cut along the front extension rather than the Center Front line.

Cut the block out, being careful to cut along the front extension rather than the Center Front line.

Fold back one side of the bodice on the Center Front line.

Fold back one side of the bodice on the Center Front line.

Place the block around the body as snugly, but without squishing anything.  At this point, we want only a skin-tight fit.  All normal undergarments (ie, a bra) should be in place because the block does not provide the compression needed to support the bust.

Place the block around the body as snugly, but without squishing anything. At this point, we want only a skin-tight fit. All normal undergarments (ie, a bra) should be in place because the block does not provide the compression needed to support the bust.

Check the back to make sure the block does not dip below the waistline of the body.  (This is, admittedly, easier to do when the waistline is clearly incised in the vinyl body.  On a human, you're checking to see if it feels "diggy" at the back muscles - if the poster board block makes an ouch, you can bet a corset will too!)

Check the back to make sure the block does not dip below the waistline of the body. (This is, admittedly, easier to do when the waistline is clearly incised in the vinyl body. On a human, you're checking to see if it feels "diggy" at the back muscles - if the poster board block makes an ouch, you can bet a corset will too!)

Looking at the side of the body, I can see where the block starts to dip down in the back.

Looking at the side of the body, I can see where the block starts to dip down in the back.

Based on that, I mark little ticks on my shaping lines for where the waist.

Based on that, I mark little ticks on my shaping lines for where the waist.

Now, the humans in the audience will have a little more trouble here.  In a perfect world, you’re pouring over these directions with a helper.  However, we costumers are generally solitary souls, so you might well be doing this yourself.  Be prepared to take the block on and off several times.  If you’re relatively flexible, you should be able to reach behind yourself and, with the help of a mirror, mark your waist.  You could also raid someone’s tool chest for a chalk line and run it around your waist – messy, but it will get you to the right place.  You could use a long strip of masking tape at waist level.  (Did I mention my hatred of tape?  So ick.)  I used to use a sort of “press test” – press your fingers into the bodice behind you, moving slowly upward from the bottom of the block.  There will be a point where pressing on the block releases the pressure against your back at the bottom of the block below where your fingers are, but makes other parts of the bottom feel slightly more snug.  This is the point where your back dips in, and where your bodice should sit in back.  Depending on my weight, I find that this point is often above where the front of my body believes my waist is.  Make little cuts up to this level (lower towards the sides, as seen above).  Ideally, you should take the block off for this, and using a scissors on your own back is a Bad Idea.

Looking at the Center Front, we've got another adjustment to make. (Gee, it's a good thing we put in that front extension, isn't it?)

Looking at the Center Front, we've got another adjustment to make. (Gee, it's a good thing we put in that front extension, isn't it?) Mark where the fronts meet on the extension.

Next … Adjusting the Straps!

6 thoughts on “The Basic Conical Torso Block (Part 2)

  1. The Basic Conical Torso Block (Part 1) | Sempstress says:

    […] You might also like:The Basic Conical Torso Block (Part 2) […]

    7 years ago | Reply

    • missa says:

      You can find larger poster board than that at most art stores – (including Hobby Lobby, Blick, Michaels, etc) and any place that caters to students (walgreens, target, kmart, walmart-even-thought-I’m-still-boycotting), and often also at JoAnn’s.

      Hope that helps….

      5 years ago | Reply

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