When preparing to attend the 2015 Oxford Conference of Corsetry, the organizer and corsery fellow Julia Bremble suggested we think about doing forms for our corsets for display. I have seen this done in museums before, where they use lightweight plexi-glass forms to create an insert into the corset. I loved seeing corsets suspended from the ceiling, floating in space with no mannequin in sight.
Here is a shot we did with the Solstiss lace yardage I picked out from the 2014 Oxford Conference of Corsetry at a huge discount. I actually wanted this in the blue/brown colorway to use to make a corset influenced by the brick work but plan to use the white against a black or navy blue velvet instead.
Photographer: Chris Murray
Model: Ella Rose
At this point the corset still needed a bunch of hand sewing. So what am I to do when headed off on my 7 year anniversary trip to Las Vegas with my husband? Take the corset to work on of course. Many of my samples are all hand stitched in cars, planes, or trains during family vacations. I like saving up small hand work for otherwise downtime.
With everything pinned into place I safely tucked the corset into a shopping bag to take on the plane. Imagine my surprise when I pull the corset out and it is covered in sugar. We recently had a tea party at the shop and apparently my son decided to empty an entire bowl of sugar into the “empty bag”. I was frustrated for a moment and then joked that now my entry had “taste”. Sugared bows!
So I remained unphased and just brushed off what I could and moved on with the project, sugar and all. I however ditched the sugar filled bag in the car as we left it parked at the airport lot. So I carried her around just rolled up:
Every year Foundations Revealed hosts a corsetry competition. This year there were two themes for the competition: The Five Senses and the 1913 E.F. Hume corset. I fully designed one for the former theme that I decided would be a lot of work to implement with not a lot of future use potential so I’ll share my “Five Senses” design idea later on. Instead I went with the Hume patent corset challenge. My goal was to adapt this antique pattern into a fun modern corset-dress with nods towards historical stylings. I pulled the fabrics from my new collection I’m working on for this fall to develop the design.
I started by taking an image of the HUME patent I found online and scaled it using photoshop. I chose to measure the waist line in each section and set the final size to a 20″ waist. I’ve been working on sample pieces at a smaller size purely because it take a lot less fabric, less sewing, yet still might work on some slender models since I rarely work smaller than a size US 8. This will help increase the range of body types I work.
Here is the original patent scaled up and printed at Kinko’s. In the future I’d probably just print at home tiling the pattern because Kinko’s managed to take 45 minutes to get it printed properly. But other than that it worked beautifully.
The original pattern had to be trued up at the top and bottom edges. At this point I decided to cut and slash and change the pattern a bit. Because I wanted this to be more of an outerwear modern dress I did lengthen and add some cup to the top front. I also changed the center front edges to create a curved peek-a-boo section which I plan for wearing over a black skirt for modesty or perhaps with little hot pants or lingerie for a more boudoir look. Continue reading Long Corset is long