Caroline's corset blog

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  1. I've found over the years that keeping progress notes is so important when charting the progress of a design. It is so easy to  get carried away and plough on thinking you will remember what you've done. You never do unless copious notes are scrawled on patterns, toiles, notebooks...So many times I have not been able to match a toile with a pattern and forgotten how I did this , that and the other. So annoying!

    I tend to work across my CAD screen from left to right and import photos of toiles and fittings above the corresponding pattern. I also write notes in there about the order of construction. The order of construction has never been as important as it is with my latest design - the petal corset. The fabric petals interlock together and hide the boning channels - it's complex!


    I now have a fully assembled corset and have drawn some flat diagrams up;


    I love this design so much and would like to explore it more in terms of its commercial potential however I know from experience how difficult these swirling designs are to grade. I'm always up for a challenge though so we'll see.

  2. Renewal, regeneration...these sorts of themes are currently being explored by everyone wanting to enter this year's competition. I haven't delved into the theme in any abstract way but I am thinking of using it to push me into a design that has been swimming around in my head for a while.

    I am a bit obsessed by swirling panel shapes (especially after all the work I did on my crescent corset) and would love to create a flower bud with opening petals. Renewal is everywhere in nature and unfurling petals is just the beginning in the cycle of bloom and bust that begets everything. 

    I've made a start and it's going OK - I have dyed fabric in different shades to get some sort of differentiation between the petals and make them stand out. Here is the initial toile of the front section;


    I'll keep this blog updated with more progress pics along the way.

  3. 20191210_144901

    I haven't much ventured into Edwardian corsetry before. This is my first S-bend pattern inspired by the Sanakor that I saw at the Symington study day in Nottingham in May (without the suspenders of course);


    A corset of this era (early 1900's) was intended to create a straight line at the front and fall smoothly and evenly over the hips whilst gently forcing a forward stance - hip padding was not a feature; It was the layers of chemise and petticoats that created the hip 'bulk'. 
    An Edwardian corset will support and lift the bust upwards from below - the top-line is no higher than the bust apex and higher than the under-bust line. Centre front ribbon ties will pull the bust together slightly although I haven't added mine yet as you can see in the following pic. A 'uni-bust', aided with padding, was the fashionable silhouette. 



    I purposefully didn't look at Nikki Swift's pattern (who has actually taken the pattern from the original)  in her excellent Foundations Revealed article on the Sanakor as I wanted to put my own spin on it and use the photos/ measurements I took on the day to create more of an 'inspired-by' design than an actual copy. The first of Nikki's 3-part article is free and gives some great background to this lovely design;
    I'm thinking that this might be my December Patreon pattern due for posting in a couple of weeks. I'd love to hear from anyone who has experience with S-bend corsets - do you find them comfortable? I'm not so sure it's a comfortable shape for me to be honest, but maybe it's just because it's very different to what I am used to....most the of the waist suppression is towards the back and I can really feel the squeeze on my ribs! I'm definitely an hour-glass rather than conical kind of girl.