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Competition Themes and Rules 2017Foundations Revealed™ is all about encouraging you to make better corsets and foundationwear. Part of the way we do this is through our Corset Competitions, which challenge and inspire you to show off what you've learnt!

You don't have to be a world class maker to take part! The point of the Competition is to get you trying things you wouldn't normally try, and to stretch you a little way outside your comfort zone, no matter what level of skill or experience you have, in a safe environment where we're all supporting each other. Some of you will be able to share your experience and ideas; others will show us your journey along a huge learning curve. Don't ever underestimate yourself and overestimate everyone else! Have a go!

There is a lot more to it than the competitive element. All entries are uploaded to the website and displayed publicly during our week of voting, to be celebrated, admired and supported by everyone. The comments give you a great boost of encouragement from like-minded enthusiasts, you give others the opportunity to admire and learn from your experience, and those of you with more confidence will get the publicity you might be looking for.


 "I took this contest to try out new techniques and it really helped me progress!" - Emilie Derville, France

"I loved having a set theme and deadline which made me actually start (and more importantly finish) working on something." - Anonymous survey response

"It is challenging, very inspiring, great source of eye-candy and fun above all."- Anonymous survey response


Please note some minor changes to the rules for 2017, given below in red.


For the 2017 Competition the themes are....

Theme 1: En Pointe

Fifth position, first position, plié…. This year we want to make a connection between corsetry and ballet, either directly through an ensemble for a particular character in a ballet, or one inspired by a ballet story. Let your mind take you to the interaction of the corset and the dance, and explore the corset as a piece of a character.



Making a tutu is NOT a requirement, but it certainly would be a lot of fun!



We’ve prepared a Pinterest inspiration/mood board for your amusement and perusal. Enjoy exploring the realm of dance this year!

En Pointe Mood Board


Theme 2: Continue the Curves: Symington's Corset Pattern Ref #2360

We at Foundations Revealed do not believe that there is a "modern body shape" that is unable to achieve the curves of the past. There is certainly a modern style of corsetry which shapes the corset to the body, cupping the ribs and focusing on the aesthetic of corset as exoskeleton, outlining the modernly fashionable, muscular thin body..... but a modern body shape that is unable to acheive old-fashioned curves? Nope, we don't believe that exists. 


Advertising poster for Corsets Baleinine Incassables, by Alfred Choubrac 1890s

To that end, we want to continue to celebrate the curvy corset! Historically, the curves were supported by a combination of natural body shape and padded shape to achieve the curves required by fashion.  To make this a bit easier, we have chosen a very curvy pattern, the 1890s Symington's Corset Pattern, Ref #2370 as our pattern for the 2017 competition. You can begin to dream of all the interesting possibilities created by the lines of this lovely design, and explore how to draft one to your measurements using Cathy’s tutorial here, Draft a Symington Corset Pattern.




Quick Links

Planning Your Competition Entry
Skill Categories
How to Enter



  • Closing date for entries - Mon February 6th, 2017
  • Entries appear on the website and voting begins - Sat February 25th 2017
  • Voting closes- Sat March 4th, 2017
  • Winners are announced, prizes are awarded - Tues March 7th, 2017
  • New theme announced - Sat March 18th, 2017


Planning Your Competition Entry

The only thing that all our projects will have in common are the themes we started with. Some of you will want to make something for the modern world or a future or fantasy world; others will want to strive for historical accuracy; some of you will want to take a theatrical approach and make it a garment or outfit for a particular real or fictional character. As long as you make it clear what you had in mind in your accompanying notes (more on that later), we'll all be able to judge your entry based on what you were aiming for.

Foundations Revealed™  is the Corsetmaker's Companion (and a lot more besides!), so make any corset or foundationwear you feel inspired to make. Design it how you like, tweak it as you like, put it together any way you like, just as long as its inspiration fits into the themes.

We've got some VERY exciting things already scheduled for this year, but we're looking for more writers and we're open to requests on specific topics. If you're interested in writing for us, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to learn more or to submit an article idea.


Warners Triumph style corset, 1898

General Planning Articles

Saving Time and Effort 
The Six Rules of "Good" Corsetry 
Corset Pattern Scaling 
Drawing Flats for Corsetieres


Skill Categories

Entries will be judged in three separate skill level categories:

  • Beginner - If virtually every project you can think of is a completely new experience, you're a Beginner.
  • Improver - If you have some experience and you think you could make a passable effort at a selection of different types of costumes, you're an Improver.
  • Experienced - If you think you could probably make a pretty awesome job of most costumes, you're Experienced.
  • Everyone's interpretations of these three categories will be slightly different, so once we've received all the entries, we reserve the right to shuffle entries around amongst the categories to create a level playing field. (In other words, we often end up shifting a few people up a category, because you're all so darned modest!)




Winners in each category will receive

  • $200 gift certificate for the online store of their choice.
  • A year's free subscription to Foundations Revealed and Your Wardrobe Unlock'd.
  • A special 'Winner' icon to place on their website, blog or profile.

Runners-up in each category will each receive: 

  • Six months' free subscription to Foundations Revealed and Your Wardrobe Unlock'd.
  • A special 'Runner-up' icon to place on their website, blog or profile.


How to Enter

You will not need to send the garments themselves to us - our members are located all over the world and we'd be as heartbroken as you would be if your clothes got lost or damaged in the mail. In any case, we're not going to judge them: YOU are!


Photograph the clothes you make; we'll use these photos and your description as your entry. Your permission to use those things on our websites is granted by entering them, but the copyright on the photos and text remains your own.

You can enter a maximum of five photos, which will need to be attached to your entry email. One of these can be replaced with a video. Composite images count as the number of images that have been combined (in other words, you can't circumvent the image limit by using photo manipulation software to combine multiple images).

Dress Diary (optional)

Keep a 'dress diary' on your blog if you have one; we'd love to link to it. This is optional, but the great advantage is that you can include as many pictures as you like on your blog, over and above the five picture limit for your main entry, and we'll link to it. Remember to use a tag so that voters can access your complete dress diary at once without needing to sift through other journal entries!

If you're not familiar with the term, a 'dress diary' is simply a blog that you keep during the making of an outfit. It documents how you made the garment(s), what problems you came across and how you solved them, including any making-of pictures, and all your triumphs and tribulations during the project. They're great to look back on and they help us all to learn from each other's experiences.

Your Entry Email

In order to enter we need to receive your entry email by 5pm EST on Mon February 6th, 2017. The title of the email should be 'FR Competition' and it should be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The email will need to contain:

  • Your name (ie. the name of the maker or makers, clearly indicating the spokesperson for joint entries).
  • Your username.
  • Your email address (if different from the one you're writing from!),
  • An attached text or Word document containing:
        • The title of your entry. Give it a name - brief, clear and memorable works best!
        • Your skill level category (see above, Skill Categories)
        • Brief description of your entry (about 500 words), including anything you'd particularly like us to know about it: inspiration, fabric, unique or interesting techniques or materials, any particular challenges you overcame, etc.
        • Link to your dress diary, if you've made one (optional).
  • Please include the following legal text in your email, which officially gives us your permission to publish your entry on the site: I hereby grant Harman Hay Publications Inc the irrevocable right to use the text and images that are attached to, or linked from, this email on any products, and in any digital or traditional media or content.
  • Attach up to FIVE high resolution photographs to your email (do not give us Photobucket/Flickr/Facebook links.) Remember, all photos must be either public domain (easy rule of thumb: if it appears on Wikimedia Commons, we can use it) or your own, otherwise we will need the following permissions:
      • You must provide links demonstrating where you found any images you want us to use that aren't yours, so that we can either see that they're public domain and use them, or see that they aren't and link to them instead.
      • We also need written (email) permission from your photographer, if you are using photos of your work taken by someone else. Again, they will need to provide the text: I hereby grant Harman Hay Publications Inc the irrevocable right to use the text and images that are attached to, or linked from, this email on any products, and in any digital or traditional media or content. Alternatively, we are happy to enter into negotiations with your photographer as to what usage they're comfortable with.
      • The same applies to professional models.
  • You may also submit one VIDEO of up to 60 seconds in place of one of your photos. Please do not email us video files. Instead, provide a link to YouTube or Vimeo where it is uploaded (and don't forget to make the video "public"!)

Your entry will be uploaded to the website, giving our members and the public the opportunity to see your work. The winners will then be decided by a vote among all the members and FR team.


  1. You will need to be a Foundations Revealed member for two months during the competition in order to enter - ie. at least from before the closing date up until the date that the winners are announced. We do believe that it's fair to ask you to be a paying member in return for advertising your work on this platform.
  2. You may enter only ONCE in the competition at Foundations Revealed, but you can enter the simultaneous competition on Your Wardrobe Unlock'd in addition to this.
  3. No purchased, rented, or inherited corsets may be entered; the entry must be your own work.
  4. Writers are welcome to enter, but they must not enter a garment or outfit that has been the major feature of an article or articles written for us.
  5. Joint entries of up to three people are welcome, provided that you are all members (see 1). The skill level of the group is defined as the skill level of the member who was most involved in construction, or the most experienced member if it really was an equal joint effort. You will need to decide on a spokesperson. Prizes for joint entries will be awarded to the spokesperson to divide up as s/he sees fit. All members of the group will be able to use the 'Winner' icons, and any prize subscriptions will be split - four months each for a three-person entry, for example, or six months each for a two-person entry.


And Finally...

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - especially useful for those annoying issues that only come up when you're halfway finished!

Do you have the direct link to the pattern ?
From what I can tell REF #2360 wasn't made public... I flipped thru all 109 images and it is not there. REF #2370 looks to be exactly the same except includes flossing. Here is the link for #2370... http://imageleicestershire.org.uk/view-item?key=RHsiRCI6IlwiU3ltaW5ndG9uIENvcnNldCBQYXR0ZXJuc1wiIGNvbnNpc3RzIG9mIHRoZXNlIEl0ZW1zIiwiTiI6MTA5LCJPIjpudWxsLCJQIjp7InR5cGUiOiJmb3J3YXJkIiwicmVsYXRpb25faWQiOjEsIml0ZW1faWQiOiIxODY5NyJ9fQ&pg=51&WINID=1458012526610#.VueCuPkrKUn
Last edited on 15.03.2016 03:45 by April Pullen
From what I can tell REF #2360 wasn't made public... I flipped thru all 109 images and it is not there. REF #2370 looks to be exactly the same except REF #2370 includes flossing.

My apologies, Zoe, April is right. The pattern i used is one that I photographed myself, but like many of the Symington patterns, there are others that are so similar as to be indistinguishab le. So yes, if you'd like to begin with one of the printouts from the Image Leicestershire site, go with #2370, which is number 51 of the 109 they've digitised. I've added a link in the article above.
I was initially a little confused by this as well, but this is the pattern from which Cathy Hay developed her tutorial on Drafting a Symington Corset. If you follow the link above it explains a bit about the pattern and then links to a pdf on how to draft your own corset based on pattern #2360. Best of luck on your corset.
Does the Ballet inspired corset have to be linked to a specific ballet? Or can it just be inspired by the splendor of the costumes?
No, no specific connection required, just use the ballet theme as your starting point and have fun with it! I can't wait to see what you come up with, Mira!
Does it have to be something recently made of can I use a Tutu as part of the entry I ve made a few years back?
Yes, of course you can use something you've made in the past! We can't wait to see it!
When it says "you can only enter ONCE", does that mean once this year or once through all time?
Hi Charlotte, it means once this year! We love to see people come back year after year, winners defending their titles, beginners coming back and showing how much they've improved, and so on! Do please come and enter again, we'd love to see what you've got for us!
Do we also need to provide written agreement from a professional model, like the photographer?
If you're using a professional model, that would probably be a good idea, yes.
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