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Voting has now closed. Congratulations to you all, and thank you everyone for entering, commenting, sharing and voting!

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Iron Bridges by Joanne Fay  Iron Bridges by Joanne Fay 

Iron Bridges by Joanne Fay 

Iron Bridges by Joanne Fay Iron Bridges by Joanne Fay

Iron Bridges by Joanne Fay  



Iron Bridges

Joanne Fay, UK 

IG: mspipistrelle


The Design

I had this mental image of The Ironbridge over the River Severn with its iron work contrasting against the sky. My mental image doesn't quite match reality, being more a combination of some aspects of The Ironbridge and the Victorian St Mary’s railway footbridge in Lydney, which I remember from my childhood, with a bit of the Eiffel Tower thrown in for good measure. For my design I took that mental image as a starting point and tried to make it a little less literal and a lot more graphic. I kept some specific detail from Ironbridge in the front of the corset.

I also wanted to be able to wear this corset as part of an outfit and not just as a competition piece so this affected the final design choices and choice of fabric.

For the corset itself I started with the Melissa Corset pattern from Corsets by Caroline. I raised the bottom edge at the sides so that I could have a full skirt underneath.


The Construction

The corset has a blue cotton fashion layer with a white herringbone coutil strength layer and is boned with synthetic whalebone with flat steels at the back opening. The edges are bound with bias binding made from the same blue cotton. Flossing was done using the same thread as the boning channels as I wanted the flossing to be subtle and not confuse the main embellishment.

The embellishment is black embroidery floss, some of it braided, most of it crocheted into chains using a variety of crochet hook sizes to achieve different effects. The crochet chains and braids were hand-stitched onto the surface of the corset, with the ends pulled through to the back where they could be firmly anchored out of sight.

The corset is machine stitched except for the busk which is hand-stitched as my machine won’t work with a generic adjustable zipper foot.

New challenges for me included roll-pinning and placing extra boning channels. I remembered seeing demonstrations of both roll-pinning and planning boning channels in the Foundations Revealed workshops so I watched the replays which were very helpful.

Fitting an over-bust corset was another new challenge and required me to re-look at how I need to adjust a pattern to fit my posture issues in order to get a neat fit at the top of the bust. After several bust alterations I realised the corset was actually being tilted forwards at the waist and it was the hip area that needed altering to avoid this.


What was it like to compete this year? What would you say to someone who is on the fence about entering next year?

Competing definitely made me nervous, it's only the second time I've had to make a corset to a deadline and the first one was hidden under clothes :) However it was definitely worth it, I've made something using techniques that I otherwise would not have tackled for some time.

I'd say to anyone thinking about it next year to just go for it. Just coming up with a design to fit the theme was fun.



You can see how much love and effort went into this corset, it's beautiful.
You've achieved such a great fit, the waist/hip curve is terrific! I'm enjoying the industrial iron work stitched in soft thread too, it's a lovely image and a great interpretation.
The fit and shape are really incredible! The embroidery work is quite striking as well.
I can only chime in with the previous comments here:
Striking fit and construction and the embroidery adds such a beautiful touch!

Beautifully done, and very creative with using the crochet chains for embellishment!
kitty mortensen
The combination of crochet and corsetry has such a stunning look! Your piece is amazing.
First of all, the fit is amazing! For the first overbust corset you did an outstanding job, as it is so smooth and fits your body perfectly. Very, very well done!
Also 'Hats off' to all the crocheted embroidery, I love the fact that you took the time to make your own unique embroidery! You did a great job!

Stunned and love the work that went into the embellishment! Beautiful color combination!
Last edited on 04.03.2019 14:27 by Laura Austin
Your boning channels are so well done! That was something I have struggled with, especially in the bust. I'm quite envious at how it turned out. The embellishments are just right, too. I spent a lot of time last year looking at bridge trusses, and couldn't quite figure out how to incorporate them into a corset design.
The crocheted trim detail is such a cool idea, and looks so neat and even!
The beautiful graphic embroidery connects the inspirations from your bridges really nicely and I like the contrast of the steely blue with the black. Great to hear about your first attempt at roll pinning, me too! You've achieved a really lovely smooth effect.
There is something elegant about iron built bridge your piece shows this, the shape is lovely and the fit is excellent.
Well done for such a good fit. I like the crocheted decoration, very delicate!
I join in on the congratulations on your fit, your neat way of working and the lovely embroidery! Well done!
marloes dadswell
Perfect shape and the chains of crochet make me love it even more!
A fan of crochet here - and appreciating all the work that went to putting this piece together (I know I struggled with piercing the coutil with a needle on my corset - and you probably did that times 100).
It looks great, very neat and well-made! I love the subtle flossing. How wonderful that you figured out that it was the hip that was affecting the bust fit! That's the kind of learning I love about making corsets for real bodies.

Your inspiration images are so rich! I can understand why they inspired you.

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