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

Finalists  ~ Beginner  ~  Apprentice  ~  Intermediate  ~  Experienced  ~  Advanced  ~  All Entries

Magic Lantern by Marion Bregier      Magic Lantern by Marion Bregier

 

Magic Lantern by Marion Bregier      Magic Lantern by Marion Bregier

 

Magic Lantern by Marion Bregier

 

Magic Lantern by Marion Bregier

 

 

Magic Lantern

Marion Brégier, France (Green Martha)

IG: green.martha

MUA and photography assistant: Eysméralda

 

 

The Design

The best laid plans… I sure had them: a carefully mapped-out, ambitious design, a precise timeline, and even some supplies. And then my life got turned upside down, I was far away from home right when I should have started, and I got home with depression and anxiety. I was unable to sew for months. So I shelved my idea and accepted that I wasn’t going to enter this year.

Then suddenly, shortly before the holidays, I felt like sewing again. So I dug out the pattern I had started drafting, and got to work. I only had a few weeks left, and no time for fabric hunting. I set aside my first idea (that I still want to make, someday…) and searched for a new one that I could bring to life - with limited time and options.

The contest deadline falls right after Imbolc, or Candlemas, which celebrates the return of the light. Where light and architecture meet, I found lanterns, lamp posts, and the shape of lit-up windows seen from the dark street during long winter nights.

I tried to use materials from my stash as much as possible – in fact, everything but the lacing ribbon and the fabric for the skirt and top was already in my possession. The corsetry mesh was perfect to play with transparency and evoke lit-up windows, and I used giant swirly sequins, sequinned tulle and some copper shiny something leftover from other projects to create light and reflections under it.

 

The Construction

The corset’s strength layer is made of black satin coutil and black corsetry mesh. It was my first time using both, and I discovered their unique issues – satin coutil is unforgiving, and every unpicked stitch leaves a mark, mesh frays like crazy and melts if ironed too hot.
Another challenge was layering not one, but two slippery and wiggly fabrics under the mesh. The gold sequined tulle was rather tame, but the copper fabric frayed frantically, and some of the giant black sequin swirls had to be applied right over the seam between panel 1 and 2, forcing me to adapt my construction.

With so many layers, I wanted to keep the construction light. I treated the corset as a single layer with external bone casings of black satin coutil. Applying them was still almost too much for my machine, especially over the cording.

The cording is made of paper cording, sandwiched between two layers of satin coutil, and follows a swirly pattern to match the inspiration. I love how it adds texture to the plain satin.

Over the side panels I applied a shiny and thick lace to provide textural interest. It was originally a large guipure collar, that I cut into small bits and arranged into a pleasing pattern.

In the end, I love how the technical realisation supports the theme behind this project. The black satin channels and panels create the structure, both physically and visually, and the light plays through the mesh and lace.

 

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

Due to personal circumstances, this year was particularly emotional for me. Just being able to create again was a breakthrough. The contest gave me a goal to focus my energy towards, somethign to concentrate on while I am grieving. Whatever your current situation might be, there is always something to be gained from creating something exceptional just for the sake of creativity.

 

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galadriel
I am so glad that you managed to overcome difficult personal circumstances and enter, this is really gorgeous work. Congratulations .
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Thank you ! Working on this was really therapeutic, I think there's something about the light in the darkness theme that also echoed my personal mourning.
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This is a lovely design. I wish I could see it in person, so I could see the details better! (It also pairs wonderfully with your fiery red hair!)
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Thank you ! The hair was sort of a happy accident that the photography enhanced ^^, matching was not intentional but I'm happy about it.
Working with black and textures was definitely a challenge for the photoshoot !

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royalblack
The colours and textures of your corset speak to me on so many levels!
I love dark metallic shades and textured black and you have combined both beautifully. Also it's great to hear that you finished an entry despite the difficult circumstances. I find sewing can be very therapeutic and it's always impressive to see people push through hard times and come up with something beautiful along the way.

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Thank you ! Your own work with textures and embellishment has been very inspiring.
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jema
Ooooh the textural details and pattern cutting is just lovely. Getting that cording into such elegant swirls is really technically challenging, and you've succeeded beautifully, I can really see the light and the windows shining through the piece, lovely work
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Thank you Jema, I'm happy the idea comes through !
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lyrisdesign
Lovely! The variations in textures are simply gorgeous, and it is a lovely interpretation of your inspiration. Well done for overcoming your challenges.
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Thank you so much !
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catherine
Wow - the different textures that you have achieved are beautiful!
I'm so glad you were able to create this, and thank you for the construction insights and tips!

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Thank you, I hope my own journey can inspire others.
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bernadettebanner
I love the corded panels in particular; in the satin, they add such amazing texture! (And of course the sequins are nice too; sequins are always necessary!)
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Agreed, sequins are a must !
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I'm a great believer in sewing as therapy. I hope this has helped you through. Look at all of those beautifully made panels, each offering up different eye catching details and textures, it's really worth tackling all those tricky fabrics.
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So sorry to hear about your difficult circumstances, but it is nice to hear that this gorgeous piece helped you a little bit :)
I myself think it is gorgeous! Layering fabrics seems to be a really tricky thing and it looks just perfect. It is so smooth and well fitting, so stunning! And that cording, I am so in love with it <3
Beautiful corset! And I hope you feel better soon!

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lcostigliolo
Lovely design, I like how you played with the materials to get the reflection. Well done!
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paulay71
I love the curved cording, and the varied fabrics which all work together beautifully, you created a gorgeous piece of work.
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theperfecttouchvictorian
The first four photos were lovely. Then I got to the last two where I could see the detail and it took my breath away! Love what you have done and in such short time!
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laurata
The layering and textures are so interesting, and your inspiration comes through. May light continue to come through the darkness, bringing you inspiration and hope in whatever season of life you are in. <3
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marloes dadswell
The flowing lines you managed to achieve with the cording is stunning. And the overall look is exquisite! So happy you found your inner spark and entered this year's competition!
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