The idea for this corset came from a question and a sketch that were made a long time before the competition theme was announced. With my background in crochet I wondered if it might be possible to make a working crochet corset. The idea was for solid crochet boning channels with open chains between. The finished corset would have the potential for the clean horizontal and vertical lines of a skyscraper and the engineering of a suspension bridge, and the competition was the perfect excuse to test it out.
I hesitated for a while as It could potentially not work at all. I ran the ideas over in my mind for a time and, as I had plenty of crochet cotton and a busk already, I thought it was worth a try.
As I got further along with the project I made a rule for myself - I would submit anyway, whatever the outcome. I believe the culture of the competition allows for failure to be as interesting as success. You will see the mixed results yourself in my photos.
I first made a large sample of the stitch I was thinking of. As I hoped, with boning channels applied the vertical tension held the stitches rigid and removed the stretch. I used my sample to make a stitch gauge on paper, onto which I transferred the pattern.
Where I wanted boning channels I marked five solid stitches down the pieces. The spaces left between gave me a count of the number of chain stitches needed to fill the open areas.
The texture of the crochet meant that the machine stitching is almost invisible from the outside. This made applying the boning channels much easier, as I could work from the inside.
I applied the coutil channels along three edges with the end tucked under, leaving the bottom open to insert the boning. When the boning was in place I could sew the end down with the stop/start stitching invisible in the crochet. The busk was also completely encased to keep it strong and the white invisible between the crochet. When I made the pattern I left a small hole for the eyelet so I didn’t risk cutting the crochet. The eyelets and boning surrounding them are all backed in coutil.
Overall I am really happy with the result as I I think the Idea worked well. The issues in the finished corset are more a reflection of problems with my pattern than the technique. I would like to reduce and raise the bottom edge and try again.
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