Olga Potaeva, Russia
I didn’t reflect much on the design actually. I have been highly involved in the gothic subculture for a long, long time, so there were not many variants at all. I tried to recreate rose stained glass windows in my garment. My main source of inspiration was the Memorial Church of the Protestation in Speyer, Germany. This is beautiful Neo-Gothic building, which has an unbelievably delicate design of window. I carefully and accurately copied the patterns in my embroidery.
The embellishment is made by hand on silk organza. I used silk velvet, sequins, gimp wire and tons of beads of course. And since the construction is historically accurate, I added some finishing touches of flossing with gold metal thread. The corset has a single layer made from spot broche coutil, hand dyed in antique gray.
You’ve probably recognized the construction. This is hearts corset from the patent by Daniel Kops and I’m totally obsessed with its shape and lines. Foundations Revealed has a brilliant set of articles about this fantastic construction written by Jenni Hampshire. My pattern is based on Louis XV "droit devant" french corset drafted by Joëlle Verne from Atelier Sylphe.
This year I continued my research on integrating large pieces of embroidery into the corset. So the main challenge was to join all the details together. I don’t know if a written description of the process will make any sense, because it’s quite tricky, but I’ll try, maybe these tips would be useful for somebody. At first I attached boning channels to the strength layer of the panels that would be covered by embellishment. Then I covered these panels with pre-embroidered organza and stitched them on by hand to fix everything. Next I attached the prepared two layered embroidery panel to the neighbouring clean panel and finished the inner curvy edges with cotton bias tape. And finally I stitched the rest of each boning channel into place. So you don’t need to sew over embroidery and that huge amount of work is safe.
And of course the real struggle was silk velvet, which was such a naughty fabric that it shifted every time I pressed it down with the foot of my sewing machine! XD
What was it like to compete this year? What would you say to someone who is on the fence about entering next year?
Don’t be afraid, enter, try new things, create, overcome challenges, push yourself out of your comfort zone. This is such an inspiring experience, you’ll receive positive results in any case.