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The 2020 Competition is now over.
The 2021 Theme will be chosen by our Members in April!

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'Petal corset internal structure' by Caroline Woollin on Youtube

 

  The Petal Corset     

The Petal Corset

The Petal Corset     

The Petal Corset

The Petal Corset

    

 

The Petal Corset

Caroline Woollin, London, UK (Corsets by Caroline)

IG: corsetcaroline

 

The Design

In nature there is nothing more representative of ‘renewal’ than a flower. A flower, sometimes known as a bloom or blossom, is the reproductive structure found in flowering plants and consists of stamens and carpels that are typically surrounded by outer whorls of brightly coloured corolla (petals) and a green calyx (sepals). Pollen produced by a flower is carried by insects or the wind to other flowers (pollination) where fertilisation takes place creating seeds that are dispersed and the whole process starts again – more germination and more plants sustaining life on earth as we know it.

It’s possibly an obvious choice to represent this year’s theme with a flower but I had been mulling an idea over for months so I used it to spur me on to bring my idea to life. I wanted to create a corset with petals that swirl up and around the body from the waist in an Edwardian style. The obvious way forward would be to use a simple corset bodice and sew petal shapes to it, however I wanted the inner corset to reflect this shaping so that, if required, it could be made as a single layer. Producing a commercial pattern is always the aim of my designing so I also wanted grading to be a possibility.

 

The Construction

The corset consists of a base layer in coutil from my stash and an outer layer of repurposed cotton dyed to varying degrees to show a distinction between the petals. The inner layer panels are sewn as normal and the outer panels are top-stitched together, overlapping to give a more organic feel. Internal boning channels are laid across the diagonal panels in a roughly vertical orientation.

I tackled the corset in three sections – a lower section that consists of three panels that sweep around from front to back and encompass the eyelets/ flat steel boning at the centre back. The middle section consists of three diagonal ‘petals’ that slot together, and the front section comprises interlocking panels with darts (coutil) and pleats (outer fashion) to give some bust shaping. The centre front boning is hidden amongst these petals. The two front petals that partially cover the overlapping bust panels were difficult to sew down without some pulling and puckering when worn. I redid this part countless times!

The other difficulties I came up against were mainly related to grain line orientation (tricky diagonals!) and bulk as there are up to three seam points converging in places. I bagged out the outer petals when actually that probably wasn’t necessary, and too much bulk was created at the front point. I really like the design and intend to play around with it to make it a bit easier and more streamlined for other makers to have a go at.

More details on Caroline's blog.

 

Materials Used

Coutil base layer from my stash, repurposed and dyed cotton outer layer, eyelets, 4 flat steels, 8mm spiral boning, laces.

 

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

Perfectionism is always an issue! It's never good enough in my eyes. It's good to focus on something and get your creative juices going.

 

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galadriel
I'm in absolute awe of this pattern. It's truly spectacular, and absolutely genius on a technical level. The result is incredible.
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Thank you Galadriel! I'm still working on an iteration of it - the grading is proving difficult (as I knew it would be!)
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Beatrice
This design is simply amazing and so so flattering! I love the detail of using different shades for the petals!
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Thank you Beatrice! The dying took 2 goes to get the intensity of colour on the darkest petals - the other pieces were taken out at intervals to get the different shades.
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Heather
Absolutely stunning!
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Thank you Heather!
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Rhea Steensma
Ooooooh I'm in love with that bust line! The petals make it look super luscious ❤️❤️❤️❤️
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Thanks Rhea - I love nice bust line too - sometimes the best part of the corset in my opinion!
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bernadettebanner
This is so clean and delicate, so very like the flowers from which you were inspired! Swoooon!
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Awww thank you Bernadette - the Edwardian shaping transpired completely by accident but I'm quite taken with the feel of it (my sway back seems to like it!)
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kitty mortensen
This pattern is stunning, I've never seen anything quite like it. Gorgeous work
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Thanks Kitty! The grading has been a nightmare but just about got 3 sizes from it so far!
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certainsundries
This pattern just breaks my brain. Patterning is not my strongest area, so complex patterns always blow my mind. You are amazing!
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Thank you. My brain is broken too! I just can't let an idea go so work at it for weeks, months sometimes. My partner gets really fed up with me!
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kirstymitchell
You are such a clever lady Caroline. I love how you've used creative pattern cutting and beautiful style lines to create something so effective.
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smile
Thank you Kirsty - pattern cutting is my favourite part of corsetry by far - the challenges of getting it to work keep me constantly intrigued!

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lyrisdesign
This is so beautiful, truly amazing pattern design!
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Thank you Carly!
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ruby_shoo
You are corset patterning ninja! :)
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Ninja! Love that! Thank you.
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Laria
That looks like the bodice of a costume that would be in a ballet, it's absolutely beautiful
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Thank you Laria - it could be made even more delicate I think - with tulle or finer fabrics. I'd love to do some more with it!
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royalblack
I'm so impressed by this pattern, Caroline!
I was already intrigued when I saw it on Patreon the first time and it was very inspiring to follow the process and read about all the challenges it presented. It's lovely to see that you decided to enter this one in the end.

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It has been a tricky one Barbara! Thank you x
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lcostigliolo
This pattern is one the most beautiful modern shapes that I have seen. I am in awe!
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That means a lot to me coming from you Luca! Thank you.
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latelierdelafleur
I've been in love with this marvel of yours since I first laid eyes on it! This is not only an incredible technical achievement in the drafting and design, but it captures the anatomy, delicacy, and strength of your inspiration so beautifully. Well done, indeed!
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Thank you so much! I have loved the challenge of creating such a complex design - so good to have FR to supply that motivation.
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catherine
It's so wonderful! I'm so pleased that you made this is a Patreon pattern! Such beautiful, swooping lines - delightful!
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Thank you Catherine! I really wanted to make this available to my patrons - and hopefully see some other interpretations of it.
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paulay71
Sigh! Beautiful patterning, that neckline is divine too .
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marloes dadswell
The way you play with pattern design is magical and so inspiring. I love this design and its gorgeous shapes and lines!
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jema
OMG - look at that patterning!!!!! that is incredible! Although it may look "simple" creating something that works with this complexity of pattern cut is anything but...
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