One year ago, after moving to a new country, I decided to be honest with myself and do what I’ve always dreamed about: to create. I bought my very first sewing machine and started from scratch. Day after day I learned, and I’m still learning. And after a few months I realized my ultimate dream: I sewed my first corset.
My inspiration for this year's theme was the goddess Aurora as she was my first thought. Aurora rises from the darkness of the night, she renews herself, bathing the earth again in the light.
I also thought about the hope of a new beginning, as it is related to my personal story and how I began to sew. This theme fitted me like a glove and I wanted to give myself a chance to step into this challenge.
As this year’s theme was renewal I wanted to use only materials I already had and not to buy anything. And I managed to do so: I used satin coutil I had, reused bones and tulle I had from another project I made, and used worbla I bought months ago to give it a try.
This corset is based on the Angel corset pattern by Scarlett Sapsford. I’ve been using this pattern a lot and I've learned how to modify it to my needs.
The underbust is made of 16 panels. I used black satin coutil and ruffled tulle I sewed on the hips. I wanted the corset to be black with little touches of gold to symbolise the darkness and the dawn. I used spiral and flat steel bones (10 spiral steel bones and three flat steel bones each side, two at the back, one at the front near the busk).
I hand made and hand sewed the ruffled tulle. For this part I had to sew the boning channels before assembling the hips to the rest of the corset. It was the first time I had to plan the boning channels before assembling the corset, in order to keep the hips neat and embellish with the ruffled tulle. I wanted the ruffles to remind of the flower's blossoming and the gold pearls to remind of the flower buds.
The shoulder pads are made of black Worbla. I used EVA-foam and sandwiched it in Worbla. I created the pattern on my mannequin and shaped it on myself. I added ruffled tulle to remind of the corset and designed some leaves and branches in Worbla to symbolise the rebirth of nature. On a black metallic paint base, I used gold metallic paint as the colour of the new day.
Black satin coutil for the corset, black tulle and gold pearls to embellish the hips of the corset, 10 spiral and six flat steel bones, one gold busk, 8m of gold double satin ribbon, 28 two-part metal eyelets in 4mm, Worbla and EVA-foam for the shoulder pads, black and gold metallic paint to embellish the shoulder pads.
What was it like to compete this year? What would you say to someone who is on the fence about entering next year?
This year I wanted to keep the promise I made to myself and be a part of this competition. I kept reminding myself that “done is better than perfect” even though I’m a perfectionist; I tried to encourage myself just like I would have for anybody else! I think it takes a lot of courage to show ourselves, and I can say that I am proud of myself today for fulfilling my dream and never giving up.
I would say to anybody who still hesitates to participate to give it a go!