Jeske van der Meijs
Modeled by me @mydivinepoppy. Photography by @maasfotografie
When I read the theme ''renewal'' it felt like the competition came at the right time in my life.
I have recently found out that I have a chronic illness and I feel that it forced me to renew myself. I needed to change my outlook and goals and I wanted this contest to be a part of that process.
My mind instantly went to the process of a shedding snake. The snake is no longer comfortable in its own skin and will leave that part behind him, just like how I now need to leave a part of myself behind me.
It will still be the same snake but now he has room to grow. This thought gave me some comfort in a difficult moment.
For my entry I wanted to renew myself and I chose to do everything in a new way. For example I drafted the pattern in a way I never tried before and about 75% of the corset is sewn by hand. I have little experience in this and usually try to avoid having to do this.
I hadn't touched a needle in over a year because I felt the grief of my health holding me back in doing what I wanted. With entering this contest I forced myself to find a way to renew myself and fall in love with making corsets all over again.
For the pattern I wanted to use a different method then I am used to. I taped myself in and outlined all my bones to know where I could squish and reduce the pattern.
Usually I draw a basic pattern and adjust that. Changing this method made it difficult to be precise but it also resulted in the most comfortable garment I've made so far. The toile fitting went smoothly and I only had to make small changes.
After I cut the pattern pieces, I tried roll pinning for the first time and I basted the layers together by hand.
After stitching them together I covered the seems up by hand with a satin ribbon. For the first time I created my own cups (instead of re-using a bra).
I tried many different materials that I wanted to create the snake-like look. The plastic and scale-shaped leather I cut just made it look like a cheap costume. I then came across a lace I found in Paris. The petals of the flowers felt like a similar shape to the scales of a snake. The lace as a whole created the shed skin effect perfectly without it being too literal.
I stitched on the boning channels, cut and tipped the bones, finished the edges with bias tape and hand sewed more ribbons on to cover up all seams. I placed the lace applique I had cut and added hot fix gems. The lace I draped and stitched in place to form the cape.
Mood board: https://www.instagram.com/p/B8GiGAFHRk0/
Black coutil, nude coutil, black ribbon lacing, nude satin ribbon, black satin bias tape, nude cotton ribbon, white cotton ribbon, white lace, ''black diamond'' hot fix stones, flat steal boning, spiral steal boning, foam/fabric to make cups, extra strong silver zipper, silver eyelets and washers, white thread, nude thread, black thread.