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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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Silver Switcharoo Silver Switcharoo

Silver Switcharoo Silver Switcharoo

Silver Switcharoo Silver Switcharoo

 

Silver Switcharoo

Zoe Beattie, Melbourne, Australia

 

The Design

I got incredibly excited when I saw the theme of Renewal for this year's competition. The official inspiration board pulled me in so many directions, I didn't know what to do. And then I realised that one of the limiting factors for how I wore corsets was based on the embellishments. Too many, and I couldn’t dress it down for everyday situations or wear it under clothes; too few and I struggled to feel dressed up for fancier occasions. What I wanted was a versatile, transformative garment that could be worn for multiple purposes, and appear unique at each event with relative ease.

So, I decided to focus on making it possible to change the embellishments and keep the corset itself simple. I opted for an underbust for maximum versatility, as the only thing I might not be able to do in it is ride my horse, but I could still do everything up to the point of sitting in the saddle easily.

Since the theme was renewal, I used it as a chance to thoroughly examine my craft room for things that could find a new purpose. Heirloom crochet cotton, off-cuts of fabrics, jewellery I no longer wore and hadn’t pulled apart yet.

And, since I could have many embellishment sets, I learned new crafts too, like shuttle tatting, embroidery, and blackwork. Even though not all of them made it to the final images, I’m so excited to wear my corset with different looks.

 

The Construction

In the spirit of the themes, I decided to try and not buy materials unless essential, and repurpose things where possible.

I had a leftover piece of curtain remnant that I had been saving because it was too pretty to throw away, and I realised it was the perfect quasi-neutral silver colour to act as a background for embellishments. It had minimal give, was washable, and really wasn’t big enough for any proper windows. I was able to find the lining cotton in my off-cuts pile, the busk was bought at a closing down sale, and the cotton rope was from a friend’s macramé project. Even the grommets were found at the bottom of a forgotten craft box.

The cherry blossom brooch was tatted using heirloom thread, estimated to be between 35-70 years old, and helped me learn a new skill.

I used the free underbust pattern from Corsets by Caroline, and modified the bottom edge following the Aranea Black free Anna waspie hip line. I was very grateful for these free patterns, since my measurements changed dramatically over the course of the project, and I couldn’t adjust my self-drafted pattern, drafted based on the Foundations Revealed instructions, fast enough. I used zip-ties for bones to accommodate a chronic pain condition, and because they’re easily accessible.

I also attached the lining after binding the strength layer, after watching a YouTube video from American Duchess. This allows the lining to be replaced easily, should it wear or need to be washed.

 

Materials Used

Corset: silver blackout curtain remnant (fashion and strength layer), black cotton (remnant, lining), busk, industrial zip ties (370mm x 7.6mm), grey bias binding, twill tape (waist tape), cotton thread, cotton rope, gray (lacing).

 

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

This was a thrilling, and often overwhelming, experience for me.

It's the very first time I have ever sewn something to put it in a competition. It's my first busked corset, my first lined corset, and I was feeling out of my depth for a good part of the year leading up to this. But I learned that it's amazing what you can do if you get little bits of time collected together. I got a corset, and some pretty embellishments, and a sense of pride in myself that I could do this thing despite it not going according to plan.

If you're undecided, remember that you can just make it for yourself, and if you just happen to aim to have it done by the deadline because deadlines are helpful, then you give yourself all the options. No one is going to mind if you make it just for you, but I bet they'll be enthusiastic and supportive if you decide to enter the competition.

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kitty mortensen
This is so creative, and I LOVE your photos, they are so cute and personal ❤️ lovely piece throughout, love the attachable as well as the corset ??
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Celyne
Such a lovely work, just admire your craftsmanship. You are an artist.
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Aleta Schulz
Both imaginative and very practical...good job!?
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greenlinenshirt
I love the idea of changing embellishments!
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Andrea Chavez
yeah...embellishments! rocking. Great job on the rest of it too, of course! Black out curtains...that is so creative and clever.
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Mjl
The versatility of this is genius!
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Beautiful design and concept, thank you for sharing your inspiration! Great work!
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Rossanne Hamilton
I wish I could see all of the other embellishments! I love the idea of using old jewelry
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It looks great! I really love the idea of the flexible embelishments, I also fall in love with the fancy decoration and then realize that it's that same decoration which limits wearability. This is a great solution!
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Tish Bowman
Very ingenious! Love it!
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What a great project...and interpretation of the theme! Love how you have created doi many different ways of wearing it too! Well done!
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forestwyf
What a brilliant idea! And you've made it so beautifully. Well done you! (Also, I so appreciate your comment about it being amazing what you can do if you get little bits of time collected together. It's so true!)
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kirstymitchell
What a great idea to give the corset such versatility. Love how you demonstrate ways to wear it as well. Look great Zoe.
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inteutangarn
So brilliant! And an inspiration to me who sits on the fence, don’t like to buy a lot of new and expensive maybe environmentally and or people unfriendly materials. Beautiful also. Love your photos!
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mollyc
What a clever idea! And your construction is beautiful.
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certainsundries
What a fun idea! Nicely done!
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galadriel
Last edited on 27.02.2020 19:09 by Lucy Emke
Really clever idea, wonderfully executed. Can't wait to see what you do next year!
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kimberlypiter
So many things to love here. First, your willing to be vulnerable to enter, your willingness to try something totally new, your mindfulness of thrifting, and your courage to keep working at it when you didn’t have all the answers!!! Bravo! It’s prefect. I love that you choose something that you can wear all the time.
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Erin Wishart
This is amazing work.
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arianabauer
I love your concept and the corset came out so adorable! Nice work.
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So good ! And I love your curtain fabric, it's really a lovely color for your corset !
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rebecca_robinson
This is such a fun idea! I love how much range you've given to one corset :)
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This is exquisite, Zoe. Underbust corsets intimidate me like crazy! Your bravery in using a plain fabric is truly beyond me - it totally works for you! You can use that for just about anything and under anything.
Your photographs are absolutely precious - what a great show of personality.

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Felicia
Such creative reuse of materials, including jewelry and you made something you can use everyday. I love the zip ties for chronic pain, never thought of that, so creative! I'm going to give it a try.
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DIANE
Love the color and the concept - beautiful!
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Audra Borders
I appreciate the way you described the thought process behind how you came up with your corset. I also like the fact that you repurposed existing materials. This is something that I do constantly. Usually, because I hate waste. I feel that you did a very good job with your construction and the fact that you realize your strengths as well as your weaknesses. Keep up the good work and keep working on improving your work.
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Karen
G'day Zoe. I love that you designed the corset to be as (argh, lost the word) mercurial as possible.
The juxtaposition of a controlling (dare I say straight laced) corset being dynamic is a wonder to behold.
I'm very impressed with your tatting too. It's a skill I've told myself I'll learn one day... I've told myself that for over 30 years.
Thank you for showcasing your creation.

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Audrey
I love your story! What a fun and versatile project. I love that you were able to learn new skills along the way.
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Anne Bigelow
Beautiful work-I especially love the versatility! And great job learning so many new skills! No matter what happens with the contest, you are a winner already!
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Bernadette Banner
So many firsts for you here, this is thrilling! And it turned out just beautifully; I do hope you get lots and lots of use out of it!
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Bernadette Banner
So many firsts for you here, this is thrilling! And it turned out just beautifully; I do hope you get lots and lots of use out of it!
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Andrea
What a great idea to use the blackout curtain! And just overall, I like the versatility of your corset so that it can be worn as an everyday item, or dressed up for fun. Very well done!
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Joy R.
It's always such an exciting and terrifying thing to cut into fabric you've been saving for the "perfect project". This corset is the perfect canvas for many embellishments.
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Great work I really love it!
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Robin J Siciliano
What a beautiful and creative entry! Brilliant idea and your pictures are great. Well done!
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klarahall
Sewing with chronic pain can be especially challenging, other times its just the right distraction. Either way - your achievement is inspirational!
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Trevellyn
Simple, versatile, and beautifully made. This is very well done. I love your comment for anyone else thinking of entering a competition, you are inspirational, thank you.
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lyrisdesign
Well done, what an awesome corset, and fabulous versatility with the switchable embellishments. Love it!!!
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nicolaC
I love that you used cable ties to bone this. It lookes great
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Lenora
Oh my! I wear a corset regularly because of a chronic pain causes by a skeletal condition. I've really been wanting to make my own so it will fit even more comfortably but have been daunted by the thought so far. I absolutely love how you specifically looked within the items you currently have in order to find the components needed! How creative and ingenious of you! Your embellishments are another beautiful, ingenious idea, and so beautifully done. I am inspired by this!
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Bianca
You’re doing amazingly! At first I thought this way very plain but then read the article and your enthusiasm is something we all need here and there especially at the end. Regarding the corset, I adore how versatile it is! Well done. :)

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Jennifer Stone
A beautiful creation!
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Mariya
I love your idea to reuse materials to create a corset that can be dressed up or down. Using jewelry as you did isn't something I'd considered before, but I will now, thanks! Love your pics, they show your personality.
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Courtney
As a Melbournian living in far off Ottawa, Canada, you get my vote because you're my homegirl! Great work.
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Caerigna
I love the way you were double inspires by "renewal." Taking it in as a reflection of versatility, and creating something that is renewed with every outfit. Then also as a sustainability in materials, renewing scraps and bits into a full piece. It also looks pretty comfy, lol.
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sauve piecemaker
The personal history you write is quite uplifting. I love the corset you made and what a cleaver idea to make it so versatile. Brava!

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Sarah Labarre
I love that you've used leftover materials! Today we really have to reduce waste to a minimum. Good job! :)
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Wow!! So many firsts! I'm really proud of you for challenging yourself and showing yourself that you *can* achieve what you set out to do ? I love the way you've made this so versatile and suited to your lifestyle needs. You should feel so proud of this entry, it's wonderful. Well done!!!
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Katrina Ehrnman-Newton
This is such a fantastic take on the theme! Also, yay for tatting! It's such a fun version of lace-making and I was so happy to see it here. What a beautiful thing you've made and will really get a lot of use out of. Well done <3
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sue_mcfluzen
Beautifully made. I really enjoyed reading your thought process regarding how you created your corset and incorporated into for competition theme.
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lcostigliolo
Lovely interpretation of the theme, and the tatting detail is beautiful!

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Beck Lisles
This is so adorable. I love the re-used remnants :)
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royalblack
Well done! Your description and pictures clearly show that you had fun with the theme and it's awesome that you challenged yourself with new techniques in so many different ways. The corset has turned out lovely and the removable embellishment is a great idea.
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Ha ha love the cheeky stealthing pic. Lovely work - I am always impressed by adapatability and I think in corsets this idea works really well.
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AV
such a wonderfully simple design, I love how versatile it is, so you can dress it up however you like or keep it as an everyday design; perfect inspiration for beginners! so great that you were able to repurpose materials!
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Jeanette Murray
Entirely fun!! Great use of on hand materials and learning some new skills is always a plus. Well done!!
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paulay71
Great shape and the changable element is a great idea.
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marloes dadswell
Super fun and clever! I like how you can change it up a notch.
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jema
What a clever and thoughtful idea to make the corset itself the base for other pieces to be displayed and renewed, I love it!!
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Renee
I love this idea and might steal it for myself :) Great work!
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Renee
I love this idea and I might steal it for myself :) Great work!
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burstangel75
Love the idea!
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