Log in

Log in

Competition 2020 logo

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

Winners  ~  2nd place  ~  3rd place  ~  Beginner  ~  Apprentice  ~  Intermediate  ~  Experienced  ~  Advanced  ~  All Entries

Floral Cascade Floral Cascade

Floral Cascade Floral Cascade

Floral Cascade Floral Cascade


Floral Cascade

Paula Yeomans-Hill, Grantham (thefabricfirebird.wordpress.com)

IG: _thefabricfirebird

Model: Threnody in Velvet

Photographer: Belle Prive

For the Oxford modelled shots


The Design

I regularly trawl the local charity shops for interesting pieces of fabric, mainly curtains or bedding as they are fantastic resources for costume making. When the theme was announced, I wanted to make a corset but use a more unusual fabric. I had recently found a pair of mid-20th century curtains: red with a white floral pattern running in stripes down them. The fabric was not ideal as I was unsure how it would hold up to the sewing but I wanted to give it a try; if it didn't work I could select something else. I wanted to create a corset with lots of curve and found that the Gold Exotic half corset shown in Jill Salen's book, "Corsets: Historical Patterns & Techniques" had the shape I required. I decided to recreate the pattern, changing only the waistband which is quilted and has eyelets on the original.

My entry this year takes the renewal theme to include rebirth, recycle, re-use, even stash busting, giving these old curtains a new purpose and raiding some of my longest-hoarded pieces of fabric for the skirts--both having been bought twenty years ago.


The Construction

Making a paper version for a half scale dummy confirmed that the shape was what I wanted. I then altered the measurements as required and made a full scale toile to smooth out any oddly-shaped lines from the original. Happy with the toile, I decided to pattern match as much as I could with the limited amount of fabric. I added bondable bodice canvas to stablise it and work as the strength layer. The pattern matching worked in places but the size and shape of the pieces and the regimented pattern of the cloth meant that it didn't work everywhere. I was, however, very pleased with the centre front line.

I had not used a spoon busk prior to this but found it very similar to a straight busk, and once the garment was fully contructed I bent it suit the shape of the corset. The rest of the construction was fairly straightforward: I pressed each seam over a ham to set the curves in before putting in the boning and steaming again to set the shape of the synthetic whalebone. I added steels and eyelets at centre back and a modesty panel.

The piece was originally made for OCOC19. At the time I was unable to add the cascading flowers to the corset and skirts. My confidence has grown substantially; I reconstructed an historical pattern full scale at last. The most challenging was the pattern matching, which was not something I had tried previously; I am happy with the effect overall. 


Materials Used

1940s/1950s pair of red curtains, bonding fabric, silver satin-look stretch fabric, red silk bondable bodice canvas, synthethic whalebone, spoon busk, flat steels, eyelets, elastic, red satin ribbon, red satin bias binding, twill tape.


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

The main plus for me was showing what can be done with unusual fabric choices and that you don't always have to have exactly the right fabric to produce a great corset.

If you are worried about entering because you don't have all the right tools or fabrics, go for it because you will still be learning and improving your skills.

I love it !
I saw this piece live and I was amazed at the quality of the details and the perfection of the sewing ! Well done !
You did a great job!
This is beauuuutiful! I love your choice to carefully position the floral panels so that it does, indeed, look like a cascade of flowers falling gracefully across the corset!
kitty mortensen
Absolutely stunning, the flowers in the fabric is gorgeous as well. I love it
Well it's beautiful isn't it!
Gorgeous work, I love the sleek shape of the corset and the vibrant fabric.
Gorgeous! I love the colour.
The cascading flowers are visually stunning. I love the pattern matching and the flow. It's so wonderful that you used old stash for this and worked with what you had on hand. Truly a beautiful piece. Thank you for sharing it with us.
Joy R.
The concentrated band of flowers around the hips is my favorite part of the piece! It's all so very stunning.
Meri Pinyol
The corset pattern really has a beautiful shape. I love it!
Those cascading flowers are such a great addition to the outfit!
It's lovely to see how your confidence has grown and that you entered the competition now.

Such a classy outfit. The shape of the corset is lovely and it's nice to hear that your confidence has grown over the years!
Divine! The photos of Patricia in your corset show it off so so well - amazing work.
This is so striking! Gorgeous silhouette and smoothness; I just love the cascading flowers you added recently!
marloes dadswell
Oh my! The fit of this is sensational! And what a gorgeous colour too. I love this entry so much!
What a gorgeous use of de-stashed vintage fabric! The pattern matching is wonderful, and the construction very smart and well executed too
Hide comment form

1000 Characters left

Winners  ~  2nd place  ~  3rd place  ~  Beginner  ~  Apprentice  ~  Intermediate  ~  Experienced  ~  Advanced  ~  All Entries

Go to top