When I discovered the competition theme for this year, I immediately imagined a romantic ballerina. When I say romantic, I think of dancers and stage actresses of the Victorian and Edwardian eras. I think of Degas, of “La Sylphide”, maybe of Anna Pavlova, etc. So I made a Pinterest board with dozens of vintage pictures. I gathered the fabrics and I made sketches. I wanted this costume to be as authentic as possible, so I chose natural fabrics: a grey silk satin, cotton coutil and cotton bobbinet. I dyed the bobbinet with natural indigo. I found some white silk flowers that I painted in different shades of light blue with watercolor.
And then, months have gone by, and I couldn’t find the time to work on this costume. So I gave up on this project. From time to time, however, I still thought about it, and it made me a little bit sad... So, when I saw the first contributions for the competition on Facebook last week, I decided to set myself this challenge: to make this entire costume in one week, with a full-time job at the same time. That is for the context.
Now to the technical part! This corset is a mix between Victorian sewing techniques and modern corsetry. It has a single layer of coutil, with internal boning channels. I used synthetic whalebone with flats on the center back. The silk satin is lined with a cotton fabric, and hand-stitched inside the corset to hide every machine stitch. The explanation for the name of the costume is the petticoat. To get the right volume, I lined the soft blue bobbinet with a white stiff tarlatan, to avoid modern nylon net.
In the end, I am glad I made this costume, because it exactly reflects the image that was in my head. But I am quite disappointed by the result form a technical point of view. This corset would have been worth a little more work… But once again, this competition was the opportunity to push myself, and for that I want to thank everyone here!
You did this costume in only one week?? Chapeau bas, l'artiste! Your work is really lovely, you managed to get that "authentic" and vintage feel, it almost looks like a painting to me in the second to last photo. I am also rather happy I was not the only one who almost gave up on this project, and finally decided to tackle it anyway, even if we were short on time!
Yes, the "vintage, romantic" feeling is so strong here and I adore it. It is you in the photos? Fantastic job with the posing and lighting! I really love the skirt. And just the whole vibe, did I mention that already? ;p glad you stuck this project out and shared it with us.
Thank you very much ! I forgot to mention it, the model in the photos is my sister