Iced Ornamentation by Paula Yeomans-Hill      Iced Ornamentation by Paula Yeomans-Hill


Iced Ornamentation by Paula Yeomans-Hill      Iced Ornamentation by Paula Yeomans-Hill


Iced Ornamentation by Paula Yeomans-Hill      Iced Ornamentation by Paula Yeomans-Hill



Iced Ornamentation

Paula Yeomans-Hill, UK

IG: SheSewsYouKnow

Model: Helen Vyse


The Design

It took me an age to decide what to do this year - spiral staircases caught my eye first, then church ceilings, caryatids, dams, but still nothing really appealed. I browsed Pinterest and came across several pictures of Robert Adam's internal architectural decoration. The ceiling design for 5 Adelphi Terrace in London was particularly inspiring. The pastel colours and the white plaster relief of these interiors have the look of an old-fashioned piped-icing wedding cake. My grandfather made and iced these sorts of multi-layered cakes, architectural in their own way.

I started my piece very late, but I decided I would like to enter something, so I have refurbished a corset which I made some years ago. I loved the shape I got at the time, but never finished the whole ensemble. The way I designed the outer elements didn't work and I never wore it. Sadly it is far too small for me now, but it's a shame to waste it. The shape gives a lovely curve to the waist and over the hip, the overbust sits a little loose on my model as it was made for me. Even at a size 10 I had a larger bust, but padding this out has helped. It is a pale blue which fits well with the pastel walls of Robert Adam's internal designs and echoes some of the cakes I remember from my childhood.


The Construction

The pattern was self-drafted, using a flat patterning method. Removing the original fabric at centre front, I trimmed it back and carefully took it out of the seams. I have kept the original colour of blue satin-backed crepe which is a floating fashion layer, the base layer being white cotton drill. In my experience, this is how many theatre costumes are made, and at the time I didn't have the money for coutil. The bone channels are sewn in contrasting blue stitching and they contain mainly spiral bones.

Researching the plaster relief work I found similar shapes in lace, so I selected several types of lace applique in white and ivory. Wide guipure lace trim was too wide for what I required, but when cut into smaller sections it was ideal to make small repetitive patterns for the side and back seam lines. I didn't work from a design, but placed the lace directly onto the corset when padded out on the form and let it grow organically. Hand stitching as I went along, I added pearls in shades of grey to the adjoining pieces. These help the eye travel over the pattern and any disjointed areas and bring it together.

I'm thrilled with the final design, which has breathed new life into an old corset. I loved the challenge of making it beautiful again, using additions rather than scrapping it altogether.


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

If you're wondering whether to enter, give it a go, even if life's getting in the way. Enjoy being creative for you.


I love the colours you have used, and the embellishment is sublime. Congratulations !
Tammy Hawksworth
Love this, Nice fit, love all the details, Beautiful.
How lovely! It reminds me of a Wedgwood exhibit I saw years ago-- more than just table wear and decorative figurines, they did do rather amazing decorative architectural elements, quite like this design! Well done!
Living round the corner from several stately homes I could understand immediatly the opulent interiors you were inspired by! Using lace to imitate that fancy plaster was a clever idea and the overall effect with the blue and cream is extremely pleasing :)
Such lovely details! I also really enjoyed seeing the close-up construction picture.
Neat stitching is always satisfying to see underneath beautiful decoration. :)

Lovely idea using the lace to evoke the plaster ornaments, very beautiful!
kitty mortensen
Oh wow- your applique/lace placement is on point and compliments your base colours so well! it really shows your idea very well.
Such lovely texture here with the layers of lace against that luscious satin!
Satin and lace and so beautifully paired! Absolutely gorgeous!!
The color choice is so beautiful <3 And I love the fact that you did breathe life into an old corset. If I am not satisfied with an old design I rip everything of and give it a new go. Your ceiling and cake-past inspiration really made me smile <3 You did a beautiful job here , it is really yummy indeed ;)
What a wonderful idea to recycle your old corset. The passage of time can be a great thing to give you space to look at it from a different point of view. I'm sure it looked lovely before but you've made it into a thing of beauty.
Beautiful! You have done a great job with the decoration, the details are lovely!
marloes dadswell
This really reminds me of those old styled rooms you find in some of the museums. Such a classic colour combination and lovely appliqué.
Those ornaments were well chosen and you brought them down from the hard ceiling to the soft lace preserving their elegance. Lovely work!
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