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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

 Marianne Laimer Marianne Laimer

Marianne Laimer Marianne Laimer

Marianne Laimer Marianne Laimer

Sweet Dreams

Marianne Laimer, Umeå, Sweden (https://mariannelaimer.wordpress.com)

Photo: Torkel Molin

Model: me

 

The Design

Sweet dreams, chocolate cake and coffee in small golden cups, so many happy memories are sewn into this object of original art.

I love watching movies with stories set in the 18th century, studying images of historical dresses and how to construct them, the patterning and sewing. I do not have any specific pictures on which I have based my design. I use music for inspiration. My entry this year is a simplification of the images that sprang into mind when I listened to Händel, Bach and Purcell. I wanted to capture the frailness of a light and joyful dream with a touch of 18th century dressing without being historically accurate. A wedding veil has been repurposed into the foundation of a light outer shell. Embroidered golden chocolate papers are sewn to this frail tulle shell with reflective threads. The combination reflects golden and white light like in movie dreams.

If you would you like to see more images of how Sweet Dreams came into being, please visit my blog.

 

The Construction

The original pattern for my pair of stays was drafted and fitted to my younger self by Anna Kjellsdotter in 2004. Back then I was skinnier, more symmetrical and had boobs. When updating the pattern in 2020 I had to customize it for asymmetry and pressure points. To avoid painful pressure marks from the seams and boning, the inside is made as smooth as possible. I deliberately frayed and left the linings of the jeans fabric unbound. I used a mix of heavy duty green plastic cable ties, steel armoured and non-steel armoured, scavenged from construction sites for boning, and recycled jeans fabric for the inside of the stays. 

One way to deal with my asymmetry was to carefully lace up without pulling tight and adjusting the fully boned stays into a position where I felt that my back was supported without pain. When laced up I chalked in my “squish waistline” on the stays and compared where the two lines met on the front panels, then adjusted the lacing holes on one panel to match up. When the waistline and the gap at the back felt good, I started to experiment with bone flexibility and placement. Starting out with all steel armoured boning I pulled out and replaced those bones that hurt or did nothing for the posture, replacing them with softer bones or no bones at all. I found it difficult not to fall into the trap of symmetry when making these adjustments to the pattern and finalising the stays.

 

Materials Used

Hand sewn pair of stays: foundation sewn from scavenged legs from four pairs of worn-beyond-repair Levies 505 jeans. Lining: sewn from linen tablecloth, cotton and silk ribbon for lacing. Boning: veavy duty green plastic cable ties, steel armoured and non-steel armoured, scavenged from construction sites

Stay cover: repurposed wedding veil, chocolate paper, reflective thread,

Skirt: inner plastic packing from Zoegas Coffee packets.

Accessories: small coffee cup headpiece made from golden paper gift bag

 

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

Entering the competition is a good way challenge the seamstress in you and take your corset sewing to the next level. I recommend giving it a try next year.

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kitty mortensen
This is such a fun and quirky piece, I love it.
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Thank you for your kind words kitty :-)
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clockwork_faerie
This is so fun! You used the scavenged/recycled materials to such good effect! Well done.
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Thank you for your kind words. I am happy I made you smile :-D
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Woaw you really took upcyvling to the next level !
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Thank you Caroline :-D
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kirstymitchell
Yes! I'm working through in order and this is the first I've seen with unconventional upcycled materials. Such a fun and inspired entry Marianne!
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Thank you Kirsty. I am glad you like it, I had allot of fun experimenting and sewing :-D
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bernadettebanner
This is so whimsical and fun! I love your dedication to reusing unconventional materials; everything works so well visually together!
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Thank you for your kind words Bernadette. That you like it makes me really happy :-D
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Joy R.
The hat! The hat! There are many things to admire in this ensemble, but the hat has captured my attention with its cheeky whimsy. Hats off to you!
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:-D Thank you Joy :-D
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lyrisdesign
This is such a fun and whimsical outfit, beautifully done, and I love your use of upcycling!
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Thank you, I am glad you like it :-D
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jema
Such fun! I'm loving your creative use of repurposed materials!
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Thank you jema :-D

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cmurph03
This is utterly delightful. I love your use of unconventional materials.
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Thank you for your kind words. I am happy you liked Sweet dreamslol
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Lenora
What an absolutely unexpected, absurdly wonderful piece you have created!
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marianne laimer
Thank you :-D
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royalblack
What a cool way of upcycling! I enjoyed your pictures already, but when I read that you repurposed coffee packets, I was even more impressed. Such a fun and quirky design - thank you for sharing it with us!
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Thank you for your kind words, that you enjoyed sweet dreams means allot to me. I have learned so much from the replays where you talk about pattern construction and adjustment for good fitting lol
I love experimenting with up cycling and working with unconventional materials. Creating illusions that make people smile and laugh when they look closer or touch an object and suddenly see/feel that the material used is something else than perceived at first sight.

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lcostigliolo
Wow! What a fun way to recycle! Your design is lovely, funny and quirky, i love it!
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Thank you Luca, this means allot to me and it pep me on with my exploring sewing corsets and sewing corsets out of non traditional materials. I am so happy you love it :-D
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What a fun and quirky project. Love the use of unusual bits and pieces -it came together so well!
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marianne laimer
Last edited on 09.03.2020 09:15 by Marianne Laimer Molin
Thank you for your kind words Caroline. Sweet dreams was a fun project sewing :-D

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Making a corset to fit asymmetry is no easy thing. You've done so well to achieve a comfortable fit for yourself. I like your inspiration and the happy, fun feeling your design invokes. Well done!
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marianne laimer
Thank for your kind words. It makes me happy that you like it :-D

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paulay71
Such a creative piece, music is a great inspiration. What varied types of recycled goods went in to it too, lovely.
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marianne laimer
:-D Thank you :-D

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marloes dadswell
My 5 year old son was looking over my shoulder as I was looking through the entries and he yelled: "Look that lady is wearing a party!" He loves it and so do I. What a fun and well thought of design!
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marianne laimer
:-D Thank you, It makes me very happy that you love Sweet Dreams and it is so cool that your son loves it to, thank you for sharing his reaction to seeing it. lol
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saule_myrthe
It really looks like a confection, some pretty sweet to unpack!
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Thank you :-D
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klarahall
Your entry is so much fun! The hat especially. I love that you dared to make something so unusual.
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marianne laimer
Thank you Klara :-D
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