December 18, 2010

Wig Lace to Corset: Find out how Period Corsets® coerced this delicate fabric into a corset for the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show

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It seems barely there and it's true!  This cute little waist cinch corset, almost transparent in beige tinted net fabric, is made of wig lace. Yes, wig lace! It is usually used to make fronts of wigs, as a transition between the wig and the face. And as it turns out, it worked very well for this fashion corset.  Two layers of the wig lace, strengthened with grosgrain ribbon, make for a very sturdy corset. Todd Thomas and the designers at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show provided us with beautiful corset designs and unconventional corsets fabrics for all of the corsets we made for the show this year. Take a look at how we made this wig lace corset--

Let the fun begin!

photo credit Bauer Griffin
Model Izabel Goulart on the runway at the 2010 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show in the finished wig lace corset.  This look was part of the Heavenly Bodies themed ensembles.

How did this one of a kind corset come into being?

Let's start at square one!

It all starts with the sketch from the designers at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show.  For this project we decided to procede by making a mockup in the actual wig lace fabric using our waist cinch pattern. This allows us to test the style and shaping of the corset to make sure we  achieve what the designer has sketched. Even more importantly, for this corset we need to see if the fabric would hold up as a waist cinching corset, doubling as a strong enough base for the Victoria's Secret shop to attach their heavily-beaded chandelier Bustle. (Sketch, finished  mockup and our final  pattern below.)

Here is the finished mockup, (above and on the form below).  Notice none of the edges are finished and we are using different types of corset boning to test which will go into the final corset.  After this we ship the corset to the designers at the show for feedback. And it all  looks good! 

 We are ready to cut out the final corset and add all the finish details.

What finish details? Well, it's a transparent fabric so we could not use a white center front opening busk...or our signature silver grommets and white laces. So we spray painted all the metal parts of the corset that would be seen and hand dyed the laces to match perfectly.

In the almost-finished corset, notice the seams are covered and strengthened with grosgrain. There are spiral bones inside each seam. The 1 1/4" wide grosgrain stay tape is built into the waist of corset to help with the strain on the fabric and when the crystal beaded chandelier bustle is attached.  And...  NEXT: here we are inserting the painted busk into the center front of this gossamer corset concoction.

Finally-- the last step. Setting the grommets. Since they have been painstakingly painted with the right color and enameled with a strengthening clear finish coat, we take precaution to use paper to keep the metal of the die setter from chipping the paint.

Voila! A delicate waist cinch corset made out of impossibly shear wig lace, from design sketch to reality.

Our corset is ready to ship off to the Victoria's Secret Fashion show to be part of the Heavenly Bodies magic...

Izabel Goulart on the runway.

Click Here to see all of the Period Corsets® Corsets that graced the runway of the 2010 Victoria's Secret Fashion show.

December 15, 2010

Canvas to Corset-- How a roll of straw fabric is molded to the curves of the female form for the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show

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Is it fabric?  Yes, it is a beautiful basketweave diamond patterned STRAW fabric!  Who makes a corset out of straw you ask?  Well here is the answer: Period Corsets®  of course, for the 2010 Victoria's Secert Fashion Show.

 Why you say? Well,  they asked us and who are we to say one can't make a coset out of straw (or anything else you might want to use). So  here we go (look out for wolves...)

These are some helpful tips when sewing in straw:

Step by step:

Step #1--Study your material--this raw "fabric" likes to roll and  fray.
(It is a rather stiffly woven straw matting, so what do you expect?)

Step #2--Preparing sections of the roll of straw for cutting.  We stabalized the straw fabric with  fusible to our dusty rose satin coutil as a lining.

Step #3--Freshly cut corset pieces; the raw edges are ready to fray! eeek!


Step #4--Here comes the watered glue which helped to soften and elasticize the straw when we come to the seaming...

Step #5--Sewing the satin lined bust cup pieces together when wet helped to keep the straw fibers from breaking...

Step #6--same with the centerfront opening busk.  Note the busk is painted with enamel to match the straw to perfection, not the standard silver.

Step #7--Preparing for bust cup insertion.  Hello tissue paper!-- you are the friend of every costumer.  May you help with this incredibly curved and twice turned seam--  (Softening the fibers with the watered down glue will help too.)

Wow... there she goes, bending perfectly into shape.

Satin on the inside, straw on the outside. It holds it's own shape and barely needed any boning.

Voila!...a corset made of straw.

See the Corset on the Victoria' Secret Fashion Show Runway

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