I’ve finally finished this corset! Running out of 5mm crystals, having to wait for a delivery, and last minute gigs have all meant that this piece has languished half-finished for a couple of weeks. But now it’s done, and I’m super proud of it!
The base piece was a corset which I used to use in my winter act ‘Snowflake Striptease’. I was never particularly happy with this act and have been cannibalising bit of the costume for other projects for a while. Certain pieces were wonderful (my first ever large themed customisation project was for this act, and I made a beautiful bra, g-string, bustle and shoes combo with crystal snowflakes), but others were substandard. This corset was made for me by another performer who was practising her construction skills. It’s beautifully made, and fits me perfectly on the underbust and hips, but you can see it doesn’t cinch much. She accidentally made it a 24” waist rather than a 22”. Since I typically wear a 22” or 20”, it feels quite loose, and doesn’t give me as small a waist as I’m used to. But, it still gives the look and feel of a corset, and the looseness means I can dance easily in it, and my movements stay fluid. Practicality has won out over aesthetics.
I never actually embellished the corset for ‘Snowflake’. I was labouring under the misapprehension that ‘less is more’, and so kept its plain white satin untouched, thinking it would contrast nicely with my crystalled snowflakes elsewhere. Which means now I had a nice plain base to work on! First of all I used the silver and blue lurex ribbon I had used on the dress, and sewed it down the boning channels, along the seams. I was considering using a double line on each channel, to hide stitching, but I didn’t like the effect and stuck with single. I knew I wanted to use this ribbon again in the costume, and the corset is the perfect piece on which to tie together the outer and under layers by using the embellishmments of both. Ribbons in place, I used the three colours and sizes of stones to create the usual colour changing lines along the top and bottom binding edges, mirroring the pattern on the two sides so that when the corset is fastened the darker blue is at the front, and tge colour flows through light blue on each side to crystal at the back. Finally I used 5mm crystals on each panel, starting with tightly packed lines at the edges and gradually spreading them further apart as I worked towards the middle (copying the pattern on the g-string). Since I’ve worn this corset so often it’s very much broken in, so the bones have a defined bend in the middle. This means that when I put on the embellished corset the stones won’t shed as the fabric pulls. But the sparse placement of stones around the area that cinches certainly helps this