The final piece of work I’ll be doing tonight is adding these narrow strips of ribbon across the bra ‘cups’. I don’t intend on wearing pasties for this act, so these strips cover all that’s necessary (although there will be tape involved too). I used grosgrain ribbon so that the texture will echo that of the straps (I may add rhinestones later, to match the straps on both the bra - which you can’t see in this picture- and the thong). Also in this picture you can see the bronze spike shaped beads I added to the dangling gunmetal chains
Here’s my take on the cage dress. It’s made from nothing but strips of wide back elastic sewn together and fastened along the front right vertical strip with a row of plastic popper fasteners. As usual, I used myself as my own dressmakers’ dummy, wrapping and pinning the strips around myself as I went. I’m quite happy with the finished result, as it’s pretty close to what I saw in my mind when I first decided to make it. But the elastic has bad points as well as good; though it will move with me as I dance, it also cuts into any flesh where there’s not bone directly underneath, giving some unfortunate bulges …
I’m currently making a cage dress. It’s part of my ‘Restricted’ costume. I’m about halfway through it, although I have no pictures as I’m making it from scratch (and a pile of elastic doesn’t make an aesthetically pleasing photo). But it occurs to me I should probably Tumbl. A quick Goole image search turned up this picture, which is similar to the look I’m achieving with my piece. I’m hoping to get it finished tonight, so check back later!
Here you can see I’ve added jewellery chains in place of the diamanté chains (and removed the little white satin bows). I’ve used swags of silver plated curb link interspersed with small gold plated cable link, connected by 8mm silver jump rings. Whereas the original jewelled chains used lobster claw fasteners, I prefer the look of the jump rings. Plus they’re flexible enough that I can alter positioning as I go - if I attach a chain at the wrong orientation I can just bend the ring open and change it. I also added dangling lengths of gunmetal coloured oval link chain (I may add more of this chain later, depending on how I feel). After having to use pliers to create so many different lengths of chains, my fingers need a rest!
Here’s the finished dress. It’s two completely separate pieces which are joined with the busk and the ribbon lacing, like all corsets. This has meant that I’ve not use any chains across either fastening, to join the two pieces together - this would make removal very difficult as it would limit how far I could loosen the fastenings. So I concentrated on each piece separately. Firstly I sewed 8mm jump rings in strategic places, and used them to anchor the jewellery chains. I used alternating swags of small gold plated cable link and silver plated curb link,in the same pattern as the bra, around the bustline and on the hips. In between swags I used short lengths of gunmetal coloured oval link chain, and added small gold coloured spike shaped beads, similarly to how I did on the lingerie. As a final touch I used longer lengths of gunmetal chain to join the top line of embellishment to the lower, along the sides of the dress and crossing over. I’m happy with how it’s turned out, and I think it will look great onstage. The only other change I want to make is to pull the waist in further, as it doesn’t cinch as much as I’d like it too and I feel it would look closer to the aesthetic I want if my waist were smaller. Although, that would be genuinely restrictive, and it might affect my dancing for the worst. So I will leave that decision for now
Today sees me embarking on an ambitious piece of costuming. This is a faux-leather corset dress which will form the outer layer of my ‘Restricted’ costume. It is boned, although only with plastic, and is laced all the way along the back. It fastens like a normal corset, with the combination of busk and lacing tension, but is further complicated by the addition of more lacing at the front of the skirt. This is necessary, so that the skirt is flexible enough to walk (and in my case dance) in, but it will make the removal a big challenge. The dress isn’t a great quality piece, but it will look fine onstage - especially when it has been blinged up and accessorised. I feel like the fit isn’t fantastic - I’d like it to cinch more at the waist and look more like a ‘real’ corset than a fashion one, so I may look into ways of making that happen, if I have time or can work out a way of making that happen. But for now, I will be adding chains to decorate the dress in a similar way to the lingerie set I posted earlier in the blog
'The Vampire's Metamorphosis' ends with a merkin reveal. I have been using a black heart shaped lace merkin with red rhinestones ever since I first started performing this act. It's a simple little thing that you simply stick on in the same way as you do pasties. However, just sticking it on the front means there is little coverage, and it's not particularly easy to dance in it whilst still retaining modesty (and staying legal). So I've decided to upgrade to the C string, to give me more coverage and make me feel more secure and free with my movements. For those of you not in the know, a C string is a weird little gizmo made from wires and fabric, which sits and grips and looks a little like a strapless thong. I chose one in a pale nude coloured fabric, which will be almost invisible under stage lights (along with the customisation, anyway). I stitched the heart shaped merkin on to the front of it, so it sits exactly where it would if I were to stick it on as I used to. Often, onstage, the very back of the C string is visible, and so to that part I added another of the small black flower/red rhinestone appliqués which I used on the knickers. It looks ridiculously cute when it's on!