The Filigree Waspie
Corsetmakers are forever being asked how many corsets they own, and recently, my honest answer has had to be “…very few”. This is because, following a few lifestyle changes, my old collection became too large for me! It’s been a busy year with new collections, first time clients and intense projects. So when it came to it, finding time to make something for me didn’t seem like a priority! But I have wanted a mesh corset of my own ever since I first got my hands on this fascinating fabric. It’s far more sculptural than the silk bobbinet that I was previously using for sheer corsetry so it creates a garment that is translucent and delicate looking but also grips the body firmly.
I chose a mesh waspie, as I’ve never had one and they make excellent accessories. It can transform a plain outfit into something distinctively chic and full of personality. Anyone who knows me will be familiar with my obsession with black and gold, so the colour scheme really required very little thought! I don’t sketch for my own pieces, as the paper doll in my head is far more versatile. It was very enjoyable spending my riverside walks home pondering new style variations to incorporate into my new waspie.
A Touch Of Lace
I’ve been keen to use a feature waistband on a mesh corset for a while, as I prefer external boning and waist tapes on a sheer piece. I toyed with the idea of a baroque brocade or a contrast colour for this element. However I wanted a delicate, ethereal feel so I chose gold lace applique on a smooth black silk backing. This channeled the design into simple black silk accents on black mesh fabric, with gold lace detailing and gold fittings.
With hindsight, I would take care to plot where my boning channels would lie on the appliqued waistband. Much of my best detail ended up covered! Internal boning would suit this design element better, letting the full beauty be appreciated. But I knew the placement of the elaborate lace that was to weave across the corset body would be the main feature. I always feel that a mesh corset allows the wearer to feel it is an extension of their skin. It is like smoke, or perfume; present but not substantial. So having the lace trail organically, reaching across the torso and emerging from the binding gave it a sensuous feel. I also wanted the lace to weave in and out of the boning accents, so nothing was uppermost in the design. All layers were entwined and interlocked.
A Sewing Project With A View
For those who care about such things, there was 2 hours hand sewing in the waistband applique and 5 hours for the body applique. This does not include the time spent cutting, placing, replacing and cursing at the lace! Luckily I had a lot of long train journeys at this stage so I was able to do much of it while speeding through the Welsh countryside. I spent a lot of time explaining myself to train conductors.
A Treasure To Cherish
The finished mesh corset is definitely the pride of my collection- it’s comfortable and quite simply, I feel like a goddess in it. It’s rare that I’m satisfied with anything I make for myself so even though there are a few niggling details, putting it on is truly joyful. If you’re visiting us for a fitting you will likely see it in person!
Lastly, thankyou to Salleh Sparrow for her help with the photos!