Cyclamen Butterfly – 18″ waist

Scroll to the end of the post to see more from this shoot.

An opulent overbust corset with clean lines, made from a richly deep pink silk duchesse. Embellishment to be discovered.

Allergy information: all corsets are made on my narrowboat home. They are stored away carefully, but the work environment includes a coal fire and a short-haired cat!

Up to four instalments possible, email to discuss:

Cyclamen Butterfly
A rich pink overbust with butterfly bustline and busk fastening. 26″ bust (7″ up from waist), 18″ waist, 27″ hip (6″ down from waist). Best suited to slender figures with a natural waist between 20″ and 26″. Can be worn with up to a 4″ lacing gap. This is a fashion piece rather than a training or tightlacing piece.

The hip gores are lightly padded for structure, whilst a wealth of steel boning and light antique-inspired construction gives a supremely elegant, slender, shape. Read on for the story of this corset or scroll straight to the bottom to see finished pictures.

December 2016…
When I first decided to spend 2017 embellishing Moths and Butterflies, it was clear that I needed to play with some rich colours alongside my more usual muted choices. Hence the two different collections. This wildly rich cyclamen pink silk is just so deliciously vibrant that it deserves to be amongst my Butterflies. It tips slightly to the blue side of pink as opposed to the orange side. In fact, “pink” doesn’t even feel like the right word for it, the connotations of girlishness and frivolity are all wrong… This is a serious colour.

At first I thought to finish this corset in a classic manner. Black symmetric antique lace, crystals, sequins, beads, and a touch of intricate flossing. Much like the Cranberry Butterfly that I made for Lucy all those years ago, though her’s did not have beading. I love quirky details, but sometimes all you want is a classic combination of a bold colour and black lace. Part of it is that I can get easily distracted by unusual combinations as they’re new. Their very newness is what makes them interesting. But one then mustn’t forget that there is a reason the classics are considered such. Even so, my initial conviction that the Cyclamen Butterfly would have black lace was shaken by the Fe cincher…

“Fe” for “ferrum”, iron. It could have been FeS2 (iron pyrite), but there’s no need for names to be quite so literal. This was made as part of our Where Angels Fear to Tread project and has given us many ideas for future colour combinations andembellishment options.

Inspired by Fe, another idea might be to finish this Butterfly with pyrite (fool’s gold) beading, metallic lace, and drapery of rose-gold chain. I think a criss-crossing symmetry with plenty of chain to dance and shimmer whilst the wearer moves would be splendid.

But how to choose?

As of this moment, I can feel myself tipping towards the fool’s gold. Partly because we also have a ruby red scoop-neckline Butterfly to come during 2017, and I feel like that is the one that should be an exceptionally classic design. After all, what’s more classic than black lace on red satin?

Lucy’s bespoke corset is a lovely example of that classic combination. Our Cyclamen Butterfly is a more slender cut but with higher butterfly “wings” soaring above the bust, so it has a different type of drama. But which way to take it?

Watch this space.

January 2017…
This is one of the furthest along butterfly corsets, at the moment, with steels, eyelets and binding (pic to the left shows before the binding was finished though).

We’re fluttering back and forth between many pieces at the moment. How I fancy spending a day of corsetmaking really depends upon which way the wind is blowing! And our butterflies and moths are so very different…

I was thinking the other day about how “pink” isn’t just “pink”. This cyclamen pink silk duchess is a very different beast to the pale barely-there pink of the Sophie Hallette lace that we’re using on a few of our moths.

March 2017…
We finally took a moment to lace the Cyclamen Butterfly onto a mannequin. She is a more slender shape than the mannequin so this pic isn’t a perfect illustration of her silhouette, but it gives an idea. Now that she’s on a mannequin I’m swithering on embellishment ideas once again. I thought I’d known for sure what I wanted to do. Either fool’s gold or classic black. But now I’ve got a third possibility in mind…

Colour-matched embellishment of lace blossoms and something sparkly. Crystals or gemstones or coloured titanium quartz. Imagine something like the Amethyst corset, but in rich, bright, deep pink.

Now I’m going off at a tangent though, as I’d love to do something else muted with gemstones again… Perhaps one of the Moth corsets will revisit those ideas.

1st April 2017…

I woke up today with an urge to do something rich and colourful! This corset’s deep pink was calling to me and demanding some opulence, so I’ve begun adding metallic laces in mid-pink and burgundy/gold. The plan, right now, is to then layer lace blossoms in shades of pink above the metallics, in an asymmetric swoop. Strands of fool’s gold beads will dance between these textural areas, highlighting the gloss and loveliness of the duchess satin base.

It’s coming together really beautifully.







July 2017… 

She is almost done! I want to add some lace blossoms to the insides of the peaked busts, so that the visible area is textured, and I am also interested in seeing whether we could add some butterflies to her surface. The latter needs researching, however, as I’d want them to look as real as possible. I wonder how the butterflies were preserved/treated for that famous McQueen dress? Anyway, whether she has butterflies or no I adore this piece, and could imagine butterflies alighting upon you whilst wearing it out in a summer garden.


The cat helped us embellish the other day. He just loves somewhere soft to sit. He’s excellent company, to be fair. He makes me an Holly look up and giggle every so often, which probably provides good breaks for the eyes!

Last week, we had the embellishment of three different pieces on the go. I’ll cut and place lace, etc., then we’ll both sew, then I’ll do more placing to line tasks up for us both, and so on and so on. So sometimes it’s useful to have multiple pieces in progress, to ensure there’s enough sewing to justify having an assistant there (and I do find the help really valuable), and I also think it’s useful psychologically and physically. Sticking with one colour or tone or texture or repetitive action of the hands for too long can be draining and potentially damaging. Fluttering back and forth keeps you sane.

So we worked on the Cyclamen Butterfly, Antique Willow (for a client), and Truffle Moth (also for a client). I’ll have to update the “stories” of those latter two corsets soon, but in the meantime you can always see pics as they happen on my Instagram account.


I think this detail snap shows the colour best. Cyclamen is a very rich deep pink, with gold-thread lace blossoms in assorted hand-painted shades. I still adore working with these blossoms you know. I think, sometimes you hit upon themes or materials that you will just never truly tire of.

There are glimmers of old-gold and burgundy couture Solstiss lace beneath, and of course strands of fool’s gold beading drape between and beneath the blossoms.

As with all couture items, delicacy is king. We value beauty just a shade over practicality. But even with that said, these strands of beads are very securely worked. Strung on solid clear plastic, they are also anchored firmly at the ends with dozens and dozens of hand-worked stitches.

As already said, I hope to line the bust peaks with blossoms too, though this can be left off if the buyer prefers. I’ve just always wanted to do something with blossoms almost spilling out of the bustline. And indeed, I might revisit the idea with one of our other butterfly corsets. Perhaps the ruby red one with the scoop neckline. That could be pretty special…

Cyclamen doesn’t fit the mannequin very well, being a less curvy shape (more slender and athletic) than the mannequin itself, but hopefully these pictures will give you an idea of her opulent style.


I’d dearly love to photograph this corset before she finds her new home, so hopefully an opportunity will present itself soon. We brought her outside for these quick snaps as I was keen to share her with everyone. And in many ways, the industrial backdrop of our boatyard is an interesting contrast to her colourful exuberance! But really what I want is a wealth of flowers as backdrop. A Buddleia bush, or roses, or peonies, or something else excessive.

She’s a corset that brings together elements of two of my favourite aesthetics from the past few years… The colourful profusion of Falling Blossoms, and the grand drama of Pyrite. I rather like the clash of materials. Would love to play with it more, in fact. But with which corset(s)? I’ll have to dig through my in-progress Butterflies and Moths again, see if any of them lend themselves to this look. Though I don’t know if anything will be able to top these colours and textures… My partner John, upon seeing this corset for the first time, said, “it knows what it is, doesn’t it?” Yes it does. I imagine it will go to a wearer who is likewise. Perhaps someone a bit wild at heart, a person who carves their own path whether quietly or raucously.


August 2017…

I was flattered to be asked to take some photographs for my talented friend Karolina Laskowska, once again. This time, however, Kari had gone all out with the shoot environment! We were awash with beautiful flowers from the market, it was an absolute heaven for taking pictures. Our three stunning models were like dark flower fairies, emerging as part of the unruly and delicate fauna around them. What a joy.

I was kindly encouraged to also photograph one of my pieces whilst I was there, on lovely Maz Spencer (with MUAH by Samantha Agnew). Of course, it had to be the Cyclamen Butterfly…

Polaroid by Karolina Laskowska

I need to find the time to play with some more editing, I’ve a few more pictures I’d like to work on… But for now, these make my heart sing. Hopefully I’ll be able to do more pink and floral corsets in the future.

The Cyclamen Butterfly is ready to fly away and those on the mailing list have received a special offer this weekend (27th October 2017). Get in touch to arrange purchase. Up to four monthly instalments possible:

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