When I was working in the boutique and then the studio, I was forever forgetting about half-made corsets. They’d get started on a whim, put to one side whilst working on client projects, then a year or two later we’d find them and pick up where we left off.
I’d rather thought that working part-time from the boat, and with a much smaller number of corsets half-made in readiness, I’d stop forgetting them. Not so! Just the other day I was going through one of my corset boxes and found a bunch of pieces I’d forgotten about…
A patchwork fashion piece with a 21″ waist.
A sleek silvery overbust, with delicate lace and black stars waiting to be played with.
A muted green underbust which made use of the reverse of the silk for its hip gores.
A pure silk corset, which was sewn with a view to doing something extravagant and then trashing it in an outdoors photoshoot… Two or three more silk and silk-cotton fashion overbusts, of the same silhouette and colours as the patchwork piece, which I’d thought to maybe use in a fun or silly project, or maybe finish plain for their future owners to embellish… An imperfect antique-inspired piece in rose, with hares hand-quilted on the hip gores but a big mistake in the making which meant that I thought perhaps it would be nice to “repair” and finish, mistakes and all, as though it were a real historical piece with a life and a story to it…
I’ve nothing in coutil, nothing for waist-training or regular wear, but I surprised myself by how much we do have.
I mean, there are the butterflies and the moths, as you’ve seen, but I’d forgotten there were so many more besides. That last month of the studio, every tiny scrap of silk was an opportunity for creativity. We used everything. I even tore up the Cloud gown so that I could re-use the delicious taupe silk and muted pink lace that it was made of. The things I make aren’t safe with me, I will re-work them if they stay near me for too long.
Finding the time and focus is the challenge. I don’t like to dabble in my work, I like to drown in it. Which is tricky at the moment, as I’m pulled in two directions. But perhaps for winter I will hibernate and sew a bit more.
At any rate, keep your eyes open. Everything I’ve mentioned will become available at some point and I’m open to discussing them so that we can decide which pieces to work on next.