Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Doll Corset

I have a bit of time this week, so I wanted to make some headway on my piece for this project.

I had already stitched up a sample of thread possiblilites and labeled it. Before Christmas, I tried doing a bit more stitching, but not really knowing where I was going, it didn't come to much.

One of the ideas I came away with after discussion at the last TVCQ meeting was about presentation. I didn't really want to do flat like a quilt, but I want to do Big. (Mind you, 'Big' in my perspective is probably not so big when it comes to the quilts some people make!) Someone suggested something which in my mind was translated to a sort of basket shape with the "corset" covering it. - well, not really a basket, but that is close to the image in my head at the minute.

As I have been thinking further,I like the scrips and scraps effect of the sample I made. Perhaps why the second piece I started didn't motivate me.

So, I came up with the idea of a Large corset with the stitched scrips and scraps adhered to it.

SO, in order to do that, I need the large corset shape. Yesterday I downloaded instructions from Drea Leeds site which has a Custom Corset generator. It is for a Tudor corset, but I have the photos of the dolls corsets to go by for shaping and for the boning areas. These doll corsets were not built with the hourglass shape, so the Tudor corset is a good start.
To use the custom corset generator, you have to type in measurements. I looked in my pattern drafting book (Winifred Aldrich - Metric Pattern Cutting) and used the largest size on the standard measurement chart. The corset generator uses inches, so I used my measuring tape to translate from metric to inches and filled in the form on the website which then was printed out to get the instructions for drafting it.

Today, I drafted the corset. I drew in "boning lines"...adding to what was on the dolls corset, as they needed less being small and also because they were only for shaping a cloth doll body. The placement and shape of the curve may change, but it gives me an idea.

So, now I have the pattern. It needs to be cut on the fold at the centre front, so this is half the pattern. I had thought to use organza for a bit of fragility, but the scrips and scraps will serve to give that idea. I think I will use calico because it will need that extra support.
I hope to use thick cording for the boning, but in reference to the reeds in one of the corsets, will use sticks for some parts which will then be used stuck into a base to mount the piece.

or at least those are the ideas at this stage - the whole of it might get even larger, but it is easier to make large when you have the shape to start with and if you are not actually worrying about fitting a human.


  1. Thanks for posting - sounds like you've been busy. Have you considered Rigilene for some of the boning? It has the advantage that it is white and you can sew through it.

  2. What a fascinating process! I find the two pix you posted interesting in their own right. The top one with the two frayed pieces of cloth, their very different shapes and the juxtaposition of the writing on one and stitching on the other look like something found in an old closet and seem to be telling a mysterious story. The bottom image intrigues as a drawing, those gently curved boning lines rather geometric against the frayed edges of the cloth. So glad you're sharing your process with us.


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