An Experiment in Mesh and Colors

For the most part, I've oriented the Strait-Laced Dame brand toward creating hyper-functional corsets, custom-designed and hand made for each clients.  This often means neutral colors and straight-forward colors (i.e. black, beige, white).  However, there are times when this pattern is disrupted by a slightly more imaginative combination of elements.  Even more exciting is the opportunity for me to create a corset that is designed solely for myself.

Heidi Face 3.jpg

The Silk and Powermesh Corset

When the drive to create overpowers the desire to forget an old, half-finished project, lovely things can come into being.  Every new project can become it's own experiment, with surprising anomalies and rich learning opportunities.

The Long Wait

It's so very easy to get into the rhythm of fulfilling client orders, without ever spending time on personal projects.  In fact, this corset was first started in June of 2017, originally with the idea in mind of taking this experimental piece to my first ever Oxford Conference of Corsetry.  However, as commissions and other last-minute projects cropped up, this corset fell to the wayside.  Further, the construction techniques that I originally began this with only seemed to frustrate me as I continued to develop my skills.  The more I learned and improved, the more I looked at this half-finished corset with disdain.  Though the colors were lovely, and the intent intriguing, it was a challenge to even face my old seams.

Of course, being one who cannot stand to waste material or leave a project unfinished for too long, the itch to complete this oddity finally overtook me.  This corset just had to wait close to a year to finally come to it's final form.

The Construction

This corset was originally designed to span the gap between mobility and beauty.  It's one thing to create a corset that can provide substantial reduction while allowing for a flexibility-demanding lifestyle.  Making that same corset into something that can be worn as a striking piece of outerwear was the true goal with this corset.  It began with my own custom-designed pattern, adjusted to fit my precise measurements.  Then came the 78 pieces of silk, coutil, and powermesh (not including interfacing, waist tape, boning channel, seam-covering strips, and so on).  As these bits of fabric slowly came together, a form began to appear.  With so many layers of material going into this corset, the seams unsurprisingly became bulky.  This was one of the most difficult challenges to face, particularly because the thicknesses of piled-up fabric was beyond the capacity of my long-lived domestic sewing machine.  With my recent investment into a new industrial straight-stitch machine (the Juki DDL-5550), this issue became an inconvenience rather than a show-stopper.  Though the bulk of these seams still made for a difficult project, the right equipment was able to accomplish the job.

Daily Wear

This completed, jewel-toned underbust is still being broken in.  However, you can expect to hear much more about it in the very near future.

Heidi Wagner