Madonna/Gaultier inspired corset in Washpapa
Sometimes it’s good to take time out to Express Yourself in new ways and the Washpapa Challenge provided me with an opportunity to try my hand on a fresh test.
Washpapa, the company supplying the vegan-friendly alternative to leather made from washable paper laced with latex, challenged designers/makers/customers to design and make an item of clothing from their versatile and innovative material.
I had to think what I could create from one sheet of Washpapa, so it had to be a small project - but one with wow factor.
How do I Justify My Love for my chosen project?
Well, you might recognise the inspiration behind it. I am a fan of the queen of pop, Madonna, loved the conical-busted corset made for her by Jean Paul Gaultier and have always wanted a piece of clothing sporting those cone-shaped cups.
|Photo source: Google|
Corsets have been made in all kinds of fabrics down the centuries, including leather, but I have not seen one, until now, using this vegan-friendly alternative.
However, I thought that Washpapa would be ideal for this design because the stiffness of the paper would complement the geometrical shape.
And, because the paper’s consistency, you would not need the amount of stiffening required by other fabrics used for corsets.
So I thanked my Lucky Star that the competition organisers liked my proposal and that mine was one of 12 chosen to progress to the next stage - making their garment from the single sheet of Washpapa supplied by the company.
I have made a corset before - for a college project (you can see it here)- but never with bra cups and obviously not from Washpapa, so I was venturing into uncharted territory.
Using Washpapa, you can’t baste to hold it temporarily in place as the needle would leave permanent holes.
When using the material for my bags, I use double-sided tape, glue or paper clips as a support, as you would do with leather. But this time I could only use paper clips at the beginning while joining corset panels as all the pieces had to be sewn while wet to be more elastic. When work progressed paper clips weren't too useful anymore so everything had to be held in place by steady fingers.
Having to wet the fabric also led to my decision to use nylon boning - well, steel boning might rust!
Those weren’t even the most challenging parts. That came when thinking how to join the cones to the main frame of the corset.
Because I couldn’t pin it or temporarily keep it in place while sewing, I had to sew in a curve. They also had to be symmetrical and I couldn’t afford mistakes, especially with it being the focus of the corset.
So I had to think outside the box. I decided to make the cones separately and attach an inset on the bottom of each and the facing - then stitch them to the corset.
The cones are also padded and quilted to achieve some texture to the outside surface.
The corset was made without busk or zip because of the limited time available and the risk of having to order online so the lacing is the only fastening.
I added peplum to both sides to give it a more dramatic shape and exaggerate the waist.
The corset is a fully functional piece of wardrobe and is lined with a cotton floral printed fabric inspired by Polish folk designs.
I ran out of Red Aged Washpapa and therefore could not make matching briefs, so I went with the softest Washpapa I had in my storeroom - Washpapa Genua, which is double-sided black and grey.
They are bound and have ribbon ties, but they are not lined because it was a quick project for the purpose of the photo-shoot.
Who's that girl striking a pose? Yes, it's me. The easiest and the quickest way to make the corset was to have it fit myself to save time on arranging fittings.
Unfortunately, the hooped t-shirt didn’t arrive in time for my husband and I to pose Madonna-Gaultier style. That’s one for the future.