Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Claymore Corsets (White Over-bust)

Photo by natendowli

AnimeNext 2008 two of my sisters, a friend, and I cosplayed characters from Claymore.

Backstory: AnimeNext is a NJ convention for anime and manga fans. Two of my sisters (C&S) and I have attended a few years. In 2008, we decided to make costumes of characters from Claymore, which seemed to lend themselves to corsets.

How I did it: I was intending to make corsets for each of the four of us, but ran out of time. The finishing work on one of the corsets was completed on site at the hotel on Friday night of the convention.

I made two corsets - one that mostly fit me and C, and the other that fit S and would be okay but not a great fit for the friend. Both were made using the Laughing Moon Dore pattern, with I believe a C-cup bust on the smaller and a D-cup bust on the larger (I could be wrong).

The corsets were made out of two layers of white foundation fabric (I forget exactly what, perhaps a cotton duck or herringbone twill) and a fashion layer of what is probably the worst fabric to try to put on a corset, a stretchy dance/swim fabric (which we were using for the two-piece bodysuits we wore beneath the corsets). I wanted to use the dance/swim fabric on the corset so that the pieces would look like they went together, but it was extremely hard to work with. I used the sandwich method previously mentioned and while the actual construction part went fine (as the stretchy fabric was sandwiched between the foundation layers) the top-stitching was a problem.

The smaller corset has a bone on each seam and mid-panel; the larger one has only bones on the seams. They are boned with steel. I did not use binding on the edge, as I had left a bit of extra fabric intending on stitching it down on the inside of the corset to draw less attention to the edge.

I also designed and made the bodysuit pieces, and my mom and C and S made the armor (vinyl) and spats. My sisters also made the claymore foam swords you see in the pictures.

What I learned: You can't treat the swim/dance fabric like normal fabric. There was a lot of issue with puckering. Also, I would have had a better fit all around if I had the time to do a mock-up for each of us (I had a mock-up for S, which is why the corset she and our friend wore fit her rather well; the other corset was done with just measurements for C and had upper edge gap issues).

What I might try next time: Mock-ups for everyone. Also, I would probably use the sandwich method, but fold over the foundation layers and sew the bone channels before folding the dance/swim fabric over to avoid doing any top-stitching on the dance/swim, which should smooth out the fabric and bring the corset closer to the look of the manga (less visible seams and stitching). I actually have the already-cut material and supplies to do the other two corsets, I just haven't gotten myself focused enough to sit down and do it.

Final Thoughts: Like most of my projects, I gave myself a very short time to complete this. I think considering the time restriction and the difference in vision between me and my mom and sisters the end product turned out pretty well.

Other Corset Posts:
My First Corset (Black mid-bust)
The Do-Everything Corset (Black under-bust)
Rikku/Steampunk Corset (Green mid-bust)
Old Pants Deconstructed Corset (Tan under-bust)

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