Friday, August 31, 2012

Old Pants Deconstructed Corset (Tan under-bust)

I swear there's a corset behind everything!
This corset is constructed from an old pair of men's pants, for a post-apocalyptic boffer LARP.

Backstory: We were going to a post-apocalyptic LARP, and I wanted to craft a "work corset" for my character to wear. (See the Swampy Outfit post for more about LARP.)

How I did it: I used my previous corset pattern adaptations to pattern out this corset.

First, I deconstructed the pants. They were my father's old work pants, so there was plenty of fabric to work with. I decided to use part of the back of the pants to create leg aprons with pockets (going for a utilitarian look here), so I set that aside, then figured out how to use the rest of the pants.

I thought it would be cool to use the pants pockets on the corset somehow, so I seam-ripped them apart from the other part of the fabric. I cut them long enough that I could put them over the front panels between the first and third panels. I sewed the panels together using the sandwich method, adding black strapping between the first and second panels for the front buckle closures. I sewed the bone channels as I went, so I was able to fold back the pockets while I sewed the channels in the second panel, then lay them back over to sew the seam between panel two and three. I also added strapping across panel three (which I used to clip a water bottle to at the event).

To close the back I added an extra center panel, which I accessorized with black strapping (inspired by the human spine). The corset was lined with black fabric. I boned it with heavy-duty cable ties. Instead of binding the edges, I simply stitched around the top and bottom, leaving the edges loose to fray and otherwise look disheveled. Because of the rush job I did on this, some of the edges didn't quite line up well, and I ended up using a safety pin in a few places to hold a bone in place (which just contributed to the deconstructed feel I was trying to evoke). I added black strapping straps reminiscent of work back support braces.

What I learned: The black strapping is cool, but I think next time I'll look for something that is heat friendly (I accidentally tapped it with the iron a few times when trying to press seams, you can imagine the burny smell and meltiness). (From writing these blogs, I've learned that I don't do anything with the appropriate amount of time allotted.)

What I might try next time: I would try to be a little more careful with lining up my pieces. I was working with scraps, so some pieces barely had enough fabric to cover the whole piece, and it actually contributes to the look for it to be held together with safety pins and willpower, but I like my pieces to have a certain level of quality to them, even if they are supposed to look like they are falling apart.

Final Thoughts: Well, I only went to this particular game twice, but I really liked the idea behind the costume (my sketch for it is actually way cooler than the outfit itself). I have worn the corset as part of an outfit while out for a friend's birthday at a bar, so I am not worried that I won't get good use out of it. It was another adventure in short deadline corsetry that turned out pretty well.

Picture by Thomas Senger (my crop)
Other Corset Posts:
My First Corset (Black mid-bust)
The Do-Everything Corset (Black under-bust)
Claymore Corsets (White over-bust)
Rikku/Steampunk Corset (Green mid-bust)

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