The Great Corset Challenge from Joy Studio

I was approached last month to participate in this challenge.  I’m a little out of my element with it, buuuuuuut I’ve decided to make it my own.

First, a little about this challenge.

You can read the details over at Joy Studio.  The challenge is to create whatever you want, using whatever materials you want, but to use the corset pattern.  You have to email Janet that you will be participating and then she emails the pattern over to you.  The prizes are pretty cool (I’m after that mug and calendar in particular).

The challenge is brought to you by J. Wecker Frisch (Janet) a fabric designer from Quilting Treasures.  You can find her fabrics here.

Challenge Accepted

I wasn’t overly excited about this challenge at first.  It was just another box to check off for my month of August.  However, the other day when the pattern was emailed to me and I printed it out and taped it together and then sat and stared at it for a bit,  things began to change.  Plus, all the inspiration brewing on IG here.

After that, I began thinking of all the materials I am constantly buying without any purpose.  Materials that I don’t use on a regular basis.  Materials I bought for the sole purpose of needing for something spontaneous.  The excitement began to escalate.

My first thought on fabric was this musical notes fabric I have had in my stash forever and ever.  Not sure how I ended up with it, but I’ve noticed it while digging a time or two.  While looking for that fabric, I came across the others in the photo above.  Two of the floral fabrics are old dresses that I thought were too pretty to toss so ended up in my stash.  The third floral is by Frances Newcombe.  It’s from her Cherie fabric line.  Here is the floral (one of my most favorite fabrics in all the world).

I have bins full of laces and pretty feminine lovelies.  Some of them given to me by a great aunt and some of them I bought from this shop.  All the buttons came from my button box, collected from all the memory quilts I’ve made over the years.  I always pull off the cool buttons and keep them instead of tossing them.  My pearl button on the picture is similar to this one.  I’ll keep anything that has a pearl on it by the way, they are my favorite!

I wasn’t sure if I would use all of these materials, but I just pulled them and sat them together for inspiration.  This method usually works well for me.  Letting something sit and stew for at least a day will bring more ideas.  And it did!

The Plan

I’m making a mini quilt.

I started with the musical notes fabric I mentioned above.  I knew I wanted that for the mannequin’s body.  I didn’t like any of the fabrics I had set out for the actual corset, they all felt busy, so I went to my low volume drawer and pulled out this stripe.  It’s from Fantasia by Sara Lawson.  It worked for me.  Then, I played.  Moved things around.  Stared.  Gazed at all of this for more inspiration.

The flowers on the shoulder made me squeal.

And then something like this is what I’m thinking.

So, I’ve got some thoughts and some issues and I’ve been trying to work them out in my own head.  Here they are:

  • I’ve dotted the corset so that I know where I’m going to put french knots.  I’m going to add the french knots after I raw edge applique the body, corset and flowers down, but before I quilt.
  • I’m going to hand quilt some stitches on the corset like the original pattern shows, all stitches heading towards the middle of the corset.
  • Should I hand quilt then add the buttons and trims?  They will get in the way of my quilting if I do it before, but then the lines for them will show on the back.  What’s the best way for this?
  • I’m going to hand quilt this whole thing with embroidery floss and stick with pale colors.
  • What colors should the quilting be on the corset?   I don’t want them interfering with the stripes.  I’m thinking white?  Subtle.
  • That tiny floral from my first photo will be the binding.  Hopefully.
  • This morning, I woke up and decided that my mannequin most definitely needed a Peter Pan collar. Don’t you think?  Or would that make things too much?  I’m kinda obsessed with Peter Pan collars!

Don’t be afraid to tell me what you like and don’t like.  Suggestions welcome!


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  1. Hi Melanie! I’ve done five of these so far and I find buttons on last works best. As far as your trims go, flat ones could go on before quilting but anything 3D will probably annoy you while you quilt.
    I think your girl is looking fabulous!!

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