This one was a lot of fun. I made it primarily to wear at Steampunk New Year in Leicester at the end of last year and it was, in fact, my first corset* (though it turned out more as a bodice rather than a functional corset). At the time that I made it, I also swore it would be my last!

The pattern I used for this corset was the ‘Aviatrix’ one by Harlots and Angels. They have a fantastic tutorial on their website which shows exactly how to make it. Sometimes I found myself a little confused, but for the most part as long as you follow the instructions properly, it’s not *too* hard.

The difficult part was getting the LEDs to work, as there are no wires in this corset. Yup – that’s right: those LEDs are linked up using Adafruit’s conductive thread. I enlisted my partner to help me with this task as we only started the actual assembly part of this project at the start of December and needed it finished by the 21st December. We went through a whole reel of this stuff, which all had to be hand sewn using a decorative version of a running stitch so that we could cross the threads without them meeting and causing any disastrous short circuits. It doesn’t like to knot, by the way, and any tying off of the thread needs to be done far away from the microcontroller so that the billions of tiny knots don’t touch each other, otherwise you will never get it to do any cool patterns ( it flashes and does all sorts.)

The power sources? Two small rechargable batteries. These are hidden in two little pockets on the front panel, and are approximately the size of a large postage stamp. Ish.

Whilst making this I also put together the skirt. the combo has since been dubbed the ‘Electric ballgown’.

I’m quite pleased with it overall, though at the time noone had told me that you ideally need to add extra bones within the whole thing, and that you need to use solid steel busks at the front and back ( I used Spiral as it’s comfy). Rookie errors! I’ve learnt from that though!

(* this is in fact a lie. When I was about 16 I made a ‘corset’ using this tutorial from craftster. I used some old scraps of fabric that I had used as a child as doll blankets, as well as an old pair of jeans. I didn’t add bones into it and I couldn’t get the grommets into it, so I cleaned my old converse boots and cut the grommet section out of those, then used that to do it up at the back. It was one of my first sewing projects and in fact it looked fantastic.)