Gilded Belle



Kellie Anderson

(click images to to enlarge)

Other Credits

Photographer Melissa Smith

Outline the story …

Inspiration book: Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell 1936. Character: Belle Watling.

Belle’s character resonated with me when I first read "Gone With The Wind". I have visualized my thoughts with creation of this corset for Belle. Despite being shunned by the society of the time for her function as a Madam, Belle to me blurred the lines between what should be expected of a woman in society. Though her role was minor she made a lasting impression on me due to her compassion and acceptance in times of great hardship.

In creating the corset, I wanted to symbolize with the inner lining the hidden nature of her true desires, by using the red roses on a black background. I chose this lining to articulate both her inward desire and passion and felt this would be an unexpected feature of the garment. The opulence of the external fabrication and embellishment reflects the facade needed to be accepted by the wealthy, moral and upstanding society contained within the book.

Outline the construction…

Overview of construction

Outer layer silk brocade (fused).
Strength layer coutil.
Lining printed cotton (fused).
Binding/trim dupion silk.
Applique trim.
Satin ribbon lacing.
Woven tailors fusing.
Sprung steel boning.
Flat steel boning.
Antique brass eyelets.

Construction method:
3 layer corset.
All seams double stitched.
Floating outer fashion layer.
Coutil and lining layers stitched together at each seam, boning channels stitched either side of the seams to eliminate boning channels on the fashion layer.
Top and bottom edge binding finished with hand stitching.
Ruffle attached to top edge with center decorative bow.
Applique trim hand stitched to outer fashion layer.

I ordered the coutil from a supplier overseas and upon receipt I was disappointed with the quality. It was extremely stiff like cardboard. Being in Australia, postage of supplies has been very restrictive due to the pandemic and I knew I had to make it work. I ended up washing the fabric and even added some fabric softener to make it workable. I know this is not how to treat coutil but the result was positive and enabled me to finish the garment with suitable stability and strength.

I drafted the pattern using the tutorial “Drafting a bespoke corset pattern” from Royal Black’s Patreon page.
I referenced Robert Doyle's book “Waisted Efforts” for construction information.
Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone with the Wind”.




  1. Avatar Kayla Burrow on March 11, 2021 at 7:40 pm

    I really like the decorative choices on the front!

  2. Kitty Mortensen Kitty Mortensen on March 11, 2021 at 8:37 pm

    It’s stunning on the outside, but the roses on the inside is just pure genius. Love it

  3. Avatar Sandra McCabe on March 11, 2021 at 11:49 pm

    Absolutely stunning just beautiful 🤩

  4. Avatar Rachael on March 12, 2021 at 12:53 am

    This is beautiful. I love the hidden meaning so much!

  5. Avatar Sandra Andersen on March 12, 2021 at 9:56 am

    Beautifully presented with a glorious amount of detail.

  6. Avatar Meri on March 12, 2021 at 11:14 am

    Beautiful details outside and a surprise inside.

  7. Avatar Mandy Pursley on March 14, 2021 at 2:42 am

    All the details on the outside are just stunning…and then there’s such a fun, thoughtful surprise on the inside too! Bravo!

  8. Avatar JAYE SUDAR on March 14, 2021 at 4:56 am

    Amazing work! The lace and beads… oh my. 🙂

  9. Avatar Carly Van Groeningen on March 19, 2021 at 10:58 am

    Lovely work, so rich and elegant!

  10. Avatar Maeri Certo on March 19, 2021 at 10:29 pm

    I love this and love that you chose this character– probably not one of the first people most folks think of. The way you expressed her in your design is fantastic, and I love your attention to detail!

  11. Avatar Kate on March 22, 2021 at 8:44 pm

    Beautiful Work! The beads on the front are amazing! Great job and best of luck in the competition!

  12. Avatar Kikkii von Fustian on March 27, 2021 at 9:02 pm

    Gorgeous detailing! <3

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