FOUNDATIONS REVEALED COMPETITION ENTRY
Outline the story …
I wanted to transform into the Goddess Hel from Norse mythology described in Louise Simonson's graphic novel Norse Myths. As the Goddess of death and the underworld, she was begged in the story The Death of Baldur to release Baldur, a beloved God that had been slain. To taunt, she agreed only if every living thing cried for Baldur, and with one refusal she kept him in the underworld.
Interestingly, Hel actually seems to have contrasting elements, both dark and light. She's illustrated with two colours that visualise her different sides, her face is half human and beautiful, and half dark, death-like and decaying. Often depicted with things like wolves, dead trees, skulls, bones and fur, they are all symbolic of nature; light and dark, life and death. So, I chose the stark contrast of black and white in the fabric to represent both elements in the outfit, while the bottom of the skirt has sequins around the embroidered tree branches which make them look like they're in bloom and the trees around the corset are a little more bare and dead-looking from removing the sequins.
The skirt and corset together have the floaty, feminine quality in the silhouette. I wanted the corset to give structure, worn under the skirt with a straight, rigid rib shape and big waist reduction as she's a hard lady under the softer outer feminine aesthetics. For this I was inspired by historical under garments where the corset is worn under the skirt.
Outline the construction…
Almost everything I tried for the first time. I followed FR instructions to make a 6 panel underbust pattern and made a total of three mock ups, making so many haphazard alterations, my pattern lines ended up so deformed. Straightening and evening out the pattern pieces kept causing the whole top half of the corset to tilt forward creating space down the CF and pushing into my back. I also wanted to scoop the belly in at the CF which caused a belly bulge and ski slope off the bottom edge.
After endless adjustments I got the perfect fit, cut out 3 layers: coutil, cream cotton (middle layer) and black lace. I fused the cotton to the coutil and roll pinned the lace to this so I could work all the layers as one. I pressed the SA to one side and topstitched boning channels.
Once completely finished I tried it on and the shape AND fit I had in the last mock up was lost! So! I unpicked 5 seams and tried more adjustments. Then painstakingly snipped off all sequins as I didn't feel they were fitting for a goddess of the underworld!
For the skirt I followed instructions in a book on how to make a skirt pattern and fit a mock up to the corset. Following Barbara's advice on a video, I pinned the layers and then panels together while hanging which allowed the lace to drop 5cm. I hand-stitched additional lace applique all around the waist.