Hunting the Jabberwock



Laura Wemyss

(click images to to enlarge)

Other Credits

AD Wemyss photographer

Outline the story …

My interpretation of the Jabberwocky poem within Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll, in which the monstrous Jabberwock was sought out in the woods and slain by a boy, was of Alice battling the creature. My design for the corset drew some inspiration from the classic Symington plunge front corset of 1905. The boots are loosely inspired by Victorian footwear, but also desired a bit of an armoured look. I wanted to incorporate busks into the construction of the boots, so used them at the front of the cuffs. In both the corset and the boots I combined opposing types of materials, such as lace and leather. I like the idea that the elegance of lace cannot detract from the “toughness” of the leather; that one can step-up to battle no matter how unlikely they look. I always think of Alice as wearing some degree of blue. I wanted to honour this personal remembrance, but keep it to a minimum, so there are hints of blue in the pieced fabric strips on the corset and the forefoot of the soles of the boots, but that is all. I’ve kept primarily to a neutral palette. I rediscovered this dress, made years ago from a commercial pattern (1970’s Butterick 3987). The floral imagery fit the theme with Alice’s many interactions with flowers and nature throughout the book. The dark shirt and tights became a necessity when photo day arrived at -10°C.

Outline the construction…

I used a variety of materials, including heavy cotton canvas, printed and woven cottons and blends, laces, various weights of leather, eyelets, busks, spiral and steel bones, waxed lacing, foam lining, and thin EVA foam. This is my first corset draft. It was built for a class that I took, at which time I found I needed more information than was being provided. It was at that point I discovered Foundations Revealed, and realized how much more there is to learn. By the end I was incredibly pleased with the fit of the corset. The boots were designed with removable cuffs that each have a busk at the front and are laced up the back. I build shoes professionally for the film industry, but am relatively new to the pattern-making process and getting the fit correct, as my job does not entail design or drafting. I put together two prototypes in preparation for making this pair, which was a good process to go through. I’m still not completely satisfied with the fit of the boots, but shall continue pursuing that avenue. It really is the correct shaping of the shoe last that needs to be the focus before all else. It is fascinating how different fit considerations are required for different parts of the body. Shoes, typically, are not to be too tight, as feet are not malleable. Corsets, on the other hand, are able to help mould the body and create the support and form desired.




  1. Kitty Mortensen Kitty Mortensen on March 11, 2021 at 8:40 pm

    Love the different patterns in your fabric, its very well utilised and put together. Such a cool piece 😀

    • Avatar Laura Wemyss on March 12, 2021 at 10:41 am

      Thanks so much! I love playing with a variety of textures and patterns to see what can come of it.

      • Avatar Kori on March 14, 2021 at 4:41 pm

        I love the theme and your graceful application of it to the corset and boots. The details, juxtaposed textures, intricacies, and layers are superb! I appreciate your inclusion of the vintage dress pattern to anchor it all. This is beautifully executed work. Well done and congratulations!

        • Avatar Laura Wemyss on March 14, 2021 at 6:05 pm

          You are the sweetest Kori! Thank you for your comment and continuing encouragement.

  2. Avatar Martina Girardi on March 11, 2021 at 9:02 pm

    I love the mix and match of the patterns, like a patchwork. Also the lenght of the skirt and the boots give those “let’s go on an adventure!” vibes!

    • Avatar Laura Wemyss on March 12, 2021 at 10:53 am

      I’m glad that is the vibe that comes across! Now, how to incorporate that into daily life!

  3. Avatar Amira B. on March 12, 2021 at 7:54 am

    Love the shoes, that’s a whole unknown world for me, so I appreciate people who can make them! Also, when I saw the photo with the sword, Brienna from Game of Thrones came to mind, I guess it’s because of the stern look and the fact that the photo is taken with snow around. It’s interesting how this outfit gives warrior vibes along with having delicate details (light skirt fabric and flower print).

    • Avatar Laura Wemyss on March 12, 2021 at 11:03 am

      What a flattering comparison (to Brienna), thank you so much! Being able to build footwear is a fun addition to putting together an outfit, and while I still have much to refine, it opens up possibilities.

  4. Avatar Rebecca on March 14, 2021 at 12:44 am

    i want this ensemble so i can wear it as my regular clothes! good luck from icarus!

    • Avatar Laura Wemyss on March 14, 2021 at 6:06 pm

      A fun idea! Thank you.

  5. Avatar Mandy Pursley on March 14, 2021 at 2:49 am

    I love this whole look! She looks both tough and feminine, which can be difficult to pull off, but you did it so well! And the construction is excellent

    • Avatar Laura Wemyss on March 14, 2021 at 6:11 pm

      I’m very pleased that you perceived it as such! Thank you so much for your comments.

  6. Avatar JAYE SUDAR on March 14, 2021 at 5:00 am

    I love it! You did a beautiful job.

    • Avatar Laura Wemyss on March 14, 2021 at 6:13 pm

      Thank you kindly!

  7. Avatar Robin on March 15, 2021 at 2:24 am

    The whole ensemble is very well made and beautiful. I love how the colours of the outfit match the setting of the white snow and brown leaves on the ground. Your stitches are perfect on both the boots and the corset.
    Beautiful work!

    • Avatar Laura Wemyss on March 15, 2021 at 11:02 pm

      It was a fortuitous day for a photoshoot! Thank you for your kind words. 🙂

  8. Avatar Laëtitia on March 18, 2021 at 8:56 pm

    Your outfit is really beautiful! A favorite especially for shoes! <3

    • Avatar Laura Wemyss on March 19, 2021 at 12:16 pm

      Thank you so much! I’m glad you like it.

  9. Avatar Carly Van Groeningen on March 19, 2021 at 11:01 am

    So cool! I especially love the boots!

  10. Avatar Laura Wemyss on March 19, 2021 at 12:17 pm

    Yaay! Thank you! They were a lot of fun to work on.

  11. Avatar Maeri Certo on March 19, 2021 at 10:37 pm

    I love your take and how unique it is… fierce, feminine, and she means business! Also massively impressed with your shoe work– go, you! Well done!

    • Avatar Laura Wemyss on March 20, 2021 at 11:21 pm

      Thank you so much! I’m glad it comes across that way.

  12. Avatar Phanuel Jagna Levinsen on March 20, 2021 at 10:19 pm

    Those shoes are stunning! and I love how they match the corset!

    • Avatar Laura Wemyss on March 20, 2021 at 11:26 pm

      Thanks! It got a bit tricky, as I ran out of some of the materials! The corset was nearly finished before I began the footwear, and I had underestimated the amount of leather remaining. Luckily I had a lot of scraps around and was able to re-design some aspects of the footwear to suit what I had available!

  13. Avatar Mary Jo Ernst on March 24, 2021 at 1:33 am

    I love this whole outfit and especially the patchwork corset , so well done , one of my faves

  14. Avatar Stephanie Murison on March 24, 2021 at 3:29 pm

    I’m in admiration of your shoe making skills! I also love the use of patchwork, using different fabric whilst maintaining a cohesive colour scheme, and combining the tough-looking leather with the delicate floral dress was ingenious!

  15. Avatar Laura Wemyss on March 26, 2021 at 11:37 am

    Thank you so much! I’m glad you think it works!!

  16. Avatar Anna Östman on March 27, 2021 at 7:42 pm

    That is so cool. Cool cool cool! I think the dark shirt and tights enhance the rest.

    • Avatar Laura Wemyss on March 28, 2021 at 11:29 pm

      I’m glad you like it!! I think you’re right! I got lucky. 🙂

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