Painting the Roses Red





(click images to to enlarge)

Outline the story …

I have always been drawn to the tale of Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. As a child, I dreamed of falling down the rabbit hole, having fantastic adventures with the Mad Hatter, meeting the Queen of Hearts, all while chasing after the white rabbit. The tales of Wonderland continued to captivate my thought and dreams throughout my teenage years. I went from daydreaming and doodling Wonderland as a child, to creating my own Wonderland through ceramics. In high school, I spent an entire year dedicated to recreating my rendition of Wonderland through that 3-D medium. Today I have gone back to the theme of Wonderland and my passion for the 3D arts by creating a storybook corset Titled “Painting the Roses Red.” A “storybook corset” is a garment that takes scene(s) from a work of literature, and shows a specific moment from the tale. One of the most memorable moments from the tale of Alice in Wonderland is the scene where the Queen’s Cards were painting the white roses red. We learn later that the Queen is particular about the color of her roses; white is unacceptable, they must be RED!

Outline the construction…

I tried to capture the moment *right* as the cards started to paint the roses. The scene, hand-painted by me, is surrounded by white roses as if we are peering around a bush to witness this act. I decided to go for an Edwardian “S-curve” shape, as I thought the exaggerated hips emulated the curves of a heart. I'm comfortable assembling corsets, but this one really threw me for a loop! The Edwardian silhouette has always been a bit tricky for me; trying 3 times without a pattern and “failing”. Despite those previous “failed” attempts, I finally Triumphed! I got the *perfect* shape for the early Edwardian Era. Now onto the next trial: integrating the painted heart scene into the corset, similar to a gore. Through pattern manipulation, I was able to create a heart-shaped pattern piece and maintain the shape from my HA Edwardian corset mock-up! (NOTE: It was suggested to me to NOT use a split busk in my corset, and simply slid the corset over my head I did consider this before making the corset, however, I wanted to push my sewing skills: making sure that everything matched up as close as possible). The rest of construction was pretty standard. Seams are fully encased in bias tape. I chose to hand sew the boning channels that ran behind the painted scene, as to not disturb the painting. Flowers and leaves are also hand sewn onto the garment. This corset was made with materials on hand.




  1. Kitty Mortensen Kitty Mortensen on March 11, 2021 at 8:56 pm

    This is absolutely art, I love it SO much. The painting, the actual roses, the patterning- everything is just perfect. This plus your very cute styling just had my face so close to the screen to take it ALL in! Lovely

  2. Avatar Theodore Allegrini on March 11, 2021 at 9:48 pm

    This is so beautiful, your artwork is absolutely stunning and adorable

  3. Avatar Mary Jo Ernst on March 12, 2021 at 1:17 am

    I adore everything about this So well done!

  4. Avatar Hannah on March 12, 2021 at 2:15 pm

    I love how dramatic it is with the shape and details. Its look SO good!

  5. Avatar Angela Teece on March 13, 2021 at 6:47 pm

    This is so special. I love the colours and artwork, and the construction and shape is incredible.

  6. Avatar Catherine Sutton on March 14, 2021 at 6:15 am

    Absolutely glorious! There aren’t really the words – beautiful work!

  7. Avatar Mandy Pursley on March 14, 2021 at 2:55 pm

    I love this so much! Amazing corset, amazing fit, amazing detail work! Bravo!

  8. Avatar Marion Brégier on March 16, 2021 at 8:44 pm

    This is stunning ! I didn’t realize the painted scene was patterned as a heart shape, so clever ! The shape is fantastic.

  9. Avatar Amanda on March 19, 2021 at 1:15 am

    This is so fantastic! Every little detail really elevates this to another level – well done!

  10. Avatar Carly Van Groeningen on March 19, 2021 at 11:05 am

    This is gorgeous, I love all the details! Your painting is exquisite.

  11. Avatar Maeri Certo on March 23, 2021 at 12:57 pm

    This is fantastic! Well done and great job painting that scene!

  12. Avatar Stephanie Murison on March 25, 2021 at 11:28 pm

    This is SO gorgeous! I love everything, the dark red and black colour scheme, the roses and playing card embellishments, everything is so well thought out! I’m just in love with that painted scene, I assumed it must have been an appliqué, but it was such an ingenious idea to actually incorporate the heart shape into the pattern!

  13. Avatar Kikkii von Fustian on March 27, 2021 at 9:37 pm

    YES! Just… YES! <3 I'm such a sucker for card related designs, the Queen of Hearts has always been my favourite character in that book. Absolutely fantastic design

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