FOUNDATIONS REVEALED COMPETITION ENTRY
Outline the story …
My outfit is based on the story of Greek Goddess Persephone, as told within 'Hesiod, the Homeric Hymns and Homerica/Hymn II (To Demeter)' which can be read here:
Persephone, Goddess of Spring & Nature, was picking flowers in a meadow when she came across a beautiful narcissus. As she reached out to pick the flower, the earth opened up beneath her and Persephone screamed as she was abducted by Hades and taken to become Queen of the Underworld. As she left the earth, Persephone still hoped that she would see her mother again. When she discovered her daughter was missing, Demeter searched all over the earth but could not find her. In her grief and anger at her daughter being stolen from her, Demeter, goddess of the harvest refused to allow anything to grow until she was returned to her. As the people starved due to famine, Zeus relented and agreed to have Persephone released. When Persephone was reunited with her mother, the Earth flourished again with growth.
Before Persephone left the underworld , Hades fed her pomegranate seeds. Persephone, having tasted the food of the underworld was obliged to spend a third of each year there, and the remaining part of the year with Demeter and the immortal gods above. The heavy beads on my corset represent the pomegranate seeds bonding her to Hades, with the dip-dye representing her being pulled down into the Underworld. The draping was loosely inspired by ancient Greece.
Outline the construction…
The idea for an outfit inspired by Persephone has been in my head since I found some beads that reminded me of pomegranate seeds. It was important to me to use sustainable materials without compromising on design. The corset and skirt are made with organic cotton, draped organic cotton voile, sewn with recycled thread, dyed with natural madder root, laced with hemp cord and embellished with over 2500 glass 'pomegranate seed' beads.
For the pattern, I began with the Foundations Revealed pattern drafting tutorial, which I then adapted to the shape and fit I wanted and figured out how to draft the large hip gores where the beading would be placed. The base of the corset was constructed with the seams facing outwards and the boning channels and waist tape were added to this layer Another layer (minus the hip gores), with the draped voile pieces attached was added to the base layer.
In the past, I've been intimidated by beading, so for this corset I learned to attach beads using tambour embroidery, which worked well and I improved at it throughout the process, finding the correct tension and balance between the two shades of glass beads used. The gores were beaded in a frame before the panels were cut out and hand applied with whip stitches and pad stitching. It was also my first time using natural dyes. The corset is boned using spiral and flat steel boning and the bottom edge was bound with narrow cotton tape.