The Cardboard Corset Step 1

I chose this pattern because it used the direction of the boning to create the shape and I could best utilise the ridges of the cardboard with such a pattern (the ridges of the corrugated cardboard creating boning of sorts). This pattern uses only six panels, but I cut the panels according to the direction of the boning, thus creating 12 panels: 6 to a side.

I used this pattern in conjunction with a very nifty corset pattern generator by Drea Leed to make sure that it will eventually fit me.

Corset pattern from Corsets and Crinolines by Norah Waugh.

"Solidly whaleboned lining of bodice, the outside of which is covered with cream satin beautifully embroidered with a floral design in coloured silks and gold and silver; the outside has only two side seams. Probably the bodice of a court dress, as from about this date the day robes were worn back on the soulders again. This bodice is very similar in shape to the stays worn by the effigy of the Duchess of Richmond in Westminster Abbey, 1701 - 1702 (c.1680)"

First, I cut the panels out of the cardboard (that I found outside an art shop in Finchley Road) making sure the corrugations coincide with the direction of the boning on the pattern. For some reason that I do not now recall I decided to make the tabs square instead of rounded, however, the biggest change I made was to make it an open-fronted corset. The bodice in the pattern closes completely at the back, but since I would be dressing myself I needed something that laced in the front. I also wanted to make a stomacher to go underneath the lacing (not sure that is at all historical) and therefore decided to not add extra inches to accommodate my 21st century waist. I also removed the shoulder straps, thinking that making comfortable straps out of cardboard was maybe a bit too optimistic. However, removing the straps made it difficult for me to guess the top line of the corset, as can be seen by the lines drawn in the picture below: I wasn’t sure if I had made enough allowance for the arms.

Cut out cardboard panels of the cardboard corset.

The panels laid out as they would fit together. Marked "L" 1-6 and "R" 1-6. As you can see by the lines drawn at the top I was already beginning to doubt the line, wondering if I should make more allowance for the arms.

Corsets should be able to take quite a bit of strain, even stays and boned bodices like these that weren’t really designed to cinch the waist but to create a neat cylindrical body shape, so the biggest problem in working with cardboard was that it might tear. To counter this I decided to overlap the panels by an inch and a half and sew over the entire overlap to strengthen the seams and spread out the pressure somewhat. Also, should some tearing occur, the overlap ensured that it would still remain more or less intact.

Panels of cardboard corste overlapping for extra strenght.

Overlapping panels at the center front.

Next I added triplex board to the center front and center back panels for extra strength where the lacing would be. The cardboard was too pliable and would not have stood under the hard wear of the laces. A hole punch served to make the eyelets.

Center front panels of cardboard corset.

Center Front

Center back panels of the cardboard corset.

Center Back

The Cardboard Corset

The Cardboard Corset

So last year when I had some time and money on my hands I bought a lot of books, one of which was Corsets and Crinolines by Norah Waugh.  Once I read it I just absolutely had to make one of the corsets, but  lacked the basic tools for the project…like a sewing machine, for example. But the corrugated cardboard the kind people at had used to package it in gave me a wonderful idea. Corrugated cardboard provides, in essence, exactly the kind of structure needed for making a pair of stays/18th century corset: it is pliable in one direction, but rigid in the other.

Obviously a lot of work still needed to go into the cardboard before it could be used to make a corset, but the basic idea seemed to be sound. At least to me it did…

The long weird process of making an 18th century corset out of cardboard to follow.

World Cup Cakes

I’m not a huge fan of soccer, but I am a huge fan of cupcakes, and so World Cup Cakes were born!

(special kudos to my sister for doing most of the real work! )

World Cup Cakes

World Cup Cakes

Soccer boot on grassy green cupcake

Grassy field

Football/soccer boot on dirt field chocolate cupcake

Dirt field chocolate cupcake

Soccer/football  ball cupcake

Ball cupcake

It took me forever to make the huge mathematical breakthrough of understanding that the black bits are pentagons, while the white bits are slightly larger hexagons! We all know what the ball is supposed to look like, but drawing one was an unexpected challenge…

(Disclaimer: beyond some pre-match patriotism my sister and I have nothing against the people of Mexico. We’re sure that they are perfectly nice when they aren’t trying to beat Bafana Bafana…)

Some pics that didn’t make the cut

My website recently went online and I am very proud of it, as it’s the first website I ever made! Or at least, an edited version of the first one I ever made. The first one I ever made was for the web design course I took and had to be “about me”. So there were a few things that would look less than professional on a site that I’m hoping would showcase my work.
For instance, the slogan “Will design stuff for money” while still 100% true, seemed just a little too cheeky/desperate/crazy person.

There are also pictures that seemed just a tad too much, so didn’t make the cut. However, it will be very sad if I never got to show pictures of myself channeling Lady Gaga as a hobo, so here it is:

I realise now that the picture is indeed not very Lady Gaga-ish at all…but hey, I tried. At least with the lipstick.

And now my desk! It was taken pre-new laptop, so looks infinitely more dull than it looks these days with the shiny new laptop taking up twice as much space as the old one…


Hello all, and welcome to my blog! As I’ve already said in my “about” section, I will be using this space to share some of my miscellaneous creations, as well as the creations of others that I particularly like.

So it’s time to get excited and make things:

Which is a spin-off of the fantastic “Keep Calm and Carry On” posters:

Keep Calm and Carry On

As Wikipedia summarizes it: “Keep Calm and Carry On was a propaganda poster produced by the British government in 1939 during the beginning of World War II, but never used. It was rediscovered in 2000 and has been re-issued by a number of private sector companies, and used as the decorative theme for a range of other products.

Then there’s also my personal favourite: “Now Panic and Freak Out”
Obviously not a war propaganda poster, but very motivational all the same…

Now Panic and Freak Out

The official website for Keep Calm and Carry On can be found here.

But to get back to the point: Get Excited and Make Things!