I’ve met so many wonderful people in the costuming community over the years, and this spring and summer I’ve been lucky enough for several of those connections to turn into collaborations. Since one has already launched and another is very close, it’s high time I told you a little more about them.

After a trip to see the Symington Antique Corset Collection, Lowana from Vanyanis was inspired to produce beautifully engraved busks for today’s corsetmakers. When we first discussed this project, she already done much of the groundwork, but needed assistance with getting her ideas into the vector format her engraver needed. Since that is the same format I use for my embroidery artwork, I was happy to help. Vanyania BuskIn May, she launched her engraved laurel busks in black, gold, and silver, which add a lovely richness of detail to her corset designs, as you can see in the above photo. As well, she is offering a custom engraving service to other corsetmakers, for which I will continue to do vector artwork as needed. It’s been such a pleasure to see these designs come to life, and I can’t wait to see more unique busks being used in the corsetry world! Wearing History PatternAnother collaboration near completion is with Lauren of Wearing History. When she first posted about reproducing a 1910 pattern for a corset cover, I offered to develop a coordinating embroidery design, and she happily accepted.

The original pattern mentioned an embroidery design that was sold separately, but the pattern number didn’t turn up anything online, so I had to look elsewhere for inspiration. A little research turned up a booklet titled Embroidery Hints, Fall and Winter 1910, for the New York Embroidery House, which included several designs for corset covers. I adapted the embroidery slightly to better fit the Wearing History pattern, and added two sizes of eyelets that can be used in place of heirloom lace beading around the neckline, waist, and sleeves.RR108 Back

Both the pattern and embroidery design are with pattern testers now, and should hopefully be available for purchase in the next few weeks. The embroidery design will come with two sets of files, for whitework or multicolor embroidery, and instructions for placement on the corset cover pattern.  As well, I plan to offer the bows as a separate design for use on other vintage underwear, like tap pants and slips.

The final collaboration (for now!) is one of my largest embroidery projects to date. I’ve been requested to duplicate the embroidery on a Regency gown in the collection held at Berrington Hall in the UK. I’m excited to tackle this one because it will require some experimentation with metallic threads and different patterns of fills for the main embroidery, and is quite different than the other designs I have already produced.

It’s a lovely, delicate gown and I feel privileged to have access to photos of it from all angles upon which I can base my embroidery designs, especially since there are few photos of this gown that have been made public. Unfortunately, that means I can’t share photos of the original with you for comparison, but I will be sharing my progress on the reproduction. The final embroidery design won’t be released immediately, pending completion of a copy of the gown, but I hope to offer them some time in 2016.

Every one of these projects makes my heart sing, because they bring to life the small details of dress that were once commonplace, but have been lost or forgotten for years. I love working alongside other passionate business owners who are keeping history alive by making patterns, busks, cosmetics, shoes, and so much more available to the costuming community. I hope that this is just the beginning, and that over time, I can participate in many more collaborations like these!

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