How do corset linings work

Ciri from Witcher - making-of

I have two weeks for the cosplay before I wear it for the first time. Ciri is one of the female characters from Witcher 3 - Wild Hunt and next to Yennefer my second cosplay from the PC game. So far I've found shoes, bought the material for the belt, drew the patterns and tried the make-up. All other materials have at least been ordered. Hopefully they will arrive soon.

Note: I took most of the pictures with my cell phone camera. Therefore, some of them are not that sharp. I would like to change something about that in the future. Until then, I can only apologize for the sometimes poor quality.

13 days to go: belt

Today I started the belt. I designed the model on the PC and then printed it out several times. I bought the following ingredients:

And then straightened out a few more things:

My previous knowledge is limited to watching a few YouTube videos. Somewhere on Facebook I also read that this technology can / should work with Ciris Gürtel. My plan: shape a model, then create a mold with silicone and finally pour the whole thing out several times. I used different materials to create the model. These include modeling clay, leather straps, Tesa, beads, superglue and hot glue. With the latter I drew the thinner shapes and glued them on later.

I also took on Ciri's dagger: the pommel has a very interesting pattern. When finished, the basic models looked like this:

12 days to go

I quickly poured in the mold yesterday evening: to be more precise, I built a frame out of cardboard and then poured the silicone compound into it.

The whole thing dried overnight. Unfortunately I had to destroy the model when taking it out. The shape still needs some fine-tuning:

11 days to go

I've only made some progress, but I still want to report on it. With nail scissors I was able to correct a few small mistakes on the silicone mold and then immediately made a test cast. You can see the first parts in the picture. A few mistakes crept in through air holes, but I'm very happy with the result so far.

10 days to go

Even today, the sewing materials I had ordered haven't arrived, so I continued to work with the accessories: During the day, other parts of the belt were created, for example the gemstones with the help of hot glue and an acrylic paint mixture (I only have the fabric paint for the pigments mixed below).

I also used a sword and a dagger. To be more precise, I'll just make the pommel of it and leave out the blade so that I can take the pieces with me to conventions.

On this picture you can see that I used foam rubber, a cardboard tube of cling film and paper mache as materials. The staff formed the middle. Distinctive or thick areas were then prepared with foam rubber. Then came the slush of paper.

With the sword I could already start the pommel and the parry bar. A double layer of foam rubber is enclosed with Worblas Finest Art. This is a solvent-free plastic sheet that is malleable when hot, but becomes very stable at room temperature.

9 days to go

My fabric order and the metal parts have finally arrived. It just took a little longer over the holidays. Therefore, I could start the pants. It is made of brown synthetic leather. In some places brass rivets were then inserted for decoration. It has not been adjusted yet, so just a small spoiler:

The progress with the sword, however, is a little more visible: Here I was able to cover the handle with leather. I had to close the side seams with hand stitches. Once again there are parts from Worbla.

8 days to go

Today I made slower progress than I originally thought. The pants are still not ready. At least I was able to prime the belt stones with silver spray paint. This still shines too much.

I also received my Witcher medallion from eBay. Ciri initially has one of the Cat Schools on her belt, but later she also wears the wolf medallion around her neck.

7 days to go (addendum)

I didn't continue today.

6 days to go (addendum)

The pants are almost ready now. follow pictures

5 days to go

Now the pants are finished. It is made of brown synthetic leather, which is very firm and does not stretch. So I had to make some adjustments to the basic style I had drawn myself. In the end, the waist has shrunk to around 3cm narrower than my natural measurements, so that the pants don't wrinkle under the corset.

It is closed with a total of 7 pairs of black hooks and eyes. Both sides meet edge to edge.

The whole thing is hidden under a V-shaped part that actually appears in the game. This in turn has four ribbons that I have braided from embroidery thread as a fastener.

In addition, I was able to sew the shirt completely today. It has no darts and long sleeves. The neckline is quite large, so it sometimes looks as if Ciri is wearing a top by Geralt that is actually too big for her. The neckline continues downwards, as the front edge only closes over two pairs of hooks and eyes and thereby gapes a little. Since the fabric is very thin, I put it twice at chest height. The lower seam disappears under the corset, while the upper one is hidden under the sewn-on taffeta ribbon. The top also has a small collar. The main material was cream-colored cotton.

4 days to go

Now I'm behind schedule, as I only managed part of the corset today. The first version of the stabilizing lining did not fit at first. Interestingly, it was too big. However, I have postponed the adjustment until tomorrow. In this picture you can at least see the eyelets that I managed - and as a small anticipation a small mistake: In the meantime, the corset cord was caught by the machine and stapled firmly.

3 days to go

After about four hours of trying on and changing the corset, the corset fits perfectly - or the lining, because the layer of leather is still missing.

It is made of black corset coutil, a particularly sturdy fabric that I had to order in the UK. In addition, about 22 cable ties are used instead of real spring steel, as this is too thick for me. With cable ties, on the other hand, I have already had good experiences with historical corsets.

Part of it runs through the tunnels of white ribbon that I sewed on with a zigzag stitch. A few others, however, are in the folded seam allowances. In addition, I sewed a bit of tape crosswise on a particularly sensitive area. This is supposed to take some of the pressure off the fabric.

2 days to go (addendum)

Today I cut the leather for the corset. Lining and outer fabric are exactly the same. The individual parts of one half can be seen well in the following picture.

I also made a small cropping mistake and forgot to cut one of the hip wedges the wrong way round.

1 day to go (addendum)

I can summarize the results of today and the next day in the retrospective. Both layers are now sewn onto one another on the upper and lower edges, as well as through a seam in the back. The open edges are bordered by brown cotton ribbon, which is first sewn on right sides together ...

... and then flipped over. A decorative seam also secures the whole thing.

In the next picture you can see that the layers divide in the front last section. A double layer of coutil has eyelets through which the corset is laced first. Then the leather part is closed with five pairs of hooks and eyes. So there is no tension on the leather and the lacing is covered, so that a figure-changing effect can still be achieved.

Day of the theme party - conclusion

As mentioned above, I actually did the last stitches on the corset that day. The whole thing was only finished two hours before the Witcher theme party. Unfortunately I only have a quick picture to show off:

I finished the most important parts:

  • corset
  • trousers
  • Blouse shirt
  • (Make-up + scar)
  • Bought an amulet

Actually, I wanted to get the following parts ready:

  • Metal parts belt
  • (Hairstyle)

Not for the theme party, but still missing for later events:

  • Change shoes
  • Gloves
  • Arm parts
  • Snakeskin look belt with pockets
  • Finish sword + scabbard
  • Finish dagger + scabbard

The WIP will therefore be continued! And hopefully a good photo shoot will follow in the end!

It continues with the belt. The picture of the primer can be found above. Then I painted a few very dark areas with black acrylic paint. The whole thing still shone terribly on the other points.

So I painted silver acrylic gloss varnish or dabbed it on with a sponge. Only the parts were noticeably lighter, but also more matt despite the supposed glossy effect. This can be seen in the picture at the bottom right. In the next step I mixed black and silver acrylic paint and painted them in certain places. Then I was able to wash off a good part of the paint with water and a sponge. At the bottom left you can see the result, which, by the way, I am very satisfied with.

The arm parts have so far been completely missing. They are made from scraps of the calfskin from my first armor. For the buckles and the other metal parts I ordered brass and then sanded them down a bit to get a more matt surface.

When done, the good pieces look like this:

Meanwhile I could start the shoes. As a reminder, there is another picture of the two pairs that I bought for Yennefer and Ciri in the sale.

In the case of the brown shoe, I first cut off the overknee part, which gave me a few resources:

From this I was able to get some of the pattern parts, for example the front cover or the inserted piece on the outside. Here I had to cut the seam. As you can see, I needed a little more space.

The inserted part looked too small despite the calculations. So I had to expand. The upper part followed.

For the straps I finally ran out of material from the original shoe, so I took strips from the corset leather.

Actually, each is closed with three hooks. Therefore the buckle is only decorative. Together with the Yennefer boots it looks like this:

The corset got its metal eyelets afterwards.

After I had already created a pattern for gloves for the Yennefer Cosplay, I was able to start sewing the Ciri gloves immediately. The main part is made of very thin leather, while the lighter part has been cut off from the remnant of the corset material. In addition, the buckle and the decoration made of blue fabric are noteworthy.

I also continued to work on my belt once again. To seal in the color, I covered each piece with clear nail polish. That used up about two small bottles, but it looks very nice now. Only then could I stick the little stones on. The individual parts are now finished.

Since some of the carrier material could possibly peek out between the parts, I decided to use the corset leather as a belt base. Then I riveted small leather squares onto which the “metal parts” were glued on. This way I can drill out the rivets and replace individual parts if necessary.

When trying on it, however, it actually stretched a little too far for my taste.

So I decided to copy another element and insert it. A sturdy band under the leather should also prevent it from stretching.

The whole thing is closed by a leather strap that is pulled through two loops.

Sword and dagger are now ready! Unfortunately, I didn't take a lot of pictures of the creation process, apart from those that can be found above. At that time, the state of affairs was that the cardboard cores were expanded with modeling clay and foam rubber before the worbla was added. Both handles were covered with leather. After that it was up to the "blades". In order to be suitable for Con, I actually had to leave them out. Therefore, the handle pieces go directly into the sword scabbards.

For the dagger, cardboard that I covered with leather was actually enough again. At the bottom, Worbla again imitates a metal end. For the upper part, I made a model from the modeling clay and, as with the belt production, first made a silicone mold and then a replica from Stewalin.

Since the sword is much longer, I had to work in a wooden stick here. This is covered with a layer of foam (cut out of a simple yoga mat). Then the leather sheath follows. As in the original, I decorated it with black paint and light-colored seams, which took a lot of time. Then the lower and upper worbla ends were put on.

To get the worn but metallic effect, I tried everything from texture paste to sanding. The worbla was still quite coarse-pored. However, after three coats of acrylic spray paint and matting varnish, I was finally satisfied.

There are also two pockets on the belt that have a slightly reddish glow. I made them out of leather. Only the large one is fully functional, while the small one is more for decorative purposes.

After a long search I finally decided on a lace-front wig. This came out a little grayer than expected, but it looks very nice. All I had to do was style it to match.

Then I suddenly noticed that a belt was still missing and made up for it. I got the pattern into the leather with a kind of carving tool and a Dremel.