Thin Blue Lines
Amy Craig, UK
Photographer: Jamie Craig
The design was inspired by St Pancras Railway Station and the amazing exposed ironwork roof – I love seeing the internal structures of buildings used as a feature. I wanted to convey that feature in my design, particularly the idea of strength in such minimal design. I've always wanted to make a piece in this way after seeing a ventilated corset in the Symington collection. The station has a special place in my heart from travelling back and forth to the Midlands during my time at college, and now my husband and I celebrate our special occasions with a drink in the Booking Office bar.
This is the first time I have attempted a design like this and so my construction method had a few trial and error moments! It still has some refinements to be made - the bust shaping needs improvement for one - and I will hopefully be making it again in the future. I used my own pattern design, keeping a normal centre front and centre back panel. The in-between spaces, top and bottom, were drawn on freehand and the bone channels measured off the pattern. The middle waist section had to be redrafted as I forgot to take body shaping into account - oops! It is constructed of coutil and a medium weight cotton. I fitted the middle section at top and bottom sections all together, then the boning channels on top, taking care with the placements over the waist section. I found basting them in place the most useful way to keep them from walking away whilst I was trying to sew them on. I found the channels tricky to make as neatly as I would like, and having to remove and re-fit the waist section had an impact on the neatness of my stitching. The front has a solid busk, with shaped flat steels at the edges. The rest are spiral steels with flats at the back either side of the eyelets. The binding was machine sewn and then hand stitched at the rear.
What was it like to compete this year? What would you say to someone who is on the fence about entering next year?
It's a great challenge to work to a theme and really nice to be involved in such an inclusive competition with a supportive community. I've really enjoyed it.