Sunday, January 4, 2015

A Corset Top for Mirwen

I've been fixated on my FM60 Mirwen lately, ever since CP/FairyLand announced a new FM60 in collaboration with Spanish designer Victoria Frances.  There was an attempted collaboration a few years ago using the Mirwen sculpt and the F60 body, which never saw fruition due to internal problems with a Japanese company that was also part of the project.  Thank goodness the latest project is on track.  I ordered the doll (Sionna Fomhar) the first day that orders were being taken.

FairyLand has a post on its image blog with photos of the earlier concept's prototype.  The doll is painted with the face-up eventually released (minus the bloody tears) as MiniFee Mirwen's default makeup.  She is wearing a corset top with a multi-tiered skirt in purple and blue.  Purple and black stripe stockings along with black/blue/purple feather wings complete the look.  Taking this costume as my inspiration, I am attempting to make a similar outfit for my Mirwen.

Pattern and muslin
First up is the corset.  I imagined this would be the most difficult part of the project, seeing as a corset needs to fit and I am unable to draft a pattern.  Luck stepped in, however, in the form of Gracefaerie's pattern #16 The Corset, which was drafted on a 60cm Luts Delf Lishe.  Before FairyLand, CP was part of Luts.  CP's contributions to the 60cm Luts Delf line eventually became FairyLand's FeePle 60 line.  I wasn't sure how a pattern drafted on a 60cm body would fit the Moe line, so I basted together a muslin and tried it on Mirwen.  It's as close to perfect as I could possibly want.

Possible laces, along with lining and fabric for second corset.
I have way too much fabric in my stash already to even consider buying more, so I am making no effort to copy the concept outfit's fabrics.  After sorting through boxes of fabric, wondering when and why I had bought some of them, I have decided to sew a couple (or more) corsets and then see which one I like best before pairing it up with potential skirt fabrics.

The corset pattern calls for eyelets up the front (or back, if you so choose) for lacing.  It's not that I can't insert eyelets, because I can.  It's more that I prefer an easier method if one is available.  So I couldn't help noticing that the original costume utilized the edge of the applied lace trim for lacing.  Genius!  I had to make a trip to JoAnn Fabrics to find lace that would work with 1/8 inch wide ribbon, but it was worth the trip.

First corset's back hooks, before I repositioned them.

The photos show my first finished corset and a second in the works.  Since then I have finished the second, referencing my mistakes in order to get a better fit.  Darkness fell before I could get photos of it, so I'll try tomorrow.  I have also repositioned the hooks and eyes in the back of the first corset so that they don't show when the doll is wearing it.  That was a bigger job than you might imagine, because when I sew a snap set or a hook set, it's not going anywhere.  It took longer to take apart the first corset's hooks than it did to sew them in the first place.  I need to keep reminding myself that doll clothing won't see the rough use human clothing does.

The skirt in the photos is not the final skirt.  It happens to be an underskirt to an outfit I made a few years ago for Elfdoll Hazy.  Hazy is gone, the dress doesn't fit anyone, but the underskirt is a perfect fit on Mirwen, although it does bunch up when she sits.  One of these days I may use the pattern for an actual skirt.

Monday, January 5, 2015 - Update

As promised, here is the finished second corset.  I thought it would be fun to have optional sleeves, so I took a pattern that had puffed sleeves and cut only the puff part from my fabric.  Rather than sew it onto a bodice, I folded and hemmed a channel for a length of 1/8 inch elastic both at the top (where you would normally gather the sleeve) and at the bottom (where you would expect a cuff).  The elastic keeps them up when she has them on.  When they are not wanted, they are easy to leave off.  Because Mirwen has removable hands, I was able to make my bottom elastic as tight as I wanted with no fear of breaking delicate fingers in the process of dressing or undressing.


  1. That is awesome! It must be so hard to work with such small laces and hooks and zippers etc.