Scarlit in Pink

by thevelvetletter

For the last three years I have been talking about costumes with Cape Town burlesque dancer Scarlit Hearts. We swap crafty skills and plan many outfits which often don’t get made as we are constantly distracted by other projects. Scarlit makes beautiful hats – mostly miniature versions of full sized hats, with lots of ornamentation. Need a mini steampunk topper? She’s your go-to girl!

So Scatlit makes me hats, and I work on her costumes, most recently making her a pink mid-bust corset for a favorite act. Here are some pics of the corset modeled by my pillow:



The pillow isn’t the best model ever, but you get the idea!

This is the first properly bespoke corset I’ve made, and am generally pretty pleased with it. We chose a synthetic fabric known as ‘Thai silk’, an imitation of raw silk which I have used successfully for another costume, ironed to a medium weight interfacing as the ‘silk’ frays like the bejayzus. I think the fabric has worked really well and will happily use it again.

I also really like the line of the corset. Scarlit is petite and has very strong abdominal muscles from teaching pole dancing (Her studio is in Meadowridge – The Scarlit Box) so there isn’t much squish to work with but by nipping in under her rib-cage we got a pretty dramatic looking reduction.

Below are pics from the official corset hand-over – v exciting and nerve-wracking!Image

(Please excuse the dodgy pictures – my ‘proper’ camera is still MIA.)Image



Scarlit wearing the corset! As you can see its a little big in the bust. We cut it that way to leave room for the ornate bra that goes with the outfit but I think in future I will tweak it a bit as the diagonal wrinkles get my goat.

We had a very funny moment when putting on the corset for the first time… I had cut the laces too short so we struggled to get the corset on at first  – many minutes spent wrestling the corset in the bathroom. Eventually I untied the laces and unthreaded them from some the bottom four eyelits – there was no way we were going to miss seeing that corset on!

The bar we met at has a unisex bathroom, and when we were wrestling with the corset a very surprised man appeared and goggled at the unusual picture we made. He came back twice, and wanted to bring a friend to see too. We promised to come out and show him once Scarlit was actually in the corset;)

Here are some pics of the corset in action (pictures by the lovely Sarah Isaacs  – find her on FB).


A little bit of back squish, and Scarlit is tiny so its the corset not her. More adjustments to come! As you can see I replaced the cord lacing with ribbon, partly because it is pretty and partly to negate the need for a modestly panel. And thats me doing the lacing – wearing a wig I found at a Chinese shop;)


The corset in action. Loving the bum-fringe;)

So as I said, there are still a few tweaks needed, but the corset still looks good and there are almost no wrinkles in the outer fabric. Hurrah!

I’m looking forward to the next one… Scarlit, you hear me?