For studio class this semester we had to create a sustainable garment out of vintage or second hand garments. The goal was to use 100% of the materials to create an upcycled clothing piece. As I hate the crunchy patchwork style that is commonly associated with reconstructing second-hand clothing I knew I needed to do something that directly spoke to my own aesthetic. This led me to conceptualizing the idea of using unsustainable fabrics to design fetishwear! The fabrics used to create fetishwear are typically quite bad for the environment and the idea of 'sustainability'.
Over 33 million of tons of PVC is produced annually and it emits toxic compounds from manufacture to disposal. The shiny lovely durability it boasts is unfortunately also its downfall-> It is not biodegradable or degradable, which means all the PVC that gets dumped in landfills either just sits there for decades.. Or it is burned and releases toxic fumes like hydrogren chloride gas and dioxin :/ I knew I wanted to use PVC garments for this project for just this reason.
My first order of business was to find some interesting PVC material and I immediately thought of children's raincoats. They had fun patterns and didn't have excessive amounts of material or lining! I picked up three coats and opted for this Mickey Mouse version because it reminded me of my childhood adventures in Disneyland :) From there I also knew I wanted to make a corset so I found a kilt in my closet that I didn't mind parting with that would work for the lining.
It was a huge amount of work but I was very happy with what I produced. I started with 651.5 grams of fabric from my garments which included the weights of all extra embellishments that were needed, such as the boning and eyelets. And *drumroll* I ended up being able to use 100% of the original garments! I even saved the thread from the original constructions.. I swear, there was method to my madness! lol The fruits of my labor are posted below. I constructed an underbust corset, Minnie ears, a pair of spats, a purse, and a little neck tie :)
The construction process was VERY long and painstaking and contains many pictures! For this reason, I'm not posting it directly here. If you'd like to read more about my adventures click below!
Normally I would stabilize the raincoat material with something but I didn’t want to buy or ADD more to what I already had. So I ended up cutting the underbust pieces double. I then used a zigzag stitch to baste the outside and middle layer of the raincoat pieces to keep them from hopefully moving around while everything was getting put together around them! The lining was cut from the kilt skirt.
I then sewed the front pieces together and repeated with the lining pieces. After that the front and lining were sewn at the center back seams so they became one. I created paths in the corset by stitching on top at the different pattern pieces where there were already seams from the different sections of in the pattern, providing even better stability as the seam allowances added extra layers of fabric (and reinforcement).
The closure is made possible by a row of holes I measured out and punched along each end of the CB. These holes were made in order to allow me to add eyelets with backings so when I was wearing this corset I wouldn’t have to worry about tearing them outs when lacing up the back. Fabric pieces were sewn together and the seam allowances were pressed open. These were then used as a type of binding trim to close the top and bottom openings of the corset.
Initially I thought I might be able to use the hood as a hat or something more simple but I decided I need to use the hood fabric primarily for embellishment such as the pleated trim which I created by pinning and ironing, and the ribbon. Some of this “ribbon” was still left over so I decided to use it as a necklace, tying it around my neck twice.
The snaps were from the original coat and were HORRIBLE to work with. I ended up having to hand sew around them because they were getting destroyed!
Once I decided I was going to make mouse ears, I really thought about how I would fill them and how I would keep them stiff enough to stand up straight on someone’s head. Once I took apart the kilt I realized the entire inside waistband was covered in iron-on interfacing, exactly what I needed! Unfortunately it was not wide enough to fit my ear pattern so I had to sew the pieces all together and new larger piece of fabric from them that I could cut from. The one problem I did run in to was at the waistband closure, Velcro with adhesive backing had been sewn down. Because of the kilt’s age, it was extremely gooey and even after I removed the Velcro itself, the fabric there was wrecked and couldn’t be used here.
The ears and bow turned out to be substantially heavy with all the scrap shreddings inside of them. I realized I would be unable to simply sew them to the drawstring hood edge and modified my concept so it would still be wearable by using a headband as a base. After sewing the ears and bow closed securely, I used my glue gun to adhere them to the band.