The Bird’s Wing technique became a signature of the Sparklewren brand: a multi-panelled pattern style, with strong flat felled seams each encasing a spiral steel bone. It’s highly structured but extremely flexible, moulding to each individual figure differently and achieving an iconic rounded hip line.
The original ‘Bird’s Wing’ corset is a surviving 1900s piece, found in the Symington Collection held by Leicestershire County Council’s Museums Service. The garment was supposedly named for the fact that it looks like a bird’s wing when laid flat. The original 1900s antique used an unusually high number of 21 panels per side, with a lapped seam construction enclosing a bone in each seam.
The style requires phenomenal cutting and stitching accuracy. Even a single millimetre of difference on each seam is enough to throw off the garment by a full dress size.
Jenni Hampshire worked tirelessly to refine the style, from using it in bespoke creations and show pieces to developing ready to wear ranges. Specialist sewing equipment was custom created to make these styles possible, to form the strong and narrow lapped seams that structure these complex corsets.