Little Bird Underbust Corset By Sparklewren

Little Bird Underbust Corset By Sparklewren, c. 2014, United Kingdom. The Underpinnings Museum. Photography by Tigz Rice.

Date: 2014

Origin: United Kingdom

Fabric: Cotton coutil

Brand: Sparklewren


‘Little Bird’ is a member of the ‘Bird’s Wing’ corset family, inspired by the antique ‘Bird’s Wing’ corset from 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 pattern for the Strawberry Leopard incorporates only 10 panels per side and offers gentle shaping rather than extreme curves.

This underbust corset was created to test the possibility of a ready-to-wear version of the style, with a minimalist design that focused on the smoothness and technical excellence and visual simplicity of the multi-panelled construction, rather than the decadent embellishment for which Sparklewren was also renowned. It is created in a single layer of mink herringbone coutil and a lapped seam construction, with each seam enclosing a fine spiral steel bone. The corset opens in the front with a steel busk, and closes at the rear with cotton lacing and metal eyelets.

Jenni Hampshire began creating corsets under the moniker ‘Sparklewren’ in 2009. The designer’s background in Fine Art has resulted in a body of work akin to wearable sculpture. Historically inspired silhouettes and construction techniques are paired with lush, opulent embellishment and couture construction techniques. The brand specialised in one-of-a-kind heirloom garments, with each garment taking weeks of carefully considered embellishment and craftsmanship.


A pattern for this garment can be purchased here. 


From the collection of Karolina Laskowska

Museum number: KL-2018-029


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