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One way to use rope to spice up any outfit is this beautiful rope corsetry technique, first made famous by Lou Duff in San Francisco. The clean “checkerboard” boning on the front can be accented by circling additional weaves around it. The back remains smooth and flat. It’s also a wonderful piece that you can tie onto yourself. The same technique is used to create Rope Gauntlets.
Rope length: Approximately 50 to 60 feet, depending on diameter of rope (and waistline)
Rope diameter: 1/4 inch to 3/8 inch
Make a bight at the very middle of the rope and hold it at the front/center where you want the bottom of the corset to sit below the waist.
Draw both ropes through this bight at the front.
Pull both ropes back in the direction they came from. Wrap them all the way around the back, layering them flat against the skin, right above and against the previous pair.
Now draw the two ropes down through the new opening made when they were doubled back. Adjust the tension here to the tightness desired for the piece. Don’t leave it loose.
Again, pull both ropes back in the direction they came from.
Always lay the ropes flat against the skin and the previous pair. Avoid making gaps or twisting the ropes. Keep the tension firm and consistent throughout the winding.
As before, always draw the two ropes down through the new opening made when they were doubled back.
Keep doubling back and layering the ropes until you are at the desired height, or until you run out of rope.
To tie it off, double back the ropes again, but pass them under and up behind the top pair. Use your finger to hold an opening.
Pass the ends of the ropes down through this opening.
Pull the ropes completely through this opening and tighten everything down. You can either cut off the excess here, or go to the next step to do a weave.
You can weave the excess rope around the midline by passing the ropes under and over each alternating pair of ropes.
As you alternate weaving over and under each pair, keep the ropes flat.
Continue the weave up the opposite side. If you have even more excess length, you can continue weaving down the other side, against the first one.
To tie off the weave, pass the ends of the ropes down through the knot that secured the piece.
As a finishing touch, you can cut off the ends of the ropes to make tassels, or…
you can also tuck each rope behind the corset to hide the ends cleanly.
The resulting medallion design is dazzling.
The front makes a nice contrast to the smooth back of the corset.
Like we say, waist knot, want knot!