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The Joker’s Undies, Part 2: Misadventures in Padding

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Last week: I’m making period 18th century underwear for my Joker/Marie Antoinette cosplay. (Design here. Previous post about making underwear here.)

When we left off last time, I was talking about the corset for Joker Antoinette. It would make sense for me to tell you how I constructed it in detail, but I don’t wanna!

I’ll tell write about that next time. I wanna talk about padding and how my body is supposed to look in this thing.

Tight-lacing comic

Eighteenth century ladies were all about a funnel-tastic torso form. Wealthy women, who didn’t have to work or move much (or breathe) laced their stays tightly to achieve a tiny waist. Middle class and poorer women (all but the poorest) wore stays as well, though they didn’t lace them as tightly. I stand with the proletariat here – I don’t want a particularly tight corset. I want to be relatively comfortable without spending a lot of time getting used to the corset.

Tight-lacing comic_2

Instead, I had the idea to take the phrase “larger than life” literally. I wanted to try wearing pads to create a slightly exaggerated funnel shape.

I had an old foam mattress in the basement set aside for this purpose. (The basement is full of old junk I might be able to sew with. For some reason, my husband doesn’t fully appreciate my foresight.)

I sawed a 22″x 9″ inch rectangle from the mattress and then snipped away at the surface until it was about 2″ thick in the center and tapered off at the sides and bottom.

The result, as you can see at the top of the article and below, was permanent fish face. What a weird side effect.


I don’t hate the look, but there’s a problem. The corset is supposed to sit right below my armpits, but I can’t get it up higher than this with the padding on. I took off the padding twice and snipped away at it until it was less than half the original size, but I still couldn’t get the corset to sit right.

Also, there is a second problem. My dress is going to be cut low, showing off most of my chest. And I don’t think anyone will believe that chunk of foam is part of my anatomy.

I had a solution for this. I cut the foam down so that it was sitting right under my bust. Unfortunately, it turns out that¬† I didn’t have enough bust to fill gap. No pictures of that. You’ll have to use your imagination.

So, here I am with no padding whatsoever.


Let’s talk about the two tiny elephants in the room. Boy, am I showing off a lot of decolletage. I know that was the look …

Oooh lady, I don’t think that cape’s going to keep you warm!


Can I get you a cape too, babe?

…but boy, I do not like showing off my chest. It makes me self-conscious that a) my chest looks bony and/or b) I’m showing too much seduuuuuuctive cleeeeeeeeeeavage.

Photo evidence suggests I will be worrying more about option b) in this outfit.


I’ve found a rather unlikely solution for this. I have a set of chicken cutlets (aka falsies, cookies) from when I used to perform on a swing dancing team.

Photo evidence – that’s me at a swing dance competition in 2008. Just to be clear, I wore size a 34B then and now. I’m wearing falsies and two padded bras in graduated sizes here. I remember that the larger of the bras was a 34D.

Unlike in my swing dancing photo, the falsies don’t make me look larger. Instead, they push the corset away from my rib cage, so it’s not pressing as hard against my bust. With the falsies, I feel more comfortable. Less like my chest is being forced out of the top of the corset.

With the falsies. This photo evidence suggests that I’m still pretty seduuuuctively cleeeeeeavage-y. But this feels more comfortable. And look! I’m smiling! That means it’s a legit after photo, right?

I’ve also added some lace to my shift to block the side view. And I think that once I’ve got a thick layer of joker white makeup on my skin, I’ll feel fairly covered up.

That’s all for today. Bye now!





Or should I say “Tata”? *waves*

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