Heavenly Corsets Wasp-Waist Training Underbust Review

This entry is a summary of the review video “Heavenly Corsets “Wasp-Waist” Training Underbust Review”. If you would like more complete information and side notes about the corset, you can watch the video on YouTube here:


Note: the following are the differences between the “standard” wasp-waist corset and the “training” wasp-waist corset:

  Training Corset Standard Corset
Materials Always made in coutil, with an inner layer of twill, and a cotton lining layer Either a layer of outer fabric (unless coutil) with an inner layer of twill and cotton lining layer OR if you chose coutil, a single layer of coutil and a cotton lining layer
Boning double boning throughout 6 fewer bones than the trainer
Busk wide solid steel busk standard steel busk
Modesty Panel included NOT included
Seams triple-stitched seams double-stitched seams


And here is my review:

Fit, length Dramatic curves, “wasp-waisted”. This is a longline corset coming over my hips. The center front is 12” high. Measurements (both circumference and vertical) were taken to fit my body; quite comfortable with no pinching. One issue with the bones in the back bowing outwards and twisting so creates a gap at the waistline.
Material 3 main layers. The outer fashion fabric is red satin coutil, twill interlining and lightweight cotton lining inside.
Construction 6-panel pattern. It looks as though the coutil panels were lock-stitched (stitched twice) at the seams, the allowances were pressed open and zigzag stitched again. (Some people may not find this aesthetic but if it makes for a strong corset then I don’t mind.) Bones are sandwiched between the satin coutil and the twill, and the cotton lining is primarily floating.
Binding The binding at top and bottom are made out of commercial red satin bias tape machine stitched on both sides; it’s folded under and stitched in the front and then topstitched to catch the back.
Waist tape 1” wide twill tape between the lining and the twill interlining. Stitched down horizontally across all the panels of the lining (so is not invisible but still cannot be felt).
Modesty panel Unboned modesty panel, 4.5 inches wide made from satin coul on the outside and lightweight cotton on the underside. No placket beneath the busk. (I would have preferred a slightly wider panel.)
Busk A heavy duty busk, 1” wide on each side, with 5 pins, it’s quite stiff and it’s 11” long.
Boning 22 steel bones in this corset not including the center front, ALL flat bones. The seams between the panels are double-boned (except the seam closest to the busk) with 3/8 inch wide flats (slightly wider than ¼”), but on the outer edge of the grommets in the back those bones are ½” wide flats.
Grommets There are 20 2-part size #00 eyelets (10 on each side). They have a medium flange around and are spaced out 1¼ inches apart. I would prefer for them to be spaced closer together and there be more of them, but functionally they’re sound; no pulling away or fraying of the fabric. On the underside there are no splits.
Laces  ¼” wide flat braided cotton laces, NOT nylon. They’re easy to pull and they grip well, not much wear so far. Cotton laces are sometimes prone to snapping so should be replaced more often, however I’ve had this corset for about 9 months and haven’t had to change the laces yet.
Price Currently £160 ($250) for the 23/7 waist training wasp-waist corset, or £120 ($185) for the non-training wasp-waist corset.

Final Thoughts:

I received a mixed reaction from this review. A few previous customers of Elle came forward and told me that they didn’t like certain aspects about this style of corset, such as a wobbly stitch line here or there, or the fact that she uses all spring steel bones. I put all this into perspective. Back in 2012, I hadn’t found a more affordable 23/7 training piece, and the materials used (including English coutil) are quite high quality. From what I can see, the primary stitch lines (the straight ones, holding the panels together) are straight and even, and although the zig-zag stitching (which is technically the 3rd stitch on each panel) does veer a bit and is not aesthetically pleasring, it still serves its purpose – to further reinforce the panels together. At that point in the construction process, it has no effect on the overall shape or measurement of the corset.

This did not come as a surprise to me, because I asked Elle a thousand questions before I ordered (and she was quite patient with me every time). The purpose of this corset (for me) wasn’t meant to be pretty or be shown off on a regular basis, it was meant to be strong.

Edit December 2014:

It’s been about 4 years since I ordered this corset, and nearly 3 years since the review – truthfully, I had forgotten about this corset review until recent events brought it back to my attention.
How did my corset hold up? The seams remained strong and none of the bones wore through their channels, but the very flexible bones in the back by the grommets became annoying, so I ended up switching them out for stronger (but more narrow) 5.5mm steels from Vena Cava. I also added more grommets between the pre-existing ones in the back of the corset for better control (the size #00 self-piercing grommets that fit the C-Step 2 machine are a decent match), and changed the lacing style. This was the only issue I experienced with my corset. However, other clients of Elle have had different experiences than myself, and I encourage you to read some of the comments below so you can gain a balanced view before deciding.

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19 comments on “Heavenly Corsets Wasp-Waist Training Underbust Review

  1. kyla phillips on said:

    Have to agree that Heavenly Corsets have gone SERIOUSLY downhill.
    My original corset was bought 6 years ago and was brilliant – a perfect fit, excellent quality and did a great job. So i decided it was time to invest in a new one. BIG MISTAKE. The new one was made of distinctly cheaper material. It weighed a third of the original, which shows just how much she had cut corners. If i sat down in the corset the bones twisted and bent. I was too scared to move in it incase it broke! I sent a very polite but disappointed email to Elle explaining my diappointment……she didn’t even have the decency to reply. Never again would i purchase from this woman.

  2. Thanks for the review. Unfortunately, the quality of their workmanship and customer service has gone seriously down the drain since then.
    At least two customers received sub-standard products within the last year. One of them found s corset didn’t fit her at all and Elle insisted that she must have provided incorrect measurements. Since then, two other corset makers made perfectly fitting corsets from the same measurements. Elle agreed to do an alteration, but it was an awful rush job and didn’t fix the problem.
    The second customer received a corset that was the wrong colour, had bones twisting everywhere and just generally looked awfully sewn it’s crooked seams everywhere (worse than what you saw in yours). Elle ignored the customer’s complaints and refused the parcel when the corset was sent the corset back, until that customer got a chargeback from her credit card. Elle is now disputing the chargeback, but her communication with that customer has been lacking.
    I have no clue what happened between 2012 and now, but it really doesn’t look like Heavenly Corsets is a reputable maker any more, sorry.

    • bishonenrancher on said:

      Hi Nicole, thanks for your input – both of my Heavenly Corsets were purchased many years ago. The red training one (seen here) I purchased in February 2011 (so almost 4 years ago) and the tan one from her sample sale I purchased in July 2011. It’s expected that quality changes over time, and I have always welcomed anyone with first-hand experience with corset makers to share their personal experience on my videos or website. If you know the two other customers, send them on over! I don’t represent every corset maker so it isn’t any skin off my back if someone else has a different buying experience than I had, but I just prefer that people share their own experiences instead of using a relay system, so the situation is as clear as possible and both sides are willing to be held accountable for their claims.

      • Hi Lucy, I’m the first customer Nicole has mentioned. Here is my experience: It was the beginning of 2013, delivery was around about May. Elle checked my measurements with me beforehand because she said they were strange. The corset arrived and it was too big at the hips, angular with the boning and I could fit a face sponge under each hip!

        Elle was defensive to say the least when I complained, she blamed me for giving incorrect measurements. I sent photos showing me measuring myself to prove that they were correct. She begrudgingly took it back for alteration and just folded it over and put a dart in 2 of the panels without even taking the binding off first.

        I gave up at this point and sent it to another lady to alter. The 2nd lady sent me photos of substandard boning, which was untipped so I had her swap the boning out. It still doesn’t fit ideally and the strange positioning of the boning over the hips means it will never look discreet.
        I’ve had 5 other custom corsets since then from other corsetieres who were able to produce beautifully fitting corsets.

  3. msexceptiontotherule on said:

    I’m trying to decide whether or not the custom “made to your measurements” waist training 6″ reduction hourglass silhouette from heavenly would be a good investment (From what I can see, she’s dropped the price a bit from what is shown here in US dollars; the fact of the matter is that the list price is within the budget allotted to such a purchase in the upcoming month’s financials, though I may decide to either go with another option or roll the amount over another month *maybe if I can manage to be that fiscally conservative*.) – in my communications with Elle thus far, she’s come across as pretty flexible with making minor fit and general structural adjustments to the pattern, such as a wider modesty panel and a slightly shorter length. I haven’t asked about adding additional grommets, though I may do so. Then there is the matter of my living in California while she is located in the UK; I already know it’s going to take a little longer to get to me on top of the time it takes to make the corset, I’m just concerned that all the positive interactions I’ve had so far might not continue to be the same after the money is sent and the distance being what it is might make it easier to forget the notion of good customer service.

    Does anyone also have their own experience with heavenly that they can share?

  4. Hi, I’m considering the Heavenly Corsets as a cheaper alternative to the What Katie Did Morticia, would you recommend doing this?

    • bishonenrancher on said:

      Hi Curvy Kitten, the Heavenly corset has the obvious benefit that it’s custom-made to fit you, so you don’t run into length issues, or pinching hips, etc. However I found that I had to modify the corset in the back to prevent bending and bowing. I ended up adding twice as many grommets, replacing the flat steels to stiffer ones, and tightening the boning channels. So if you’re willing to make these modifications, then a Heavenly Corset is worth the savings! However, don’t expect the Heavenly Corset to give you the exact same silhouette or pattern as the Morticia. 🙂

  5. Kinsey on said:

    I just came across this review by chance! Thank you so much. I bought a custom made corset from Elle as my first waist training piece, we exchanged lots of emails and she did advise me well. I even had a template made to ensure fit was good. So all in all I spent about £190 pounds including postage for the template etc.

    I DID NOT get what I wanted :(The steels at the back bow inwards by 90 degrees and the bottoms of them are now starting to cut through the fabric. The flare at the top and bottom is rather gaping, the modesty panel is far too flimsy and not wide enough and the edging tape on the top is wearing through so that the white innards are on view.

    I told Elle about the twisting steels and the gaping and the fit and she was very curt with me so I sent her photos. She said she would reinforce the twisting, but I declined as this would incur extra postal costs and I was at the end of my tether and thought she probably wouldn’t correct it properly (my faith in her was gone by this point) so I asked someone local to see if they could reinforce, they just added extra stitches to stop the twisting, but it has not worked. I still wear the corset which is almost closed now, and still far too big at top and bottom that I am stretching my trousers!

    I sent Elle photos of the twisting and wear and tear and the gaping and she will not respond. I had hoped professional integrity might make her reconsider and offer a refund or a partial one as it is clearly craftsmanship errors!

    So that’s how I found you, in my search for a good corset maker in the UK. Or one I can see in person- once bitten twice shy! I am of course distraught that the money I spent is now wasted but I suppose I will have to live with that and move on.

    Anyway thanks for your great reviews and the map of corset makers!

  6. Thank you for your answer ! I’m not comfortable with the idea of changing pieces of a corset, although I can sew a little… I might rather destroy it. 🙂 I guess I’ll just ask Elle if I can have wider and sturdier bones for the back. And maybe a few more grommets too ! Upon checking on the website I realized I was not talking about the same corset, you reviewed the wasp waist and I was planning on ordering the hourglass 4″ training one. But I prefer the wasp waist silhouette so… What would you recommend, knowing that I’m pretty new to waist training ? I guess I could order the wasp waist and just lace it with a larger gap to begin, and lace it tighter when I’m ready… What do you think ?
    I also have a little issue upon seasoning a new overbust custom corset. I find that when I sit in my couch, the corset has a tendency to touch my upper hips and to slightly go “up” on my torso, causing a slight incomfort. Is this fixable ? This is not a massive problem as the corset, once seasoned, is destined to be worn on stage and standing up, but can’t this alter the seasoning process ? When I’m seasoning I’m most of the time sitting… And does that mean that I have a shorter torso and that I should require specific measurements for my underbust from Heavenly ? Knowing that I want a comfortable everyday training corset…

    Sorry about this HUGE comment ><

  7. Hello Lucy, have you been able to solve the problem of the back bowing ? I’m thinking about ordering this corset for daily training, but I’m scared that this would ruin the corset over time. Sorry if my english is not perfect ! Thank you for your articles that are very informative, pleasant to read and useful !

    • bishonenrancher on said:

      Hi Kat, thank you for your comment, and your English is very good! 🙂 I was able to fix the bowing at the back of the corset by replacing the boning surrounding the grommets – I replaced them with 6mm wide flat steel bones from Vena Cava Design; they’re much stiffer and sturdier. I also added more grommets in between the pre-existing grommets in the corset, which gave more control while lacing.

      • Cynthia on said:

        Hi Lucy…I am also interested in starting out with corseting – I would like to experience the benefit of improved posture and a shapelier wasteline. I am a “curvier” lady, mid 40s, and never realized this practice was still so widely in use. I made note of your comments in another video that a higher back and lower hips would benefit those of us who would have some “displacement” to tend with so 1) does this Wasp-Waist training corset have those features, 2) do you prefer the Sebastian to this one to the extent that you might recommend it instead of this one for us newbies, and 3) how do I go about ordering one of these corsets if I am not in your locale? 🙂 Thanks!

        • bishonenrancher on said:

          Hi Cynthia, thanks for your comment. Yes, I would consider the Heavenly Corset to be fine for holding in a lower tummy – it doesn’t provide much support for “muffin top”, but if it’s drafted correctly then there should not be too much of that anyway (if it’s made to measure, then the ribcage of the corset should not be smaller than your own natural ribcage). My Sebastian corset was a one-off design/ experiment, unfortunately I am not taking custom corset commissions this year. But if you are in the market for a corset and need help choosing, you’re more than welcome to check out the Research Tools, or make use of my Consultation service. Cheers!

  8. Lelanie Kotze on said:

    Which one of your corsets is your absolute favourite?

  9. Steff on said:

    Is this the “limited edition” red satin coutil one or the one that’s shown in black with the option of red?

    • This is specifically the waist training corset with the option of red coutil, so it’s the one offered on the page with the black corset shown. The “limited edition” red one is just a standard corset with 1 layer of coutil and 1 lining, not the 3-layer training corset. 🙂

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