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7th Corset Seasoning session – mend is holding up

I’ve been breaking the corset in for about 17 hours (of a minimum of 30 hours). Over the weekend I took a break from the corset and came back with a refreshed point of view so I could repair it when I wasn’t so frustrated.

Today I’m resuming the seasoning process (after a 3 day hiatus). During today’s break-in session, I felt that I was acting a lot more dainty compared to previous days, and just sat still as opposed to being active in my corset (which, ironically, I had mentioned isn’t the best thing to do during the seasoning process just a few days ago). I also feel that because I’m so anxious about the mend holding up and I’m acting so stiff and careful in this corset, my body is not properly relaxing in the corset and I can feel that my muscles are ‘fighting’ the corset, which is not good. This contributes to some discomfort in the corset.

If you take a break from seasoning, do you have to start again from the beginning?

 Someone asked if I would have to start the seasoning process all over again – not necessarily! Once you break in a pair of shoes, you typically don’t have to break them in again – if you have a comfy pair of running shoes that you don’t wear for a few months in the winter, it will still pretty much fit your foot in the springtime. It’s more or less the same for corsets as well (they don’t shrink, although you may expand while not wearing the corset, if you’re anything like me).

If you’re interested in seeing the wear to the corset, you’re welcome to see the video (starts at around 3:55 mark):

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6th Corset Seasoning – a tear in the seam

After the 6th seasoning session, I estimate that I’ve been wearing this corset for approximately 14-15 hours, because I wear the corset 2-3 hours each seasoning session – the seasoning process is half over, and I’m feeling more comfortable in this corset. The waist of the corset is hooking underneath my ribs, and so I’m relaxed in the corset and feel as if my ribs are “resting on a shelf”.

I also notice that I’m not struggling with this corset as much to get it on and off. The busk clasps faster and easier, the laces glide through the grommets more smoothly, and lacing up the corset has become very fast and easy. Although this could be attributed to simply me getting used to lacing this particular corset, I think it’s more than that. Remember on the first day, I was laced in only about 1.5 inches and felt that the corset was deceptively tight because it wasn’t wrapping around my body – the corset was still feeling a bit crunchy. Today it feels smoother and hugs around my own curves so nicely that I’m really fighting the urge to lace it tighter, because a reduction of just 1.5 inches feels almost like nothing now. However, I’m still trying to just lace it with about a 2-inch reduction for the duration of this seasoning period.

“Priming” your waist for less resistance

If you’re seasoning a corset that is not your first corset, then one option is for you to “prime” your waist by wearing your previous corset for some time, and then switching over to your seasoned corset. By doing this, then your oblique muscles are already warmed and stretched, and (depending on how much you reduce) your intestines are already flattened and moved so you would be able to accommodate more restriction by your new corset. In this situation, you might even feel that 3-4 inches in your new corset feels quite easy, while if you were trying to break in your corset while your torso was ‘cold’ (say, if you didn’t wear corsets for a few days, or ever, and then put the corset on) then you may feel that just a couple of inches feels like a stretch for you. That said, even if you prime your waist before putting on your new corset to season, I wouldn’t personally cinch down more than about 2.5 inches at the absolute most for someone my size, as a general guideline.

Different people, different sizes, different waist reductions for seasoning.

A person with a bigger starting waist (say, 40″) may find they season their corsets with a reduction of 3-4 inches. A person with a smaller natural waist (say, 24″) may find that they barely get any reduction at all while they’re breaking in their corset. This is all perfectly fine. The 2″ guideline is just what has worked for me over the years while I’ve seasoned over 70 different corsets, but if you aren’t even up to that 2″ reduction yet, this doesn’t mean anything is wrong with you. The whole idea of seasoning your corset is that you wear it with less tension that you normally would put on a fully-laced corset, so the fibers ‘stretch’ and align themselves evenly instead of having uneven tension, so the corset forms to your body, and so  you don’t get hot spots or pressure points that cause you discomfort or pain as you and your corset become acquainted.

I don’t say this to try and confuse any of you into thinking that the 2/2/2 rule (2″ reduction, for two hours a day, for two weeks) doesn’t work for everybody. It actually does work very well for a huge number of people, and it’s a really good starting point/ guideline for most people who are starting out, but I would rather you understand the objective behind this, as opposed to blindly following it as a rule. Some people think that rules are just red tape that is laid down to oppress them. Truly understanding the reasoning behind a certain practice is key to lacing responsibly.

Important changes to the corset:

A side seam popped at the waistline – one of the curviest seams, under the highest tension. There are a number of reasons that this could have happened:

  • I had coughed when the seam broke – it could have been my fault, for putting unfair, acute pressure on the waistline of the corset. Perhaps I have particularly strong oblique muscles, as I had ripped one other corset about 3 years ago from a sneeze. My coughs and sneezes tend to be violent. Granted, I’ve also sneezed in other corsets and those have survived…
  •  The stitch length might have been longer along that seam than usual, or perhaps there was a skipped stitch that I had overlooked. I generally don’t care much about skipped stitches from an aesthetic standpoint, as long as the corset itself is strong. If the stitch length was uneven, then that would have been a flaw in the sewing machine.
  • However, I also remember that when I tried on the mockup, it had also torn in a similar seam (just on the other side), no coughing involved but I had laced it up tight on the first go, without easing into the toile. I try not to believe in “foreshadowing” in real life, but maybe it has something to do with that particularly curvy seam.
  • The thread tension on the machine may not have been balanced, so even though the stitch length may have been okay, one of the threads may have been loose which may have allowed spreading and eventual breaking of that seam.
  • The quality of the thread may not have been strong – or if the thread was of highest quality then it’s possible that the thread had a flaw in that one spot: a case of the thread being the wrong flaw, in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Whatever the reason, it happened. I moped about it for a weekend, and then I returned and quickly mended the corset by hand (not a pretty job, but it did the trick!). I decided to put that particular video in the “Corset Modifications and Repairs” playlist as it seemed more relevant in that category. If you like, you can watch seasoning video 6 and the quick n’ dirty repair videos below.

 

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4th and 5th Corset Seasoning Sessions

Firstly: why didn’t I record the 4th seasoning session on its own?

I actually did record it, but my memory card malfunctioned and had to be reformatted, so I lost that material. Rather than put on different clothing and “pretend” to have day 4 all over again, I decided to just go ahead and post a “double update” because this seasoning mini-series is intended to be as natural as possible. Hopefully that hasn’t confused everyone!

Is it possible to break in your corset faster, so that it’s fully seasoned in less than two weeks?

Theoretically, yes. If, for instance, you only receive your corset one week before a big event, you may be able to double up on your seasoning sessions. Although different corsets may require different break-in durations (depending on their construction and how “tough” they are), it’s possible to squeeze two different seasoning sessions in one day – you can wear your corset for a couple of hours in the morning before work, and a couple hours again in the evening after work. I tend to do this with my own corsets whenever possible, and I feel okay doing this in my corsets because my body is accustomed to wearing corsets. However, remember that for a first-timer, the seasoning period is just as important for you body as it is for the corset – if you’re not accustomed to wearing corsets more than 1-2 hours a day, then two break-in sessions several days in a row may leave you feeling a bit sore. Just remember to pay attention to your body and ease off the corseting if you feel achy.

This is, of course, if you’re seasoning your corset by the Romantasy method (to which I tend to prescribe).  But if you poke around the web, you may be able to find different methods of breaking in your corset. Some of these methods may be as good as the Romantasy method, while others I disagree with. For instance, a number of years ago I saw one person say that one should pull their corset as tight as possible, for as long as bearable, the very first time they put the corset on. I would never personally do this, nor would I condone that others do this. It can result in injury to yourself or damage to the corset.

How do I feel about brides who don’t break in their corsets before their wedding day?

IMO, that would be a very good way to not enjoy your wedding. You’re going to be wearing a new, stiff garment for an essentially all-day event, and you’ll likely be expected to eat, drink bubbly, dance, and entertain people. If you’re not used to wearing a corset and you try to pull something like this, it’s not impossible to get skin issues and bruising, not to mention rib or hip soreness and/or numbness, or an upset stomach. Every once in awhile I get a comment or message from a woman who says, “I only wore a corset once in my life (for my wedding) and it was the most uncomfortable experience ever!” and I inwardly groan because it only contributes to the myth that all corsets must be painful. In reality, these issues are USER ERROR, and if they had just taken the time to get used to the corset (and have the corset get used to you) before the event, all this could have been avoided.

How do I know when my corset is seasoned enough?

Break-in durations vary from corset to corset, and different people also consider their corsets seasoned after different times.  Orchard Corset had mentioned that after wearing one of their satin underbust corsets 5-7 times (which would be perhaps 10-15 hours) it should feel seasoned. On the other end of the spectrum, Contour Corsets says that their corsets are seasoned after 100 or so hours. I try to wear my corset a minimum of 30 hours before I call it seasoned, even if it feels well-seasoned before this time. Tougher corsets may take longer than this to feel seasoned, though.

Although it’s sometimes hard to put this into words, this is a general list of things I look for and feel for:

  • The corset feels as if it’s smoothing around my body and the top/bottom edges are not dramatically flaring away from my body.
  • The corset is more comfortable, warming to my body and becoming softer and less “crispy”.
  • My muscles are not fighting the corset anymore; my body is relaxing and settling into its neutral posture in the corset.
  • My skin doesn’t feel sore or tender, I don’t have any particular areas where the corset is putting considerably more pressure than others (apart from the obvious higher tension at the waistline compared to, say, the hips. What I mean to say is that I don’t feel that one spot on my ribs feels particularly compressed more than another part, or I don’t really feel that the left side of my body is under more restriction than the right side, etc).
  • The corset becomes familiar and welcoming, as opposed to feeling like a restrictive foreign object that I have to fight off. In other words, both the corset and my own muscles become more complacent.

If you would like to see a close-up of how the corset looks on my body (to demonstrate how the seams look wobbly when the corset is off but look straight when the corset is worn), and other changes to the corset after the first 12-ish hours of wear, please see the video (starts at 3:45):

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3rd Day of Corset Seasoning – what to do during corseting?

Today, I’m answering some viewer questions before explaining how I feel after 6-ish hours of breaking in my corset:

Are you supposed to just sit still for two hours and not do anything while you’re breaking in your corset?

No, you don’t have to sit still. You can if you want to, or if you happen to be a pretty sedentary person to begin with. But however active you would like your lifestyle to be when you’re fully corseted, it’s a good idea to start practicing those activities while you’re seasoning your corset, especially if this is your first corset.

When I say “activity” I don’t mean heavy sports, but if you know that you will have to sit down and stand up frequently in your day-to-day life while corseted, then practice doing that while you’re seasoning. If you have to stoop down to pick things off the floor, if you have to do laundry, if you have to perform certain activities for work, then it’s a good idea to get used to those activities while seasoning. Remember that seasoning your corset is not only good for the corset, but it’s a way for you and your corset to become “acquainted” so your movements feel and look more natural while corseted. The corset will also get to “know” your movements, so if it knows that you often lean to one side or stoop and bend in a particular spot, the corset will eventually soften in that spot to accommodate your movements. Whatever I intend to do in my corset when fully laced, I will also do in the corset while seasoning it. The corset will still be receiving some tension as I go through my daily activities, but it will just be less tension compared to when it’s laced fully later on.

However I would advise caution when you’re trying to drive in your corset. When sitting in a car, especially with your corset laced loosely, it may become very easy for the corset to ride up uncomfortably on your ribs and push up your bust (if you have a bust). If you try driving in your corset and you find that you cannot safely and comfortably check your blind spot or perform other important functions, then I would recommend taking off your corset while driving, and then put your corset on again when you get to your destination.

Is there any corset that will last the rest of my life? How long will the very best corset last if I wear it every day?

Some other viewers were slightly surprised when I mentioned that even the best of corsets should be replaced after awhile (if worn on a daily basis, it might have to be replaced every couple of years depending on its construction/quality and how rigorous your regimen is). But the truth of the matter is, you will never find a corset that will last you 50 years if you plan to wear it daily.

A good quality corset may last you perhaps 10,000 hours. If you only wear your corset for a few hours a week (say for weekend cocktail parties) then you may expect your corset to last 20+ years, but if you’re wearing a corset strictly 23/7, then those 10,000 hours may be used up quite quickly; after only about 14 months! Compare this with a cheaper corset that may only last you 1000 hours, or perhaps 6 weeks with rigorous use. What a more expensive corset may provide (in additional to longer wear, but not infinite wear):

  • better fit, allowing the corset to be more comfortable
  • safer training, because the corset is less likely to create pinching or hot spots
  • better quality materials, which often means better support, breathability, and might be more sturdy or more lightweight as you prefer
  • more effective training to POTENTIALLY help you reach your goals faster (please be safe about this, listen to common sense and DON’T rush your body to the point of pain)

Remember also that top quality doesn’t always reflect that a corset is going to last a long time. Some professional ballet dancers may go through their pointe shoes in a week or so (I had mentioned 3 months but perhaps that’s just for casual students).

How I feel in the corset today:

The corset is beginning to gently cup and contour around my ribs today, and somewhat hook underneath my ribcage to prevent it from uncomfortably riding up. Contrary to how it might sound, having a corset hook under the ribs actually makes it MORE comfortable, not less.

When I first donned this corset, I mostly felt the corset applying pressure to the oblique muscles, but today I feel more pressure or tension on my lumbar area – this is probably the next area of the corset that needs to be softened, so the back panels can properly fit the natural lordosis of my lower spine.

You can see the changes to the corset in my video for the 3rd day (starts at 4:18):

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2nd day of Corset Seasoning

Today I discuss what factors affect how quickly and easily a corset is seasoned. Some corsets might only take a few days to feel comfortable on your body, while others take weeks (or even over a month!) to feel like a 2nd skin. Some of these factors that affect the seasoning time include:

  • What you’re wearing with the corset – thicker sweaters under the corset will obviously create more bulk and keep you from lacing down as much. If you insist on wearing a bulky shirt under your corset, then take your measurement of your natural waist overtop of the sweater (the shirt can sometimes add an inch or more of girth to your waist) and still only cinch down about 2 inches less than that (not 2 inches less than your “bare waist” natural measurement, as that will be more reduction overall and more tension on your corset).
  • The time of day or month might affect how much you can cinch down and how comfortable the corset feels. I can cinch more in the morning but less at night. I can cinch more right after my period, but the week before and during my period corsets are less comfortable than usual. (Note they are never painful, simply less comfortable – the same way blue jeans are less comfortable than yoga pants, but they’re still okay on a general level). Obviously a corset is more comfortable on an empty stomach (or after a light snack) compared to right after a big meal.
  • Some corsets are thicker/more heavy-duty than others, which may mean they take longer to soften, conform to your body and break in compared to lightweight corsets.
  • Corsets of different silhouettes can also be more comfortable or less comfortable/ compatible with your body, and take longer to get used to. Extreme hourglass corsets with a cupped ribcage are easier for me to break in and cinch down in, compared to wasp-waist/conical ribcage style corsets. Also, overbust corsets take longer for me to break in compared to underbust corsets, generally.

If you buy all your corsets from the same maker, you might be able to predict how your body responds and how  your new corset breaks in over time. There is nothing wrong with staying with the same maker – you can build rapport with that maker and develop a good business relationship, and they will know your lacing habits and be aware of issues with your body if they arise over time, so they know how to draft a truly well-fitted corset for you each time you need a new piece. But if you purchase many corsets from different makers like I do, don’t expect all corsets to behave or break in the same way, and also don’t expect the same results from your own body! Above all, patience is key.

See my video for my comments on how the corset is starting to conform to my body and how the structure of the corset is changing slightly as I wear it in more:

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1st day of Corset Seasoning

Adjusting the corset for comfort

I wore my corset for two hours on the first day, at a reduction of about 1.5 inches. The first thing that comes to mind as I’m seasoning the corset is that the waistline of the corset is not sitting properly at the true waist of my body. Especially when I sit down, I feel the corset wanting to shift up on my body, so that the smallest part of the corset is sitting on my floating ribs. Whenever this happens, I simply stand up and pull the corset down. Conversely, if I feel that my upper hips are uncomfortable and the corset is hitting that one annoying nerve that goes over my left hip bone, then I will pull up the corset. It’s not a complicated process.

Once the corset is properly broken in and fitted to my body, then I’ll be able to lace the corset tighter. At that point, the waist of the corset will be smaller than the circumference of my ribcage or my hips, and so the corset will “hook” itself under my ribs and will anchor itself in place and not slide around – this will make my corseting experience actually much more comfortable.

Problems with my asymmetric body

Because my left hip protrudes more than my right hip (and because one side of my body is more readily compressible than the other), it also means that twisting of symmetric corsets on my body is fairly common. I go to the extra effort to make sure my corset is straight and even when I first put on the corset and tie it up – but as the hours go by, if I notice the corset start to slant on me, I will tug the top and bottom edges of the corset in opposite directions so the corset is sitting vertical on me again.

If you notice that a new corset is sitting weirdly on  you, it’s a good idea to take off the corset and measure each side individually at the top edge (bust or underbust level), at the waist (smallest part) and at the bottom edge (hip level). Each side of the corset should match up in its “half circumference” (at least within about 1/4 inch is acceptable to me, unless it’s specifically designed to be an asymmetric corset). If you have an OTR corset that’s asymmetric on each side, see if you can get it exchanged.

Never ignore a twisted corset

One of my buddies from school had tried on one of my Isabella Josephine underbust corset at a party. She was a tiny little thing and achieved some amazing curves – but it was laced up at an obvious angle on her body. I cringed a bit at the observation, but didn’t say anything about it. I wish I had, because now whenever I try to wear that corset, the busk is diagonal on my body. Even though the corset was laced badly only once, that was enough for the corset to partially season to my friend’s figure, and it never fit the same way on me again. So now if I notice that the corset is very slanted, or if the corset is already slanted when I do up the busk even before I start lacing down, I take off the corset and start again. Wearing a twisted corset isn’t necessarily uncomfortable on me, it’s just REALLY REALLY REALLY annoying.

You can check out my video for more information, a demonstration on how I adjust the corset and how the structure of the corset slightly changes after just one wear!

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Break in (season) my corset with me!

Back in December 2010, I made a video on seasoning (breaking in) your corset, how this is done, and why seasoning is important. I’ve been seasoning my corsets this way ever since one unfortunate situation early on in my journey wherein I put on a corset for the 2nd time without seasoning it and ended up ripping a seam from one violent sneeze (my sneezes are not ladylike).

Ever since I started seasoning my corsets as per the Romantasy guidelines, I have never had that situation happen again – so I have reason to believe that it works, and there is a purpose behind this.

There are a few reasons that I decided to revisit this topic…

  1. Many people have seen my previous corset seasoning video but still don’t fully understand the process, and don’t know what is normal wear and what isn’t.
  2. Too many people are writing  and complaining to me about problems with their corset quality and/or how they feel uncomfortable, when the only problem is that they’re wearing the corset too tight, too quickly. It’s possible that they haven’t seen my first break-in video or that they have simply ignored the advice.
  3. Ann Grogan (owner of Romantasy) recently released an excellent article on her blog regarding assessing the fit of one’s custom made corset upon first wearing. Read it here!

It’s been a few years since I learned this seasoning technique, and since then I’ve seasoned over 70 corsets – each corset has been slightly different whether in cut, size, silhouette, material, construction methods, etc.
Each corset taught me a little more about the properties of corsets/garments in general, and also helped me learn a little more about how my own body works.

So I’m willing to make a step-by-step guide on the seasoning process – each day I’ll likely report how the corset feels as we become acquainted, as well as document any changes to the appearance of the corset (both on and off my body) – that way I’ll be able to show you what experiences and feelings are normal from a physical standpoint, and what kind of wear to the corset over time is typical (from those that I’ve owned). As I go through each day (or set of days), I will also be able to discuss important related issues or answer any FAQ that pop into my memory. Sound good?

In this introductory video I talk about the reasons behind seasoning, why it’s important for both YOUR HEALTH and your corset, and what sort of things to avoid as you begin the seasoning process:

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The Campaign is Over – Now What?

After my last call to action a bit more than a week ago, I was so happy to see many viewers and readers donate to the fundraising campaign for Sidney Eileen. Together we raised the goal amount of $18,000 with about 60 hours to spare, and had raised nearly $21,000 for her (before fees) by the time the campaign had ended.

Slowly, things are getting back to normal (on my end) from a social media standpoint – I’m no longer updating 50 times a day on Facebook, and most of my campaign update videos on Youtube are now set as “Unlisted” (I can provide links for them if anyone wants them, and they’re visible if you have any of these videos saved in a playlist but they’re not searchable on Youtube). If you would like to know what’s going on from Sidney Eileen and Diana’s end, I encourage you to keep an eye on the “Updates” tab of the Indiegogo page, as well as Sidney’s blog/website and her Facebook page.

My schedule is not completely normal yet – I’m going to ask you to still be a little patient around here, as I’m creating the ‘perks’ promised in the campaign.

As it stands, I have 32 individual “thank you” videos to create (film, edit, render and send), 6 customized corset patterns to draft, as well as construct a fully custom underbust corset to make for some wonderful contributors! Additionally I am trying to finish off my last few corset commissions trailing from this past winter. There’s no saying how long this will actually take but I will try to work through all of these tasks in good time while still doing the best job I possibly can. I’m estimating it may take around 2-3 months (working around my other job).

Throughout this process, I’m hoping to still upload videos/ update my blog once a week. After the perks and commissions are finished I hope to go back to “regular programming” here and on Youtube,  barraging you all with more hair videos, sewing tutorials, outfit ideas, corseting health and lifestyle vids and more. :) I will also resume the consultation service and selling corsets at that time.

Thank you, friends, for your infinite patience and support!

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Meschantes RTW Waist Training Corset Review

This entry is a summary of the review video “Meschantes RTW Waist Training Corset Review” which you can watch on YouTube here:

Meschantes

Fit, length Front is about 11″ inches long, back also 11″ long. From underbust to lap at shortest point is 10″. Moderate hourglass silhouette. Mid-hip corset (not short on the hips but not longline) – good for average-to-long torsos. Will hold in a bit of lower tummy pooch. Looking at the size chart for the RTW corsets, the ribcage is about 5″ bigger than the waist, and the hips about 8″ bigger than the waist. Always take this into consideration before buying a certain size.
Material 2 main layers; fashion layer is cotton twill and the lining is bull denim. Some interfacing on the back panels.
Construction 6 panel pattern. Sandwiched boning, double-boned on each seam. Top-stitched between panels. The liner doesn’t float, and there are no garter tabs.
Binding Black satin bias tape machine stitched on both inside and outside.
Waist tape 1″ wide invisible waist tape between the two layers.
Modesty panel Attached 7.5″ wide fabric lacing protector on the back, can be removed if desired.
Busk No busk; closed front. Instead there are four flat steel bones in the center front, all 10″ long. Two center bones are 1/2″ wide, and adjacent to those are two flats about 1/4″ wide. Keeps the center front quite flat.
Boning 24 bones, including the center front bones (where the busk would normally be). On each side of the corset you’ll find 8 spirals steels (1/4″ wide) double boned on the seams; then 4 flats (1/4″ wide) sandwiching the grommets; and as mentioned in the “busk” section above, another two reinforcing the center front **Please note that some people have found plastic bones in the center front instead of steels in their Meschantes corsets. I had picked the binding of my Meschantes corset and found spirals in the channels I checked, but I didn’t check every channel so I can’t say whether my corset had plastic or steel in the center front.
Grommets 24 grommets total, size #0 two-part grommets with large flange; colored black on the outside (washers are silver). Grommets are set closer together at the waist for more control when cinching. No splits, no catching on the laces.
Laces Strong flat shoe-lace style laces; they grip well and they are long enough that I can pull the corset over my head when putting it on and taking it off (because there’s no busk). No springiness to the laces, and difficult to break.
Price Ranges from $140 – $185 depending on the size and where you purchase it. They have a regular website, but I recommend purchasing from their Etsy store instead (see Final Thoughts below).

Final Thoughts (and discussion on conflicting reviews):

Even though I’ve received requests for a couple of years now to do a review of Meschantes, I was hesitant to do so because of so many other conflicting reviews out there. Meschantes has a very enthusiastic and loyal customer/ fanbase, and then another significant group of people who’ve had very disappointing experiences with the company. My own contact with them was also limited as they didn’t respond to my own emails. Although I had wanted to try their custom/ made-to-measure service, in the end I decided to try one of their RTW corsets.  I usually don’t like to depend much on heresay, but I’ve heard enough stories from people getting their corsets months late (or not receiving their custom orders at all) that I didn’t want to risk dropping my money on something that I knew couldn’t be shipped out immediately.

That said, I found fit and the quality of the RTW corset to be decent for the price (especially if you go by the price on Ebay). Meschantes is different to some other companies in that all the layers used are cotton (instead of polyester), allowing the skin to breathe. The shape/ silhouette it gives is quite lovely, and the reduction is decent on my figure (although due to the rib-waist-hip ratio, I would have fit the size 24″ better than the size 22″). For those who are conscious about the economy and fair trade, all of Meschantes corsets are constructed in the U.S. 

Meschantes theoretically has a lot going for them; they have the ability to make beautiful and high quality pieces. I want to like them – my only wish is that their service were a bit more consistent. Very rarely do I see a company in which their customer base has such a “black or white” opinion; it seems that many people either love them or hate them. Granted, it’s usually the people who receive exceptional service and products (whether exceptionally good or exceptionally bad) who are the loudest. Although corset makers are human and we all make mistakes, after hearing from customers “for” and “against”, it sounds like purchasing from here is rather a game of roulette.

If you want to try Meschantes but you are nervous about the service, I would definitely recommend purchasing through Etsy – the positive/negative feedback system on these sites can add incentive for sellers (in general) to deliver what they promise.

If you have any real, 1st hand experience with Meschantes or their products, whether good/bad/meh, I encourage you to comment below this post – maybe then we can see a proper reflection.

Posted on 7 Comments

Don’t gloss over this

sidney

A lot of people only give to campaigns or projects where contributors feel they can “get something in return.” A new TV show, program, game, or book. But this one is a bit different.

How much do you value free education?

There are only 4 days remaining to the end of the Indiegogo Campaign to help Sidney Eileen receive treatment for her Lyme disease.

Why should we care?

Because Sidney Eileen has spent years giving her time and energy to make free tutorials for others, and encouraging and helping others. It’s because of Sidney’s hard work that many artists and designers are active in our community, refining their techniques, further helping others, and are able to profit from their art.

She could have easily charged for her tutorials – but she didn’t, and still doesn’t.
Now her Lyme disease has progressed undiagnosed for so long that she’s unable to do art or work. She can’t even walk across a room without the possibility of getting vertigo, losing her  strength/coordination or passing out.

Without work/income, Sidney can’t afford treatment. Without treatment, the disease continues to destroy her nervous system. The longer the disease progresses without treatment, the less likely her body will be able to be strong enough to even handle the treatment. That’s why time is sort of the essence here.

Lyme disease is very real and very serious at this advanced stage. Sidney didn’t ask for doctors to dismiss her symptoms for years; she didn’t somehow bring this upon herself. Life is unfair, especially when the place where you live denies you the basic right of health.

Sidney Eileen believes that artists are entitled to free education, yet she herself has been denied the basic right of good health. Think about it long enough, and you start to feel angry.

Sidney Eileen is an irreplaceable part of this community. If it weren’t for her encouragement and support, I wouldn’t be where I am today. My channel and this website as we know it might not exist today. If ever you’ve been appreciative of what I’ve provided to the corset community, and if you’ve ever thought about supporting me in some way, take that support and give it to Sidney because at this point, she needs it more than I do.

I’m not trying to create a sob story or guilt anyone into resentfully giving to the campaign. I’m saying that within a community, members take care of the people who had made a positive impact. I feel a certain responsibility to help those who have helped me.

That’s why I give a damn about this campaign. What about you?

Visit the page, read her story, and decide for yourself how much you value free information.

Posted on 6 Comments

Puimond PY09 Curvy Underbust Corset Review

This entry is a summary of the review video “Puimond PY09 Curvy Underbust Corset Review” which you can watch on YouTube here:

Fit, length Front is about 13 inches long, back is 13″ long. The shortest part from underbust to lap is about 11″. Unique silhouette in which the ribcage follows the natural contours but nips in dramatically at the waist for an extreme hourglass shape. Hips are mid to longline; holds in any lower pooch. High back prevents muffin top, very flattering. Recommended for extreme hourglass ladies.
Material Fashion layer is silk cherryblossom brocade; backed onto cotton; lining is cotton coutil.
Construction 6 panel pattern. Top-stitching between panels, boning channels on the edge of each panel plus extra ones in the middle of the wider panels – these channels are in special boning casing to protect the brocade. Floating liner (very comfortable). No garter tabs (wasn’t requested).
Binding Complementary pink ribbon, machine stitched inside and outside; not folded under on the inside because the edges are already finished.
Waist tape 1″ wide invisible waist tape between the interlining and lining.
Modesty panel None. (Wasn’t requested.)
Busk Standard-width busk (0.5″ wide on each side) about 12″ long (6 pins).
Boning 18 steel bones not including busk. On each side, there are 7 spirals (always one on the edge of a panel, and a few more in the middle of some panels) and another two steel flats sandwiching the grommets at the back.
Grommets 26 grommets total, size #00 two-part grommets with moderate flange; set equidistantly; high quality – very few splits but don’t catch on laces, no wear/fraying/pulling out of grommets
Laces Strong braided cord-like shoe-lace style laces; they’re thin, they grip well and they are long enough. Very easy to lace up, holds the tension well and bows don’t slip out. Zero spring.
Price The PY09 is advertised as $410 for regular fabric (brocades, satins, silks etc) and $550 for leather/vinyl. You can see the options on his website here.

Final Thoughts:

I just had to make Puimond my featured corsetier for April, as the cherry blossom brocade reflected the blooming cherry trees this month. This is my first underbust corset from Puimond, and also my first custom-fit corset from him. I had no doubt that Puimond is extremely well-respected in his field before, but it’s this corset that most definitely secures his place as one of my top 5 favourite individual corset designers, ever.

Puimond’s soft skills are also right up there with his corsetry skills – he was always very friendly, approachable, and patient as I explained my usual “problem areas” when it comes to corsets, namely a longer/ lower torso, very compressible waist, and needing enough room in the hips. He worked fast, gave me occasional updates, and the finished corset went from his studio and into my hands (across the US/Canadian border) within 48 hours. You can see the result here – a strong yet lightweight that gives firm reduction (this is so far the smallest corset I own), while still lending to an overall soft, feminine effect.

Puimond is a master of textiles; he works just as easily with temperamental brocades as he does with coutil, satin, leather and PVC to give a very smooth, no-wrinkle, no-fray piece. His construction techniques adapt depending on the corset pattern and materials which is a reflection of his extensive experience. Excuse me while I fan-girl about this corset all over again.

To see Puimond’s other styles, please do visit his website here.