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Il Corsetto di Artemis Waist Training Corset Review

This entry is a summary of the video “Waist Training Corset Review: Il Corsetto di Artemis” which you can watch on YouTube here:

Fit, length This corset is custom made to my measurements – but for those curious about the length, the center front is 13 inches, princess seam is about 10 inches. More of the length is distributed above the waist, since I have a low waist and my torso is long from the waist up, but the corset is short enough to allow me to sit down comfortably. Tapered ribcage, and cupped hips.
Material Three layers of fabric. The fashion fabric is a cotton-based black satin, the interlining is black coutil, and the lining is a vibrant, hot pink cotton twill.
Construction 6 panel pattern, constructed using the sandwich method. Panels 3-4 provide enough ease to curve over the hips. Double boned on the seams.
Binding Commercially purchased hot pink satin bias binding. Machine stitched on both the outside and inside (stitched in the ditch on the outside).
Waist tape 1 inch wide invisible waist tape, sandwiched between the panels. Full waist tape, from center front to center back.
Modesty panel Separate modesty panel (can be inserted behind the laces, or you don’t have to use it at all). It is quilted, with contrast stitching, but not stiffened with bones. Matching pink bias binding lines all 4 corners.
Busk 12 inches long and finished in black. 6 loops + pins, equidistantly spaced. It is a standard flexible busk, and it is reinforced with 1/4″ wide flat steels on either side of the busk.
Boning 24 bones total, not including busk. On each side, there are nine 1/4″ wide spirals (mostly double boned on the seams), two flat steels by the grommets, and one flat steel by the busk.
Grommets 26 two-part grommets, size #00, with a medium flange. Finished in black to match the rest of the corset, and equidistantly spaced. Big washers, all grommets rolled nicely.
Laces Double face satin ribbon in hot pink, 3/8″ wide. It’s long enough, has no spring, relatively strong and glides through the grommets well. Ribbon hides well under clothing as it’s not thick.
Price This particular style is €300 (about $320 USD)

 

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A beautiful collection of photos of the corset, taken by Elisa (Il Corsetto di Artemis). Click through to see more details on Elisa’s website.

Il Corsetto di Artemis (“the corset of Artemis”, the goddess of love) is the name of a one-woman business owned by Elisa, a designer from Turin, Italy.

I gave Elisa full creative liberty with this corset (she only received my measurements and I told her my color preferences, etc) and she made an elegant and beautifully fitting piece that looks simple at first glance, but is accented by completely handmade silk flowers. Elisa can create flowers of any size, fullness, and color since she makes each individual petal by hand.

During the design process, Elisa gave me the option for a black busk and black grommets, so that the hardware matched the rest of the corset. At this point, there is no source of heavy duty black busks, so Elisa and I had to choose between having a stiffer busk, or having a black busk. I don’t have too much lower tummy to support, so corsets even with more flexible busks don’t bow on me or flare at the center front too badly. If you have some lower tummy protrusion and you desire more support, you may prefer that Elisa use a heavy duty busk instead.

I love the bright pink contrast stitching used for the boning channels in this corset, and it’s quite brave to do this; you have to be confident that your stitching is tidy and true! Do note that over time as the corset eases over your body and there is a gradient of more tension on the fabric at the waistline (and less tension at the ribs and hips) then it is normal for the stitching to look a tiny bit wobbly at the waist. If you are overly concerned about contrast stitching not looking perfect even if you wear this corset on a regular basis, it may be more in your interest to simply request the same color thread as the rest of the fabric (no contrast).

Another thing I noticed about this corset was that it’s rather soft and it wrapped around my body nicely from the very first wear. A few people who are more accustomed to thicker and stiffer corsets may be surprised by this corset’s strength in comparison to its softness.

If you’d like to learn more about Elisa and her brand Il Corsetto di Artemis, see her website here!

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Interview with Katie Thomas of What Katie Did

In August and September 2015, I attended the Oxford Conference of Corsetry and met Katie Thomas (What Katie Did) in person. I’ve been emailing with Katie for close to 5 years so it was amazing to finally have the opportunity to meet someone you admire in the corset industry face-to-face. Directly following the conference, I spent a few days at Katie’s house and we visited Basilton Park, and Katie gave me a tour of her London Boutique and headquarters.

Skip ahead in the video to hear her answers to the following questions:

0:30 How did you become interested in retro fashion?

0:55 How did you start your business and why did you choose the name What Katie Did?

1:50 After starting your business selling stockings, shapewear, etc, how did you become interested in corsets, and how did you start incorporating corsets into your business?

2:35 You’ve been in this industry for 15 years now, so how have you seen the corset and retro lingerie industry change?

3:10 What do you think of the waist training trend, and how do you think your products fit into this trend?

3:55 Would you say that your corsets are suitable for waist training now?

4:30 You’ve found a niche with higher-end, ready-to-wear corsets that are better quality than the budget OTR corsets, but not quite as high as bespoke corsets offered by independent corsetieres. Was it a deliberate decision to settle your business at this niche?

5:20 You had mentioned that you once considered reducing your prices, but when you were looking for areas to cut, you weren’t willing to make those sacrifices to the quality of your products. Tell us a bit more about that.

6:00 You were the first person I saw in this industry who showed full transparency regarding the working conditions of your factory in India. Can you comment on why you decided to be so transparent about this, and why you decided against manufacturing your corsets in England?

8:00 When I first stumbled upon your site, I thought that you mainly catered to the burlesque and pin-up communities. Do you think this is true? Who is your main client base?

Thanks to Katie for sitting down with me for this interview! Click here to see What Katie Did’s website.

Silk WKD Morticia
WKD Morticia corset in Claret silk, in size 22″, modelled by me (Lucy)

See my many reviews of WKD corsets here:

Link to WKD website is an affiliate link (but links to reviews are not). Affiliate links help support Lucy and keep this site online!

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Timeless Trends Hourglass Corset Review and Comparison

black-leather-hourglass-corset

Full disclosure: The hourglass corset featured in this review is one of the four new designs I helped create for Timeless Trends in 2015, along with the hourglass cinchers, hourglass longline corsets, and the newest Gemini corset.

This entry is a summary of the two videos “Timeless Trends Hourglass Corset (Comparison/ Overview)” which you can watch on YouTube here (silhouette and fit summary above, and construction and components comparison below):

 

Fit, length This style is standard sized 24″: Center front is about 11.5 inches high, the ‘princess seam’ is 9 inches, side seam is is about 9 inches as well, and the center back is 12.5 inches. Waist in this corset is 24″, ribcage is 30.5″ (6.5 inch rib spring), upper hip is 34″ (10 inch high hip spring). This corset is designed to stop well at the iliac crest, and fit someone with a very short torso.
The center front had all “points” removed so the top and bottom edges are gently rounded, to prevent the fabric from flopping or showing under your clothing.
Material Three layers of fabric. The fashion fabric is blue floral brocade laminated to cotton twill (alternating with plain black satin panels, also fused to twill interlining) and it’s lined in black cotton twill as well.
Construction 6 panel pattern, constructed using the sandwich method. Panels 2-3 give room in the ribcage from ‘champagne glass’ shaped panels. Panels 3-4 give more ease in the hip, and in panels 5-6 there is more curve to fit snug over the lumbar area.
Binding Matching black satin bias binding, machine-stitched on both sides. Also has 6 garter tabs (the slim silhouette corsets only have 4 garter tabs).
Waist tape 1 inch wide invisible waist tap, sandwiched between the panels. Full waist tape, from center front to center back.
Modesty panel Modesty panels are not included in with the corsets, because unstiffened panels are somewhat unpopular amongst many customers. However, stiffened, boned modesty panels are now available for separate purchase, and can be suspended on the laces.
All hourglass corsets have front modesty plackets in matching fashion fabric.
Busk 10 inches long. 10 loops + pins, equidistantly spaced. It is a standard flexible busk, and it is reinforced with flat steels on either side of the busk.
Boning 26 bones total, not including busk. On each side, there are ten 1/4″ wide spirals, two flat steels by the grommets, and one flat steel by the busk.
Grommets 28 two-part grommets, size #0, with a small to medium flange. Finished in dark silver and equidistantly spaced. Big washers, most grommets rolled nicely. There are some splits, but they don’t catch much on the laces.
Laces Single face satin ribbon in black, 1/2″ wide. It’s relatively long and has no stretch, but single face satin is not quite as strong as double-face satin. Some different styles of cincher are laced with more sturdy shoelace instead of ribbon.
Price This particular style ranges from $79-89 USD depending on the fashion fabric – you can see more styles here.

 

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Hourglass black leather corset by Timeless Trends. Model and designer: Lucia Corsetti (that’s me!)

Redesigning Timeless Trends’ standard length corset was the first mission for Sarah and myself when we visited Thailand in summer of 2015. Because we wanted a corset that was not only completely unique in this industry but also “anatomically accurate”, we decided to combine several drafting techniques, including a combination of “slash and spread” and draping. Our hope was to create a corset that curved over the ribcage comfortably, hugged and supported the lumbar area of the back, kicked out dramatically at the hip, and flattened the lower tummy. I think we more or less succeeded!

To learn more about the drafting process, see our Thailand trip here.

If you’d like to see more fabrics and colorways for the hourglass corset and you’re interested in purchasing, I’m incredibly proud to say that they are available here in my shop!

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Review: Veco Corset Gown by Vollers Corsets

This entry is a summary of the video “Vollers Veco Corset Dress Review” which you can watch on YouTube here:

 

Fit, length There is not much I can say in the way of measurements, as this dress must be custom made to each client’s measurements. It is so form-fitting. When Vollers was making this dress for me, I provided them my bust, underbust, waistline, high hip, low hip, and length of my body from waistline to floor (as well as what height of heel I planned to wear with this dress!).
Silhouette is a mild hourglass, as most of Vollers corsets tend to be. I like the coverage of the dress and the height that it reaches under my arms and around the back – my bustline is supported and secure, and I don’t have much spillover around the back.
Material Fashion fabric is magenta satin with a fused overlay of black lace. Interior lining (strength fabric) is black cotton twill.
Construction 6 panel pattern – the first three panels swoop down in a V shape over the front hip in a slightly Edwardian style fashion, and then at the iliac level, the panels sweep out again to provide fullness over the hips. The 6 panels go down to the floor, but the skirt portion has 4 gussets (on each side) below the knee to add flare and create a trumpet silhouette.
Binding Commercial black satin ribbon at the top, and a simple overlock stitch along the bottom of the skirt (this makes it easier to modify the length if you wanted it hemmed, and Vollers mentioned that adding binding to the bottom affected the drape of the skirt too much).
Waist tape 1 inch wide ribbon waist tape, exposed on the inside of the corset. Partial waist tape, starting at seam 2 and ending at seam 5.
Modesty panel Matching, unstiffened panel attached to one side of the corset. Slightly over 6″ wide (will cover about 4.5″ gap in the back). It extends nearly the entire length of the dress. I would NOT advise removing the modesty panel as it would expose your bum beneath the laces of the dress. The modesty placket in the front also extends down to around the knee area, and contains some hooks and eyes to help the dress stay closed below the busk.
Busk 13 inches long. 6 loops + pins, bottom two are a bit closer together. Heavy duty busk (1″ wide on each side). Below the busk, heavy-duty hooks and eyes continue down the rest of the dress.
Boning 14 bones total, 7 on each side. Single boned with 1/4″ wide spiral steels, and there are four flat steels in the back sandwiching the grommets.
Grommets There are an incredible 112 single part eyelets in the back of the dress! size #00, with medium flange. Finished in silver, and there are no washers in the back. Vollers ensures that the eyelets are industrial strength (used in boots) and they have a lifetime guarantee on their corsets.
Laces Black flat shoelace style lacing – no spring, very strong, long enough. There are three separate sets of laces (top to hip, hip to knee, and knee to bottom). See the discussion below for how I laced into this dress!
Price £950, made to measure – however, Vollers has a 25% off coupon for first-time customers when you sign up with their mailing list.

 

Lucy Corsetry posing in the Veco corset dress by Vollers.
Lucy Corsetry posing in the Veco corset dress by Vollers.

Vollers is the oldest corset manufacturer in the UK (I believe their family has been in the corset business since 1899), and are based in Portsmouth, England. In August 2015, had the pleasure of meeting the current owners, Ian and Corina Voller and visiting their factory. I will post more on my interview with them later, but for now let’s focus on the Veco dress, which is by far my favourite creation of theirs.

The Veco dress is available in two colors: “American Beauty” which is gold with black lace, and “Fuchsia Brocade” which I reviewed here. Vollers does invite customers to provide custom fabrics, but they do ask that you send them a sample of the fabric beforehand so they can determine if it is suitable to be made into a corset.

The bones of the corset do not extend down the entire length of the dress; the most structured part of the dress resembles a normal hourglass overbust – the bones start at the top edge around the bustline, and stops at the iliac crest to allow the wearer to sit or crouch comfortably. The boning channels themselves do continue down the rest of the length, and the channels themselves add some structure to the dress despite not containing any boning below the hip.

I adore the shape of the skirt; how it’s form-fitting over the hips and thighs and then flares out in a trumpet style below the knee. Extra skirt gussets create more fullness below the knee, and it moves beautifully when I walk.

For those curious as to how I got into this dress: it is possible to put it on by myself, but it is much easier with a second person! First I loosened the top two sets of laces (from the top of the corset to the hip, and from the hip to the knee) until it was loose enough in the back, and I opened the busk and the hooks and eyes (only down to the knee) so that I could step into the dress. I tried to keep the hooks and eyes from the knees-down closed, to save time.

I then fastened the busk, and then did up the smaller black hooks and eyes on the modesty placket (from hips down to the knees), before doing up the heavier duty hooks and eyes overtop of those smaller hooks. These two sets of hooks and eyes fasten in opposite directions so it doesn’t matter which way you twist or turn, you should not become exposed. Once all the hooks and eyes were finished, I tightened the top set of laces so the corset sat securely at my waistline, and then tightened the middle set of laces over the hips and thighs. Try to find a happy compromise between having a reduction in your waistline, and having it loose enough so that you’re able to move and sit down comfortably. For this last lacing part, this is where extra help from another person comes in handy! They can also tuck the bow of the laces underneath the X’s so as to create a smoother line in the back of the corset.

Learn more about the Veco corset dress by Vollers here.