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Tighter Corsets “Ref R” Underbust Review

This entry is a summary of the review video “Tighter Corsets ‘Ref R’ Underbust Review” which you can watch on YouTube here:

Fit, length This corset is custom fit (made to measure), so a corset for you may fit differently. Center front is about 13 inches high, and the side seam is 9 inches high. A true Victorian hourglass silhouette, as this pattern is a modified version of Atelier Sylphe’s “Ref R” antique corset pattern.
Material 3 main layers: outer layer is “Beacon Hill” dupioni silk from Silk Baron; strength fabric is coutil, and floating lining is a cute printed lightweight cotton.
Construction 9 panel pattern, the first 6 panels are narrow and in the front. Panels are assembled using a topstitch. Bones are sandwiched between layers.
Binding Matching “Beacon Hill” dupioni silk bias tape, machine stitched on the outside and hand-finished on the inside.
Waist tape 1 inch wide waist tape, stitched invisibly between the layers.
Modesty panel No back modesty panel or front placket.
Busk 12 inches long, standard width busk (half inch on each side) with 6 knobs and loops, equidistantly spaced. Finished in antique gold/brass.
Boning 28 bones total (14 bones per side). Mostly 1/4″ wide flat steels, single boned on all the seams plus extra bones in the middle of the wider panels. There are two flat steels sandwiching the grommets as well; the outer-most ones are 1/2″ flats.
Grommets 24 two-part grommets, size #0, large flange, held in strongly. Finished in antique gold/brass and set equidistantly. Good wide washers; some splits in the back but none catch on the laces.
Laces Laces are 1/2″ wide double-faced satin ribbon, finished in antique gold.
Price At the time I’m writing this, a custom underbust starts at $300 USD.

 

Ref R from Atelier Sylphe. Click to see the pattern.

The pattern for this corset is a very heavily modified version of the “Ref R” Jackson corset pattern sold in Atelier Sylphe’s Etsy store. The original version is a standard-sized overbust (seen right), while my corset had been cut down to an underbust with a high-cut hip. The pattern was also adjusted in length and in proportion for a custom fit, which I find very impressive – having done this in the past with different patterns, this can almost be more laborious than making a new pattern from scratch sometimes!

The embellishment in this corset is elegant and understated, which reflects a lot about the corsetiere’s skills (she’s confident enough in her work that she doesn’t have to make a corset “loud”). Each panel is accentuated with narrow piping made from foiled gold leather, which matches the antique brass hardware (the busk and grommets) in a beautiful way. The multitude of narrow panels, piping and the smooth Victorian hourglass silhouette elongates the waist while not sacrificing a decent reduction (this corset closes just short of 23″).

In the center front there are four tiny flossed arrows, which adds some further interest to the corset but doesn’t overwhelm it. April knew that I loved flossing (especially styles that venture beyond traditional Xs and Vs), and I trusted her to choose the style of flossing. I had also opted for a remote mockup fitting (seen left); April was very professional and pointed out little areas she wanted to tweak that even I had overlooked.

 

Mockup fitting for this corset
Mockup fitting for this corset, cut down and adjusted for my measurements

All in all, I’m quite happy with the outcome of this commission – the only complication was that the bones in the back by the grommets were on the flexible side (which was good as it curved to my lumbar spine and didn’t dig into my tailbone at all), but I simply had to switch the lacing method of this corset so as to increase the control of cinch around the waist – in all honesty, the flexibility of the back bones was less extreme than in many other corsets I had reviewed in the past, but April and I still discussed the cause of bowing and came up with some solutions to fix it in her future corsets; she’s very responsive to her clients’ concerns and eager to experiment and improve – I have nothing but positive things to say about the way April conducts her business.

If you would like to learn more about Tighter Corsets, be sure to check out her Facebook page here, or email her here.

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Versatile Corsets Foxglove Underbust Review

Foxglove Blue underbust corset Versatile

This entry is a summary of the review video “Versatile Corsets FOXGLOVE Underbust Review” which you can watch on YouTube here:

 

Fit, length Center front is about 13.5 inches long, from underbust to the lap at the “princess seam” (the side-front) is 12.5 inches long. This is one of the longest corsets by Versatile, appropriate for people with long waists or tall stature. Longline corset, covering the hips and controlling the lower tummy.A bit conical through the ribs, but the hip ties allow for a dramatic hip spring. The underbust is about 6″ larger than the waist, and the hips can be expanded from 7-16+ inches greater than the waist. This corset is also available as a custom-fit option.
Material 2 main layers: the lining is 100% cotton white twill (although custom commissioned corsets from Versatile will contain herringbone coutil lining). Fashion fabric is hot pink dupioni silk (interfaced for strength), and a pretty patterned Thai silk in the center front (the large motif expertly matched).
Construction 6 panel pattern. Twill lining is flatlined/rollpinned to silk fashion layer; top-stitching between panels (seams are double-stitched at minimum), sandwiched boning channels between strips of fabric and the lining. The fashion layer is mostly a floating layer. Also contains 8 garter tabs (4 on each side).
Binding Made from bias strips of printed Thai silk to match the center front panels. Machine stitched on outside and inside.
Waist tape 1″ wide waist tape exposed on the inside, sandwiched between two main layers of material.
Modesty panel Attached 7.5″ wide fabric lacing protector on the back, covered in matching pink silk, stitched on one side of the corset. Unstiffened placket under busk made from matching Thai silk.
Busk Standard flexible busk (1/2″ wide on each side) about 12″ long (6 pins, equidistantly spaced), reinforced with a flat steel bone on each side.
Boning 22 total bones not including busk, all flat (spring) steel bones. On each side they are double boned on the seams (1/4″ wide), 2 sturdier flats sandwiching the grommets and another flat bone beside the busk.
Grommets 28 grommets total, size #00 two-part grommets with moderate flange; set equidistantly, no splits, no wear/fraying/pulling out of grommets. This type of grommet is my personal favourite used in American-made corsets.
Laces 1/8 inch wide round nylon cord – strong, virtually unbreakable, not stretchy, glides well through the grommets and doesn’t catch, but they’re slippery.
Price Currently $329 USD for the standard size and basic fabric on the Versatile website. For the Candy Garden special summer version, it starts at $369

Final Thoughts:

This is part of a collection of reviews that I did for Versatile Corsets/ Corset Connection. In addition to the Foxglove corset, I also reviewed the Dita underbust, the Snapdragon underbust, the Valerian overbust, the Scarlett overbust, the Lotus overbust and the Mimosa overbust.

 

Special “Candy Garden” version of the Foxglove corset (click through the photo to see this version on their website).

This particular Foxglove was one of a kind, with its hot pink dupioni silk, frilly trim and perfectly print-matched center front motif. For those who think there is too much going on for their tastes, the Foxglove underbust is available in solid colors without the frills or fun center motifs. Shown to the left is the special “summer” version, which, while not like the one I had modelled, features a gorgeous floral motif instead. This might be one of the happiest-looking corsets I’ve tried in person.

I found the length and the dimensions of this corset to be very similar to the “Nicole” corset by Vollers reviewed HERE, but this style is very gently swooping on the top and bottom edges instead of cut straight across, and of course the side hip ties are extremely useful for achieving a serious cinch in the waist while keeping the hips comfortable. Because of this, the corset is adjustable depending on your own hip spring, and may be able to fit a variety of body types regardless of your natural hip spring.

Do note that this corset is available as a custom piece for a markup in price – this means that you can have the corset made shorter, made with more or less rib-spring and hip spring, and also made with any combination of fabrics available. You can see the regular Foxglove corset on the Versatile website HERE, and the Candy Garden version HERE.

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Waisted Creations Underbust Corset Review

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

Fit, length Front is about 12 inches long, and the shortest part (from underbust to lap) is 9″. Unique silhouette in which the ribcage follows the natural contours but nips in dramatically at the waist for an extreme hourglass shape. Hips end a little lower than the iliac crest and very rounded. Luthien specializes in extreme hip springs, so this shape would be comfortable for hourglass or pear-shaped corseters. This corset was made to measure.
Material Fashion layer is dupioni silk in “dragonfly”; backed onto cotton coutil; lining is lightweight printed cotton.
Construction 6 panel pattern. Top-stitching between panels, many bones sandwiched between the layers, and a floating liner. No garter tabs. One of the seams at the waistline did rip, but has held up well after mending.
Binding Matching dupioni silk, machine stitched outside and hand-finished inside. Slight frayed area in the top edge of the binding, but I will be fixing that later.
Waist tape 1/2″ wide invisible waist tape between the interlining and lining.
Modesty panel None. (Not requested.)
Busk Heavy-duty wide busk (1″ wide on each side) about 11″ long (5 pins).
Boning Heavily boned; 34 steel bones not including busk. Most of the ones around the side are spiral steel; double boned on the seams and additional bones in the center of the panels. Another two steel flats sandwiching the grommets on each side at the back.
Grommets 26 grommets total, 5mm two-part Prym eyelets with moderate flange; set equidistantly; high quality – no splits, there are some that didn’t roll perfectly, but there is no fraying/pulling out of grommets.
Laces Strong cotton braided shoe-lace style laces; they’re thin, they grip well and they are long enough. Very easy to lace up. Zero spring.
Price At the time of recording this video, a made-to-measure, unembellished underbust corset is £200 (about $310) and overbusts start around £300.

Final Thoughts:

This corset was used in my “corset seasoning” mini series a number of weeks ago – anyone who had watched those videos will know that this review doesn’t tell the whole story of my ups and downs with this corset. I was originally upset that my mini series didn’t run as smoothly as anticipated, but over time I’ve come to agree with viewers that a “perfect” seasoning process wouldn’t have been half as useful, as I wouldn’t have been able to show people what is normal wear and what is atypical during seasoning, or offer troubleshooting/ solutions to issues as they were encountered. You’re welcome to learn more about how this corset wore in over time by reading or viewing the mini series here. (I do promise to catch up on the written versions!)

Much of this corset was left to the creative liberty of the maker. I had provided my natural measurements, gave suggestions of silhouettes and shapes that I liked, and requested a specific silk from Silk Baron. At the time that I received my mockup to test the fit, the maker mentioned that she was not able to get the specific colour of silk I wanted, and offered some complimentary embellishment as compensation. The change in colour was subtle and I didn’t need to match the corset with a pre-existing skirt or anything, so this wasn’t a huge issue for me at the time. I chose the gold lace to go along with the shade of green silk provided. The crystals/rhinestones weren’t discussed; they were a surprise. Once again, not a huge issue for me, but if you are the type to want to know exactly what you’re receiving, please be very specific before ordering.

The turnaround time of this corset was approximately 5 months, which is a longer duration than I’ve experienced from other corset makers – there seem to have been some complications, and the maker is very busy. If you plan to commission a corset, be sure to contact her at least 6 months ahead of time, in order to give your corset a proper break-in session prior to your event. She mentions that at the moment she is not accepting new orders, but she normally only accepts commissions on an extreme case-by-case basis.

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Serindë Couture Silk Overbust Corset Review

This entry is a summary of the review video “Serindë Couture Silk Overbust Review” which you can watch on YouTube here:

Serindë is a lovely small-business corsetiere based in Lyon, France – although her international shipping rates are very ideal! She’s known for adding jewelry and charms to her corsets, and her beautiful whimsical designs inspired by fairies and folk-lore, and she makes very sophisticated and sultry pieces as well, as evident in this gorgeous romantic overbust.
She currently doesn’t have a website but you can find her on Etsy, DaWanda, and Facebook.

Fit, length This overbust is a sample so the measurements of this corset may not reflect the measurements of a custom-fit overbust you commission from Serindë. Center front is 14″ inches long, and from peak of the bust to the curve of the lap is also 14″. Lovely hourglass silhouette with a conical ribcage and rounded, feminine hips. Longline corset, and the mild sweetheart is designed to be almost a mid-bust rather than a full overbust. I like the rounded contour of the bust area. Large hip spring; very comfortable in the hips. Recommended for hourglass and pear-shaped ladies, especially those with a bit of a smaller ribcage.
Material 3 layers; fashion layer is champagne dupioni silk backed with interfacing; strength layer is coutil, and the lining is soft cotton.
Construction 7 panel pattern with no hip gores – 4 panels in front contribute to smooth a smooth, rounded bust, and 3 panels in the back. Hip area is also very smooth with no wrinkles or puckering of the fashion fabric. Top-stitching between panels, sandwiched boning (two per seam), and a floating liner (very comfortable). 6 total garter tabs.
Binding Black satin bias tape, neatly machine stitched because this was a sample for a photoshoot and time was of the essence. Serindë explains that she hand-finishes the binding on personal commissions.
Waist tape 1″ wide invisible waist tape between the strength layer and the lining.
Modesty panel Floating modesty panel suspended by a ribbon on the back, in matching dupioni; lightly boned. but does include a placket on the knob side of the busk.
Busk Standard flexible busk (1/2″ wide on each side) about 12.5″ long (6 pins), reinforced with a sturdy 1/4″ wide flat steel bone.
Boning 28 steel bones not including busk. On each side there are 11 spirals (1/4″ wide), double boned on the seams, 1 flat (3/8″ wide) beside the busk, and 2 flats (3/8″ wide) sandwiching the grommets.
Grommets 36 total, 5mm two-part eyelets (Prym brand, very good quality) with moderate flange; set well with the grommets getting closer together near the waistline, no splits, no wear/fraying/pulling out.
Laces 1/2″ wide double-faced satin ribbon in black. Very strong, has not broken or frayed despite lacing very tightly in this corset.
Price This sample was available on Etsy for €390 which is around $520; subject to change.

Final Thoughts:

This corset makes me feel like a princess. The dupioni silk lays perfectly smooth with absolutely no wrinkles – Serindë is a master in taming fashion fabrics and proper turn-of-cloth! The embellishments on the corset compliment one another so well, and are not overbearing – the hand-sewn lace motifs draw the eye to the waistline and create the illusion of an even smaller waist, while the hand-flossing on the ends of the bones balance out the embellishment on the top and bottom edges, and the beading/ Swarovski crystals add a bit of sparkle. I also like how the crystals are organically laid out and not symmetic on both sides. This creates somewhat of a “natural” type of beauty, as if the crystals stuck wherever the wind made them land. This also means that if I were to go out dancing in this corset and one or two of the crystals were to fall, then the corset would still look perfectly fine and finished. However these crystals hold very well and I don’t think they will be falling off anytime soon! The beaded straps, designed to fall off-the-shoulder, add another level of romanticism to this corset and are attached with a bit of elastic to protect the silk from ripping due to any tension, and also adds a bit of adjustability. This piece is pure grace and glamour.

To see Serindë’s standard size sale items, do check out her Etsy store here, and if you would like to commission a custom piece from her this year, don’t hesitate to contact her via email or Facebook.