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Corsetry & Romance Custom Silver Underbust Review

This entry is a summary of the Corsetry & Romance Silver Sweetheart Underbust Review video. If you would like more complete information and side notes about the corset, you can watch the video on YouTube here:

 

Fit, length (Custom fit) Center front is 11 inches long, the princess seam is 10 inches, the side seam is 12.5 inches and the center back is 15 inches long.
Circumferential measurements: underbust is 29″ (rib spring is 7″), waist is 22″, and hip is 33″ (hip spring is 11″). The ribcage is gently rounded, and the hips are very cupped. Somewhat longline corset, and very high back.
Material The fashion is silver satin. The strength fabric / lining is black cotton twill. Both layers are heavily interfaced.
Construction 7-panel pattern (14 panels total). Palina says that the number of panels vary with the size of the corset (larger corsets can have as many as 11 panels per size), the complexity of the pattern, etc. Construction: fashion fabric was interfaced and panels assembled with a topstitch. Single boned on the seams. Lining is also interfaced, panels assembled and topstitched, but the lining is floating (not attached to the fashion fabric).
Waist tape TWO waist tapes in this corset, one attached to the fashion fabric and one attached to the lining. Both 1 inch wide, secured “invisibly” between the layers of fabric. Full width (center front to center back).
Binding Made from commercially sourced black satin bias binding, machine stitched on outside and hand-finished inside.
Modesty panel 4.5 inches wide, finished in matching silver satin on outside, and cotton inside. Boned with 3 horizontal and 2 vertical bones, and suspended on the laces with ribbon.
In the front there is a modesty placket, extending about 1/2″ out from the knob side of the busk, covered matching silver satin.
Busk 10” long, with 5 loops and pins, equidistantly spaced. Standard flexible busk (1/2″ on each side) and a bit flexible, but there are added flat steels adjacent to the busk to add stiffness. They are also gently curved to create a spoon busk effect.
Boning 18 bones total in this corset, 9 on each side. Single boned on the seams with ¼ inch wide spirals. The bones sandwiching the grommets are flat steel. There are flat steels by the busk as well. However, corsets with more panels may have more steels.
Grommets There are 36, two-part size #00 grommets (18 on each side). They have a medium flange and are spaced a bit closer together at the waistline, and finished in black. No splits on the underside, no damage to the fabric around the grommets.
Laces Black 1/2″ wide single-faced satin ribbon (glides well through the grommets, holds knots and bows securely, long enough).
Price Price for a made-to-measure underbust corset starts at only $130 USD plus the cost of materials. Overbusts start at $160 plus materials.
Embellishments cost extra (e.g. flossing is another $15 USD).


Final Thoughts:

Model: Me (Lucy Corsetry), Photo: Rosalind Guder Photography, Corset: Corsetry & Romance, boots from Aldo, blouse and earrings from Vanyanis.

Corsetry & Romance is a one-woman business in Poland, owned and operated by Palina.

This piece is exquisite and definitely underpriced for its quality. I gave Palina a huge amount of artistic license with this piece (to the point where I didn’t even look at pictures before it was sent to me, so the final result was a total surprise!). I told her what colors and embellishments I like, and I gave her my measurements, and left the rest up to her.

The center front sweeps down to create an underbust sweetheart shape, but the top edge rises up to a very high back to hold in any “muffin top”. I find I can almost “lean back” in this corset and have ample back support, even along my thoracic spine.

The lovely Chantilly lace is sewn into the top binding around the underbust, and carefully gathered or “ruffled” as it tapers towards the waistline. A delicate silver ribbon, just 1/8″ wide, is threaded through the lace and fastens in a cute bow in the front.

The busk and some of the steels were carefully pre-bent to created a quasi-spoon-busk shape in the front and promote a certain posture and silhouette in this corset. On the loop side of the busk, it’s one continuous piece of fabric that wraps around the busk, with buttonholes for the loops to peek through which prevents any possibility of the center front seam ripping open.

The cording over the hips is one of my favorite features of this corset, as well as the bone flossing. There is a lot going on in this one little corset in terms of embellishment, but it was all tastefully combined to creates a beautifully elegant piece in the end, without being overwhelming or overdone.

The modesty panel and a storage bag are both included in the (already very low) price of this corset, and I honestly don’t know how Palina is able to work such magic with prices as low as she charges.

Corsetry & Romance has no official website at this time, but you can get in touch with Palina via her Facebook page.

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Xandriana Custom Tightlacing Underbust Corset Review

This entry is a summary of the review video “Xandriana Tightlacing 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 12 inches high, and the side seam is 9 inches high, back is 15 inches high. Modern hourglass silhouette – rounded over the ribcage and rounded over the hips. Slightly longline.
Material Outer layer is pale pink satin (might be satin coutil). Lined in white herringbone coutil.
Construction 6 panel pattern. Panels are assembled using a topstitch. Bones are sandwiched between layers, double boned (one on the seam and one in the center of the panel).
Binding Matching strips of pale pink satin, 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 Modesty panel is suspended on the laces and boned in a criss-cross fashion. A 1″ wide unstiffened placket in front.
Busk 11 inches long, standard width busk (half inch on each side) with 6 knobs and loops, the bottom two a little closer together. Reinforced flat bones on either side.
Boning 28 bones total (14 bones per side). Mostly 1/4″ wide spiral steels, single boned on the seams plus extra bones in the middle of the panels. There are two flat steels sandwiching the grommets as well, and two flats by the busk.
Grommets 28 two-part Prym eyelets, size #0, medium/large, held in strongly. Finished in silver and set a bit closer together at the waistline. Good wide washers, few splits but don’t catch on the laces.
Laces Laces are 1/2″ wide double-faced satin ribbon, finished in pale pink.
Price At the time I’m writing this, a custom underbust starts at $300 USD (suitable for tightlacing but not waist training). For a waist training custom corset, the price starts at $400.

Final Thoughts:

This corset was a bit of a serendipitous find. I had been meaning to try a corset from Xandriana for awhile, as one of my acquaintances (a previous client of Xandriana’s) had positive things to say about the craftsmanship.

So when I joined the Corsets On Sale group on Facebook and found another person who was selling their old Xandriana corset, with measurements very close to my own, I immediately jumped at the opportunity! The lovely pearlescent finish and the cheery flossing were even cuter in person, and I was pleased to see that the corset was not actually white, but actually the palest, most delicate shade of pink. I also liked the very high back of this corset as it provided excellent support while sitting at my desk, and it made muffin top virtually impossible. After uploading this video, I had the opportunity to talk with the corsetiere, and discovered that the flossing was actually done by the first owner of the corset.

Although this particular corset is not advertised for waist training, its construction is stronger than many other corsets out there that do claim waist-training-friendliness – one of my favourite features in this corset is the distribution of the boning. In corsets that are simply double boned on the seams, it can sometimes feel like the double bones make it “too rigid” in places, while there are vast spans of wrinkled, unsupported fabric between the bones. When you have one bone on the seam and one on the channel (as in this corset), the distribution is more even, which can help prevent pressure points on your body and prevent ugly wrinkling in the corset, resulting in a beautifully smooth and comfortable corset. The darker pink flossing in a clean V shape on the boning channels was also a nice visual touch, and highlighted the fact that this corset had quite even bone distribution.

This is a lovely little corset; the only changes I would make is to perhaps have the bones in the very back bow a little less – but as I am the 2nd owner of this corset, I know nothing of its previous treatment nor anything about the customer service from Xandriana.

Looking at the different  listings in Xandriana’s Etsy shop, it seems that the tightlacing underbust has only 1 layer of coutil, and a non-specific number of bones; while the waist training version has 2 layers of coutil and a guaranteed minimum of 26 bones, and more depending on the size and reduction. If you would like to learn more about the different options Xandriana offers, do visit her website here.

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Corset Embellishments

 

When commissioning a custom corset from an independent corsetiere, you are not required to go with a plain black satin or twill corset! There are many different ways that you can request to have your corset embellished. If you can only afford plain OTR corsets, you still have the option of embellishing them yourself! See the video above for plenty of examples, and refer to the glossary below if you need extra help.

Embroidery – these are decorative densely-stitched motifs, usually of larger size. Most embroidery I see these days are machine stitched, using a specialized machine where you feed in a specific file and it creates the design before your eyes (this is how my Lovely Rats corset was embroidered). Those floral brocade designs can be said to feature floral embroidery in a repeating pattern, on top of a base fabric. Of course, in the past, most embroidery was done by hand. Today you can get embroidered patches/ appliqué, and just stitch or glue the patch to the corset or garment later on.

External Boning Channels – some external boning channels are functional, so they serve a dual purpose: to actually hold the steel boning and prevent it from wearing through the fabric, but to also provide visual interest and contrast to the corset. I personally find that external channels are the most comfortable because I cannot feel the channel against my skin – of course, this also means that the corset is more difficult to stealth under clothing because it will be bumpier. Sometimes though, external channels can be “faux” channels and only used for the sake of visual interest, while the real boning channels are sandwiched inside.

Flossing – floss is traditionally defined as “soft thread of silk or mercerized cotton for embroidery.” Flossing in the context of corsetry is often smaller, relatively simple versions of embroidery, that is typically only done at the tips of boning channels and are usually done by hand (although they weren’t always by hand!). Flossing, like external channels, has multiple purposes for a corset: to anchor the tip of the steel bone in place so it doesn’t slide around inside the channel (which can help keep the corset smooth and also prevent the bones from wearing through the fabric by friction over time), and floss can also help to disguise a repair to a boning channel that has already been worn through. Repeating the same flossing pattern on each boning channel can make that “patch” look deliberate, and can add visual interest to a corset. See my corset by L’Atelier de LaFleur for a detail of the special T4-esque flossing.

Yoke/ “Waist Diamond” – a yoke almost like a ‘belt’ that stretches across the waistline of a corset, and usually is in a different color. It also often widens at the front to create a diamond shape in the center front. When this yoke is reinforced with a very strong fabric, it helps to strengthen the waistline (it can function like a waist tape in the best of situations), and the widening at the center front can add more control to the tummy area. The WKD Laurie overbust had a contrasting yoke that helped to hide the waist tape.

Fun Lining – although this isn’t “embellishment” per se, I enjoy when my corsets have a bright, colorful or cheery inner lining. My own handmade Sebastian corset looks like a typical red satin corset on the outside, but on the inside it features some cute “Little Mermaid” novelty print cotton as a lining, which is a fun secret I get to carry with me when I’m wearing the corset. My corset from Tighter Corsets also features a beautiful linen lining, as well as one of my corsets from the Bad Button features lovely silk-fan lining.

Contrast Stitching/ Contrast Hardware – most visible hardware in a corset (busk, grommets, and sometimes aglets) are silver; however you can also find hardware in alternate colors like gold, pewter, black, antique brass, etc so you can match your hardware with the rest of the corset, or with contrasting embellishment. My Sebastian corset has black hardware which matches the black “shot” red fabric used, and also the black contrast stitching I had used on the external boning channels. As another example, my Ref R corset from Tighter Corsets has antique brass grommets and busk to match the soft gold contrast piping and creates a stunning effect.

Lace Overlay – when a corset is completely covered in a layer of lace, this is called lace overlay. Makers create this effect by taking a sheet of lace and flatlining/roll-pinning the lace overtop of the pattern pieces (usually with silk satin or taffeta underneath), then assembling the panels together as one normally would. This has to be done during construction; it would be very difficult to create a lace overlay on an already finished corset. Examples of lace overlay include my Axfords corsets and also my Boom Boom Baby Boutique sample.

Lace Appliqué – like with embroidery patches, sometimes lace can come in pre-cut pieces and motifs that you can place where you choose and hand-sew to your corset – or if you have a sheet of lace, you can carefully cut out the motifs  yourself. Some lace is black, white, dyed colors, or contain metallic threads. Some laces are lighter, while other lace is heavier or corded. Some lace even comes with beads and sequins already attached – but you can add the sparklies yourself later on.

Crystals, Sequins and Beads – many people love to bedazzle their corsets with flatback rhinestones or genuine Swarovski crystals (like my Waisted Creations corset or my Totally Waisted corset). These are usually glued on (E6000 is a popular choice, although due to some carcinogen worries, some opt for alternate brands). Beads and sequins are usually sewn on since they typically have a hole through which they can be anchored. As mentioned above, some types of patches, appliqué or lace come already beaded so you just have to adhere the appliqué to the corset and you’re set. Sequins can also come in strings that you can drape onto your corset.

Mesh Panels – mesh is quite functional in itself: it helps the skin breathe, it keeps you cool and dry, and it prevents your flesh from poking out of the “windows” from skeleton corsets – but mesh can also be a type of embellishment as well! When I wear brightly colored shirts or dresses underneath, effectively a corset with mesh panels will “always match” whatever I’m wearing because my outfit underneath will show through. Some others may choose to play around with mesh corsets; for instance, if they choose not to wear a corset liner underneath, then they may opt for a crop-top to cover their chest, but the mesh panels may show their skin underneath. Or you can layer your tops so that it looks like there is a different color under the corset compared to the rest of your shirt. I’ve tried mesh corsets from Contessa Gothique, Madame Sher and Contour Corsets.

Fan Lacing – fan lacing actually started as a functional alternative to traditional lacing, as it condenses all the individual cords in the back of the corset into a pair of easy-to-pull straps. For those with limited strength, mobility or coordination, fan-lacing can help you lace up by yourself. However, in recent years, fan lacing has made a comeback as pure embellishment, such as my cincher by Serindë.

What type of embellishment do you like best? Do you own any corsets with special decoration or embellishment? Let me know in a comment below!

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L’Atelier de LaFleur Longline Underbust Corset Review

This entry is a summary of the video “L’Atelier de LaFleur Underbust Corset Review” which you can watch on YouTube here:

 

Fit, length My corset has a standard size 24″ base (ribcage 30″, hips 32-34″), but had been semi-customized. I asked for more length from waist to ribcage, a high-back, and for the waist to be nipped in another inch. Modern hourglass silhouette.
Material 3 main layers. Fashion fabric is silk Chinese brocade, strength fabric of herringbone coutil, floating lining of special cooling cotton fabric.
Construction Probably 5-panel pattern, fashion fabric flatlined to coutil, external boning channels (some on the seams, some in the middle of the panel), and floating liner.
Binding Hand-made bias strips of complementary pink satin, machine stitched on the outside and hand-finished inside for a couture finish.
Waist tape 1 inch wide invisible waist tape – sandwiched between the layers.
Modesty panel No back lacing protector because I didn’t order one – but one can be ordered if desired. The front has a boned underbusk/ placket which helps keep the front flat.
Busk 12.5 inches long and standard width (0.5 inch wide) matte-black busk with 6 loops/pins, with the two lowest ones closer together.
Boning 24 bones total. On each side there are 9 spirals in external channels; the remainder are flats by the grommets or supporting the busk.
Grommets 34 two-part grommets (because of the very high back), size #00, medium flange, quite sturdy. Black finish. Equidistantly spaced, few splits but don’t catch on the laces. The laces themselves are a great nylon flat shoelace that is grippy like cotton.
Flossing Mina’s unique design on the bottom of the external boning channels, almost reminds me of a T4 bacteriophage – very cool!
Price At the time I’m writing this, it would cost $375 for a standard size longline corset, and a recreation of my own corset would be $565 CAD.
My first wearing of the completed corset, in Mina’s studio in Toronto.

It’s no secret that this corset has become one of my instant favourites in my collection. Mina’s work is absolutely pristine, and I feel extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to be personally fitted by her (and to have my own measurements match her standard measurements so closely!). It’s difficult not to wax poetic about this corset; not a stitch is out of place. I can see myself ordering from her again a few years down the line.

Despite the rather thin flexible busk I provided (only because I wanted all matte black hardware), Mina had supported it enough with bones on either side and also a heavy boned underbusk (modesty placket) so that the profile remains beautifully straight and flat. The bones are dispersed around the waist such that there is no more than 1 inch around the waist that is unsupported, which leads to a very sturdy and comfortable wearing experience. The high back is wonderful for my posture and the extra length in the ribcage helps prevent me from slouching like few other corsets are able to do.

If anyone would like a breakdown for the cost of my corset:
Longline underbust $375
High back modification: $10
Single external bone casings instead of double $25
Brocade fashion fabric $15
Contrast casings/trim (the pink against the brocade) $15
Bone flossing on bottom edge, and floating lining $125
Total $565

However, I’m not hyperbolizing when I say that this corset is worth every penny. The entire experience, from meeting with the designer, consulting, fitting and receiving the final product, has been nothing but a joy. If you would like to see more work by L’Atelier de LaFleur, you can visit Mina’s website here.

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The Bad Button Teal Underbust Corset Review

This post is a summary of the Bad Button Teal Underbust Corset Review video, which you can watch on Youtube if you prefer:

Fit, length This corset was a sample from Etsy, so it was not made to measure – however any corset you commission from The Bad Button will be custom fit to your measurements, so the measurements of my piece is a bit moot. But for the curious: Center front is about 11.5″ high, but on the sides the corset is 9″. The silhouette is an hourglass, the ribcage is about 5″ bigger than the waist, and the hips are also about 10″ bigger than the waist.
Material Likely 3 main layers (some panels are 4 layers): fashion fabric is medium weight teal/cerulean satin, backed onto a strength layer (The Bad Button always uses coutil for custom commission) and a beautiful decorative fan-themed lining made from lightweight cotton.
Construction 11 panels, with an extra wide center front panel (closed front). Sandwiched bones (double boned on the seams) and floating liner. No garter tabs.
Binding Matching teal satin bias strips, hand-finished with an invisible stitch; incredibly tidy.
Waist tape Waist tape is perhaps 1/2″ or 3/4″ wide extending through all panels of the corset – invisibly secured between the lining and interlining of the corset.
Modesty panel No modesty panel in this sample, but if you requested one in a custom commission it can be accommodated. Closed front, so no placket needed.
Busk No busk (closed front) – instead, there are four 1/4″ wide flat steel bones keeping the center front sturdy. I call these “magic bones” because the stitching for the boning channels are not visible on the outside or inside of this corset – this helps to not distract the eye from the embellishment (Embellishment will be covered in “final thoughts”)
Boning 30 total bones (including the four magic bones in front). Double boned on the seams with 1/4″ wide flat steels on the straight seams, and 1/4″ spirals on curved seams and on the sides for greater curve. Flat steels sandwich the grommets in back.
Grommets 22 grommets total, size #00 two-part grommets (in black to match the embellishment) with medium/large flange; set equidistantly – held in very well.
Laces 1/2″ wide double-faced satin in black – extremely long.
Price At the time that I’m writing this, to commission this piece (or something similar) custom made for you would be $475 USD.

Final Thoughts

This is the second time I have reviewed a Bad Button corset, and I’m even more enamoured with this piece than I was with the previous Bridal piece. The Bad Button Bespoke Corsets is run Alisha in Kentucky, USA, whose meticulousness and creativity is nicely demonstrated in the embellishment on this sample underbust – the base corset I could tell started very smooth and plain, featuring the “magical bones” that keep the center front flat, yet do not show any channel stitching on the outside nor inside. This creates a beautiful canvas for the black corded and beaded lace appliqué which is laid across the top edge, featuring a large decorative beaded motif in the center front, with more small bits of appliqué on the bottom sides to accentuate the curves of the hip. Each bit of lace was hand-stitched in painfully tiny stitches. Additionally, there is some simple V flossing at the bottom of the corset, not only securing the flat steels in the corset but also adding balance to the embellishment overall. The closer I inspect this corset, the more I realize that there is quite a bit happening all at once, but it all blends in seamlessly with one another and they play off one another rather than overwhelming the little corset. The finishing must have taken an incredible amount of time and does not go unappreciated!

Alicia’s smooth, wrinkle-free pattern also shows her attention to fusing the fabrics, reinforcing them and possibly roll-pinning so as not to put too much pressure on the satin shell. Her patterning skills are also excellent in that this corset only gives me a couple of inches reduction, the pattern works to beautifully accentuate the waist and make the hips look fuller, making me look much curvier than even many of my smaller-waisted corsets.

If you would like to see some other creations by The Bad Button, visit the main website or Etsy store.

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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.