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Black Mesh Corset Case Study

This entry is a summary of the video “Case Study: Homemade Mesh ‘Corset'”. If you would like more complete information and side notes about the corset, you can watch the video on YouTube here:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dg78g8TYgU]

Fit, length Center front is 11″ high, and I drafted this corset to be very curvy: underbust about 32″, closed waist 23″ and hips 34″. The elastic mesh also contributes to the extreme shape and curviness.
Material Heavyweight powernet (quite stretchy) for most of the panels, and black satin coutil for the first and last panels, the boning channels and the diamond waist tape.
Construction Essentially a 6-panel pattern although the last panel is separated into two to make 7 panels. First, the powernet panels were sewn together wrong sides together and flat-felled with the bulk being on the outside of the body. Then I added the center front coutil panels, with the diamond waist basted in front. The diamond extends into a waist tape, which was basted at each seam, then I secured the external channels down on top of it. The back coutil panel went on last, then I added the busk and bones, and lastly serged the top and bottom edges.
Binding There is no binding on this *yet*. I had serged the raw edges to keep them from fraying. This allows the mesh to stretch. Conventional binding would not allow the top and bottom edges of the corset to stretch. However I may later add an elastic or mesh binding.
Waist tape The diamond detail made from satin coutil extends into a waist tape that is slightly more than 1 inch wide, and placed on the external side of the corset, secured down at the boning channels.
Modesty panel I didn’t make a modesty panel for this corset because I designed it to close completely at the back. There is a small modesty placket in the front by the busk.
Busk A standard flexible busk, 1/2” wide on each side, with 5 pins, 9.5″ long. Although it is quite flexible, having 3 layers of satin coutil surrounding the busk makes the front panel quite sturdy.
Boning 20 bones total in this corset (not including the busk). On each side there are eight 1/4″ wide spirals in external channels, then a 1/2″ wide flat steel on the center back edge of the grommet panel, and a 1/4″ steel on the “inner” side of the grommets.
Grommets There are 26 2-part size #00 grommets (13 on each side). I used self-piercing grommets to insert these, placing the grommets closer together than I normally would and making sure the grommets are snug between the two flat bones. So far they have all held up well.
Laces Some old black cotton shoe-lace style. More lightweight than nylon laces but not as strong. I just used whatever I had lying around.
Price This corset was quite time consuming due to the flat-felled seams and external channels and waistband. Also the powernet and satin coutil were both expensive materials. If I were to remake this corset (with a more pristine finish) it would likely start at no less than $280.

Final thoughts:

This is an extremely comfy corset. I also feel that I’m able to very easily cinch down in this corset – I wish I had drafted it to be another inch or two smaller! The powernet is forgiving of curves and makes my asymmetric hips look symmetric, while giving me absolutely zero pinching or discomfort.

The only disappointments I had with this corset was a) the asymmetry in the diamond detail, and b) the rough finish of the serged edges. I may end up adding binding to this corset (either elastic or mesh) although that would somewhat ruin its ability to be worn inconspicuously under clothing, and I’m not sure how even elastic binding would bring back the dreaded muffin top which is currently so nicely avoided.

Overall I think this experiment turned out much nicer than I had anticipated, and I think I will use this as a sleeping corset in the future! However I do need to practice my “finishing” of corsets, even when they’re experiments or prototypes.

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Timeless Trends Overbust Corset Review

This entry is a summary of the review video “Timeless Trends Emerald Silk Overbust Corset Review which you can watch on YouTube here:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRxIhzxntbU]

Fit, length Front is about 14 inches high; the highest part (from the apex of the bust) is 15 inches. Gives a gentle hourglass silhouette. Appropriate for average torso length. Includes adjustable hip ties; gives good hipspring (no pinching!). It is slightly longline (well, a little longer over the hip compared to their underbust corsets). I model a size 24L, which has a 24″ closed waist and accommodates cup sizes D-DD. Bust sizes come in Small, Medium and Large for all waist sizes of the overbust corsets.
Material 3 layers; fashion layer is an emerald silk satin and brocade in alternating panels. The lining and interlining are both 100% black cotton twill.
Construction 5 panel pattern. Panels are assembled via lock-stitching and pressing seams open; bones are sandwiched between the interlining and lining. Also has 4 garter tabs.
Binding Emerald satin bias binding machine stitched on both outside and inside.
Waist tape 1″ wide invisible waist tape between the interlining and lining, secured down at boning channels.
Modesty panel Attached 7″ wide fabric lacing protector on the back made of 2 layers of black twill; no placket beneath the busk.
Busk Standard flexible busk (1/2″ wide on each side) about 13″ long (6 pins), Also has a flat steel bone on either side of the busk for reinforcement.
Boning 24 steel bones not including busk. 18 spirals (1/4″ wide) sandwiched between interlining and lining – some on the seams, others in the middle of the panel which help to distribute the tension more evenly than in corsets that are simply double-boned on the seams. 4 flats (3/8″ wide on the inner side, 1/2″ wide on the back edge) sandwiching the grommets, also two 3/8″ flats beside the busk.
Grommets 28 grommets total, size #0 two-part grommets with moderate flange; finished in antique brass; set equidistantly, no wear/fraying/pulling out of grommets
Laces 1/2″ wide single-faced satin ribbon in matching emerald; they grip well and they are definitely long enough. No springiness, and surprisingly strong. The laces at the hips are 1/4″ wide but same colour and quality.
Price Most of their overbust styles start at $150 USD. However do check their clearance section since many of those corsets are up to 25% off!

Final Thoughts:
I adore the fashion fabric of this corset! I had featured my underbust corset in the same emerald silk brocade finish in several of my older videos, and when I bought this overbust I just decided to get the same finish because that particular underbust had been gifted to Jody some months back. (Which proves how much I like Jody, because I probably wouldn’t have parted with that corset otherwise!)
I’m pleased with the construction of corset – I’ve always considered that this brand has one of the best quality/price ratio of standard corsets available today, but the changes they had made to their overbusts compared to their underbust styles were still a definite improvement – these changes include side ties for a better adjustment on the hips; a wider/ stiffer flat steel bone on the center back (which was almost too stiff when first breaking it in, but I suspect it can be bent gently by hand to follow the curve of the back a little better), and alternating the placement of the spirals on the seams and the middle of the panels to better distribute the vertical tension. Timeless Trends was also the first brand I had seen to include small, medium and large bust sizes to the same style corset. (What Katie Did also currently has bust size options for their Laurie and Sophia corsets). The choice of different bust sizes and the hip ties together make this corset a good option for hard-to-fit bodies.
The only thing I wish were different about this corset is the height from the waist to the top edge (as I said in the video, it’s the curse of the long torso!). I’d be so much more comfortable if the top line extended up about two inches and curved over the top of the bust. Overall though, I’m happy with this purchase.

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Bad Attitude Boutique “Lady Jane” Corset Review

This entry is a summary of the review video “Bad Attitude Boutique ‘Lady Jane’ Review” which you can watch on YouTube here:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGq3-CT1Pvo]

Fit, length Front is about 13.5″ inches high; the highest part (from the apex of the bust) is 15.5 inches high. Moderate hourglass silhouette. Good for average torso length; not a longline corset. No hip gores. Bust area fits up to about a C cup in my opinion. Fit is very similar to WKD Tempest corset.
Material 3 layers; fashion layer is turquoise and gold silk brocade, the interlining is a white cotton canvas and the lining is black twill.
Construction 7 panel pattern, no hip gores – but the first and last panels are rectangular, so theoretically the pattern can have 5 panels. Internal boning channels, floating fashion layer. Also has 4 garter tabs.
Binding Matching silk brocade binding neatly machine stitched on both inside and outside.
Waist tape 1″ wide invisible waist tape between the interlining and lining.
Modesty panel Attached 6.5″ wide fabric lacing protector on the back made of matching brocade and twill; an unboned placket under busk.
Busk Standard flexible busk (1/2″ wide on each side) about 10″ long (5 pins) and the center front has 3 pairs of grommets at the top to make another 3 inches above the busk.
Boning 20 steel bones not including busk. 16 spirals (1/4″ wide) in external channels, 4 flats (1/4″ wide) sandwiching the grommets.
Grommets 20 grommets total, size #0 two-part grommets with large flange; set equidistantly, no splits, no wear/fraying/pulling out of grommets
Laces Strong nylon braided shoe-lace style laces; they’re thick, they grip well and they are long enough. A little frayed but it doesn’t affect the strength – however I’ll probably replace it with matching ribbon instead.
Price Depending on the fashion fabric, price starts at $289 on the website, although mine was from Etsy for about half price.

Final Thoughts:

This is one of the reasons that I love studying corset construction! A floating fashion layer that doesn’t wrinkle? Crazysauce! Perhaps I’m easily amused but I find it a bit incredible. Even thought the cut/ silhouette of the corset is very similar to the WKD Tempest corset, the construction and the materials used are totally different. Though I like how the pattern is cut to curve up and over the bust, I wish it didn’t curve back so dramatically – it would look nice on someone with a shorter torso and a smaller bust, but not on me unfortunately. However it’s still pretty comfortable and I’m able to wear it for hours with my only small complaint being that the metallic thread in the binding part starting to make my skin a bit itchy after awhile. This wouldn’t be a problem for the other types of fabrics.

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Chocolate Faux Suede Giveaway Corset

This entry is a summary of the case study for the Chocolate Faux Suede giveaway corset, made for the winner of the “Giveaway in Memory of Phoenixjodirae”. Following the summary was an interview with the winner of the corset, which you can watch in the video at the end of this post.

Material 3 layers; fashion layer is faux suede in chocolate brown, interlining of cotton coutil, and lining of hot pink twill.
Construction 6 panel pattern. Double boned; it has one bone on each seam (sewn into the seam allowances) and another bone inserted into the middle of each panel using bone casing. Includes a floating liner.
Binding Matching faux suede binding made from bias tape of the same fashion material. It was very fiddly to work with; I don’t recommend using suede binding.
Waist tape 1″ wide invisible waist tape between the interlining and lining, secured down under boning channels.
Modesty panel 7″ wide fabric lacing protector on the back made of faux suede and twill, stiffened with plastic canvas and suspended on the laces with grommets. Also includes a placket under the busk.
Busk Standard flexible busk (1/2″ wide on each side) about 9.5″ long (5 pins). Also has a bone on either side of the busk for reinforcement.
Boning 24 steel bones not including busk. 18 spirals (1/4″ wide), 4 flats (1/2 inch wide on the outer edge, 1/4″ wide on the inner edge) sandwiching the grommets, also two 1/4″ wide flats beside the busk.
Grommets 18 grommets total, size #0 two-part grommets with large flange; set equidistantly, no splits, no wear/fraying/pulling out of grommets, thanks to some better quality grommets made of a more malleable brass.
Laces 5/8″ wide double face satin ribbon in hot pink, to match the lining.
Price A reproduction of this corset would be approximately $270 USD.

If you would like to see the interview with the winner of the giveaway and her story, you may watch her video here:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4wJuPww57o]

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Leatherotics Pink/White 1214 Cincher Review

This entry is a summary of the review video “Leatherotics Pink/White 1214 Cincher Review” which you can watch on YouTube here:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-ZPQcmRrkQ]

Fit, length Front is 10 inches high; the side is 7.5 inches high. This is standard size/ length. Gives a gentle hourglass silhouette. Hip gores make this comfortable around the hips. Quite a short cincher so not recommended for those with a lower tummy pooch issue.
Material 2 main layers; fashion layer is 100% nappa leather (0.8mm thick), white with pink accents. Lining is black cotton twill. Internal boning channels are also made from twill.
Construction 6 panel pattern, and two hip gores. Faux boning channels on outside (real boning channels on the inside). Also has 4 garter tabs but I wouldn’t use them because the corset is so short.
Binding Pink leather binding neatly machine stitched on both outside and inside. Inside is trimmed down, not folded under, to reduce bulk. This is normal.
Waist tape 1″ wide waist tape visible on the inside, made of satin ribbon and secured at the boning channels.
Modesty panel None on front, nor back.
Busk Standard width busk (half inch wide on each side) about 9″ long (4 pins); a little stiffer than the standard flexible busk I’ve tried in other corsets.
Boning 14 steel bones not including busk. 10 spirals (1/4″ wide) in internal channels on the sides, 2 flats (1/4″ wide) sandwiching the grommets.
Grommets 16 grommets total, size #00 two-part grommets with moderate flange; set equidistantly, no splits. Not sure if these are the old style or new style grommets so there may be a risk of damage but so far no fraying/pulling out of grommets.
Laces Strong nylon braided shoe-lace style laces; they’re not too thick, they grip well and they are long enough. Not much spring to it. Very difficult to break.
Price Standard size pink/white of this is £43 UK (about $70 USD), while black leather version is £50 and twill is £30, at the time of writing this.

 

Final Thoughts:
Of the underbust corsets I’ve tried from this company, this cincher has been the most comfortable. The hips flare out in a flattering manner and there is virtually no pinching on my iliac crest like with the other slim silhouette corsets.

I am still a touch concerned about the softness of the leather and how it may affect how well the grommets hold, but will update this review if anything goes awry. So far they seem to be holding up.

Edited later to add: the grommets looked to be loosening a bit because the soft leather was allowing the grommet holes to expand, so I ended up replacing the grommets with larger ones, with a wider flange.

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Eternal Spirits “AUDREY” Overbust Corset Review

This entry is a summary of the review video “Eternal Spirits AUDREY Corset Review” which you can watch on YouTube here:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBghVQroJNM]

Fit, length Front is about 14 inches high, with a straight top line. From the waist to the top is 7 inches, which is barely enough to keep everything covered on me – it would be good for short to average torso length. If you order this corset made to measure and talk to the makers at ES, they *may* adjust the vertical measurements. Soft hourglass shape; gives good hipspring (no pinching!). I would not consider this longline. This corset would probably be best suited for cup sizes up to C.
Material 2 layers from what I can tell; fashion layer is mixed fibers, feels like a nylon blend, and is either very thick/strong or is fused to a strength fabric underneath. It has a lovely finish, almost like sharkskin. Lining is pink polyester satin-like fabric.
Construction 11 panel pattern (odd number because of the closed front). The fashion/strength layers were assembled, with double boning channels on each seam; the lining is floating and attached to the outer layers like a pillowcase, then turned right-side out through a 5″ hole in the lining – that hole was then stitched neatly closed.
Binding None, due to the construction method.
Waist tape None that I can feel or see.
Modesty panel Attached 5″ wide fabric lacing protector on the back made of the same blue “sharkskin” and lined in pink satin. It can be removed if desired.
Busk None; closed front.
Boning 24 steel bones. 20 spirals (1/4″ wide), double boned on the seams, 4 flats (1/4″ wide) sandwiching the grommets.
Grommets 22 grommets total, size #00 two-part grommets with moderate flange; set equidistantly, no splits, no wear/fraying/pulling out from the fabric.
Laces Strong double-face satin blue ribbon, 5/8″ wide; difficult to snap and they glide through the grommets smoothly, although I wish that they were longer so I wouldn’t have to remove the laces to put on/ take off the corset.
Price Satin version of this (with front lacing) is currently £210 in the UK, or $335 USD – however I found mine for sale in an online boutique so do check places like Ebay. This corset is also sold by Fairy GothMother (Lulu & Lush)

Final Thoughts:
This is one of my more expensive off-the-rack corsets. I was initially apprehensive about how strong it is and how well it would hold up, due to its lack of waist tape and the few layers of fabric. However this fabric has a strong, dense weave and is deceptively strong, while still giving a soft look. During breaking in, this corset didn’t stretch any more than other corsets. On the day of the banquet, I wore this corset for more than 15 hours, with a 4 inch reduction and it was surprisingly comfortable (although I did open up the top to give more room in the bust). However I would still not recommend ordering this corset more than 2-4 inches smaller than your natural waist. My favourite part about this corset is its unusual construction; I love the fact that it doesn’t have binding and has a completely floating lining.

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Totally Waisted! Black Taffeta Underbust Corset Review

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

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klSH3nuLBZM]

*****

This is the first of a few reviews of custom corsets made by individual corsetieres. I’d like to celebrate the work of small businesses and the artists of the corsetry world! This video is a review of the “not so typical” black underbust corset, made by Kate, the owner of Totally Waisted! (The ! is part of the name.) I met Kate in downtown Toronto this past spring; it was my first experience having a professional mockup fitting done by another corsetiere! Her artistry combined with her great business ethic and her spunky nature made for a fun and smooth experience overall.

Fit, length Center front is 13 inches, height from underbust to lap is 10.5 inches, however this version was made to measure. This is a longline corset (goes over the hips); the back has a unique sweeping lower edge that is both flattering and comfortable. I would recommend a shape like this for anyone who has had issues with lower edges of other corsets poking into their lower back or top of bum.
Material Two layers: fashion fabric is black taffeta, strength layer German coutil. The coutil has the tightest weave of any coutil I’ve seen before and it’s insanely strong. There is no additional liner; the stitching is neat enough that a liner isn’t needed to hide the “guts”, and Kate also likes to make her corsets as light and unbulky as possible.
Embellishments include lace overlay in large motifs (which is mirror-matched) and black Swarovski crystals, hand-set.
Construction 5 panels per side – gives a curvy, wrinkle-free shape. It feels as though the coutil and taffeta were treated as one layer. All boning channels (except for the pair by the grommets) are external channels – all spring steel bones.
Binding Made from matching strips of black taffeta, neatly machine stitched on both outside and inside. Extra care was taken to make the corners/edges neat and match up properly
Waist tape Waist tape is about 1″ wide, visible on the inside of the corset, secured at front and back panels and also by the stitching of the boning channels. Even though it’s exposed, it is not uncomfortable in any way.
Modesty panel No modesty panel as Kate designs her corsets to close completely in the back. She makes these corsets to order, so the waist size is of your choosing. There is a placket extending from the knob side of the busk to prevent pinching or skin from showing through.
Busk 11” long with 5 pins, a standard busk –  ½” wide on each side, although it is reinforced with a bone on each side. When I had this corset made to measure, I was given the option of several different lengths of busks. As I have a long torso, this was a great asset.
Boning 24 steel bones total, not including busk. All of them are spring steel (flat) bones. The front and back are sturdier to keep the line straight, but the bones on the sides are made of a special more flexible spring steel to accommodate curves.
Grommets 24 grommets total, size #00 two-part grommets with moderate flange; set equidistantly, no splits, no wear/fraying/pulling out of grommets.
Laces The laces are 1” wide black double-faced satin ribbon, very strong, pretty, and holds its bows reasonably well. The ribbon can glide smoothly through the grommets with no catching.
Price Standard size for this corset is $325 USD, and if you’d like made to measure with mockup, it’s an additional $40.

Final thoughts:
This corset really isn’t your typical black underbust. Due to its custom fit (and its comfort), its lightness and its sparkly embellishment, this has replaced the majority of my other black underbusts. I’d love to work with Kate again in the future.

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What Katie Did Silk “STORM” Corset Review

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

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTK1x2RmLfw]

Fit, length Front is about 14.5 inches high; the highest part (from the apex of the bust) is 15.5 inches high. Gives a nice hourglass/ wasp silhouette. Appropriate for average torso length. Includes hip gores, gives good hipspring (no pinching!). It is slightly longline so I’d recommend this cut for those who want to hide lower-tummy pooch. I would also recommend this for larger-busted women with a cup size of C or more. Smaller sizes can use bust inserts.
Material 3 layers; fashion layer is 100% raw silk, and the lining and interlining are both 100% ivory cotton twill. External channels and binding are made from ivory velvet.
Construction 5 panel pattern, 2 hip gores per side. External boning channels, a floating liner (very comfortable). Also has 6 garter tabs.
Binding Ivory velvet binding neatly machine stitched on both inside and outside.
Waist tape 1″ wide invisible waist tape between the interlining and lining.
Modesty panel Attached 7″ wide fabric lacing protector on the back made of ivory silk and twill; also includes a stiffened placket under busk.
Busk Standard flexible busk (1/2″ wide on each side) about 12″ long (6 pins), backed with a 1″ wide stiffener on each side. Also has a bone on either side of the busk for reinforcement.
Boning 22 steel bones not including busk. 16 spirals (1/4″ wide) in external channels, 4 flats (1/4″ wide) sandwiching the grommets, also two spirals beside the busk.
Grommets 24 grommets total, size #0 two-part grommets with moderate flange; set equidistantly, no splits, no wear/fraying/pulling out of grommets
Laces Strong nylon braided shoe-lace style laces; they’re thick, they grip well and they are long enough. Has some spring to the lace but very difficult to break.
Price Plain satin version of this is currently £179.50 in the UK, or $275 USD – however do check What Katie Did’s ebay boutique as they do sometimes list corsets on discount. I bought mine for half price!

Final Thoughts:
The Storm overbust has immediately become my favourite cut of the “What Katie Did” overbust corsets. I like the large hipspring from the hip gores, as well as the roomy (and safe!) bust. After buying this one, I have no desire to try out the “larger” bust versions of Laurie or Sophia – I like the Storm that much. I may remove the bow in the future and just have a hook-and-eye secure the front, since bows aren’t often my thing. Maybe it’s because it’s a new style, but I feel that the Storm is higher quality than the previous WKD overbusts I had reviewed; with its double boning and reinforced busk. I would have probably preferred the black satin version since it’s more versatile, but this was the right price. Also, after all the compliments I got with the ivory against my skin tone; I’ve definitely warmed up to this colour, heehee. ;)

You can see this corset and others at What Katie Did’s website.

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“Disco Armadillo” PVC Ribbon Cincher Case Study

This entry is a summary of the video “‘DISCO ARMADILLO’ PVC Ribbon Corset”. If you would like more complete information and side notes about the corset, you can watch the video on YouTube here:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-n2zLUTY_o]

***

This was my first attempt at sewing a corset from vinyl. I have to thank Marta “Snowblack” for her wonderful  Foundations Revealed tutorial on sewing leather and vinyl corsetry. Just a few things that I have learned about handling vinyl:

  • The material stretches (so you must back it with coutil) however it does not drape like most other fabrics.
  • It is also not a self-healing fabric, and will show all pinpricks. Therefore you should pin your panels only in the seam allowances.
  • Using a teflon foot (or a piece of tissue between the vinyl and the presser foot) will help the vinyl to feed smoothly without dragging or sticking to the presser foot.
  • Lastly, feed dogs will leave permanent marks into the bottom of the vinyl, especially if it has a metallic foil finish. Putting tissue or masking tape on the underside of your fabric (where your seam line will be) will protect your fabric from the feed dogs digging in.
***

Here is the overview of my Disco Armadillo, in typical review form:

Fit, length Center front is 10.5″ high, and I drafted this corset to be very curvy: underbust about 32″, closed waist 24″ and hips 34″.
Material Just two layers; the outer PVC ribbon and the inner coutil.
Construction 5-panel pattern – three vertical panels at front/side/back to hold the bones, and two ribbon panels. I learned how to draft a ribbon corset from Sidney Eileen’s ribbon corset sewing tutorial. The coutil panels aren’t “ribboned” like the outer pieces; rather they are in one piece. Most seams are topstitched as I was afraid that lockstitching would cause the PVC to become too perforated and tear apart. However at the busk, seams were lockstitched nonetheless as it looked better. Some edges of the ribbon were left raw, as folding those edges under would be too bulky.
Binding There is binding at the top and bottom of the vertical panels only; the ribbon panels do not have binding. I also left the inside edge of the binding raw – this is normal with binding made out of leathers or vinyls.
Waist tape Ribbon corsets typically don’t have a waist tape; a horizontal piece of ribbon running around the waist will act like a waist tape anyway.
Modesty panel I didn’t make a modesty panel for this corset because I designed it to close completely at the back.
Busk A standard flexible busk, 1/2” wide on each side, with 5 pins, 9.5″ long. Although it is quite flexible, having 3 layers of PVC ribbon surrounding the busk makes the front panel quite stiff and sturdy.
Boning Only 8 bones total in this corset (not including the busk), only boned on the vertical panels. There are two spring steel bones sandwiching each row of grommets at the back, and an additional two bones on each side panel, all 3/8″ wide.
Grommets There are 20 2-part size #00 grommets (10 on each side). I used self-piercing grommets and a new press to insert these, and they work very well with the PVC. I placed a layer of heavy canvas in the grommet panel to give the grommets more to “grab onto” and to prevent the PVC from stretching. There are no splits and the grommets are holding up quite well with regular use.
Laces I used some 100% nylon purple paracord – it’s extremely strong (holds tension up to 500 lbs) and has no stretch, is resistant to fraying but has a tendancy to twist. You will definitely need a square knot or bow (not a round one) to keep your corset securely tied at the back.
Price Ribbon corsets in general are not particularly difficult but they are time-consuming and require a bit of pre-planning. I would most likely place a typical satin-and-coutil ribbon corset at around $150. However, because the PVC ribbon is extremely challenging to work with and also quite expensive ($10/meter when not on sale, and this corset used 9 meters), I wouldn’t remake this corset for less than $250.
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CorsetDeal Blue Sweetheart Overbust (“Oiseau” style, chiffon hips) Review

This entry is a summary of the review video “Blue Sweetheart ‘Oiseau’ overbust (with chiffon hips) Review”. If you would like more complete information and side notes about the corset, you can watch the video on YouTube here:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WV5Jx18gGMo]

Fit, length Center front is 11″, from peak of the bust to the bottom is 14″ and the sides are about 15.5 inches. I’d recommend this corset for someone with a very short torso, or 5’2” or under. The silhouette is a very gentle hourglass – it does cinch me in a couple of inches, and the chiffon on the hips creates the illusion of wider hips which may be great for those who are looking to fill out any boyish figure.
Material Blue areas are 2 layers – the outer brocade and the inner cotton twill. On the hips, there are three layers – black satin covered in the gathered chiffon, and once again lined in the black cotton twill.
Construction 6 panel pattern. Panels are top-stitched at the seams, and then internal boning channels laid down, made of black twill.
Binding Binding at top and bottom are made from commercial black satin bias cut ribbon. It’s machine stitched on both sides, folded under nicely on the front and then topstitched to catch the rest of the binding on the underside. Also has 6 garter tabs.
Waist tape Internal waist tape made from 1” wide single-faced satin ribbon. It’s secured down at the boning channels. Far too high to actually be useful for me.
Modesty panel Unboned modesty panel, 8 inches wide made from polyester pinstripe on the outside and black twill on the underside. No placket beneath the busk.
Busk Slightly heavy duty, almost 1″ on each side. Stiffer than a standard flexible busk. 14″ long with 6 pins.
Boning 14 steel bones in this corset not including the busk. Single boned on the seams. The two bones that curve over the bust are made of spiral steel; all the other bones in this corset are spring steel. The bones on the sides stop well above the hip, so this style may be comfortable for those who don’t like the feeling of bones over the hips in longline corsets.
Grommets There are 24, 2-part size #00 grommets (12 on each side), finished in nickel. The grommets are sturdy with moderate size lip around, there is no fraying around the material, they’re not pulling out.
Laces Black flat nylon braided shoe-lace style. Very strong, grips fairly well. It has a little bit of spring. They are resistant to fraying and catching.
Price Currently $164 USD (£105 in UK).

 

Final Thoughts:
I’m not entirely sure what I was expecting when I bought this. It looked amazing on the website. I thought that the chiffon would simply accentuate the waist-hip ratio, but I wasn’t anticipating that the chiffon pieces would come up so high on the torso – in profile, the fluffy chiffon pieces actually make my abdomen look as if it’s protruding. It also doesn’t help that, in order to keep everything PG, I have to hike the corset up so that its waist tape is 2-3 inches above my natural waist. This is both uncomfortable and it looks terrible with my figure. On a person with a smaller bust and much shorter torso, I think this corset would sit better.

For those interested in trying a corset from CorsetDeal, I’ve found a coupon for 20% off anything on the CorsetDeal site here (aff link).

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Orchard Corset Maroon Underbust (CS-426) Review

This entry is a summary of the review video “Orchard Corset Maroon Underbust (CS-426) Review”. If you would like more complete information and side notes about the corset, you can watch the video on YouTube here:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hb2FbrJ03pI]

Fit, length Gives a nice hourglass shape – this is a Level 3 silhouette, gives the most extreme curves. Center front is 13″, shortest part is 10.5″. Longline corset that comes over the hips. Quite comfortable.
Material 3 main layers – the outer satin fashion fabric, flatlined to a sturdy cotton interlining, and lined in twill.
Construction 6-panel pattern (12 panels total). The shape of the panels is very, very similar to the Josephine corset by Isabella Corsetry, although the contours are slightly less, the ribcage and hips a little smaller. Constructed with a slightly modified sandwich technique.
Binding Binding at top and bottom are made from matching maroon satin, double-thickness. I like how it’s very narrow. It’s machine stitched on both sides, folded under nicely on the front and then stitched in the ditch between the corset and the binding, to catch the rest of the binding on the underside.
Waist tape One-inch-wide waist tape running through the corset, hidden between the layers and glued to the lining.
Modesty panel There is a modesty panel on the back, made of a layer of satin and a layer of twill. 5” wide and attached to one side with a line of stitching, reinforced with glue.
Busk Standard busk, half an inch wide and 11” long, and 5 pins. However it’s less bendy than other busks of the same width, which is one perk.
Boning 22 bones total in this corset. On each side, 9 of them are spirals about 3/8 inch wide and then there are two flat steel bones, both ¼” wide sandwiching the grommets.
Grommets There are 24 2-part size #00 grommets (12 on each side). They have a medium lip around. They’re spaced equidistantly about 1” apart. I see some fraying and coming away of the fashion fabric around some of the grommets around the waist. On the underside every grommet is split and quite scratchy, they catch on the laces, the modesty panel and my shirt.
Laces The laces are ¼” wide flat nylon shoe-lace style. I find them to be long enough, a little springy but that’s alright because they’re still strong – you just have to tug a little harder to get the corset to stay closed because of the elasticity of the laces, is all – not a big deal.
Price Currently $95 USD, but you can save 10% by using the coupon code CORSETLUCY

 

Final Thoughts:
I really do like the shape this corset gives; it’s quite curvy (especially for its price). I wish they hadn’t used so much glue in the manufacturing, and that they could spend just a little more on higher quality grommets.

Lastly, one thing that made me PO’d (perhaps not the company’s fault but the shipper’s fault) was that I bought it on sale (around $59) but when it was shipped to me, the value on the package was stated as the original $95 which resulted in my having to pay higher duty/taxes coming into Canada. I ended up paying nearly as much in shipping/duty than I paid for the corset itself! International customers, be aware of this before you buy.

*** EDIT January 2014 – it’s been a couple of years since this review, and a few things have changed. Orchard Corset’s newer stock has higher quality grommets with fewer splits, and they recently introduced all cotton corsets, which are more sturdy than the satin ones and much less prone to coming away at the seams or having the bones pop out. Additionally, the owner of Orchard Corset mentioned that several years ago, they had placed the value of the parcel as product+shipping, which is why the price was so high and I was hit with duty. These days, OC says that they only place the value of the merchandise (the literal price paid for the corset itself) as the value of the parcel, and they don’t include the shipping price, so duty should be much lower for international customers.

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“Wrinkly Pig” Corset Case Study

This entry is a summary of the review video “Wrinkly Pig” Corset Case Study”. If you would like more complete information and side notes about the corset, you can watch the video on YouTube here:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqfYCDfPiV4]

***

Note: the following are the differences between the “Wrinkly Pig” and the “Tickled Pink” corset in terms of construction:

  Wrinkly Pig Tickled Pink
Fusing Fused the brocade to a layer of woven fusible interfacing, then flatlined that to coutil. Fused the brocade directly to a layer of coutil using “Heat n’ Bond” (fiddly sheet of glue, I don’t recommend it).
Roll-pinning Everything was flat-pinned, not roll-pinned. Some roll-pinning was done on the side panels.
Seams Lock-stitched seams; allowances were not trimmed or clipped at curves. Seams were trimmed and flat-felled.
Boning channels Double-boned at the seams, sandwiched between two layers of coutil. Single boned at the seams, used external boning channels (cuts down on wrinkles slightly)

***

And here is my review:

Fit, length Decent curves. Used to be a slightly long-line corset but I later shortened the hips so it is more of a cincher now. Center front is about 11″ long.
Material 4 layers including the interfacing: brocade fashion fabric fused to interfacing, then flatlined to interlining of coutil and another lining of coutil.
Construction 6-panel pattern. Seams were lock-stitched (stitched twice) at the seams, the allowances were pressed open. The brocade/interfacing/coutil flatlined panels were all assembled, then the coutil lining was assembled. The layers were then stitched together at first/last panels, flipped right-side out and stitched in the ditch between panels and also secured at boning channels.  Bones are sandwiched between the two layers of coutil.
Binding The binding at top and bottom are made out of commercial hot pink cotton bias tape, machine stitched on both sides.
Waist tape 1” wide twill tape between the coutil lining and interlining, stitched invisibly so it’s not noticeable.
Modesty panel Suspended modesty panel made from brocade fused to twill, and stiffened with plastic canvas. 7″ wide.
Busk A standard flexible busk, 1/2” wide on each side, with 5 pins, 9.5″ long.
Boning 22 steel bones in this corset not including the busk. The seams between the panels are double-boned (except the seam closest to the grommets with ¼” inch wide spirals, and there are a pair of flats sandwiching each column of grommets.
Grommets There are 30 2-part size #X00 eyelets (15 on each side). They have a medium flange around and are spaced out 3/4 inches apart. No pulling away of fabric yet but they are very small so many types of fat cord is hard to thread through.
Laces 1/2″ wide double-face satin ribbon, baby pink in colour. About 5 meters and not really long enough for my tastes. I think I may change out the laces for some longer ones.
Price If I were to re-make this corset, I would roll-pin the panels and also use wonder-under or stitch-witchery to directly fuse the brocade to a layer of coutil to eliminate wrinkling. Keeping other construction techniques the same, I would likely charge around $260 USD for a corset like this.
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CorsetDeal Silver/Black Gothic Overbust Review

This entry is a summary of the review video “CorsetDeal/Corsets-UK Gothic Overbust Review”. If you would like more complete information and side notes about the corset, you can watch the video on YouTube here:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MrB2HpLlJag]

Fit, length Gently curved, gives a slim silhouette without a lot of cinch. The center front is 14”. From the apex of the bust to the bottom is not quite 15″, and the longest part (the side, where the hips peak) is 15.5″. Good coverage in the bust.
Material Two layers; the outside has alternating panels of smocked shiny black PVC and flocked black and silver floral polyester brocade. The inside cotton twill.
Construction 6 panel pattern. Panels are top-stitched at the seams, with seam allowances always pressed toward the brocade side. Internal boning channels laid down made of black twill.
Binding The binding at top and bottom are black shiny PVC. Also has 6 garter tabs.
Waist tape Waist tape running through the corset, seen on the inside, made of 1” wide single-faced satin ribbon.
Modesty panel Unboned modesty panel, 7.5 inches wide made from silver/black brocade on the outside and black twill on the underside. Also has a 3″ wide placket beneath the front closure, made from PVC on the outside and twill on the underside.
Swing Hooks 5 large silver swing hooks riveted to half-inch-wide bones in the center front. The bones in front are 12.5″ long. Very strong, no sign of breaking or falling out. I like that there were 5 swing hooks used – the extra hook a the waist prevents bowing of the bones in this area.
Boning 14 steel bones in this corset not including the busk. Single boned on the seams. The two bones that curve over the bust are made of spiral steel; all the other bones in this corset are spring steel.
Grommets There are 24, 2-part size #0 grommets (12 on each side), finished in nickel. The grommets are sturdy with moderate size lip around, there is absolutely no fraying around the material, they’re not pulling out.
Laces Black flat nylon braided shoe-lace style. Very strong, grips fairly well. It has a little bit of spring. They are resistant to fraying and catching.
Price Currently around $164 USD or £105 GBP.

 

Final Thoughts:
This is such a fun corset. If I ever had tea at H.R. Giger’s house, this is probably what I would wear. It’s an interesting combination of elegance and edginess.
Of all the overbusts I’ve reviewed made by CorsetDeal/Corsets-UK/Punk69, this is the one that fit me the best. It’s also the corset that I was most impressed with in regards to workmanship/stitching – I know from personal experience that PVC is not easy to work with! I might have kept it in my collection if I had any place or reason to wear it, but unfortunately it’s not a style I often wear, and I don’t go out that often. This corset would be great for clubbing/performances, and for attracting some attention when going out on the town.

For those interested in trying a corset from CorsetDeal, I’ve found a coupon for 20% off anything on the CorsetDeal site here (aff link).

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Baby Blue Ribbon Cincher Case Study

This entry is a summary of the review video “Homemade Blue Ribbon Corset”. If you would like more complete information and side notes about the corset, you can watch the video on YouTube here:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xiqBrhXfc7E]

Fit, length Short cincher about 12″ high in the center front, comes up high on the hips. Pointed in the front and in back.
Material Almost entirely 2.25″ wide double faced satin ribbon, with coutil flatlined to the ribbon on the vertical panels in front, side and back.
Construction Pattern is from page 88 of the book Corsets and Crinolines. The horizontal ribbons were draped into the correct shape and tacked on the sides, then sandwiched between two pieces of coutil-flatlined-to-ribbon vertical panels which were then topstitched. The bones sandwiched in the vertical panels only.
Binding There is only binding at the top and bottom of the vertical panels, also made with blue ribbon.
Waist tape None (ribbon corsets generally don’t have waist tapes).
Modesty panel None.
Busk Standard flexible busk, about 9.5″ long with 5 clasps.
Boning 14 bones in this corset; 8 bones on the side panels (4 on each side), 2 flats on either side of the busk and another 4 in the back sandwiching the grommets.
Grommets 26 gold #X00 2-part grommets (13 on each side). Gold was the only colour I had at the time.
Laces Simple white round shoe-lace style cord, about 7 meters.
Price Cost in materials was close to $35. A standard ribbon cincher is often sold for about $150-$200 depending on the maker. Custom fit ribbon cinchers often are more expensive.
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Gallery Serpentine Victorian Underbust Review

This entry is a summary of the review video “Gallery Serpentine Victorian Underbust Review”. If you would like more complete information and side notes about the corset, you can watch the video on YouTube here:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlSYXGGRb54]

Fit, length Victorian Hourglass shape, nice moderate curves. Center front is 13”. Stops just at the upper hips, it is not longline. One “pro” is the unique feature of how low the corset stops on the back, it curves nicely over the top of the bum instead of cutting into it. One “con” is how distended my torso looks in profile.
Material 3 main layers – the outer satin, a thick cotton non-woven interfacting as interlining, and black twill lining.
Construction Made from a 4-panel pattern. The satin and the heavy interlining are either flat-felled or fused together (depending on whether the interfacing was fusible or not), then those panels are topstitched at the seams. Bones are placed either in the seam allowances between the panels, or internal channels are made with twill tape.
Binding Binding at top and bottom are made from black satin bias tape. Folded under nicely on the outside; on the inside the raw edge is serged to prevent fraying and just stitched down flat.
Waist tape None.
Modesty panel None. To get a modesty panel costs another $15 from the website.
Busk Standard busk (flexible), half an inch wide and 12” long, and 6 pins.
Boning 12 bones total in this corset, 6 on each side. All of them are plastic. These are heavier-duty polypropeline bones but I would still prefer steel. To get the steel bone upgrade costs another $15 from the website.
Grommets There are 18 2-part size #0 grommets (9 on each side) and have a medium flange. They’re spaced 1.5” apart on the top and bottom and are spaced closer together (1” apart) at the waist for better cinching control. Grommets are very sturdy, no popping out, no fraying. However I would have preferred to have 10 more grommets because lacing down is difficult on the top and bottom. On the underside there are no splits; they’re nicely set.
Laces The laces I received with this corset are reportedly not the original laces. The laces I got are 1/4″ wide single faced satin ribbon, quite slippery and difficult to grip. The laces that I have read now come with the corset are black shoelace-style laces.
Price Currently $190 (AUD) for basic fabric and standard sizes. $210 for made-to-measure, and add $10 more for Asian brocade fabrics. Note that steel bones/modesty panel also cost extra.

Final Thoughts:
This… was not my favourite style. A lot of people noticed that my review was blasé. Perhaps my review would have been more fair if I had spent some extra funds to get a made-to-measure item with steel bones, but for financial reasons and accessibility, this was the right option at the time. I doubt I would buy from them again, but I guess I should never say never. Many of their happier customers have contacted me to say that their corsets are much more flattering, better constructed and include things like a modesty panel, so perhaps there are several makers for that company and there are inconsistencies between their products. I will give them the benefit of the doubt, however this one simply did not go well with my body type and looked unflattering on me. I ended up altering this corset by adding steel bones and a modesty panel.

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Isabella Corsetry “Josephine” Underbust Review

This entry is a summary of the review video “Isabella Corsetry Josephine Underbust Review”. If you would like more complete information and side notes about the corset, you can watch the video on YouTube here:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSzoWX9mIkQ]

Fit, length Dramatic curves, extreme hourglass. This is a longline corset coming over my hips. The center front is 13” high; the shortest part of the corset is 10.5″ hiugh.
Material 3 main layers. The outer fashion fabric is black satin, then there’s a layer of twill as interlining and another layer of black twill as lining.
Construction Made from a 6-panel pattern (so the corset itself is 12 panels total). It looks as though the coutil panels were lock-stitched at the seams, the allowances were pressed open. The layers are joined together by stitching in the ditch between the panels and also by making boning channels. The stitching is perfect on the outside, but the seams are wiggly on the inside. The lining does not float. Bones are sandwiched between the two layers of twill (lining and interlining).
Binding The binding at top and bottom made out of black satin bias tape machine stitched on both sides; it’s small on the outside, then folded under and machine stitched in the ditch, in the seam between the corset and the binding itself, to catch the rest of the binding underneath.
Waist tape 1” wide twill tape between the lining and interlining, invisibly stitched.
Modesty panel There an unboned modesty panel in the back made from two layers of just satin. Slightly over 6” wide.  Easily removable if you want to remove it. No modesty placket on the front.
Busk A heavy duty busk, slightly under 1” wide on each side and 11” long, with 5 pins, it’s EXTREMELY stiff. Keeps the front very straight.
Boning 22 steel bones in this corset not including the busk. On each side there are 9 spirals about 3/8” wide, and they’re mostly double boned at the seams except for at the back between panels 5-6. By the grommets they also use about 3/8” wide flat steels; very sturdy.
Grommets There are 30 2-part size #00 grommets (15 on each side). Black finish to match the rest of the corset, they have a medium lip around and are spaced equidistantly. Functionally they’re very sturdy, no popping or pulling away, whatsoever. On the underside there are no splits – much nicer than the grommets used in Isabella’s Bat cincher.
Laces 1/2” wide black double satin ribbon. They’re very nice, strong, pretty, glide through the grommets nicely and also seem to hold the bow well with little slipping out over time.
Price Currently $175 USD for immediate line. For other fabrics (made-to-order) it’s $250, and for custom fit/fabric it’s $360.

Final Thoughts:
This corset continues to be one of my favourite off-the-rack underbust corsets. It’s comfortable and gives a crazy curvy silhouette – to this day, I think I have gotten more compliments when wearing this corset than with any other off-the-rack corset. It’s relatively affordable compared to other major brands out there. The only con I could say is that Isabella is quickly gaining more and more recognition and thus she’s becoming busier, so wait times have been increasing for her corsets! However, I’m happy that she’s overflowing with commissions; I think her work should be credited. I could definitely see myself commissioning another piece from Isabella in the future.