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Princess Tamina Corset Case Study

This entry is a summary of my videos for the Princess Tamina costume. If you would like more  information and side notes about the corset and costume, you can watch the videos on YouTube here:

 

 

Fit, length Self-drafted underbust corset with a peaked front top and bottom edge. Stops just at the hips, and features a high back (7″ above waist). Made to close at 21″ at the waist. I took 3 horizontal measurements and 5 vertical measurements to draft this.
Material 4 layers of material; fashion fabric is a very stretchy gold-on-beige lamé, two layers of down-proof cotton ticking (labelled “coutil” in French) as strength layer, and ivory satin lining.
Construction Drafted from a 5-panel pattern. Lining was flatlined to ticking and lockstitched between the seams, then joined to another layer of ticking (wrong sides together) via the sandwich method. Sandwiched boning channels were sewn through those 3 layers, then the fashion fabric was redesigned to look like a ribbon corset and was tacked down at center front and back seams; floating in all other places. Embellishment was hand-sewn.
Binding Made from bias strips of lamé and machine stitched on both front and back. Back of binding was not folded under but left raw; as it’s a knit it doesn’t fray.
Waist tape 1-inch wide waist tape, invisibly stitched between the two layers of ticking.
Modesty panel None.
Busk None; closed front.
Boning Only 12 bones including center front; all half-inch wide steels. Two at center front and one on each seam between panels; only a bone on the outer edge of the grommets, not the inner edge.
Grommets There are 22, 2-part size #X00 grommets (11 on each side), finished in gold to match the rest of the corset. This corset being the first time I hammered in grommets, the back of some of them are rough and catch a bit on the laces.
Laces Round nylon utility cord made for outdoor/sports use. It was loosely woven, frayed easily, slippery and didn’t hold bows very well.
Price The cost for materials was close to $70 because the only store that supplied steel bones near me charged me an arm and a leg for them. Otherwise this corset would have been closer to $35-$40 in supplies. If I were to remake this corset today and sell it, it would cost around $315 USD.
($225 underbust corset + $15 half-inch boning upgrade (I’d use spiral at seams) + $20 double (proper) coutil strength layer upgrade + $40 pattern modification + $15 hand-sewn embellishments)
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Heavenly Corsets Wasp-Waist Training Underbust Review

This entry is a summary of the review video “Heavenly Corsets “Wasp-Waist” Training Underbust Review”. If you would like more complete information and side notes about the corset, you can watch the video on YouTube here:

***

Note: the following are the differences between the “standard” wasp-waist corset and the “training” wasp-waist corset:

  Training Corset Standard Corset
Materials Always made in coutil, with an inner layer of twill, and a cotton lining layer Either a layer of outer fabric (unless coutil) with an inner layer of twill and cotton lining layer OR if you chose coutil, a single layer of coutil and a cotton lining layer
Boning double boning throughout 6 fewer bones than the trainer
Busk wide solid steel busk standard steel busk
Modesty Panel included NOT included
Seams triple-stitched seams double-stitched seams

***

And here is my review:

Fit, length Dramatic curves, “wasp-waisted”. This is a longline corset coming over my hips. The center front is 12” high. Measurements (both circumference and vertical) were taken to fit my body; quite comfortable with no pinching. One issue with the bones in the back bowing outwards and twisting so creates a gap at the waistline.
Material 3 main layers. The outer fashion fabric is red satin coutil, twill interlining and lightweight cotton lining inside.
Construction 6-panel pattern. It looks as though the coutil panels were lock-stitched (stitched twice) at the seams, the allowances were pressed open and zigzag stitched again. (Some people may not find this aesthetic but if it makes for a strong corset then I don’t mind.) Bones are sandwiched between the satin coutil and the twill, and the cotton lining is primarily floating.
Binding The binding at top and bottom are made out of commercial red satin bias tape machine stitched on both sides; it’s folded under and stitched in the front and then topstitched to catch the back.
Waist tape 1” wide twill tape between the lining and the twill interlining. Stitched down horizontally across all the panels of the lining (so is not invisible but still cannot be felt).
Modesty panel Unboned modesty panel, 4.5 inches wide made from satin coul on the outside and lightweight cotton on the underside. No placket beneath the busk. (I would have preferred a slightly wider panel.)
Busk A heavy duty busk, 1” wide on each side, with 5 pins, it’s quite stiff and it’s 11” long.
Boning 22 steel bones in this corset not including the center front, ALL flat bones. The seams between the panels are double-boned (except the seam closest to the busk) with 3/8 inch wide flats (slightly wider than ¼”), but on the outer edge of the grommets in the back those bones are ½” wide flats.
Grommets There are 20 2-part size #00 eyelets (10 on each side). They have a medium flange around and are spaced out 1¼ inches apart. I would prefer for them to be spaced closer together and there be more of them, but functionally they’re sound; no pulling away or fraying of the fabric. On the underside there are no splits.
Laces  ¼” wide flat braided cotton laces, NOT nylon. They’re easy to pull and they grip well, not much wear so far. Cotton laces are sometimes prone to snapping so should be replaced more often, however I’ve had this corset for about 9 months and haven’t had to change the laces yet.
Price Currently £160 ($250) for the 23/7 waist training wasp-waist corset, or £120 ($185) for the non-training wasp-waist corset.

Final Thoughts:

I received a mixed reaction from this review. A few previous customers of Elle came forward and told me that they didn’t like certain aspects about this style of corset, such as a wobbly stitch line here or there, or the fact that she uses all spring steel bones. I put all this into perspective. Back in 2012, I hadn’t found a more affordable 23/7 training piece, and the materials used (including English coutil) are quite high quality. From what I can see, the primary stitch lines (the straight ones, holding the panels together) are straight and even, and although the zig-zag stitching (which is technically the 3rd stitch on each panel) does veer a bit and is not aesthetically pleasring, it still serves its purpose – to further reinforce the panels together. At that point in the construction process, it has no effect on the overall shape or measurement of the corset.

This did not come as a surprise to me, because I asked Elle a thousand questions before I ordered (and she was quite patient with me every time). The purpose of this corset (for me) wasn’t meant to be pretty or be shown off on a regular basis, it was meant to be strong.

Edit December 2014:

It’s been about 4 years since I ordered this corset, and nearly 3 years since the review – truthfully, I had forgotten about this corset review until recent events brought it back to my attention.
How did my corset hold up? The seams remained strong and none of the bones wore through their channels, but the very flexible bones in the back by the grommets became annoying, so I ended up switching them out for stronger (but more narrow) 5.5mm steels from Vena Cava. I also added more grommets between the pre-existing ones in the back of the corset for better control (the size #00 self-piercing grommets that fit the C-Step 2 machine are a decent match), and changed the lacing style. This was the only issue I experienced with my corset. However, other clients of Elle have had different experiences than myself, and I encourage you to read some of the comments below so you can gain a balanced view before deciding.

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Grey & Green Longline Underbust Case Study

This entry is a summary of the review video “Grey & Green underbust case study”. If you would like more complete information and side notes about the corset, you can watch the video on YouTube here:

Fit, length Self-drafted, longline (low over the hips) underbust corset with a peaked front top and a straight bottom edge. Made to close at 22″ at the waist. I took 5 horizontal measurements and 9 vertical measurements to draft this.
Material Fashion fabric is a black/white fine herringbone weave with metallic gold thread pinstripes This was fused to herringbone coutil interlining and lined in fern green satin.
Construction Drafted from a 6-panel pattern and both topstitched and lockstitched for extra strength. Boning channels are external (made from green satin fused to coutil) and the lining floats.
Binding The binding at top and bottom are made from 2-inch-wide strips of green satin, machine stitched on both sides.
Waist tape 1-inch wide waist tape, invisibly stitched between the coutil and the lining.
Modesty panel Suspended modesty panel stiffened with plastic canvas and finished the same way as the corset – covered in the pinstripe fabric and bound with green satin on top and bottom.
Busk Heavy duty stainless steel busk (1″ wide on each side) and was cut to 13″ long, with 5 pins.
Boning 20 bones not including the busk; I had used 1/4″ wide spirals double-boned at each seam (except the one adjacent to the busk) in the external channels. By the grommets there’s a 1/2″ wide flat bone on the outer edges and 1/4″ wide flat bone on the inner side.
Grommets There are 32, 2-part size #0 grommets (16 on each side), finished in silver (Chelsea’s choice). The grommets have a large lip around and are spaced 3/4″ inch apart down the length.
Laces Flat nylon braided shoelace-style laces; 8 yards long. They grip well, are densely woven and are resistant to catching, fraying or snapping.
Price The retail price for something similar is around $280 (underbust corset + heavy busk upgrade + double boning upgrade + external boning channels upgrade).
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Isabella Corsetry “Bat Cincher” Review

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

Fit, length Dramatic curves, I would say “wasp-waisted”. This corset starts lower down on the ribcage on me so I have room to move and to breathe, yet this is a longline corset coming over my hips. The center front is 11.5” high.
Material 3 main layers. The fashion fabric is a custom-printed cotton which is interfaced. There’s a twill interlining and another layer of black twill for the lining.
Construction 4 panel pattern. This constructed in what seems to be the sandwich method; each layer was assembled individually and then the layers were stitched, wrong sides together, at the seam of each panel. Bones are inserted between the two layers of twill (being the lining and interlining).
Binding The binding at top and bottom are made of lime green satin bias tape. Each curve between the peaks of the “bat” shape are individually bound. It’s stitched neatly on the outside, and then just folded down and machine stitched again in the “ditch” of the first stitching.
Waist tape 1-inch-wide waist tape running through the corset between the layers (inserted invisibly).
Modesty panel None.
Busk A heavy duty busk with 5 pins, it’s quite stiff and 1” wide on each side. 11″ long.
Boning 16 steel bones not including the busk. The seams between the panels are all double-boned with ¼ inch wide spirals, and then 3/16 inch wide sturdy flats on each side of the grommets.
Grommets There are 26, 2-part size #00 grommets (13 on each side). I’m very impressed at how well the grommets have held up. None of them show any sign of pulling out whatsoever, despite the fact that every one is split along the back.
Laces Came with ½” wide ivory double-faced satin ribbon which has held up remarkably well.
Price Bat cincher available as “made to order” for $225. If you want custom fit, the closest other corset is the “Vamp” at $350.

Final Thoughts:
This corset is cute as a button. I adore the crazy fabric print (although that is to be credited to the original person who commissioned this corset) and the cut of this corset is crazy curvy. I’m still impressed by how curvy Isabella managed to make this with just four panels per side. I did have issues with this corset, like a wobbly binding seam here or there, and the split, small grommets, and admittedly the flesh over my ribcage did give a “muffin top” over the top edge (that may have been because it was made to another girl’s measurements and not mine) – however, when comparing this corset to the Josephine, there is a great difference! I know that the Bat cincher is a couple of years older than my Josephine corset, so I have the unique opportunity to see how the workmanship of a corsetiere has changed and improved in a short time. This is why I don’t want to say “never” in terms of ordering twice from a (fairly reputable) company. If I have reason to believe that their work has improved, I will sometimes give them the benefit of the doubt even when my previous experience wassn’t 100% positive or as expected.

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Homemade Corset: Grey Longline Closed-Front Underbust

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

Fit, length Drafted from Foundations Revealed pattern tutorial. It’s a longline underbust corset with a center front of about 13″ and a waist of about 23″, with an extreme hourglass silhouette. I made the ribcage a little too large so the back seams look like / instead of ||
Material Made out of a black/white fine herringbone weave (I call it grey because that’s how it looks from afar) with gold metallic thread as an outer layer, and one layer of down-proof cotton ticking as a strength layer, which generally doesn’t stretch, but isn’t as strong as coutil.
Construction Drafted from a 5-panel pattern and constructed in the “sandwich” technique in which each layer has its panels individually assembled and then the two layers are attached at the ends, flipped right-side out and then bones are sandwiched between the layers.
Binding The binding at top and bottom are made out of bias strips of the same white/black herringbone fabric.
Waist tape 1-inch wide waist tape, invisibly stitched between the two layers. It’s slightly tighter than the panels of the corset which is what causes the “groove” around the waistline of the corset.
Modesty panel None.
Busk None, this was before I knew where to buy busks (other than the overpriced ones at anime conventions) so I made this with a closed front
Boning 22 bones including the bones at the center front; I had used 1/2″ wide hoop steel for the center front and by the grommets, and 1/4″ wide flats double-boned at each seam. These particular flats were flimsy, which is how I got the silhouette without resistance to the bones.
Grommets There are 24, 2-part size #X00 grommets (12 on each side), finished in gold (the only colour I could find at the time). The grommets have a small size lip around. One of the grommets later popped out at the waistline.
Laces Flat cotton braided shoelace-style laces bought at Timeless Trends; 7 yards long. They grip well, have no spring and are very easy to tighten, however they do snap after about a year of regular use.
Price Cost me probably around $40-$50 in materials, and around 24 hours total to make – this was my 3rd corset so I was still moving very slowly through the steps.
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My First Corset

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

Fit, length Made from Simplicity 9769 pattern. The pattern is larger than expected, so I recommend grading it in at the waist if you want an accurate reduction. Demibust, not longline. Has some slight curve – it was supposed to be a Victorian hourglass shape but it stretched in places. The center front is about 14”.
Material Made out of a single layer of a bedsheet, which has stretched over the years. The fabric is now more transparent. One part of the material ripped when I was letting out the seams and I was a little too vigorous with my seam ripper.There are some pink marks stained on the fabric from using sidewalk chalk instead of tailor’s chalk to mark the seams.
Construction This was my first time flat-felling seams. Internal boning channels made from 1-inch wide twill tape folded over double and sewn down.
Binding The binding at top and bottom are white cotton bias tape.
Waist tape None.
Modesty panel None.
Busk Standard flexible busk,  about 12″ long. I didn’t double-stitch it so it started popping out. I had to repair it several times with an overcast stitch. One of the loops are now bent from too much stress.
Boning 22 bones not inlcuding busk; I cannibalized a vintage corset it for its flat steel bones. Some of the steel bones were too short, and so I doubled up the boning with plastic featherweight boning along the full length of the channel, and then just the metal bit in the very centre of the bone at the waist. This is why you saw the corset buckling in places like in the demibust area when it was on.
Grommets There are 30, 2-part size grommets (15 on each side), finished in nickel. The grommets are sturdy with small size lip around. One of the grommets popped out at the waistline.
Laces White round nylon braided cord style. It has no spring, but tends to catch on grommet edges. Cuts into my hands when I’m tightening the corset.
Price Cost me probably around $35 in materials. As an end product, I would probably have to pay you to take it.
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CorsetDeal Waspie Underbust Review

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

Fit, length Has very little curve; gives me a more tubular/cylindrical shape than an hourglass. The center front is 11”. The shortest part at the side is 6.5″. Very short, does not come over the hips at all. Even so, I wouldn’t recommend this for people with wide hips.
Material Two layers; the outside heavy polyester satin fabric, and the inside 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 The binding at top and bottom are black polyester bias tape. Also has 6 garter tabs, but I advise not wearing garters with this corset as it’s so short.
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, 6.5 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. 10″ long with 5 pins.
Boning 14 steel bones in this corset not including the busk. Single boned on the seams; all the other bones in this corset are spring steel.
Grommets There are 16, 2-part size grommets (8 on each side), finished in nickel. The grommets are sturdy with moderate size lip around, there is some pulling away of the fabric on the grommets around the bunny ears at the waist.
Laces Black round nylon braided cord style. Very strong, although fairly slippery. It has no spring. They are resistant to fraying and catching.
Price Currently ranges from $40 USD – 70 USD (£25 to £45 in UK).

 

Final Thoughts:
Many moons ago, I bought an underbust corset (“Candy” style) from Corsets-UK. I think I tried it on perhaps twice before selling it, because I felt that my solar plexus was being crushed and my hips lost all circulation. I decided to give this company the benefit of the doubt by trying their Waspie underbust a bit more than a year later, to see if their pattern had improved – maybe this one would be curvier, or more comfortable since it’s cut higher on the hips. I was disappointed. I know that many customers are very happy with this company’s corsets, and if you have the body to pull off this style, then that’s great. However I have to say that this corset did not suit my body type. It didn’t flatter me, and when I had altered it to make it more flattering to my body type, the grommets gave out soon after. I’m sad to say that I doubt that I’ll order from this company again. 

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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CorsetDeal Longline Pinstripe Overbust Review

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

Fit, length Gently curved, gives a slim silhouette without a lot of cinch. The center front is 15.5”. The longest part of the corset at the apex of the bust is 18”. Sweetheart neckline. Longline corset, ending low over the hips.
Material Two layers; the outside heavy polyester pinstripe fabric, and the inside 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 The binding at top and bottom are black polyester bias tape. 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, 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.
Grommets There are 32, 2-part size #0 grommets (16 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 ranges from $40 USD – 85 USD (£25 to £54 in UK).

 

Final Thoughts:

After experiencing the unflattering way the shorter Corsetdeal overbusts barely covered my girls, I opted for a longline style instead. This was a slightly better fit. I definitely felt that my bust was more secure, and the position of the waist tape was in a more reasonable place, although still not right at my waistline (it was sitting perhaps an inch above my natural waist).

The pattern for the overbust corsets have the same bust/waist/hip circumference as the pattern for the regular overbusts, so keep this in mind. It’s as if they took the original pattern and simply stretched it out vertically to elongate it (i.e. what they did not do, was theoretically take the original pattern and extrapolate the lines to longer [and wider] top and bottom edges). I hope at explanation made sense – if not I will draw a diagram for you all. How this translated to fit on me, is that it fixed the flaring issues that I had at the hips in my shorter overbust corsets, but it resulted in the appearance of a less curvy corset overall. Therefore I recommend this corset to buyers who are tall/ have a long torso, and are either slim/ruler shaped, or slightly apple shaped. If you are a pear or natural hourglass shape, there is a possibility that this corset may not be curvy enough for you.

I didn’t have any problems on my hipbones here in terms of the pattern itself, although the placement of the internal bones at the side seams was unfortunate, as the rigid spring steel bones sat right over a nerve on my iliac crest, causing some chafing and discomfort. The problem was partially resolved by simply replacing the flat bones on the sides with more flexible spiral steel boning, which was a surprisingly easy operation.

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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CorsetDeal Steampunk Overbust Review

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

Fit, length Gently curved, gives a slim silhouette without a lot of cinch. The center front is 14”. The longest part of the corset at the apex of the bust is 14.5” so it’s a VERY gentle sweetheart neckline, barely any difference in height from center front to top of bust. Fits like a demi-bust on me and not a longline corset.
Material Two layers; the outside heavy polyester brocade and the inside cotton twill. The binding and decorative external channels are faux leather.
Construction 6 panel pattern. Panels are top-stitched at the seams, and then internal boning channels laid down, made of black twill. The external faux-leather boning channels are simply decorative and have no bones. The buttons and chains on the side are finished in Antique Brass and they’re set into grommets which means that it shouldn’t fall off like other sewn-on buttons do.
Binding The binding at top and bottom are faux leather. Folded under on the front, but on the inside it’s just stitched down and the raw edge is visible. This is typical of leather or PVC type binding as it reduces bulk. Will not fray.
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 inches wide made from brocade on the outside and black twill on the underside. There is also a 2 inch wide unboned placket under the front fastener, made from the same fabrics.
Front Closure (Swing hooks) NO BUSK!  There is a flat bone 3/8” wide on either side of the opening in the center front, where these large swing hooks were fastened. I believe that they could have added 1 more set of hooks in the front and spaced them closer together, as I’m noticing that the bones at the waistline are wanting to bow out slightly. For this reason (and because of the mild curves of the corset) I recommend getting this corset only 2-4 inches smaller than your natural waist even if you are able to cinch down more than that.
Boning 14 steel bones in this corset not including the center front. 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 antique brass. The grommets are sturdy with moderate size lip around, there is absolutely no fraying around the material, they’re not pulling out like a couple of them were in the taffeta corset.
Laces Brown flat nylon braided shoe-lace style. Very strong, grips fairly well. I find it nice that all the colours in this corset blend well together.
Price Currently £105 in the UK ($165 in the USA).

Final Thoughts:

This was the first style I had seen of the 2012 collection from Corsets-UK/ CorsetDeal, and I was floored. After so many years of the same classic (tired) designs, at last this was something cool, fun, affordable and usable for more situations than just “burlesque dress up” like their frillier options. And in many ways, it was fun and cool – I loved the rich chocolatey brocade, the faux leather trim and casings, the various chains and other hardware… but it was also a bit dangerous on the top edge. I’m wondering if the models the company used on the site was short-waisted (or just short stature) because wow, the corset was kind of low cut on me, and the waist tape was several inches higher than my natural waist. I’ve now seen this corset on other customers; they’re of smaller frame than I am and it looks incredible on them.

This was the first corset I owned that had the swing hooks. My goodness, I love those swing hooks! However I wish that there were 5 of them instead of just 4. I was sort of beginning to see the center front edge beginning to bow out (it could just be the fabric and not the bones) and felt that could have been avoided if the hooks were placed closer together and an additional one were added right at the waist where there was most tension.

As for any actual cinch in this corset, I didn’t experience much. Yes the corset does take me in a few inches on the inside of the corset, but this corset is so heavy and bulky that I don’t really look cinched at all on the outside – so keep this in mind when ordering. This corset is primarily for a fun addition to an outfit, and not suitable for tightlacing or waist training. This style of corset also has about an 8 inch difference between bust and waist – for example, on that 24″ corset, the bust measurement was 32″.

Update: 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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Corsets-UK Overbust “Waist Training” Corset Review

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

Fit, length Gently curved. The center front is 14”. The longest part of the corset at the apex of the bust is a little over 15”. Very straight back, I wouldn’t recommend this for people with swayback.
Material Two MAIN layers, the outer red taffeta and inner black twill, but both have fusible interfacing on the inside.
Construction 6 panel pattern. The seams appear to be lock-stitched, NOT top stitched. The bones are sandwiched between the layers of fabric. The lining is attached to the other layers by stitching in the ditch.
Binding Binding at top and bottom are black taffeta. I would have preferred binding in red to match the rest of the corset. Machine stitched on both sides.
Waist tape One-inch-wide waist tape running through the corset, hidden between the layers.
Modesty panel Unboned modesty panel in the back made from red taffeta on the outside and black twill on the underside. There’s no placket under the busk.
Busk Heavy duty busk, a little less than 1” wide on each side. It’s 12.5” long with 6 pins.
Boning 24 steel bones in this corset. Double-boned on the seams, there are 10 ¼” wide spiral steels on each side, and then sandwiching the grommets are 2 spring steel bones each about 7mm wide.
Grommets There are 24, 2-part size #0 grommets (12 on each side). The grommets are sturdy with moderate size lip around and no obvious splits on the underside. There is some pulling away of the fabric from the grommets at the waist (around the “bunny ears”).
Laces Round braided nylon cords, NOT flat laces as one sees in other brands of corsets. They glide smoothly through the grommets but I find that they don’t grip well, meaning my corset tends to loosen over time. It’s extremely strong, hard to break, but I would rather replace the laces.
Price Currently £72 in the UK ($114 USD).

 

Final Thoughts

I actually ordered this corset a long time before I finally actually got around to reviewing it. This doesn’t mean that I wore it a lot, though. It was a lovely little piece and I liked how smooth the satin was around my body – prior to this corset, I experienced satin wrinkling up from stress on the corset, particularly at the waist, but it didn’t happen in this situation because it was fused to another layer. That was one thing I did like about it.

The fit of this sweetheart overbust corset is much more comfortable and more flattering than their underbust corsets. In the overbusts, the bust is 8 inches larger than the waist, and the hips are 10 inches larger in the waist. In the underbust corsets, the ribcage is only 4 inches larger than the waist, and the hips 6 inches larger than the waist. Why did they make the hips so much smaller in the underbust compared to the overbust? Anyway, for this reason a lot of people would naturally decide to use an overbust to train in. In my experience, underbust corsets are usually easier to breathe in (since they don’t extend so high up the ribcage), easier for mobility, and easier to hide under clothing. I just wish that this brand’s underbust corsets were curvier! I did try to cut this overbust down to an underbust, and failed miserably because of the way the bones were sewn into the corset and can’t be removed.

Is it theoretically possible to waist train in a Corsets-UK or CorsetDeal “waist training” corset? I have sorta seen it done in the past (there are die-hard Corsets-UK fans out there who don’t use any other brand), but I can’t guarantee that it’s going to be as safe or effective compared to a custom waist training corset. Even the owner of Corset Wholesale said that there’s no point in comparing a $40 corset with a custom made corset. Therefore, don’t expect a cheaper corset to do the same job as a custom one.

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Vollers “Paradise” 1808 Velvet Overbust Review

This entry is a summary of the review video “Vollers 1808 Velvet Overbust Review”. If you would like more complete information and side notes about the corset, you can watch the video on YouTube here:

Fit, length Center front is 13.5 inches, the apex of bust to the bottom is almost 17 inches. Comes a bit over the upper hipbones, and the bust is deliberately cut high. My bust is secure as the fabric comes up and over much like a bra cup does. Gives very gentle curves, only nips the waist in 2 inches on me.
Material 100% cotton velvet on the outside and a poly-cotton twill on the inside.
Construction 4 main panels. Stitching between panels is topstitched, bones are in internal twill boning channels.
Binding Velvet ribbon, machine stitched on front and back.
Waist tape None. Vollers recommends you order the corset 2-4 inches smaller than your natural waist.*Addendum: This particular style doesn’t come with a waist tape because the velvet has a tendency to stretch, and so the waist tape would eventually cause a ridge that is smaller than the rest of the corset, where the waist tape lays. However this style apparently does come with a waist tape if another fashion fabric is chosen.
Modesty panel Back lacing protector is unstiffened and sewn onto one side of the corset, velvet outside and twill inside. There is a modesty placket underneath the knob side of the busk, made from twill.
Busk Standard flexible busk, 12″ long and ½ inch wide on each side, with 5 pins. There’s another ½ inch wide bone on either side of the busk, sewn invisibly in probably in the seam allowance. This stiffens the front but you can’t see the stitching for it. Additionally, there’s a hook-and-eye hand sewn at the top to prevent the bust area from gaping.
Boning 14 bones total in this corset. There are 8 spiral bones (4 on each side), and 6 flats. Like I said before, there’s a ½ inch wide flat on either side of the busk, and in the back there are ¼ inch wide flats sandwiching the eyelets.
Grommets They don’t use grommets, they use 1-part eyelets. There is no washer on back and the eyelet is perforated to split. Vollers says these eyelets are used in heavy boots so will take quite a bit of stress without pulling out.
Laces about half centimetre wide black flat shoelace style laces which are tightly braided. They’re slippery through the eyelets but the laces grab onto themselves so the bow doesn’t slip out easily. Resistant to catching or fraying.
Price Varies greatly with materials used: £195 ($306 USD) in the velvet finish, £165 ($260) in satin finish, £215 ($338) in sequin fabric.

Final Thoughts:

What to say about this corset? A lot of different parts in this corset I either loved or wished were different, and not much middle ground.

Parts I LOVED

The fit of the bust. It was incredible. This was one of the very few overbust corsets I tried that not only gives a daring plunge in the center but also the cups of the bust comes up and over the breast, holding it firmly in place with almost no chance of popping out. It gave a wicked 1/4 side view. I also loved the neat construction of the busk and supporting “invisible” bones. The hook and eye at the top of the bust was a really nice touch. I also loved the quality of the bones and the laces.

Parts I wished were different

Although I loved the fit of the bust, I wished that there was more contrast in the waist. If I were to order this corset again I would probably have gone for a custom fit so I could achieve a greater waist reduction. On the other hand I’m not entirely certain that the corset would have withstood more tension because there was no waist tape. I wished that there were a waist tape in this so I’d feel safer about achieving greater reductions. And even though the 1-part eyelets stayed put nicely and never frayed for me, I would have just psychologically felt more comfortable with 2-part eyelets or grommets. I have to wonder if the eyelets gripped onto the velvet better than other materials, since it’s more plush. Had I ordered the brocade or satin, would the eyelets have held up as well? I will give them the benefit of the doubt and say that their eyelets should grip any and all fabrics as long as they are set as well as they had been in mine.

A note on corset/ hair compatibility

Although it’s not at all the fault of the makers whatsoever, in retrospect choosing the velvet was a bad idea just because of my hair. Velvet loves my hair and my hair loves it. Therefore whenever I wore this corset with my hair down, my hair would wrap all around me and I would soon become entangled. Therefore I only recommend a velvet garment for someone with shorter hair or one who tends to wear their hair up.

You can find the V1808 corset on the Vollers website here.

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Ms Martha’s Red Silk CorsetVest Review

This entry is a summary of the review video “Ms Martha’s Red Silk CorsetVest Review”. If you would like more complete information and side notes about the corset, you can watch the video on YouTube here:

Fit, length Center front is 15 inches, comes over my hips like a longline corset. I have a size Medium (waist of 22 inches). Very curvy hourglass silhouette.
Material 3 layers; a red silk fashion layer, stiff interlining and cotton twill lining.
Construction 4 main panels. The silk and the interlining fabric are flatlined, then panels are faux-flat-felled together. Floating liner inside. Bones are sandwiched between the layers of fabric. The collar fastens with velcro.
Binding None, the edges are folded under and topstitched.
Waist tape None. Ms Martha says her corsets are not for tightlacing.
Modesty panel Modesty panel has 3 layers of fabric, attached to one side of the corset and has a single vertical spiral bone running down it. Also the front has a little modesty placket on the knob side of the busk.
Busk Heavy duty busk, 13 inches long and 1 inch thick on each side, with 6 pins. Quite sturdy.
Boning 16 bones in this corset. 6 on each side are spirals, double-boned at the seams, and two sturdy flats sandwiching the grommets.
Grommets 24, 2-part size #0 grommets. These grommets and the washers both have a very large lip which I like. The inside of the grommets have a few very tiny splits, but it’s forgivable because it doesn’t catch on the laces.
Laces Flat braided nylon shoelace style in black; they have a little bit of spring to them. Bulky, but it glides through the grommets more smoothly than in the leather cincher. Very strong and difficult to snap.
Price Currently $225 USD in silk, $285 in leather.

Final Thoughts:

I am in love with this corset. I was initially apprehensive about buying one of these since Ms Martha said that they’re not designed for tightlacing, but wow is this thing ever sturdy. Despite the fact that this doesn’t have a waist tape, this easily took 4 inches off my waist and tapered my ribs down (temporarily). My bust was well-supported (due to the halter design, I couldn’t booble out if I tried) and my hips didn’t hurt. The outer fabric is silk and I initially expected it to be this delicate layer that I could barely touch. Nope. This silk has not stretched even remotely while I was breaking this corset in.

Now, be aware that I don’t know what will happen with your corset if you tightlace in this – mine has seemed to hold up fine – but there might be a possibility of a busk pin popping or a seam coming loose, if Ms Martha doesn’t give guarantees that her corsets stand up to tightlacing. I’m just putting that out there.

One thing I want to touch on is the sizing. These corsets run small. When I was looking at the size chart, a Small was recommended for natural waist sizes 20″ – 28″. Since my waist was around 27″ at the time that I ordered, I thought a Small would be great. Ms Martha strongly recommended that I go with a Medium instead, and I heeded her advice. I’m glad I did, because a size Medium has a closed waist of 22″. Apparently the size Small has a miniscule waist of only 18″ which would have been far too small for me! So if you are petite or around my size, consider ordering a size up. If you’re naturally on the fluffier side, then you will probably be able to reduce more than me, so order true. This store has the largest range of sizes of any off-the-rack store I’ve found to date, offering corsets for people with waist sizes 18″ up to 52″.

You can find the CorsetVest on Ms Martha’s corset shoppe page here, and for your consideration, here is Ms Martha’s size chart that has the “closed waist” corset sizes:

Small Medium Large XL 2XL 3XL 4XL
 18″  22″  26″  30″  34″  38″  42″
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Ms Martha’s Leather Geometric Cincher Review

This entry is a summary of the review video “Ms Martha’s Leather Geometric Cincher Review”. If you would like more complete information and side notes about the corset, you can watch the video on YouTube here:

Fit, length Center front is 12 inches, side is 8 inches, cut high on the hip and doesn’t pinch.I have a size Medium and it has a waist of 22 inches. Small has a waist of 18″; each size increases in increments of 4″. I advise you to order the size for your natural waist, or up one size if you’re on the upper end of a size.
Material Leather fashion layer, cut in a ribbon-corset style with horizontal panels. The inner layer is twill. I had to air out the leather for a week before the factory smell dissipated enough for wear.
Construction 5 main panels – 2 of them create most of the shape with horizontal stitching, while the vertical panels hold the hardware and boning. Floating liner inside, and 6 garter tabs.
Binding Black leather; folded under on the front and then clipped short on the underside – common in leather or vinyl binding to minimize bulk.
Waist tape None –  typical of a ribbon-style corset. Ms Martha says her corsets are not for tightlacing.
Modesty panel MASSIVE 10-inch wide back panel that has a single bone running vertically down the center. Leather on the outside and twill on the inside. Also has a 2″ wide leather placket in front.
Busk 11-inch long, heavy duty busk – one inch wide on each side. Quite a bit stiffer than the standard flexible busk.
Boning Total of 8 bones in this corset. 2 spirals on each side seam and 2 spring steels sandwiching each line of grommets in the back.
Grommets 24, 2-part size #0 grommets. These grommets and the washers both have a very large lip which I like. The inside of the grommets have a few very tiny splits, but it’s forgivable because it doesn’t catch on the laces.
Laces Flat braided nylon shoelace style in black; they have a little bit of spring to them. Bulky, so they don’t glide through the grommets quite as well as a thinner one would, but it’s still very strong and very difficult to break.
Price Currently $175 USD in leather, and $170 in silk.

Final Thoughts

This cincher has a beautiful shape – I think it’s one of my favorite shapes of my underbust collection. It is totally comfortable over my hips and feels very secure but not overbearingly tight around my ribs. Because this is made out of leather and twill, I feel that it has stretched out a bit, but not dramatically. Note that the leather did have a strong scent to it when I first opened the package, but I left the corset to air out for a few days in a ventilated room and the smell soon dissipated. Later on I did change out the laces – while the original ones were very strong, it was also quite thick so I experienced a lot of friction when trying to tighten the corset, making it difficult to put on and take off so I simply changed them with thinner shoelaces. But I still own and wear this corset quite often, a year later – you can see it in some of my later videos, like this dressing with your corset post.

Now, be aware that I don’t know what will happen with your corset if you tightlace in this – mine has seemed to hold up fine – but there might be a possibility of a busk pin popping or a seam coming loose, if Ms Martha doesn’t give guarantees that her corsets stand up to tightlacing. I’m just putting that out there.

One thing I want to touch on is the sizing. These corsets run small. When I was looking at the size chart, a Small was recommended for natural waist sizes 20″ – 28″. Since my waist was around 27″ at the time that I ordered, I thought a Small would be great. Ms Martha strongly recommended that I go with a Medium instead. Apparently the size Small has a miniscule waist of only 18″ which was been far too small for me! I later heeded her advice and she was very kind and patient with me about exchanging this cincher. A size Medium has a closed waist of 22″.  So if you are petite or if you are around my size, consider ordering a size up. If you’re naturally on the fluffier side, then you will probably be able to reduce more than me, so order true. This store has the largest range of sizes of any off-the-rack store I’ve found to date, offering corsets for people with waist sizes 18″ up to 52″.

So for your consideration, here is Ms Martha’s size chart that has the “closed waist” corset sizes:

Small Medium Large XL 2XL 3XL 4XL
 18″  22″  26″  30″  34″  38″  42″
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Axfords C242 Lace Underbust Corset Review

This entry is a summary of the review video “Axfords C242 Corset Review” which you can watch on YouTube here:

Fit, length Circumferential measurements are very comfortable; no pinching in the hips or ribcage. Much curvier than I was expecting. This is a longline corset, starting lower on the ribcage and ending low on the hips – center front is 11″.
Material 3 layers: the strength layer is the inside lining – a tightly-weaved white cotton coutil (made especially for Axfords). Coral satin fashion fabric is flatlined to the coutil, and then the white real lace is laid ontop of the satin.
Construction The seams are top-stitched; bones are in internal boning channels at the seams made from twill or Prussian tape.
Binding Satin on one side and grosgrain ribbon on the other side. Quite unique from commercial bias binding used in other corsets. Neatly machine stitched on both sides.
Waist tape None.
Modesty panel Attached 6″ wide protector, not boned but it is stiffened, so it’s flexible but stands on its own. When I’m lacing down it doesn’t need to be adjusted, and it curves nicely with the contours of my spine. Very comfortable. Has a placket overtop of the busk to hide the hardwear.
Busk Heavy busk, 10″ long and one inch wide on each side. Quite a bit stiffer than the standard flexible busk.
Boning 14 bones total. There are 10 hefty spiral bones – they’re 7mm wide instead of 5mm wide. Also four ¼ inch wide spring steel bones which are also very sturdy and quite thick.
Grommets 30 grommets total, size #00 two-part grommets with moderate flange; set equidistantly. Axfords says that they use smaller grommets set closer together for more controlled tightening of the corset. Some splits along the back of the grommets but they do not catch on the laces and are not pulling out.
Laces Strong tightly woven braided shoe-lace style laces; they’re thin, they grip well and they are very long. No stretch or spring to the lace.
Price Currently £125 ($195 USD) for the lace overlay style, but £115 ($180 USD) without the lace.

Final Thoughts:

This corset is adorable, feminine, pretty, shapely… I think this is the girliest underbust I own – pink with floral lace. I’m impressed at how smoothly the delicate lace lays (say that five times fast!) over the pink satin – do I detect some roll-pinning? ;) Even when worn at large reductions, the lace does not pull away from the seams or wrinkle up with stress.

I was initially concerned about the strength fabric as it was said to be coutil but didn’t have a herringbone weave – this was my first experience with a plain-weave coutil – yet it has stood up the test of time, even without a waist tape. The grommets are also still holding up well several months later – I find my preferences now leaning towards more and smaller grommets on my lacing panel as it’s easier to make fine adjustments when lacing up.

The fit of this corset is flattering as well (in my opinion); I like the conical ribcage, and the hip gores make this longline corset very  comfortable over my hips. The shape is quite similar to the Mae Extreme corset by What Katie Did – I am able to cinch down further in this corset than I was able to in the regular Mae.

All of Axfords’ corsets come with a complimentary storage bag as well – of course, don’t buy a corset just for the bag, but only if you think the corset is as lovely as I think it is. You can see this corset in other colors, and other corset styles on their website here.

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Axfords C112 Lace Overbust Corset Review

This entry is a summary of the review video “Axfords C112 Corset Review” which you can watch on YouTube here:

Fit, length Circumferential measurements are very comfortable; no pinching in the hips or ribcage. Much curvier than I was expecting. Not a longline corset; comes to my upper hips. It’s advertised as an overbust corset but it is closer to a demibust corset on me – center front is 12½”, while highest part is about 13″.
Material 3 layers: the strength layer is the inside lining – a tightly-weaved black cotton coutil (made especially for Axfords). Satin fashion fabric is flatlined to the coutil, and then the real lace is laid overtop of the satin.
Construction The seams are top-stitched; bones are in internal boning channels at the seams made from twill or Prussian tape.
Binding Satin on one side and grosgrain ribbon on the other side. Quite unique from commercial bias binding used in other corsets. Neatly machine stitched on both sides.
Waist tape None.
Modesty panel Attached 6″ wide protector, not boned but it is stiffened, so it’s flexible but stands on its own. When I’m lacing down it doesn’t need to be adjusted, and it curves nicely with the contours of my spine. Very comfortable.
Busk Heavy busk, 12″ long and one inch wide on each side. Quite a bit stiffer than the standard flexible busk.
Boning 14 bones total. There are 10 hefty spiral bones – they’re 7mm wide instead of 5mm wide. Also four ¼ inch wide spring steel bones which are also very sturdy and quite thick.
Grommets 32 grommets total, size #00 two-part grommets with moderate flange; set equidistantly. Axfords says that they use smaller grommets set closer together for more controlled tightening of the corset. Some splits along the back of the grommets but they do not catch on the laces and are not pulling out.
Laces Strong tightly woven braided shoe-lace style laces; they’re thin, they grip well and they are very long. No stretch or spring to the lace.
Price Currently £135 ($213 USD) for the lace overlay style, but £125 ($197 USD) without the lace.

Final Thoughts:

The red satin with floral lace is a beautiful combination (apparently I’m guilty of requesting that combination on another corset as well). I’m impressed at how smoothly the delicate lace lays over the red satin – do I detect some roll-pinning? ;) Even when the back is completely closed, don’t seem to be tension lines and the lace is not coming away from the stitching.

I was initially concerned about the strength fabric as it was said to be coutil but didn’t have a herringbone weave – this was my first experience with a plain-weave coutil – yet it has stood up the test of time, even without a waist tape. The grommets are also still holding up well several months later – I find my preferences now leaning towards more and smaller grommets on my lacing panel as it’s easier to make fine adjustments when lacing up.

As for the fit of this corset, it’s indeed very curvy – I didn’t feel any pinching on my hips or much compression at the bust. It’s rare for me to be able to close an overbust corset all the way comfortably, but it was no problem with this one. Unfortunately, because of my long torso and the extremely gentle sweetheart shape of the corset, this is more of a demibust than an overbust on me. I would never be able to wear this without something underneath if I want to keep myself decent. This corset looked amazing on my more petite sister and I ended up gifting it to her, so this corset has certainly not gone to waste.

All Axfords corsets also come with a complimentary storage bag; an offer I have never seen with any other company. The bags are large enough to hold two corsets, so they have come in quite handy in keeping my corsets safe and pristine. You can see this corset and other styles at the Axfords website here.

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Azrael’s Accomplice (AZAC) “Curvy Girl” Corset Review

This entry is a summary of the review video “AZAC Curvy Girl Corset Review & Modification” which you can watch on YouTube here:

Fit, length Curvy, extreme hourglass silhouette. Slightly longline over the hips. Waist stretched over time (about 1.25 inches).The longest part of the corset at the center front is 12.5”. Good for people with an average-length torso. Has enough room in the ribcage and hip areas; very comfortable. May accentuate lower tummy pooch due to inward bend at the front waist.
Material Mostly 3 layers. The fashion fabric is a lightweight hot pink satin (it’s available in other colours), and is flatlined to a light woven cotton underneath. The strength layer of the corset is the twill lining.
Construction 5 panel pattern with 1 large hip gore per side. Top-stitching between panels. It looks like external boning channels but these are simply decorative and only sewed to the top pink satin; the boning is inserted into channels created between the twill lining and strips of canvas laid down inside.
Binding Baby pink satin bias binding around the hip gores and around the top and bottom match the decorative channels, and are machine finished on the inside and outside.
Waist tape 0.5″ wide invisible waist tape between the interlining and lining.
Modesty panel Single layer, unboned modesty panel in the back made from the same hot pink satin. There’s also an unstiffened modesty placket in the front under the busk.
Busk Standard flexible busk (1/2″ wide on each side), 11″ long with 5 pins. Busk is reinforced by a ¼” flat bone on each side.
Boning 14 steel bones not including busk, all ¼” wide flat steel. They’re finished nicely, but they are extremely flexible. This is alright where it curves over the extreme hip spring, but the bones don’t feel sturdy in the back by the grommets (tends to bow outward at the waist).
Grommets 20 grommets total; 2-part (includes washer) and in size #0. I think it could have used about 4 more grommets near the bottom, which I put in later. Grommets are sturdy with a large flange, there is no fraying around the material, they’re not pulling out, although the ribbon catches a tiny bit on a couple of the split grommets in the back while I’m tying it up.
Laces Half-inch wide double-faced satin ribbon that matches the decorative binding and channels. Very strong, hasn’t frayed much even with the slight catching on the grommets.
Price Currently $165 USD

Final Thoughts:

Don’t get me wrong, I adored the shape of this corset. It was indeed a corset for curvy girls! I was just torn on how light it was. Anyone who has handled a few real corsets can know how deceptively heavy a corset can be, but this one was as light as, say, a t-shirt. I loved it because it didn’t feel like a burden to wear, but was slightly concerned that it might not have been steel boned.

I decided to do a little dissecting (nothing that I couldn’t repair again) and was relieved to find that it did indeed have flexible flat steel bones. For good measure and ease of lacing, I replaced just the bones in the grommet panel, and also added a few more grommets. I also boned and suspended the modesty panel, although that has no real bearing on the corset itself. The rest of the corset – quality of the grommets, twill strength layer, internal waist tape etc – are of typical off-the-rack quality, which I was satisfied with.

To see the Curvy Girl corset and other styles made by Azrael’s Accomplice, you can find their site here.