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Corsets-UK ‘Instant Shape’ Ivory Overbust Review

This entry is a summary of the review video for the “Instant Shape Ivory Overbust” with floral trim and quilted hip detail by 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 Center front is 14 inches long, princess seam is 15.5 inches, the side seam 13 inches and the center back is 14 inches long. (Fits a bit short on my long torso and low waist.)
Bust spring is 8″, rib spring is 2″, hip spring is 8″. Modern slim silhouette (see Final Thoughts below).
Material The fashion fabric is polyester based ivory satin which was interfaced, and the lining is a dusty pink cotton twill.
Construction 6-panel pattern (14 panels total). The layers were flatlined and panels assembled, and then on the hips, there is “quilting” over the hips (made to look like cording, but they used thin cotton batting). Boning channels cover the seam allowances on the lining side.
Waist tape None. (Not recommended for high reductions or waist training – see Final Thoughts below.)
Binding Binding at top and bottom are made from matching ivory satin. Machine stitched on both sides on a single pass (likely using a specialized binding attachment on the sewing machine). 6 garter tabs (3 on each side) and additionally there are 2 small tabs per side on the top edge if you want to add your own bra straps.
Modesty panel There is a modesty panel on the back, made of two layers (ivory satin on the outside and pinky twill on the inside). 7″ wide and unstiffened. It’s sewn into the corset (covered by a boning channel) so it cannot be easily removed unless you take scissors and cut it.
There’s also a narrow ivory satin modesty placket extending from underneath knob side of the busk.
Busk 13” long, with 6 loops and pins, equidistantly spaced. It’s similar to a spoon busk: 1/2″ wide on each side at the top, and at the widest part of the “spoon” it is 1.25″ wide on each side. But it is not curved inward like a spoon busk (it acts more like a “wide busk” at the bottom.
Boning 14 bones total in this corset. On each side, 5 of them are spirals about ¼ inch wide – single boned on the seams. There are also two flat steel bones, both ¼” wide sandwiching the grommets on each side.
Grommets There are 24, two-part size #0 grommets (12 on each side). They have a medium flange and are spaced equidistantly about 1” apart. Most of the grommets are finished in silver, but (oddly) the grommets at the waistline are gunmetal grey (probably done deliberately). Some of the grommets have shifted laterally, but none pulling out of the fabric completely.
Laces The laces are 3/8” wide flat nylon shoe-lace style (finished in green!). I find them to be long enough, and they hold bows and knots well. A little springy but it “stretches out” and the springiness goes away over time.
Price Corsets-UK decided not to size these corsets with traditional corset sizes (waist size in inches) but rather, recommends you choose your street clothes size (like US 6 or UK 10). This corset is available in UK sizes 6 up to 24.
£59 GBP on Corsets UK, or $89 on Corset Story.

 

Final Thoughts:

It’s been several years since I reviewed any piece from Corsets-UK, because I had purchased about 10 of them in the past (between the years of 2010 and 2012) and I was not the most thrilled with their quality. The company approached me in the summer of 2016, letting me know that they have been working hard on creating new curvier designs, with better quality materials, and asked if I would be willing to try a couple of their pieces in exchange for personal feedback. I agreed, and I was surprised to see how much their products had changed over the years. While it was not in the original agreement to review this corset (and the other two coming up soon) publicly, I did ask them if it was alright to share the review with my viewers / readers, bearing in mind that it will be a balanced review where I mention the good points and the room for improvement. They agreed, so here we are.

Corsets-UK’s ‘Instant Shape’ corsets are designed to be a bit less curvaceous than their ‘Waist Taming’ line that I reviewed last week. Their website states that it is designed for more gentle waist reductions (perhaps 2 inches or so in the waist), and it’s not designed for waist training. Because it has gentle sloping hips and a modern slim silhouette, I would recommend that if you are naturally curvy, opt for a curvier style corset.

I chose this corset for several reasons – the first is that it was a different range from their ‘Waist Taming’ line, at a drastically lower price point, so I wanted to see what was different in terms of the quality. When I compared the two corsets, I could see that the fashion fabric was thinner and had a less dense weave compared to the ‘Waist Taming’ satin fashion fabric, and it had thinner, lighter weight spiral bones (closer to 4mm instead of 6mm wide, but still thankfully galvanized with no rust). If you’d like to see the bones in this corset (where I opened up the binding and took a look inside), see the video above.

The other reasons why I chose this corset is because it had 3 decorative features that caught my eye: the quilted hips (made to look almost like cording), the ‘aesthetic’ spoon busk (which is wider at the bottom just like traditional spoon busks, but doesn’t curve inward like traditional spoon busks), and the ribbon floral trim on the top edge (which Corsets-UK provided a small ziplock baggy of extra flowers).

The grommets of this corset were not pulling out the same way that they were in the ‘Waist Taming’ Corsets-UK review, but this may have to do with the fact that this corset is less curvy and is not designed for high reductions. One subtle feature that I found interesting though, is that this corset (and the underbust I also reviewed from the ‘Instant Shape’ line) is that most of the grommets are silver, while just the four at the waistline (where the bunny ears come through) were deliberately a darker silver, closer to pewter or gunmetal grey. I would have thought this was a mistake, if it hadn’t been consistent in both of my ‘Instant Shape’ corsets. Whether it was done by the factory so the person lacing the corset would lace it properly, or whether it was done for the consumer in case they wanted to change the laces, I’m not sure – but it was interesting to notice, and the difference in color isn’t too conspicuous from far away.

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Corset Connection ‘Flora’ Underbust Review

This entry is a summary of the video “Corset Connection ‘Flora’ Underbust Review” which you can watch on YouTube here:

Fit, length This style is standard sized: Center front is about 11.25 inches high, from underbust to lap is 10 inches, and the center back is 11.5 inches. Waist in this corset is 24″, ribcage is 28″ (4 inch rib spring) and lower hip is 32″ (8 inch hip spring). Modern slim silhouette.
Material This style of corset has 2 main layers. Fashion fabric is ivory brocade (interfaced) and the lining is white cotton twill.
Construction 6 panel pattern, constructed using the sandwich method. Double boned on the seams, with the bones sandwiched between the layers.
Binding Bias strips of matching ivory brocade, machine stitched on the outside and inside. Also includes 6 garter tabs.
Waist tape 1 inch wide invisible waist tape, sandwiched between the layers. Starts at the seam between panels 1-2, and goes to the back edge.
Modesty panel Back modesty panel is 6 inches wide, unstiffened, finished in matching ivory brocade, and sewn in (can be easily removed if desired). No modesty placket in front.
Busk Heavy-duty busk (1″ wide on each side), 9.25 inches long. 5 loops + pins, equidistantly spaced. Slightly more rigid compared to a standard flexible busk.
Boning 24 bones total, 12 on each side. Double boned on the seams with 1/4″ wide spiral steel bones, and there are four flat steels in the back sandwiching the grommets.
Grommets 24 two-part grommets, size #0 (larger hole), with a small to medium flange. Finished in silver and equidistantly spaced. The splits in the back do catch on the laces.
Laces White round poly cord – I prefer flat nylon lacing, and laces can easily be switched out.
Price $99 on the Corset Connection website.

 

Flora underbust in black satin. Photo: LeMew photography.
Flora underbust in black satin. Photo: LeMew photography.

The Flora corset is cut straight across at the top edge, and is gently rounded at the bottom edge. I’m happy to see that the busk doesn’t bow outwards too much at the bottom, so this style of corset can give you some posture support while remaining relatively stealthy under clothing. The busk is rigid enough to provide a little bit of lower tummy support, but not quite as much as a longline corset.

The gentle (modern slim) silhouette will nip waistlines from people who are naturally apple-shaped, and can provide some posture and abdominal support without giving a very dramatic silhouette. However if you’re naturally curvier, you may want to check out a different corset style with more of an hourglass silhouette.

The Flora corset is available in satin, brocade and even PVC, and in colors black, ivory, and red. Available from sizes 18 up to 44 inches, it’s suited to even full-figured corset wearers. The Flora corset is also available for both women and men.

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Boom! Boom! Baby! Boutique Cream Fan-Laced Overbust Corset Review

This post is a summary of the “Boom Boom Baby Cream Overbust Review” video, which you can watch on Youtube if you prefer:

Fit, length Center front is 14.5 inches long, and from the peak of the bust to the lap along the princess seam is 15 inches. Center back is also 15 inches. Circumferential measurements: waist is 21″, full bust is 29-30″, high hip is around 29″ too). The silhouette is a gentle hourglass, bordering on modern slim.
Material 3 main layers – fashion fabric is cream colored densely-woven canvas and twill. There is an interlining between the fashion fabric and lining. The floating liner is black herringbone coutil.
Construction 5 panel pattern, with some of the panels in the front tapering toward the lower tummy. Fashion layer and interlining were flatlined (lining is floating). Panels assembled with a top-stitch at the seams. Single boned on the seams; channels are sandwiched between fashion and interlining layers.
Binding Bias strips of matching cream-colored twill, machine stitched on both sides (slight top-stitch on the outside). No garter tabs but there are suspenders (black elastic garters) tacked to the outside of the corset as embellishment.
Waist tape 1-inch wide waist tape, invisibly stitched between the layers. It does not extend through all panels; this waist tape starts between panels 1-2, ending towards the back of the corset.
Modesty panel Modesty panel is slightly under 6″ wide (about 4″ of usable width), finished in the same cream fashion fabric and black coutil lining. Secured to one side of the corset with a simple row of stitching. No modesty placket in the front.
Busk 13 inches long with 6 pins (bottom two are closer together). Fairly stiff, heavy duty busk, 1″ wide on each side.
Boning 12 total bones not including busk. On each side there are four 1/4″ spiral steel bones. Two further 1/4″ wide flats sandwich the grommets on each side.
Grommets 30 eyelets total, size 5mm Prym brand two-part eyelets with medium flange; set equidistantly. A few splits on the underside, but for the most part they’ve rolled nicely.
Laces 1/4″ black flat braided shoe-lace style laces (feels like a cotton blend). Virtually unbreakable. Has zero spring. It seems that a few of them have been sewn together for length, which caused a little “bump” when lacing up, but otherwise seems to be holding together.
Price At the time that I’m writing, an overbust in your size starts at around $240 USD in the Boom Boom Baby Etsy shop.
Little Twiglet models the corset by Kirsteen Wythe.

Other Thoughts/ Observations:

For this review I had to do something I never had to do before (although I have a feeling that it won’t be the last time) – I had to model this corset on a pillow, because the fit of this corset on me was so unfortunate that I don’t think I would do it justice wearing it for the review. However, this is no fault of the maker herself; the corset had been a sample originally modelled by Little Twiglet, and it was not at all made with my measurements in mind. I am disappointed, but only at the circumstances, not the designer.

This corset has no shortage of embellishments: decorative fan-lacing details cover the bustline, with laces anchored at the grommets along the top edge converging down into the fan-lacing slides below. Black elastic suspenders run over the shoulders, resembling a bit of a harness. A pair of garters on each side to keep stockings up (knowing me, I would probably hang a chatelaine or other doodad from them instead!). On the back of this corset, unfortunately away from view, there is also semi-functional fan-lacing (the laces in the back must go through the fan-laced details, although the slides are anchored and cannot be pulled to easily tighten the corset). All the strappy details transform an otherwise sterile-looking off-white sweetheart overbust into a truly intriguing piece of art.

You can see what other corsets Kirsteen Wythe (Boom! Boom! Baby! Boutique) has for sale in her Etsy shop HERE, or read what she is up to on her main website HERE.

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Vollers “Aida” Review and Revision

This entry is a summary of the two video “Vollers Aida underbust review” and “NEW & IMPROVED Aida Corset (Mini Review)” which you can watch on YouTube here:

*****

 

Fit, length Center front is 9.5″ high, center back is 9″ high, side seam is 7″ high (cuts over the iliac crest) – I would consider this a cincher. Modern slim silhouette; this size 24″ corset has an underbust 28″ and high hips of about 30″. But Vollers has a made-to-measure service, you can get this corset made to your specifications for a 25% markup.
Material 2 main layers; outer layer is ivory satin and inner layer is ivory twill.
Construction 13 panel pattern (closed front), panels assembled with a top-stitch and single-boned on the seams (internal boning channels). The original Aida corset had twill channels, while the revised Aida has herringbone coutil boning channels.
Binding Hand-made bias strips of commercial black satin ribbon, machine stitched on the outside and inside (not folded under, as the ribbon has a finished edge)
Waist tape The original Aida had no waist tape, but the revised version does have a partial internal waist tape.
Modesty panel 6-inch wide modesty panel finished in same ivory satin/ twill under the laces in the back, and a modesty placket under the side zipper (the revised version has a boned placket).
Zipper Closure The Aida has a 6″ long heavy-duty metal Riri zipper; the original version had no bones around the zipper, while the revised version has double boning in the modesty placket under the zipper for greater stabilization.
Boning Original Aida had 13 bones total, with none in the center front and none by the zipper. Revised Aida has 16 bones; a large 1-inch wide heavy duty bone in the center front, and two in the zipper’s modesty placket.
Grommets 18 one-part eyelets, size #00, small-to-medium, quite sturdy. Silver finish, and set equidistantly. The eyelets splay outwards in the back and grab onto the back of the twill; they are not coming out but then again I don’t lace this corset very tightly (about a 3-inch reduction)
Embellishment Closed front with black decorative laces; the original Aida corset had a bow at the bottom, while the revised Aida omitted the bow.
Price At the time I’m writing this, the Aida is £195 in the UK, or $310 USD.

Other Thoughts:

Model shows the location of the heavy zipper.

After the first review of the Aida corset, I’m quite pleased that Vollers had decided to make some revisions and improvements to the Aida corset and loan me their newer version for a mini review. The differences in the new Aida include sturdier herringbone weave boning channels (instead of twill); an added waist tape on the inside of the corset (the original had none); more bones including a double-boned modesty placket under the zipper, and a heavy-duty 1-inch bone in the center front; and the omission of the little black ribbon bow in the center front of the corset. The extra bones contributed to a sturdier-feeling corset, and helped to keep the corset’s silhouette more symmetric on the body. I also feel that the extra stability around the zipper would potentially lead to a longer-lasting corset in general.

Vollers mentioned that they wanted to introduce this new line of zip-up corsets to cater to their Burlesque clientele, who need quick and easy access into and out of their corsets onstage.

It shows great integrity in a corset company that they are willing to listen to the ideas of their customers and change their construction accordingly, so I have to thank Vollers for giving me this opportunity to try out their products and share them with my viewers and readers. You can read more about the Aida corset on the Vollers website here.

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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:

*****

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:

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.