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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.

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What Katie Did Cabaret “Laurie” Corset Review

Fit, length Front is about 12.5″ inches high; the highest part (from the apex of the bust) is 15 inches high. Moderate hourglass silhouette. Good for average torso length. Not longline. Includes hip gores. Bust gives similar amount of room as Sophia corset, except the apex is pointed instead of rounded. I would recommend this for ladies only up to C cup.
Material 2 layers of sheer organza; boning channels, binding and front of the waistband is in sturdy black satin which takes most of the stress.
Construction 5 panel pattern, and another 2 hip gores per side. Boning channels made of black heavyweight satin, finished on outside and inside. Cleanly constructed. Also has 6 garter tabs.
Binding Black satin bias binding neatly machine stitched on both inside and outside.
Waist tape 1″ wide visible waist tape made of peach satin ribbon, felt on the inside but is not uncomfortable.
Modesty panel Attached 8″ wide fabric lacing protector on the back made of 2 layers of sheer pink organza; stiffened placket under busk made of peach satin.
Busk Standard flexible busk (1/2″ wide on each side) about 11″ long (6 pins), backed with a 1″ wide stiffener on each side, reinforced with peach satin and buckram.
Boning 12 steel bones not including busk. 8 spirals (1/4″ wide) in external channels (all single boning), 4 flats (1/4″ wide) sandwiching the grommets.
Grommets 24 grommets total, size #0 two-part grommets with moderate flange; set equidistantly, no splits, no wear/fraying/pulling out of grommets
Laces 1″ wide black single-face satin ribbon. No stretch, very strong. (I would replace this with double-faced satin if it were to break, though.)
Price The Cabaret Laurie (this style) is currently $375 USD. The plain black satin Laurie is $275. You can find this style at the What Katie Did website.

Final Thoughts:

I think this is a gorgeous and unique corset; before this I had never tried a mesh or ventilated corset. The peachy color is flattering and not gaudy or old-looking, and the shape is absolutely wonderful. However if I were to buy the Laurie corset again, I will likely go for the larger-bust version, which they recently added for their normal line of overbust corsets.

The only reason that I ended up giving this corset to a friend, is that I didn’t wear it often enough because it was so sheer. Despite the strategically-placed black boning channel right in front of the nip area, it was just not something I’d wear on its own to a family barbecue.  My friend is a bit more of an exhibitionist than I am so it all worked out in the end. ;)

You can find the Laurie corset and others on the What Katie Did website.

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What Katie Did Floral “Antoinette” Corset Review

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

Fit, length Front is about 14″ inches high; the highest part (from the apex of the bust) is 15.5 inches high. Gentle hourglass/ modern slim silhouette. Good for average torso length. Not longline. Includes hip gores. Bust is rather roomy, I’d recommend this corset for bust sizes between B cup and E cup.
Material 3 layers; fashion layer is 100% flocked cotton, and the lining and interlining are both 100% cotton twill.
Construction 5 panel pattern, no hip gores. External boning channels made of black heavyweight brushed cotton. The liner is floating except for around the hip gores. Also has 6 garter tabs.
Binding Black cotton bias binding neatly machine stitched on both inside and outside.
Waist tape 1″ wide invisible waist tape between the interlining and lining.
Modesty panel Attached 8″ wide fabric lacing protector on the back made of white brushed cotton (no flocking) and twill; stiffened placket under busk.
Busk Standard flexible busk (1/2″ wide on each side) about 13″ long (7 pins), backed with a 1″ wide stiffener on each side.
Boning 12 steel bones not including busk. 8 spirals (1/4″ wide) in external channels (all single boning), 4 flats (1/4″ wide) sandwiching the grommets.
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 The floral Antoinette (this style) is currently $250 USD. The plain black satin Antoinette is $280.50 on the website for What Katie Did.

Final Thoughts:

After the Storm overbust that I more recently reviewed, this Floral Antoinette corset is my 2nd favorite of all the WKD overbusts. The silhouette, the texture of the flocked fabrics, the cut of the bust etc. all comes together so nicely.

I am a huge fan of how the sweeping neckline prevents “side-b00b”, and how the hip gores prevent any uncomfortable pinching. This corset makes me feel like a star.  While this corset is not designed to be worn every day, I wore this to a wedding last month and it was modest enough during the ceremony while eye-popping enough to receive many compliments at the reception!

You can see the Antoinette overbust corset and other styles on the What Katie Did website.

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What Katie Did Satin “Tempest” Corset Review

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

Fit, length Front is about 14″ inches high; the highest part (from the apex of the bust) is 15 1/4 inches high. Moderate hourglass silhouette. Good for average torso length; not a longline corset. No hip gores, but has ties at the hips to adjust the hip measurement. Bust area fits up to about a small D cup in my opinion.
Material 3 layers; fashion layer is 100% polyester satin, and the lining and interlining are both 100% white cotton twill.
Construction 5 panel pattern, no hip gores. External boning channels, a floating liner (very comfortable). Also has 6 garter tabs.
Binding Peach satin (matched) 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 satin and twill; stiffened placket under busk.
Busk Standard flexible busk (1/2″ wide on each side) about 11″ long (6 pins) and the center front has 2 pairs of grommets at the top to make another almost 3 inches above the busk. The busk is backed with a 1″ wide stiffener on each side.
Boning 14 steel bones not including busk. 10 spirals (1/4″ wide) in external channels, 4 flats (1/4″ wide) sandwiching the grommets.
Grommets 22 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 Currently $280.50 USD (at the time I reviewed it it was ~ $250) on the What Katie Did website.

Final Thoughts:

If you find that you have a “difficult to fit” body, then consider this style. The adjustable ties at the bust gives your chest a little more “breathing room” while the ties at the hips prevent pinching and allow for different hip springs. By making the proper adjustments at these ties, you’re able to keep the laces at the back nice and parallel and straight (i.e. it will look like || instead of / or / etc.) which is one of the features of a well-fitting corset. Adjusting the ties will also somewhat allow you to go from a lighter cinch with a more hourglass shape, to a stronger cinch with a slightly more wasp-shape. If you find the hip ties a bit too cumbersome or you don’t like the look of it, then check out the Storm overbust as it has gores instead of ties.

To see the different styles of the Tempest corset and their other corsets, please visit the What Katie Did website. I would also like to remind you to check out the ebay boutique from What Katie Did, as they often put used, end of line or “second quality” corsets for sale at huge discounts. For instance, I bought my Sailor Tempest corset from their ebay store for 60% off the original price (about $107 CDN) because it was used once for a photoshoot, even though it was still perfect quality.

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What Katie Did Raw Silk “Sophia” Corset Review

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

Fit, length Front is about 14″ inches high; the highest part (from the apex of the bust) is 15 ¾ inches high. Gentle hourglass/ modern slim silhouette. Good for average torso length. No hip gores. Not recommended for people with lower tummy pooch or a bust larger than about a C cup.
Material 3 layers; fashion layer is 100% raw silk, and the lining and interlining are both 100% cotton twill.
Construction 5 panel pattern, no hip gores. External boning channels, a floating liner (very comfortable). Also has 6 garter tabs.
Binding Green silk (matched) 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 green silk and twill; stiffened placket under busk.
Busk Standard flexible busk (1/2″ wide on each side) about 11″ long (6 pins), backed with a 1″ wide stiffener on each side.
Boning 20 steel bones not including busk. 16 spirals (1/4″ wide) in external channels, 4 flats (1/4″ wide) sandwiching the grommets.
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 Currently $310.50 USD (at the time I reviewed it it was ~ $240) on the What Katie Did website.

Final Thoughts:

Although the fashion fabric and the construction (external channels, double-bones on each seam) are all quite beautiful, this is simply not the best corset for my body type – the silhouette is a very gentle hourglass (what I would call “modern slim” hourglass) with no hip gores, and it just does not have enough room in the bust for me. HOWEVER! In 2012 they have come out with another version of the Sophia corset – the original version for small-busted ladies, and a newer version for more top-heavy ladies. The large-bust version is made-to-order so you don’t receive it quite as quickly, but it might be worth the wait to have a well-fitting overbust.

In this video I wear the size 22″ which I can usually close much more in a curvy underbust corset. However because of the gentle silhouette, you can see the gap is wider here on me. If you decide to order the Sophia corset then consider buying just 3-4 inches smaller than your natural waist size, even if you are usually more accustomed to lacing down 6 inches or more. If you’re looking for a curvier, more traditional hourglass or wasp-waisted overbust in general, then there are many other styles to choose from on the What Katie Did site.

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What Katie Did “Morticia” Corset Review

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

Fit, length Front is about 13″ inches long, wasp-waist silhouette. Good for medium to long-waisted people, may be too long for those with a short torso. Has enough room in the ribcage and hip areas; very comfortable. Will cover lower-tummy pooch.
Material 3 layers; fashion layer is satin (100% polyester) and the lining and interlining are both 100% cotton twill.
Construction 5 panel pattern with an additional 2 hip gores per side. Top-stitching between panels, external boning channels, and a floating liner (very comfortable). Also has 6 garter tabs.
Binding Black satin bias tape neatly machine stitched on both inside and outside.
Waist tape 1″ wide invisible waist tape between the interlining and lining.
Modesty panel Attached 8″ wide fabric lacing protector on the back; 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.
Boning 12 steel bones not including busk. 8 spirals (1/4″ wide) in external channels, 4 flats (1/4″ wide) sandwiching the grommets.
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. Because this is my smallest corset (18″) I found the laces were not long enough. Has some spring to the lace but very difficult to break.
Price Currently $275 USD (at the time I reviewed it it was ~ $240) on the What Katie Did website.

Final Thoughts:

This is my favorite cut of all the WKD underbust corsets, and it’s no wonder that this style is the most popular cut to review on other sites as well. The wasp silhouette is lovely – it gives a conical ribcage and the longline cut over the hips means that it will help to hold in that little bit of pudge below the navel.  They have also more recently come out with a spoon-busk version that will hold in lower-tummy pooch better than the original.

I believe that this corset is capable of giving at least a 12″ hipspring so it can give a lovely shape even on pear-figures. Due to its curviness of their customers find that they even need to order a size down from what they usually order (usually 6″ waist reduction instead of 4″). However be realistic about this – at the time I review, I could lace down to about 22″ yet I was modelling an 18″ corset which was admittedly too small for me, as my ribcage and hips were broader than the corset. Since then I’ve purchased another Morticia corset in size 22″, a 6-inch waist reduction on me, and it fits much better.

To see the Morticia underbust and other cuts/ styles of WKD corsets, visit What Katie Did’s site.