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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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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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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.