Tag Archive: red

Ava Corsetry ‘Carmen’ Corset Review

This entry is a summary of the review video “Ava Corsetry ‘Carmen’ Corset Review” which you can watch on YouTube here:

Fit, length This style is standard sized: Center front is about 11.5 inches high, from underbust to lap is 9.5 inches, and the center back is 12.5 inches. Hourglass silhouette with rounded ribcage and rounded hip. Waist in this corset is 24″, ribcage is 30″ and lower hip is 34″.
Material 2 main layers, fashion fabric is red poly taffeta, and strength fabric is black herringbone coutil. Black floral lace and tulle on the decorative front panels and “hip fins”. Very lightweight corset!
Construction 5 vertical panels, with a 6th semi-circle hip panel. Constructed using the welt-seam method. Internal boning channels are made with strips of coutil, and the herringbone lining is semi-floating in a couple of places!
Binding Bias strips of matching red taffeta, machine stitched on both sides. I like how narrow and delicate the binding looks on this corset!
Waist tape 1 inch wide invisible waist tape, sewn between the layers. The partial tape starts at the seam between panels 1-2, and ends at seam between 4-5.
Modesty panel Back modesty panel is 6 inches wide and finished in the same red taffeta. Unstiffened and stitched onto one side of the back of the corset (easily removable). 1/2″ wide modesty placket in front.
Busk Standard flexible busk (1/2″ wide on each side), and 10.5 inches long. It has 5 loops and pins, with the bottom two closer together. Two 1/4″ wide flat steels adjacent to the busk help to keep the abdomen flat.
Boning 16 bones total, 8 on each side. Two by the busk and 4 by the grommets are 1/4″ flat steels, while the side bones are likely spirals.
Grommets 24 two-part grommets, size #00, small flange, quite sturdy. Silver finish. The taffeta is pulling away from the grommets (see discussion below).
Laces Black flat shoe-lace style lacing, no spring, easy to pull and tie.
Price About £209 to commission the Carmen corset in your size. Upgrade to custom fit is very reasonable (starts at only £10 more) depending on how much your own measurements deviate from the standard size chart.

 

Carmen corset made by Ava Corsetry. Model: Miss Betsy Rose

Carmen corset made by Ava Corsetry. Model: Miss Betsy Rose. Click to go to Ava’s site!

The Carmen corset is one of the most creatively constructed corsets I’ve ever had the pleasure of reviewing. It’s a clever combination of internal boning channels, and hidden boning channels to create a corset with a semi-floating fashion layer that allows for a comfortable semi-circular hip panel and decorative mini-pannier (hip fin). The corset is surprisingly lightweight overall, and the taffeta sits smoothly around the body. I’m usually not a “taffeta” type of girl, but I adore this corset.

The black lace against the fiery red fabric lends a certain Spanish flair, and I can’t help but wonder if the corset was named after the Bizet’s opera of the same name, based in Spain in the mid 19th century.

The only construction issue I found in the corset is that the taffeta started to distort in the back and pull away from a couple of grommets at the waistline. However, I have personally found that this is a property of taffeta – almost all of the taffeta corsets I’ve ever owned over the years have done the same thing, but this remains only superficial/ aesthetic damage – as long as the strength fabric does not distort, the grommet should not pull out. If I were to replace the grommet with another of a wider flange, the distortion wouldn’t be visible at all.

At the time I purchased this corset (February 2015), Ava Corsetry was operated by the incredible Danielle MacDonald. (The name Ava was inspired by the elegance of Ava Gardner.) The business has since changed hands and a new corsetiere (Lyzzy, who also works with Kiss Me Deadly) now runs Ava. Danielle was sure to choose her successor very carefully and ensures that her future customers remain in good hands. Check out the Ava Corsetry website here.

(Watch Habanera from Carmen below – with vocalists in genuine corsets!)

Scoundrelle’s Keep Sabine Corset Review

This post is a summary of the “Scoundrelle’s Keep Sabine Underbust Corset Review” video, which you can watch on Youtube if you prefer:

Scoundrelle’s Keep Sabine Quick Stats

Fit, length The Sabine is custom fit to the individual wearer, so the measurements will be different for each. In my corset, the center front is 10.5 inches long. The side seam is 7.5 inches, and the center back is 15 inches (not including the adjustable, detachable shoulder harness).  Circumferential measurements: waist is 26 inches, the underbust is 29 inches, and the low hip is about 33 inches.
Material Three layers: fashion fabric is maroon dupioni silk, the strength layer is a thick cotton interlining, and the lining is black black cotton twill.
Construction 5 panel pattern (10 panels total) for the main underbust corset (the harness is 1 panel).
The fashion fabric and strength fabric were flatlined and treated as one. Panels were assembled using a lock-stitch with seams probably pressed open. Double boning channels on the seams, possibly using extra strips of fabric internally or possibly using the seam allowances. The lining is somewhat a floating layer.
Binding Bias strips of fuzzy brushed black, probably knit fabric. Neatly machine stitched on outside, not turned under on the inside (the knit fabric resists fraying). There are also 6 D-rings at the lower edge, probably for garters or attaching other accessories.
Waist tape None detected.
Modesty panel None in back or front. (Be careful not to pinch your skin in the zipper!)
Zipper Heavy duty metal zip, reinforced with 1/4 inch wide flat steel bones on each side. Very strong, 10 inches long.
Boning 22 total bones (11 on each side). They all seem to be 1/4″ wide flat steels, double boned on the seams.
Grommets 34 grommets total, size #00 with a medium flange and finished in silver. Set equidistantly, an inch apart. Typical “US brand” grommets.
Price About $340 USD for the dupioni silk brocade you see in this video. Leather starts at $390.

 

I loved this corset for the brief time I owned it. Although the fit wasn’t perfect for me (I purchased it from a previous owner with similar – but not identical – measurements), I found it very comfortable to wear while sitting at my desk. It encouraged me to sit with my legs uncrossed and my feet flat on the floor, while keeping my back straight and my shoulders down and back – encouraging proper posture and ergonomics and preventing fatigue while I worked. To boot, the corset’s overall aesthetic is very steampunk and fun!

The harness attaches with 6 adjustable straps which fasten with buckles. If you prefer to wear the corset without the harness, you can remove it. The laces are separate between the underbust corset and the harness so you can adjust the width of them individually (if you happen to have broad shoulders and a smaller waist, or vice-versa). There are enough belt ‘holes’ to allow you to adjust the height of the harness if you happen to have a long torso or high shoulders.

Although there is no waist tape in this corset – and I’m usually apprehensive about using a corset with no waist tape on a daily basis – I felt that the construction of this corset was very hardy (it survived 3 different wearers!) and at the light, 2-inch reduction it gave my waist, it felt sturdy enough to wear regularly while sitting at my desk.

The only reason I sold this corset was because the buyer was desperate to purchase it from me as she needed full posture support as quickly as possible. If not for her request, I would have loved to keep this piece in my collection!

The Sabine corset is available in sizes from 20 up to 38 and beyond, in custom/ made-to-measure sizes. See more at Scoundrelle’s Keep website here! Or see my gallery of other corsets that contain shoulder straps.

Review of “Oriental Princess” Ensemble – Serinde Corsets

This post is a summary of the “Serindë “Oriental Princess” Corset Outfit review” video, which you can watch on Youtube if you prefer:

 

Fit, length Center front is 10 inches long, the shortest part of the corset at the side seam is 7.5 inches (cut very high over the hip), and the enter back is also 11.5 inches. Circumferential measurements: waist is 24″, ribcage 26″ (measured about 3 inches above the waist), high hip 32″. The silhouette is very mild in silhouette; gently curved in the waist.
Material Fashion fabric is red brocade, the strength layer is coutil, and the lining is a lightweight black cotton.
Construction 6 panel pattern. Fashion fabric and strength fabric were flatlined, panels assembled with a top-stich, and it’s double-boned on the seams. Floating liner.
Binding Red taffeta which matches the rest of the ensemble (halter and skirt), machine stitched on outside and hand-finished inside. Gold-tone beads and coins also attached by hand every inch or so around the top and bottom edges.
Waist tape 1 inch wide twill waist tape, invisibly stitched between the layers.
Modesty panel Modesty panel is around 5″ wide, finished in the same fashion fabric (red brocade and black lining). Stiffened with 2 steel bones (criss-crossed on the panel) and suspended on the laces. There is also a 1/2″ wide modesty placket in the front by the busk.
Busk 9 inches long with 5 pins, last two closer together. Standard flexible busk (half inch on each side). Finished in a gold-tone.
Boning 26 total bones not including busk. 1/4″ wide spirals, double boned on the seams. Two further 1/4″ wide flats sandwich the grommets on each side, as well as one 1/4″ flat steel by the busk on each side, making a total of 13 bones on each side.
Grommets Size 5mm Prym eyelets (very good 2-part eyelets and washers) with medium flange, finished in gold to match the rest of the hardware. Set a little closer at the waistline for ease of cinching. They’ve all rolled nicely.
Laces 1/2″ red double faced satin ribbon. Zero spring. They glide well through the laces.
"Oriental Princess" ensemble made by Serinde Corsets. Modelled by myself (Lucia Corsetti), photo by Remedy Photography.

“Oriental Princess” ensemble made by Serinde Corsets. Modelled by myself (Lucia Corsetti), photo by Remedy Photography.

If memory serves correctly, this is the first time that I’m reviewing an entire outfit / ensemble, as opposed to simply a corset – I’m very fortunate that this fit well enough to review even though it wasn’t made to my measurements. This outfit was originally called “The Oriental Princess” by Serinde Corsets.

The halter is directly sewn onto the top edge of the corset, and they can be adjusted with ties in the back of the neck. There is enough curve to conceivably give enough room for even quite large cup sizes, but it can also be pulled very tightly to fit smaller cups.

The mermaid skirt is also in a matching taffeta-texture fabric, with hand-sewn gold beads set approximately knee-level. This skirt is unfortunately just a little short for me, as it was made for a model a bit shorter than I am, but if I wear the outfit in flat slippers it’s not too noticeable. The back of the skirt is a little longer than the front – not a train per se, but it flares out beautifully behind me when worn. 

Lastly, the lace shawl was ingeniously created from a simple tube of lace fabric, and again gold-tone beads were fastened on the edge of the “sleeves” and scattered throughout as well.

Serinde is currently on hiatus from commissions, but you can visit her Facebook fanpage here.

Dark Garden Corselette Review

This post is a summary of the “Dark Garden Corselette Review” video, which you can watch on Youtube if you prefer:

 

Fit, length Center front is 11 inches long, the shortest part of the corset at the side seam is 5.5 inches (cut very high over the hip), and the enter back is also 8.5 inches. Circumferential measurements: waist is 22″, ribcage 26″ (measured about 3 inches above the waist), high hip 28″ (measured about 2.5 inches below the waist). The silhouette is quite dramatic; I consider this a wasp waist. Side bones are pre-bent to give a nipped-in waist.
Material Fashion fabric is red poplin, with a black lace overlay (every panel is mirror-matched), and the strength fabric (lining) is densely-woven black canvas.
Construction 4 panel pattern. It seems as though all layers were flatlined for each panel, panels were assembled with seam allowances facing outward, and these seams were then covered with external boning channels (2 bones per seam).
Binding Black satin bias binding, machine stitched on both sides, with a slight topstitch visible on the outside. 6 garter tabs.
Waist tape 0.75 inch wide twill waist tape, exposed on the lining side of the corset. It starts at the seam between panels 1-2, and ends at the center back seam.
Modesty panel Modesty panel is around 5″ wide, finished in the same fashion fabric (red poplin with black lace) and black canvas lining. Stiffened with 4 steel bones and left separate to slip under the laces when worn (or you can choose to not wear the modesty panel). There is a teensy seam in the center front which is not a modesty placket per se, but it does help prevent a visible gap between the busk.
Busk 10 inches long with 5 pins, equidistantly spaced. Standard flexible busk (half inch on each side). There is also a 1/2″ wide flat steel on either side of the busk for reinforcement. In the pointed cinchers, the busk seems to be shaved down on an angle so the tips follow the same line as the fabric!
Boning 18 total bones not including busk. 1/4″ wide bones, double boned on the seams. The side seams must be flat steel since they are pre-bent. Two further 1/4″ wide flats sandwich the grommets on each side, as well as one 1/2″ flat steel by the busk, making a total of 9 bones on each side.
Grommets 20 grommets total, size #00 with medium flange, finished in black and set equidistantly. A few splits on the underside, but for the most part they’ve rolled nicely and don’t catch on the laces. Washers are large to prevent the grommets from falling out.
Laces 3/8″ black double faced satin ribbon. Zero spring. They glide well through the laces.
Price Available from sizes 18-38, and at the time that I’m writing this review, the corselette costs $315 for plain black poplin, and $395 if you want an identical style to this (with coloured poplin and mirror-matched lace overlay).

Dark Garden Corselette, modelled by Victoria Dagger and photographed by Joel Aron photography

I’m extremely pleased to say that this is the first of four reviews of Dark Garden’s RTW (ready-to-wear) corset selection, including the Cincher, the classic Valentine and the Risqué Valentine

The Corselette is one of the shortest corsets I’ve ever tried, with a side length of only 5.5 inches which may fit even the shortest of waists. This particular style is pointed in the front with a 10 inch busk; but if you don’t like pointed corsets or you prefer something that is more conducive to hiding under clothing, you can request that the Corselette be made with a more rounded center front instead (the center front may be slightly shorter in this case). If you think you need more control around the sides and back to control flesh spillover, or if you want your lower tummy pulled flat, I would suggest trying one of their slightly longer underbust corsets.

I love how they used flat steel bones along the side seams that had been pre-curved to nip in the waist and kick out the hip, making a very curvy and comfortable corset from the first time I wore it – no numbness around the hips.

But one of the things I appreciate most about Dark Garden is their ethics. Every one of their corsets are made from start to finish in the US and they take enormous pride in their construction, which is evident in the pattern matching in their lace or brocade corsets for a luxurious final effect.

The Corselette can be viewed on Dark Garden’s website HERE.

Serindë Short Hip Fan-Lace Corset Review

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

Fit, length This corset is a standard-size 22″ by Serindë: the underbust is 27″, waist 22″, hips 32″. Center front length is about 10.5 inches, the princess seam is 9″ long and the side seam is 8.5″ long. I consider this corset to have a short hip (not longline) and is a moderate hourglass silhouette.
Material 3 main layers: outer layer is gorgeous heavyweight burgundy brocade, strength fabric is coutil, and a lightweight plain black cotton floating lining.
Construction 6 panel pattern, with seams (and bones) converging in the bottom center front. Panels are assembled using a topstitch. Bones are sandwiched between layers, with both bones on one side of the seam.
Binding Black satin bias tape, machine stitched on the outside and inside (top-stitched on both sides). No garter tabs.
Waist tape 1 inch wide waist tape, stitched invisibly between the layers.
Modesty panel Back modesty panel is about 4″ wide, boned in a criss-cross fashion with two bones, and suspended on the laces. 1/2″ wide modesty placket on knob side of the busk.
Busk 9 inches long, standard width busk (half inch on each side) with 5 knobs and loops (the lowest two are a bit closer together for control over the lower tummy).
Boning 24 bones total (12 bones per side). Mostly 1/4″ wide spiral steels, double boned on all the seams. There is a flat steel on either side of the busk as well, and two flat steels sandwiching the grommets on each side.
Grommets 24 two-part Prym brand eyelets, size #0 (5mm), large flange, held in strongly. Set a little closer together at the waist. Good wide washers; no splits on the back.
Laces Laces are 1/2″ wide double-faced satin ribbon, finished in black.
Embellishment Decorative fan-lacing drapes across the front, with silver hardware and black ribbon – skillfully done, as it lies smoothly across the body when worn!

This lovely short underbust from Serindë was made last year, just before I launched the 30,000 subscriber giveaway – some of you may even remember the corset from that video! Serindë was also the corsetiere who kindly gave her time and efforts to create the corsets for the three winners of that giveaway.

This is the third corset I’ve reviewed from Serindë and her corsets are consistently high quality – even though her standard sized underbust pattern is tight for me in the ribcage, the construction is flawless – the fabric lays smooth over the body; and she typically chooses just one or two focal points for embellishment on each piece so her work is never boring, but never overdone. The decorative fan-lacing featured on this corset is expertly 

Such a short-hipped corset feels almost like a cincher to me, and the moderate silhouette lends itself well to back and posture support, allowing good mobility and sitting for long periods, and matching fairly well with a good chunk of my wardrobe as burgundy is one of my favourite colours. If this corset had been custom-drafted to fit my ribcage better, that would be the only improvement I could see.

If you would like to learn more about Serindë and her work, be sure to check out her Facebook page here, or her Etsy page here!

Corset Connection (Versatile) Scarlett Overbust review (& comparison)

This entry is a summary of the review video “Versatile/ Corset Connection Scarlett Overbust Review (and Comparison!)”. If you want visual close-ups and further details, you can watch the video on YouTube here:

Fit, length Center front is 14″, the longest part from peak of the bust to lap is just under 16″.  Gentle sweetheart neckline, not too long on the hips – good for average to long waists. Definitely modern slim silhouette. The bust is 6″ bigger than the waist (suitable for smaller busts, A – small C cup), and the hips are about 10″ bigger than the waist.
Material 3 main layers – the outer fashion fabric is satin, stabilized/ fused for strength, lined in polyester fabric.  Newer versions are lined in herringbone coutil for custom commissions (the blush piece I showed was a display sample so lined in twill)
Construction 6-panel pattern (12 panels total). One version has sandwiched boning channels and a floating fashion layer. Depending on your request, either method of construction can be used (this method or the external boning channel method).Same basic pattern. The other version has topstitched panels, external boning channels, no floating fashion layer.
Binding Binding is made from matching strips of fashion layer material. Binding is machine stitched on both sides. There are also 6 garter tabs; in the old stock, tabs point down while in the new stock, tabs point up.
Waist tape One-inch-wide waist tape running through the corset, either hidden between the layers or exposed on the inside depending on the construction method.
Modesty panel There is a 7.5″ wide modesty panel, attached to one side, covered in matching shell fabric. Also a matching unstiffened front placket.
Busk Busk is 1/2″ wide on each side and 1.5” long, with 6 pins (equidistantly spaced). Reinforced with a flat bone on each side.
Boning 24 bones total in this corset. Double boned on the seams, except for the seam that goes over the bust curve) and then there are two flat steel bones, both ¼” wide sandwiching the grommets and a steel supporting the busk on each side. All flat steel bones (no spiral).
Grommets There are 36 2-part size #00 grommets (17 on each side), with a medium flange, spaced equidistantly. Rolled very nicely, few or no splits, not fraying or popping out.
Laces The laces are 1/8” wide round nylon cord. I find them to be long enough and quite strong, with no stretch – however they can often be slippery.
Price  Currently the Scarlett overbust costs $378 for the standard size. Custom fit is a $90 markup.

Final Thoughts:

Asia DeVinyl models a custom-fit Scarlett overbust

It was an interesting venture to compare the old stock Versatile Corset pieces to the new stock. The old “Antoinette” overbust from Versatile Fashions was renamed the “Scarlett” overbust when the company was sold by Ms. Antoinette over to Corset Connection. And with the changing of hands in the company, there were also a few changes to the way the materials that the corsets were constructed with as well – the current Versatile corsets include fused delicate fashion fabrics for smoothness and strength, a herringbone coutil strength layer (instead of polyester lining), and improved spacing in the grommets.

It’s worth noting that the method of assembly itself hasn’t changed that much. In the video, you can see that the red corset has sandwiched boning channels with an invisible waist tape, while the blush corset has external boning channels and exposed internal waist tape. Both these construction methods are still used today, and depending on the style you order (whether or not you want external boning channels or hidden channels), you may receive your corset constructed either way.

This corset also received 4 stars out of 4 on the Bust Test, as the bust line came up high enough on my chest to hold me in during activity. The bust is designed for smaller cups though, as it pushes everything upward – but it still contains my bust as long as it’s laced loosely enough. However if I were to go back and order this custom-fit, I would certainly request more space in the bust area and perhaps have it “cup” over and above the bust more completely. You can see other styles of the Scarlett corset in Versatile’s photo gallery, on their sale page here.

 

“True Corset” Dragon Brocade Cincher Review

This post is a summary of the “True Corset” Dragon Brocade Cincher Review video, which you can watch on Youtube if you prefer:

Fit, length Front is about 9″ inches long, as well as the sides and back because they are all cut to be the same height. I consider this a modern slim silhouette; the ribcage is about 5″ bigger than the waist, and the hips are about 7″ bigger than the waist. Recommended for people of shorter stature or shorter waists. If you have any issues with lower tummy pooch, choose a longer corset as this one doesn’t extend down to cover the lower abdomen.
Material 2 main layers: fashion fabric is red and gold on black dragon brocade, inside has a “bull-denim” style cotton lining (a bit coarser than twill). The internal boning channels are likely petersham ribbon.
Construction 5 panel pattern. Top-stitched between the channels, single boned on the seams, with internal boning channels.
Binding Commercial black satin ribbon, not folded under. Machine stitched on the outside and inside.
Waist tape 1-inch wide black satin ribbon, exposed on the inside of the corset. It does not extend through all panels though; this waist tape starts between panels 1-2, and ends between panels 4-5.
Modesty panel 5.5 inch wide modesty panel at the back, unstiffened, attached to one side, and covered in matching dragon brocade. Un-boned modesty placket made from black denim under the busk.
Busk 8.5 inches long with 5 pins (equidistantly spaced). Fairly stiff, just short of 1″ wide on each side.
Boning 10 total bones not including busk. On each side there are three 1/4″ spiral steel bones (in internal channels), but no bone on the seam between panels 4-5. Two further 1/4″ wide flats sandwich the grommets on each side.
Grommets 20 grommets total, size #00 two-part grommets with small flange; set equidistantly. The brocade is fraying around the grommets unfortunately. However the bull denim underneath are still holding the grommets so I will watch them and see if they need replacing. A few split grommets, but doesn’t catch the back.
Laces 1/4″ black flat braided nylon shoe-lace style laces. Virtually unbreakable. Has a bit of spring.
Price At the time that I’m writing, it is £40 in the UK or $60 in the US.

Final Thoughts

This cincher is designed for beginners, as it has an attractive price and an un-intimidating silhouette. Unless you have quite narrow hips, I would now recommend ordering a size up from what you’d usually get (or what would usually be recommended to you) from an OTR corset company, because the modern-slim silhouette doesn’t accommodate a huge waist reduction. I initially went with a size 22″ but in retrospect I would have gone with a size 24″ instead, as I like my corsets to be more closed in the back.

I had originally requested this piece in black taffeta but I was sent the dragon brocade instead. I notified the True Corset company by email, even if it only resulted in them fixing the number of corsets in their stock. They were quite gracious and acted quickly to fix the mistake. Although I ended up keeping this piece in the end (shipping things over the US/Canada border is expensive), I appreciate that True Corset had such responsible customer service.

Unfortunately, the brocade was on the delicate side and began to fray around the grommets. The grommets haven’t pulled out completely, because the sturdy bull denim lining is currently keeping them in place – but I will keep an eye on this corset and see if there are any changes in the future. In a later post I will show how the taffeta underbust by True Corset seems to hold the grommets in a little better. I’m not sure if this is due to the taffeta having a denser weave, or if it is due to the slightly different construction of their “waist training” style corsets; nevertheless they seem to be holding fast – but if you’re considering this piece and are truly indifferent about the fashion fabric, I would recommend the taffeta instead of the brocade.

You can find the True Corset cincher on their website and also on Amazon.

Sparklewren Couture Overbust Corset Review

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

Fit, length Front is about 10.5″ inches long, unique silhouette in which the ribcage follows the natural contours but nips in dramatically at the waist for a wasp-like effect. Hips likewise follow the body’s natural contours; very comfortable. Longline corset. Will hold in lower tummy pooch, recommended for extreme hourglass ladies. Exaggerated plunge neckline; I recommend using double-sided/ toupee tape if your breasts tend to migrate.
Material Fashion layer is 100% silk charmeuse; interlining is 100% cotton coutil, lining is cotton.
Construction 6 panel pattern. Top-stitching between panels, sandwiched bones, and a floating liner (very comfortable). No garter tabs.
Binding Matching silk charmeuse bias tape, hand-finished.
Waist tape 1″ wide invisible waist tape between the interlining and lining.
Modesty panel Floating 4″ wide stiffened lacing protector on the back; placket by knob-side of busk.
Busk Heavy-duty wide busk (1″ wide on each side) about 10″ long (5 pins), with several bones on each side.
Boning Continuously boned. 64 steel bones not including busk. I’m guessing 58 spirals (ranging from 5mm to 7mm wide) and 6 flats (6mm to 8mm wide) – two on either side of the busk and four sandwiching the grommets at the back.
Grommets 32 grommets total, size 5mm two-part Prym eyelets with moderate flange; set closer together at the waistline; no splits, no wear/fraying/pulling out of grommets
Laces Strong cotton braided shoe-lace style laces; they’re thin, they grip well and they are long enough. Very easy to lace up. Zero spring.
Price Sparklewren has every client sign a confidentiality agreement; please contact Jenni if you would like to commission a similar piece.

Final Thoughts:

This is my second corset purchased from Sparklewren, and my first true experience ordering bespoke from a professional corsetiere. This overbust was commissioned back in January/February of 2012, and completed in May. I was given the option of different colors of silk charmeuse, different types of antique lace and layout of said lace, different flossing motifs, etc. It was an incredibly exciting process and it fits like a dream, too. Jenni is a true artist in her field.
See more of Sparklewren’s creations at her website, here.

The Corset Gap: What does it mean?

This entry is a summary of the review video “Shape of your Corset Gap – What does it mean?” which you can watch on YouTube here:

 Shape/ meaning

Brands to avoid for your body type

Brands to consider for your body type

A shape

The A Shape

The A shape

This means that your hips are too wide for this corset pattern. This type of gap is common for women who are naturally a pear shape. Do NOT try to force the hips smaller because then you may get an odd bump at the lower edge of the corset, and it can also make your hips go numb.

Avoid any corsets that say “modern slim” silhouette or “gentle curves.” This may include any of the “Level 1” corsets from Orchard Corset, or the underbust corsets from Corsets-UK. For those who have a larger hipspring, look for corsets for vintage figures: What Katie Did or Isabella Corsetry are good choices. They have a hipspring of more than 12-14 inches.

V shape

The V shape

The V shape

This means that your ribcage or shoulders are too broad or fleshy for the corset. While it is possible to train down your ribcage, it’s unlikely that you can train it right from the very top edge.  This often occurs in swimmers or in men who wear women’s corsets.

Corsets that have a relatively narrow ribcage, which include some WKD underbusts. For standard corsets with a larger ribcage, try Timeless Trends and the CS-426 from Orchard Corset.

() shape

The () shape

The () shape

This is when you have gaping at the waist – the bones in the back are either too flexible, or the waist is too small than you’re ready for. This CAN ruin the corset because it’s forcing the bones to twist in their channels. It can even make the bones kink outward or inward into your back, which is quite uncomfortable.

Avoid corset patterns that are curvier than you are ready for. If you have a very “unyielding” figure, you may have to train down before buying corsets like WKD or Isabella.  I’d recommend you start with a larger corset size, or go for a corset that makes more gentle/ natural hourglass or slim silhouettes like Timeless Trends.

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This is when your body is more of an hourglass shape than the corset itself! The corset doesn’t have enough curve in it. BEWARE of this common trick on websites! They will use models who are naturally quite curvy and this will make their corsets curvier. A corset that is modelled with a gap like this in the back will likely look more tubular when it’s laced straight.

Avoid any corsets that say “modern slim” silhouette or “gentle curves.” This may include any of the “Level 1” corsets from Orchard Corset, the underbust corsets from Corsets-UK. Try What Katie Did Morticia corset, the Curvy Girl corset from Azrael’s Accomplice, or several options available from Isabella Corsetry or Ms Martha’s corset shop.

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The // shape

A diagonal but fairly parallel gap means that the corset fits your ribcage, waist and hips reasonably well but it is twisting on the body. There are several reasons why this may be happening: 1. If the corset is made with twill and all of the panels have the twill running in the same direction. Twill, while strong, has an asymmetric weave so stretches more on one bias than another. To test if your corset has stretched differently on either side, measure the ½ circumference on each side of your corset at ribcage, waist and hips. See if both sides are equal. 2. It may just have been how you put the corset on that day! Always lace in front of a mirror to avoid tying it skewed. If you notice your corset is twisted, take it off immediately and put it on again straight. It is possible for a corset to season into a permanent twisted shape! 3. It may not be the corset, but rather your body that is asymmetric. If you have any of the following then this can make a symmetric corset look asymmetric:

  • scoliosis
  • a previously broken rib
  • one leg longer than the other
  • some other skeletal or muscular asymmetry
In the first situation, I recommend not buying corsets made with twill – or if they are made with twill, make sure the corsetiere is experienced enough to sew it perfectly on grain, and to flip every other panel so that the bias of all panels don’t run in the same direction.Also, as bad as it sounds, avoid “risky investments.” Ensure that your corsetiere is scrutinous about making each half of the corset the same way, and to specification (whether symmetric or asymmetric). In the last situation (physical asymmetry), I strongly suggest finding an experienced corsetiere who can fit you with an asymmetric corset, which will then end up looking symmetric on you!

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This is the coveted vertical parallel gap! Some people prefer to have no space in the back, while others like about 2 inches of space so the back edges don’t touch the spine. Either way, your corset fits you well. Congratulations!

 Make sure that your corset is not too big for you; when the corset is closed there shouldn’t be any significant gaping between your ribcage and the top edge of the corset, or your hips and the bottom edge of your corset.  You’re very lucky, my friend! If  You’ve found an off-the-rack corset that fits you nearly as well as a custom corset. If it makes you look good and feel good, then take it and run!

Final Thoughts: Many people have no problem with the shape of their corset gap (after all, the wearer doesn’t have to see it!). If this is you, then continue rocking your corset just the way you like it. However if you, like me, are a little more conscientious about achieving the vertical parallel lines of a well-fit corset, I hope these suggestions can help you choose a better off-the-rack corset for next time – and if all else fails, go custom! If you enjoyed this article, or even if you need clarification, you may also like my “Addendum to Corset Gaps: Troubleshooting More Fitting Issues

Comparison/ Double review! Leatherotics 1811 vs Chinese-made Ebay Corset

This entry is a summary of the review video “Comparison: Leatherotics 1811 vs Budget Ebay Corset” which you can watch on YouTube here:

Leatherotics Corset

Chinese Ebay Corset

Fit, length About 12 inches high; very straight busk that does not bow outwards. Gives a very gentle silhouette. Appropriate for average to long torso length. Center front is about 13 inches high; busk bows outwards a bit, giving the appearance of pooch. Gentle silhouette. Slightly longline compared to Leatherotics. Appropriate for average to long torso length.
Material 2 layers; fashion layer is black polyester satin, and the lining is black cotton twill. Only one layer; a red satin that has a kind of sturdy non-stretch backing.
Construction 6 panel pattern, assembled with a lock-stitch. Internal boning channels. Also has 4 garter tabs.  6 panel pattern, assembled with a top-stitch. Internal boning channels. Also has 4 garter tabs.
Binding Matching black satin (made from bias strips of the same fashion material), machine stitched on both sides, finished cleanly.  A close colour match (but not exact) red satin commercially made bias tape, machine stitched on both sides in one go, finishing is not clean.
Waist tape 1″ wide visible waist tape made of satin ribbon, seen on inside, stretching across all panels and secured down at boning channels.  1/2″ wide waist tape made of grosgrain ribbon, seen on inside, stretching across ONLY panels 3-4-5, leaving the other panels unprotected. Secured down at boning channels. One side has the waist tape wrinkled in a seam.
Modesty panel Attached lacing protector on the back made of two layers (black satin and twill); also includes a placket overtop of the busk to hide it.  Attached lacing protector on the back made of one layer (red satin) and lace around it, also includes a placket under the busk.
Busk Standard 1/2″ wide busk on each side, about 10.5″ long (5 pins). Very sturdy. Wide busk (1″ wide on each side) about 11.5″ long (5 pins), however it’s more flimsy than the Leatherotics busk.
Boning 12 steel bones not including busk. 8 spirals (1/4″ wide)  4 flats (1/4″ wide) sandwiching the grommets.  14 steel bones, all spiral steel bones even on the back by the grommets. Bows and collapses when trying to tighten up.
Grommets 28 grommets total, size #00 two-part grommets with small flange; set equidistantly from eachother and between the two bones; no splits, no wear/fraying/pulling out of grommets  20 grommets total, size #00 two-part grommets with small flange; set equidistantly, except offset towards the last bone at the back edge. Starting to pull out around the waist after only 2 wears.
Laces Strong nylon braided shoe-lace style laces  Strong nylon braided shoe-lace style laces
Price Plain satin version of this is currently £40 in the UK, or $60 USD – and they offer custom sizing, more bones, different fabric/ colours.  Plain satin version of this is currently $35 USD on Ebay, no other options for custom sizing, fabric etc.

 

Final Thoughts:
You get what you pay for! If you just want a simple cheap fashion corset without any waist reduction, OR if you’re looking for a cheap corset just take apart in order to learn how to recreate a corset pattern, then the cheaper corset may suit your purposes. However the Leatherotics brand offers custom sizing – this will give you as much or as little curve as you like. But remember the limits of each brand – if you want to be sure you get a corset made exactly to all of your measurements and specifications, you will have to go with an independent corsetier(e).

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