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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.

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Serindë Longline Underbust Corset Review

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

Serindë is a lovely small-business corsetiere based in Lyon, France – although her international shipping rates are very ideal! She’s known for adding jewelry and charms to her corsets, and her beautiful whimsical designs inspired by fairies and folk-lore, although she makes very sophisticated and sultry pieces as well.
She currently doesn’t have a website but you can find her on Etsy, DaWanda, and Facebook.

Fit, length Center front is 12″ inches long. On my standard size 22″, the underbust is 27″, waist 22″, and hips 33″. Lovely hourglass silhouette. Longline corset, good for ladies with nearly all torso lengths, since the shortest part of the torso is 8.5″. Large hip spring; very comfortable in the hips. Will hold in lower tummy pooch; recommended for hourglass and pear-shaped ladies, especially those with a bit of a smaller ribcage.
Material 3 layers; fashion layer is silver-on-navy floral brocade backed with interfacing; strength layer is coutil, and the lining is soft cotton.
Construction 6 panel pattern with no hip gores. Top-stitching between panels, sandwiched boning (two per seam), and a floating liner (very comfortable). No garter tabs.
Binding Blue satin bias tape, beautifully hand-finished.
Waist tape 1″ wide invisible waist tape between the strength layer and the lining.
Modesty panel No modesty panel in the back on my version, but does include a placket on the knob side of the busk.
Busk Standard flexible busk (1/2″ wide on each side) about 10″ long (5 pins), reinforced with a sturdy 1/4″ wide flat steel bone.
Boning 24 steel bones not including busk. On each side there are 9 spirals (1/4″ wide), double boned on the seams, 1 flat (1/4″ wide) beside the busk, and 2 flats (3/8″ wide) sandwiching the grommets.
Grommets 30 grommets total, 5mm two-part eyelets (Prym brand, very good quality) with moderate flange; set well with the grommets getting closer together near the waistline, no splits, no wear/fraying/pulling out.
Laces 1/2″ wide double-faced satin ribbon in navy blue. Very strong, has not broken or frayed despite lacing very tightly in this corset.
Price Recently quoted on Facebook at €165 which is around $215; subject to change.

Final Thoughts:

I love this thing. This is another corset that I will likely never part with. I have to commend Serindëfor her ability to tame the temperamental Chinese brocade without one wrinkle or frayed edge whatsoever! The blue and silver colour scheme is gorgeous together and the silver hardwear completes the look so nicely. The jewelry chains draw attention to the hipspring by cascading down the sides of the hips. I love that I can dress this corset up or down, and remove the jewelry if need be. This corset is also very comfortable and I find that I can easily close this corset at the waistline, whereas in other 22″ corsets I’m limited  by the girth of the ribcage and hips. I only find this corset to be a tad small in the underbust area (the corset’s underbust is 27″, while my ribcage is usually 28-29″) but I knew this before I purchased the corset. Serindë is one designer you definitely need to watch in the near future!

To see Serindë’s standard size sale items, do check out her Etsy store here.

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Versatile Corsets Mimosa Overbust Review

This entry is a summary of the review video “Versatile Corsets Mimosa Overbust Review” which you can watch on YouTube here:

Fit, length Front is about 13.5″ inches long, modern hourglass or slim silhouette. Not a longline corset; cut above the hips. Good for women with an average length torso. May not cover lower tummy pooch – I’d recommend this corset to women who have a balanced figure on top and bottom, or top-heavy women who would like more bust support.
Material 3 layers (counting the interfacing); fashion layer is satin which is interfaced with medium weight woven fusible interfacing, and the lining is 100% cotton American coutil.
Construction 9 panel pattern (6 on the bodice and forming the bust cup). Top-stitching between panels, boning channels are interestingly sandwiched such that the bones are not visible on the fashion layer. Also has 8 garter tabs.
Binding Matching turquoise binding made from bias strips of satin.
Waist tape 1″ wide invisible waist tape between the interlining and lining.
Modesty panel Attached 7″ wide fabric lacing protector on the back; unstiffened placket under busk.
Busk Standard flexible busk (1/2″ wide on each side) about 12″ long (6 pins), with a 3/8″ wide flat steel bone on each side.
Boning 26 (28 if you include the underwire) steel bones not including busk. On each side, 10 spirals (1/4″ wide) double boned on the seams, 2 flats (1/4″ wide) sandwiching the grommets and another flat bone beside the busk.
Grommets 26 grommets total, size #00 two-part grommets with large flange; set equidistantly, no splits, no wear/fraying/pulling out of grommets
Laces Strong nylon cord-style laces; they’re thin, strong and they are long enough but very slippery.
Price Currently $398 USD for the standard size on the Versatile website (right now they’re having a 25% off sale on all their corsets – enter the coupon code Fall25).

Final Thoughts:

When I first bought this corset and received it in the mail, I wasn’t going crazy for it. As time went on, I found that the more I wore it, the more I liked it. The individual cups are very comfortable – I feel that this is one of the few overbust corsets I own that don’t squeeze my girls into painful little pancakes. When working at my computer, I like to wear this corset because it has a natural silhouette and fit (as opposed to a wasp-waist) and the cups support me like a bra, yet take the weight off my shoulders which further prevents me from hunching over.
Aesthetically I do prefer the more dramatic wasp-waist silhouettes however, so if I were to go back and buy this again, I may invest in the custom size. Although the overall effect is flattering as it is, I feel that it would have been an even better fit if the corset were larger in the ribcage, and had smaller cups (C cups instead of D). This would help support my bust more while preventing muffin top around the back. I also feel that the cups could be placed closer together in the front – perhaps the flat bones on either side of the busk can start lower down, allowing the cups to be pushed closer by about an inch.
The Mimosa corset is also available in various color combinations as you can choose the main fabric, then trim, external boning channels, and binding. I’m actually glad that I didn’t get decorative external boning channels, as this gave me the opportunity to see the unique and clever construction – a style I had never seen before:

Overall, I am happy with this purchase. It’s a totally unique piece in my corset collection, and one of the more comfortable overbusts I own. In retrospect I probably should have purchased this corset in a gold color or other earth-tone so I can wear on more occasions in conjunction with a steampunk outfit, from conventions to Halloween. To see other models in the Mimosa corset, Versatile has a small gallery of women of all shapes and sizes so you can see how it fits different people. You can see it on their website here.

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Morgana Femme Couture MF1331 Corset Review

This entry is a summary of the review video “Morgana Femme Couture Longline Teal Silk Corset Review” which you can watch on YouTube here:

Fit, length Front is about 13.5″ inches long, traditional hourglass silhouette with conical ribcage. Longline corset, recommended for tall or long-waisted ladies. Very comfortable in the hip area. Will hold in lower tummy pooch, recommended for pear-shaped ladies.
Material 3 layers; fashion layer is silk dupioni, interlining is 100% English cotton coutil, lining of cotton twill. Boning channels are satin coutil.
Construction 6 panel pattern. Lock-stitching between panels – external boning channels strengthen seams. Floating liner (very comfortable). Also has 6 garter tabs.
Binding Black satin coutil bias tape neatly machine stitched on both inside and outside.
Waist tape 1″ wide invisible waist tape within the layers, secured down at boning channels.
Modesty panel None in back; unboned placket under busk.
Busk Standard flexible busk (1/2″ wide on each side) about 12.5″ long (6 pins), backed with a 1/4″ wide flat bone on each side.
Boning 24 steel bones not including busk. On each side, 9 spirals (1/4″ wide) in external channels, 2 flats (1/4″ wide) sandwiching the grommets and an additional flat steel by the busk.
Grommets 30 grommets total, size #0 two-part grommets with moderate flange; set equidistantly, no splits, no wear/fraying/pulling out of grommets. I love these grommets!
Laces Strong 1/4″ wide nylon braided shoe-lace style laces; they’re thin, they grip well and they are long enough. No spring to the lace.
Price Currently $230 USD on their Etsy store (standard size, ready-to-wear) or $290-$350 USD on the MFC website (made-to-measure and custom colours, price depends on the size).

Final Thoughts:

I was very pleasantly surprised by this corset. For a standard size corset, the hip spring is amazing and my ribs are beautifully tapered yet not too “scary” looking. This corset is the first time I have been able to close a 22″ off-the-rack corset all the way (previous styles have either been too restrictive in the hips or the ribcage to do so).
I’m also quite impressed with the quality of the materials in this corset. The dupioni silk fashion layer, English herringbone coutil strength layer, satin coutil boning channels and cotton lining look and feel strong yet luxurious. Once you go quality, you kind of don’t want to go back.
I found the price to be reasonable (at $230 it’s not much more than some other off-the-rack corsets, and actually less than certain other brands). The custom price is also justifiable, however I am curious to know where the corsets are actually manufactured. The one turn-off I have is the price markup for the 4 largest waist sizes (27″ – 30″). Yes, larger sizes do require more material but – with all due respect – having to pay nearly $60 more just because of a few more inches seems a little unfair. Perhaps I’m shooting myself in the foot (especially since I belong in the “smaller” group), but there must be some way to budget for the extra fabric used in larger sizes – even if this means marking up the smaller ones slightly.
Apart from that one small bug, I am thoroughly impressed with this corset – the materials and the construction are top notch for an off the rack piece.
To see this corset and other styles provided by Morgana Femme Couture, visit their website here. To see their selection of off-the-rack corsets, see their Etsy shop here.

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Sparklewren Flossed Swiss Cincher Review

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

Fit, length Front is about 9.5″ inches long, dramatic hourglass or wasp-waist silhouette. Side is 8.5″, good for average or even short-waisted ladies. I would not recommend this cincher for someone who has a problem with lower-belly pooch, though. Very comfortable due to high cut on the hips and external, continuous boning.
Material 2 or 3 layers; fashion layer is satin coutil and the lining is a plush satin (not coutil). May have strong interlining as well (guessing from thickness) but not sure.
Construction 6 panel pattern. Panels are assembled and external boning channels laid down and flossed before a floating liner was added. All the finishing is done by hand.
Binding Black satin coutil bias tape neatly machine stitched outside and hand-finished on inside. Very thin binding (I like it!).
Waist tape ~0.75″ wide invisible waist tape under the lining.
Modesty panel No lacing protector on the back; unstiffened placket attached to the knob side of the busk.
Busk Standard flexible busk (1/2″ wide on each side) about 9″ long (5 pins) and has an additional 1/4″ wide flat steel bone on either side of the busk (this bone is extremely stiff).
Boning 34 steel bones not including busk. 28 spirals (1/4″ wide) all in external channels, 4 flats (1/4″ wide) sandwiching the grommets, an additional 2 flats (1/4″ by the busk).
Grommets 28 grommets total, size #X00 two-part grommets with small flange; set closer together at the waist, no splits, no wear/fraying/pulling out of grommets.
Laces Strong cotton braided shoe-lace style laces; they’re thin, they grip better than nylon laces, and they are long enough with absolutely zero springiness.
Price Currently £350 for a made-to-order cincher (in your size, with your suggested flossing color/ motif). Contact Sparklewren on her website.

Final Thoughts:

Oh my God.  Despite the fact that this corset wasn’t originally made for me, it fits like a dream. If fate exists, then this cincher was fated to be mine. This corset is super comfortable – as I mentioned in the video, the high cut at the hips bypasses the issue I usually have at the iliac crest, and the continuous boning prevents any pressure points. The external channels mean the inside is completely smooth. Due to the army of bones, this corset is rather heavy and thick – the external measurement is around 24″ but the inside measurement gives a waist measurement of closer to 22.5″, and with barely any rib compression as well!

This was the first corset I purchased that contained flossing, and first with continuous boning. It’s amazing how the smallest details “make” the whole corset – what seems like just a sweet, simple cincher actually has a startling amount of work and detail. This pretty piece of armour has ruined all other cinchers for me!

In addition to her skill, Jenni (the lady behind Sparklewren) is one of the kindest, most communicative and helpful corsetieres I’ve had the pleasure of working with. I will speak more of this when I review my custom overbust from her, but I will say now that her customer service is as good as her corsets.

To see the Sparklewren’s other work, do check out her website.

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What Katie Did “Mae Extreme” Corset Review

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

Fit, length Front is about 11″ inches long, wasp-waist silhouette. Longline corset, good for average-waisted ladies. Has hip gores/ fluted very comfortable. Will hold in lower tummy pooch, recommended for hourglass and pear-shaped ladies. The Mae Extreme has a further 2 inches reduction compared to the original Mae – for example, a person who can comfortably close a size 26″ Mae around their ribs, waist and hips, should also be able to close a size 24″ Mae Extreme corset with the same comfort around the ribs and hips, with waist 2″ smaller.
Material 3 layers; fashion layer is satin (100% silk brocade with metallic embroidery) and the lining and interlining are both 100% cotton twill.
Construction 6 panel pattern with an additional 2 hip gores per side. 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 10″ long (5 pins), backed with a 1″ wide stiffener on each side, and also has a reinforcing bone on either side of the busk.
Boning 16 steel bones not including busk. 10 spirals (1/4″ wide) in external channels, 4 flats (1/4″ wide) sandwiching the grommets, and another two reinforcing the busk.
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 The classic version with a satin finish is originally £167 in the UK (about $260 USD), however I bought this December Gold Label edition on sale for £87 ($136) in the lingerie section of the What Katie Did site). (P.S. the sale is still on until the end of August!)

Final Thoughts:

A year and a half after I filmed the review of the original Mae underbust, I purchased this silk Mae Extreme corset. The extra 2 inches of waist reduction does makes a difference in comfort! For my figure, having more of a reduction is more comfortable because of less pinching or pressure on the ribs and hips. I also feel that it “hooks” under my ribs and stays in place much better. The dramatic shaping of the hips means that the corset barely even touches my iliac crest, which prevents any pinching or numbness I often experience with other cuts or brands. I’d say I recommend the Mae Extreme more than the traditional Mae corset!

The difference in silhouette between the Mae and the Mae Extreme is not that different on my figure (as one can see in the video) but if you see side-by-side pictures of Miss Miranda modeling both on the WKD website, the difference is more evident. The silk brocade of this corset both looks nice (it behaves very well over curves) and feels lovely and it can be worn either overtop or under clothing, since the top and bottom edges are straight across instead pointed like so many other corsets are today, so it doesn’t make any awkward peaks underneath your shirt or dress.

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Black Mesh Corset Case Study

This entry is a summary of the video “Case Study: Homemade Mesh ‘Corset'”. 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 11″ high, and I drafted this corset to be very curvy: underbust about 32″, closed waist 23″ and hips 34″. The elastic mesh also contributes to the extreme shape and curviness.
Material Heavyweight powernet (quite stretchy) for most of the panels, and black satin coutil for the first and last panels, the boning channels and the diamond waist tape.
Construction Essentially a 6-panel pattern although the last panel is separated into two to make 7 panels. First, the powernet panels were sewn together wrong sides together and flat-felled with the bulk being on the outside of the body. Then I added the center front coutil panels, with the diamond waist basted in front. The diamond extends into a waist tape, which was basted at each seam, then I secured the external channels down on top of it. The back coutil panel went on last, then I added the busk and bones, and lastly serged the top and bottom edges.
Binding There is no binding on this *yet*. I had serged the raw edges to keep them from fraying. This allows the mesh to stretch. Conventional binding would not allow the top and bottom edges of the corset to stretch. However I may later add an elastic or mesh binding.
Waist tape The diamond detail made from satin coutil extends into a waist tape that is slightly more than 1 inch wide, and placed on the external side of the corset, secured down at the boning channels.
Modesty panel I didn’t make a modesty panel for this corset because I designed it to close completely at the back. There is a small modesty placket in the front by the busk.
Busk A standard flexible busk, 1/2” wide on each side, with 5 pins, 9.5″ long. Although it is quite flexible, having 3 layers of satin coutil surrounding the busk makes the front panel quite sturdy.
Boning 20 bones total in this corset (not including the busk). On each side there are eight 1/4″ wide spirals in external channels, then a 1/2″ wide flat steel on the center back edge of the grommet panel, and a 1/4″ steel on the “inner” side of the grommets.
Grommets There are 26 2-part size #00 grommets (13 on each side). I used self-piercing grommets to insert these, placing the grommets closer together than I normally would and making sure the grommets are snug between the two flat bones. So far they have all held up well.
Laces Some old black cotton shoe-lace style. More lightweight than nylon laces but not as strong. I just used whatever I had lying around.
Price This corset was quite time consuming due to the flat-felled seams and external channels and waistband. Also the powernet and satin coutil were both expensive materials. If I were to remake this corset (with a more pristine finish) it would likely start at no less than $280.

Final thoughts:

This is an extremely comfy corset. I also feel that I’m able to very easily cinch down in this corset – I wish I had drafted it to be another inch or two smaller! The powernet is forgiving of curves and makes my asymmetric hips look symmetric, while giving me absolutely zero pinching or discomfort.

The only disappointments I had with this corset was a) the asymmetry in the diamond detail, and b) the rough finish of the serged edges. I may end up adding binding to this corset (either elastic or mesh) although that would somewhat ruin its ability to be worn inconspicuously under clothing, and I’m not sure how even elastic binding would bring back the dreaded muffin top which is currently so nicely avoided.

Overall I think this experiment turned out much nicer than I had anticipated, and I think I will use this as a sleeping corset in the future! However I do need to practice my “finishing” of corsets, even when they’re experiments or prototypes.

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Timeless Trends Overbust Corset Review

This entry is a summary of the review video “Timeless Trends Emerald Silk Overbust 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 inches. Gives a gentle hourglass silhouette. Appropriate for average torso length. Includes adjustable hip ties; gives good hipspring (no pinching!). It is slightly longline (well, a little longer over the hip compared to their underbust corsets). I model a size 24L, which has a 24″ closed waist and accommodates cup sizes D-DD. Bust sizes come in Small, Medium and Large for all waist sizes of the overbust corsets.
Material 3 layers; fashion layer is an emerald silk satin and brocade in alternating panels. The lining and interlining are both 100% black cotton twill.
Construction 5 panel pattern. Panels are assembled via lock-stitching and pressing seams open; bones are sandwiched between the interlining and lining. Also has 4 garter tabs.
Binding Emerald satin bias binding machine stitched on both outside and inside.
Waist tape 1″ wide invisible waist tape between the interlining and lining, secured down at boning channels.
Modesty panel Attached 7″ wide fabric lacing protector on the back made of 2 layers of black twill; no placket beneath the busk.
Busk Standard flexible busk (1/2″ wide on each side) about 13″ long (6 pins), Also has a flat steel bone on either side of the busk for reinforcement.
Boning 24 steel bones not including busk. 18 spirals (1/4″ wide) sandwiched between interlining and lining – some on the seams, others in the middle of the panel which help to distribute the tension more evenly than in corsets that are simply double-boned on the seams. 4 flats (3/8″ wide on the inner side, 1/2″ wide on the back edge) sandwiching the grommets, also two 3/8″ flats beside the busk.
Grommets 28 grommets total, size #0 two-part grommets with moderate flange; finished in antique brass; set equidistantly, no wear/fraying/pulling out of grommets
Laces 1/2″ wide single-faced satin ribbon in matching emerald; they grip well and they are definitely long enough. No springiness, and surprisingly strong. The laces at the hips are 1/4″ wide but same colour and quality.
Price Most of their overbust styles start at $150 USD. However do check their clearance section since many of those corsets are up to 25% off!

Final Thoughts:
I adore the fashion fabric of this corset! I had featured my underbust corset in the same emerald silk brocade finish in several of my older videos, and when I bought this overbust I just decided to get the same finish because that particular underbust had been gifted to Jody some months back. (Which proves how much I like Jody, because I probably wouldn’t have parted with that corset otherwise!)
I’m pleased with the construction of corset – I’ve always considered that this brand has one of the best quality/price ratio of standard corsets available today, but the changes they had made to their overbusts compared to their underbust styles were still a definite improvement – these changes include side ties for a better adjustment on the hips; a wider/ stiffer flat steel bone on the center back (which was almost too stiff when first breaking it in, but I suspect it can be bent gently by hand to follow the curve of the back a little better), and alternating the placement of the spirals on the seams and the middle of the panels to better distribute the vertical tension. Timeless Trends was also the first brand I had seen to include small, medium and large bust sizes to the same style corset. (What Katie Did also currently has bust size options for their Laurie and Sophia corsets). The choice of different bust sizes and the hip ties together make this corset a good option for hard-to-fit bodies.
The only thing I wish were different about this corset is the height from the waist to the top edge (as I said in the video, it’s the curse of the long torso!). I’d be so much more comfortable if the top line extended up about two inches and curved over the top of the bust. Overall though, I’m happy with this purchase.

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Bad Attitude Boutique “Lady Jane” Corset Review

This entry is a summary of the review video “Bad Attitude Boutique ‘Lady Jane’ Review” which you can watch on YouTube here:

Fit, length Front is about 13.5″ inches high; the highest part (from the apex of the bust) is 15.5 inches high. Moderate hourglass silhouette. Good for average torso length; not a longline corset. No hip gores. Bust area fits up to about a C cup in my opinion. Fit is very similar to WKD Tempest corset.
Material 3 layers; fashion layer is turquoise and gold silk brocade, the interlining is a white cotton canvas and the lining is black twill.
Construction 7 panel pattern, no hip gores – but the first and last panels are rectangular, so theoretically the pattern can have 5 panels. Internal boning channels, floating fashion layer. Also has 4 garter tabs.
Binding Matching silk brocade binding neatly machine stitched on both inside and outside.
Waist tape 1″ wide invisible waist tape between the interlining and lining.
Modesty panel Attached 6.5″ wide fabric lacing protector on the back made of matching brocade and twill; an unboned placket under busk.
Busk Standard flexible busk (1/2″ wide on each side) about 10″ long (5 pins) and the center front has 3 pairs of grommets at the top to make another 3 inches above the busk.
Boning 20 steel bones not including busk. 16 spirals (1/4″ wide) in external channels, 4 flats (1/4″ wide) sandwiching the grommets.
Grommets 20 grommets total, size #0 two-part grommets with large 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. A little frayed but it doesn’t affect the strength – however I’ll probably replace it with matching ribbon instead.
Price Depending on the fashion fabric, price starts at $289 on the website, although mine was from Etsy for about half price.

Final Thoughts:

This is one of the reasons that I love studying corset construction! A floating fashion layer that doesn’t wrinkle? Crazysauce! Perhaps I’m easily amused but I find it a bit incredible. Even thought the cut/ silhouette of the corset is very similar to the WKD Tempest corset, the construction and the materials used are totally different. Though I like how the pattern is cut to curve up and over the bust, I wish it didn’t curve back so dramatically – it would look nice on someone with a shorter torso and a smaller bust, but not on me unfortunately. However it’s still pretty comfortable and I’m able to wear it for hours with my only small complaint being that the metallic thread in the binding part starting to make my skin a bit itchy after awhile. This wouldn’t be a problem for the other types of fabrics.

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Snobz Banquet Overbust Review

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

Fit, length Center front is about 16 inches high; the highest part (from the apex of the bust) is 15 inches high. Gives a flattering moderate hourglass silhouette. Appropriate for average or shorter torso length. It is slightly longline with a low dip in the center front bottom edge. I would also recommend this for moderately-busted women (B-C cup).
Material 2 layers; fashion layer is 100% polyester satin, and the lining is polycotton twill.
Construction 5 panel pattern. Internal boning channels also made of twill.
Binding Commerical black satin bias tape machine stitched on both sides; see video for how they bound the top edge.
Waist tape 1″ wide ribbon as exposed waist tape secured under the boning channels.
Modesty panel No modesty panel; one can be ordered for £10. No placket by the busk.
Busk Wide busk (1″ wide on each side) about 15″ long (7 pins), fairly sturdy albeit quite long.
Boning 22 steel bones not including busk. 16 spirals (1/4″ wide) in external channels, 4 flats (1/4″ wide) sandwiching the grommets, also two spirals beside the busk.
Grommets 28 grommets total, size #00 one-part grommets with moderate flange; set equidistantly, no splits, no pulling out of grommets however there is no washer and the grommets are set backwards compared to what I’m used to. I’m not sure yet if this is normal grommet policy for Snobz.
Laces Fine nylon braided shoe-lace style laces; quite thin, they grip well and they are very long, no springiness and quite strong.
Price Plain satin version of this is currently £127 in the UK, or $200 USD

Final Thoughts:
I really love the shape of this corset, and I’m able to achieve a decent reduction in it. For a 5-panel pattern, it gives a beautiful and balanced silhouette – I am so sad that the waist-to-top vertical measurement is just far too short for my torso. Since the website states that the length of the corset was 17 inches, I had expected the entire length to be shifted 3-4 inches higher. On my figure, this Banquet corset is reminiscent of other “1700’s” style neckline overbusts that I’ve tried (including the Antoinette corset by WKD and the Gothic overbust by Corsets-UK), with a further inch cut out of the center front panels which my mother has dubbed (to my horror) the “nipple shelf.” This corset would fit someone who is short waisted, high waisted or smaller busted… or if you are none of the above, strive to wear this over a blouse.

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Black Floral Tapestry Steel-Boned Corset Review (Amazon)

This entry is a summary of the review video “(Amazon.com) Black Floral Tapestry Steel-Boned 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 inches high. Gives hardly any curve in the silhouette, almost no waist reduction at all. Don’t trust the “floating” corset pictures online – the shape is shown more accurately on a real model! Appropriate for average torso length. I do like how the cut of this corset both covers and minimizes my bust.
Material 1 layer; fashion layer is the black floral polyester with a sort of non-stretch mesh backing.
Construction 6 panel pattern, panels are topstitched together. Internal boning channels made from cheap commercial fuzzy bone casing.
Binding Commercial black satin binding machine stitched on both inside and outside, not a clean finish. Also has 4 garter tabs.
Waist tape None.
Modesty panel None.
Busk Standard flexible busk (1/2″ wide on each side) about 13″ long (6 pins), EXTREMELY flimsy/ flexible. Also has hook/eye to prevent gaping at bustline.
Boning 12 steel bones not including busk. All spiral steel bones, including in the back by the grommets, so some bowing occurs when lacing up.
Grommets 20 grommets total, size #0 two-part grommets with smaller flange; set equidistantly, no splits, no wear/fraying/pulling out of grommets, surprisingly.
Laces 3/8″ wide black double-face satin, they are barely long enough but are fairly strong.
Price Currently $32 USD on Amazon.com.

Final Thoughts:
I suppose I shouldn’t have expected much considering how cheap it was, but I was quite disappointed that it didn’t include a waist tape or modesty panel. However I was genuinely pleasantly surprised to see that they used real steel boning here. I suppose if worse came to worst, one could cannibalize this corset simply for its materials, although you would have to use a stronger strength layer and likely reinforce the busk. But I wouldn’t recommend this for anyone who is interested in a corset for tightlacing/waist training. This corset is really just to shave off a couple of inches, to be worn as clubwear or a costume. You can find the corset here on Amazon.

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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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Chocolate Faux Suede Giveaway Corset

This entry is a summary of the case study for the Chocolate Faux Suede giveaway corset, made for the winner of the “Giveaway in Memory of Phoenixjodirae”. Following the summary was an interview with the winner of the corset, which you can watch in the video at the end of this post.

Material 3 layers; fashion layer is faux suede in chocolate brown, interlining of cotton coutil, and lining of hot pink twill.
Construction 6 panel pattern. Double boned; it has one bone on each seam (sewn into the seam allowances) and another bone inserted into the middle of each panel using bone casing. Includes a floating liner.
Binding Matching faux suede binding made from bias tape of the same fashion material. It was very fiddly to work with; I don’t recommend using suede binding.
Waist tape 1″ wide invisible waist tape between the interlining and lining, secured down under boning channels.
Modesty panel 7″ wide fabric lacing protector on the back made of faux suede and twill, stiffened with plastic canvas and suspended on the laces with grommets. Also includes a placket under the busk.
Busk Standard flexible busk (1/2″ wide on each side) about 9.5″ long (5 pins). Also has a bone on either side of the busk for reinforcement.
Boning 24 steel bones not including busk. 18 spirals (1/4″ wide), 4 flats (1/2 inch wide on the outer edge, 1/4″ wide on the inner edge) sandwiching the grommets, also two 1/4″ wide flats beside the busk.
Grommets 18 grommets total, size #0 two-part grommets with large flange; set equidistantly, no splits, no wear/fraying/pulling out of grommets, thanks to some better quality grommets made of a more malleable brass.
Laces 5/8″ wide double face satin ribbon in hot pink, to match the lining.
Price A reproduction of this corset would be approximately $270 USD.

If you would like to see the interview with the winner of the giveaway and her story, you may watch her video here:

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Leatherotics Pink/White 1214 Cincher Review

This entry is a summary of the review video “Leatherotics Pink/White 1214 Cincher Review” which you can watch on YouTube here:

Fit, length Front is 10 inches high; the side is 7.5 inches high. This is standard size/ length. Gives a gentle hourglass silhouette. Hip gores make this comfortable around the hips. Quite a short cincher so not recommended for those with a lower tummy pooch issue.
Material 2 main layers; fashion layer is 100% nappa leather (0.8mm thick), white with pink accents. Lining is black cotton twill. Internal boning channels are also made from twill.
Construction 6 panel pattern, and two hip gores. Faux boning channels on outside (real boning channels on the inside). Also has 4 garter tabs but I wouldn’t use them because the corset is so short.
Binding Pink leather binding neatly machine stitched on both outside and inside. Inside is trimmed down, not folded under, to reduce bulk. This is normal.
Waist tape 1″ wide waist tape visible on the inside, made of satin ribbon and secured at the boning channels.
Modesty panel None on front, nor back.
Busk Standard width busk (half inch wide on each side) about 9″ long (4 pins); a little stiffer than the standard flexible busk I’ve tried in other corsets.
Boning 14 steel bones not including busk. 10 spirals (1/4″ wide) in internal channels on the sides, 2 flats (1/4″ wide) sandwiching the grommets.
Grommets 16 grommets total, size #00 two-part grommets with moderate flange; set equidistantly, no splits. Not sure if these are the old style or new style grommets so there may be a risk of damage but so far no fraying/pulling out of grommets.
Laces Strong nylon braided shoe-lace style laces; they’re not too thick, they grip well and they are long enough. Not much spring to it. Very difficult to break.
Price Standard size pink/white of this is £43 UK (about $70 USD), while black leather version is £50 and twill is £30, at the time of writing this.

 

Final Thoughts:
Of the underbust corsets I’ve tried from this company, this cincher has been the most comfortable. The hips flare out in a flattering manner and there is virtually no pinching on my iliac crest like with the other slim silhouette corsets.

I am still a touch concerned about the softness of the leather and how it may affect how well the grommets hold, but will update this review if anything goes awry. So far they seem to be holding up.

Edited later to add: the grommets looked to be loosening a bit because the soft leather was allowing the grommet holes to expand, so I ended up replacing the grommets with larger ones, with a wider flange.

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Eternal Spirits “AUDREY” Overbust Corset Review

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

Fit, length Front is about 14 inches high, with a straight top line. From the waist to the top is 7 inches, which is barely enough to keep everything covered on me – it would be good for short to average torso length. If you order this corset made to measure and talk to the makers at ES, they *may* adjust the vertical measurements. Soft hourglass shape; gives good hipspring (no pinching!). I would not consider this longline. This corset would probably be best suited for cup sizes up to C.
Material 2 layers from what I can tell; fashion layer is mixed fibers, feels like a nylon blend, and is either very thick/strong or is fused to a strength fabric underneath. It has a lovely finish, almost like sharkskin. Lining is pink polyester satin-like fabric.
Construction 11 panel pattern (odd number because of the closed front). The fashion/strength layers were assembled, with double boning channels on each seam; the lining is floating and attached to the outer layers like a pillowcase, then turned right-side out through a 5″ hole in the lining – that hole was then stitched neatly closed.
Binding None, due to the construction method.
Waist tape None that I can feel or see.
Modesty panel Attached 5″ wide fabric lacing protector on the back made of the same blue “sharkskin” and lined in pink satin. It can be removed if desired.
Busk None; closed front.
Boning 24 steel bones. 20 spirals (1/4″ wide), double boned on the seams, 4 flats (1/4″ wide) sandwiching the grommets.
Grommets 22 grommets total, size #00 two-part grommets with moderate flange; set equidistantly, no splits, no wear/fraying/pulling out from the fabric.
Laces Strong double-face satin blue ribbon, 5/8″ wide; difficult to snap and they glide through the grommets smoothly, although I wish that they were longer so I wouldn’t have to remove the laces to put on/ take off the corset.
Price Satin version of this (with front lacing) is currently £210 in the UK, or $335 USD – however I found mine for sale in an online boutique so do check places like Ebay. This corset is also sold by Fairy GothMother (Lulu & Lush)

Final Thoughts:
This is one of my more expensive off-the-rack corsets. I was initially apprehensive about how strong it is and how well it would hold up, due to its lack of waist tape and the few layers of fabric. However this fabric has a strong, dense weave and is deceptively strong, while still giving a soft look. During breaking in, this corset didn’t stretch any more than other corsets. On the day of the banquet, I wore this corset for more than 15 hours, with a 4 inch reduction and it was surprisingly comfortable (although I did open up the top to give more room in the bust). However I would still not recommend ordering this corset more than 2-4 inches smaller than your natural waist. My favourite part about this corset is its unusual construction; I love the fact that it doesn’t have binding and has a completely floating lining.

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Totally Waisted! Black Taffeta Underbust Corset Review

This entry is a summary of the review video “Totally Waisted! Black Taffeta Underbust Corset Review” which you can watch on YouTube here:

*****

This is the first of a few reviews of custom corsets made by individual corsetieres. I’d like to celebrate the work of small businesses and the artists of the corsetry world! This video is a review of the “not so typical” black underbust corset, made by Kate, the owner of Totally Waisted! (The ! is part of the name.) I met Kate in downtown Toronto this past spring; it was my first experience having a professional mockup fitting done by another corsetiere! Her artistry combined with her great business ethic and her spunky nature made for a fun and smooth experience overall.

Fit, length Center front is 13 inches, height from underbust to lap is 10.5 inches, however this version was made to measure. This is a longline corset (goes over the hips); the back has a unique sweeping lower edge that is both flattering and comfortable. I would recommend a shape like this for anyone who has had issues with lower edges of other corsets poking into their lower back or top of bum.
Material Two layers: fashion fabric is black taffeta, strength layer German coutil. The coutil has the tightest weave of any coutil I’ve seen before and it’s insanely strong. There is no additional liner; the stitching is neat enough that a liner isn’t needed to hide the “guts”, and Kate also likes to make her corsets as light and unbulky as possible.
Embellishments include lace overlay in large motifs (which is mirror-matched) and black Swarovski crystals, hand-set.
Construction 5 panels per side – gives a curvy, wrinkle-free shape. It feels as though the coutil and taffeta were treated as one layer. All boning channels (except for the pair by the grommets) are external channels – all spring steel bones.
Binding Made from matching strips of black taffeta, neatly machine stitched on both outside and inside. Extra care was taken to make the corners/edges neat and match up properly
Waist tape Waist tape is about 1″ wide, visible on the inside of the corset, secured at front and back panels and also by the stitching of the boning channels. Even though it’s exposed, it is not uncomfortable in any way.
Modesty panel No modesty panel as Kate designs her corsets to close completely in the back. She makes these corsets to order, so the waist size is of your choosing. There is a placket extending from the knob side of the busk to prevent pinching or skin from showing through.
Busk 11” long with 5 pins, a standard busk –  ½” wide on each side, although it is reinforced with a bone on each side. When I had this corset made to measure, I was given the option of several different lengths of busks. As I have a long torso, this was a great asset.
Boning 24 steel bones total, not including busk. All of them are spring steel (flat) bones. The front and back are sturdier to keep the line straight, but the bones on the sides are made of a special more flexible spring steel to accommodate curves.
Grommets 24 grommets total, size #00 two-part grommets with moderate flange; set equidistantly, no splits, no wear/fraying/pulling out of grommets.
Laces The laces are 1” wide black double-faced satin ribbon, very strong, pretty, and holds its bows reasonably well. The ribbon can glide smoothly through the grommets with no catching.
Price Standard size for this corset is $325 USD, and if you’d like made to measure with mockup, it’s an additional $40.

Final thoughts:
This corset really isn’t your typical black underbust. Due to its custom fit (and its comfort), its lightness and its sparkly embellishment, this has replaced the majority of my other black underbusts. I’d love to work with Kate again in the future.