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Interview with Katie Thomas of What Katie Did

In August and September 2015, I attended the Oxford Conference of Corsetry and met Katie Thomas (What Katie Did) in person. I’ve been emailing with Katie for close to 5 years so it was amazing to finally have the opportunity to meet someone you admire in the corset industry face-to-face. Directly following the conference, I spent a few days at Katie’s house and we visited Basilton Park, and Katie gave me a tour of her London Boutique and headquarters.

Skip ahead in the video to hear her answers to the following questions:

0:30 How did you become interested in retro fashion?

0:55 How did you start your business and why did you choose the name What Katie Did?

1:50 After starting your business selling stockings, shapewear, etc, how did you become interested in corsets, and how did you start incorporating corsets into your business?

2:35 You’ve been in this industry for 15 years now, so how have you seen the corset and retro lingerie industry change?

3:10 What do you think of the waist training trend, and how do you think your products fit into this trend?

3:55 Would you say that your corsets are suitable for waist training now?

4:30 You’ve found a niche with higher-end, ready-to-wear corsets that are better quality than the budget OTR corsets, but not quite as high as bespoke corsets offered by independent corsetieres. Was it a deliberate decision to settle your business at this niche?

5:20 You had mentioned that you once considered reducing your prices, but when you were looking for areas to cut, you weren’t willing to make those sacrifices to the quality of your products. Tell us a bit more about that.

6:00 You were the first person I saw in this industry who showed full transparency regarding the working conditions of your factory in India. Can you comment on why you decided to be so transparent about this, and why you decided against manufacturing your corsets in England?

8:00 When I first stumbled upon your site, I thought that you mainly catered to the burlesque and pin-up communities. Do you think this is true? Who is your main client base?

Thanks to Katie for sitting down with me for this interview! Click here to see What Katie Did’s website.

Silk WKD Morticia
WKD Morticia corset in Claret silk, in size 22″, modelled by me (Lucy)

See my many reviews of WKD corsets here:

Link to WKD website is an affiliate link (but links to reviews are not). Affiliate links help support Lucy and keep this site online!

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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:

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

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

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

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What Katie Did Silk “STORM” Corset Review

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

Fit, length Front is about 14.5 inches high; the highest part (from the apex of the bust) is 15.5 inches high. Gives a nice hourglass/ wasp silhouette. Appropriate for average torso length. Includes hip gores, gives good hipspring (no pinching!). It is slightly longline so I’d recommend this cut for those who want to hide lower-tummy pooch. I would also recommend this for larger-busted women with a cup size of C or more. Smaller sizes can use bust inserts.
Material 3 layers; fashion layer is 100% raw silk, and the lining and interlining are both 100% ivory cotton twill. External channels and binding are made from ivory velvet.
Construction 5 panel pattern, 2 hip gores per side. External boning channels, a floating liner (very comfortable). Also has 6 garter tabs.
Binding Ivory velvet binding neatly machine stitched on both inside and outside.
Waist tape 1″ wide invisible waist tape between the interlining and lining.
Modesty panel Attached 7″ wide fabric lacing protector on the back made of ivory silk and twill; also includes a stiffened placket under busk.
Busk Standard flexible busk (1/2″ wide on each side) about 12″ long (6 pins), backed with a 1″ wide stiffener on each side. Also has a bone on either side of the busk for reinforcement.
Boning 22 steel bones not including busk. 16 spirals (1/4″ wide) in external channels, 4 flats (1/4″ wide) sandwiching the grommets, also two spirals beside the busk.
Grommets 24 grommets total, size #0 two-part grommets with moderate flange; set equidistantly, no splits, no wear/fraying/pulling out of grommets
Laces Strong nylon braided shoe-lace style laces; they’re thick, they grip well and they are long enough. Has some spring to the lace but very difficult to break.
Price Plain satin version of this is currently £179.50 in the UK, or $275 USD – however do check What Katie Did’s ebay boutique as they do sometimes list corsets on discount. I bought mine for half price!

Final Thoughts:
The Storm overbust has immediately become my favourite cut of the “What Katie Did” overbust corsets. I like the large hipspring from the hip gores, as well as the roomy (and safe!) bust. After buying this one, I have no desire to try out the “larger” bust versions of Laurie or Sophia – I like the Storm that much. I may remove the bow in the future and just have a hook-and-eye secure the front, since bows aren’t often my thing. Maybe it’s because it’s a new style, but I feel that the Storm is higher quality than the previous WKD overbusts I had reviewed; with its double boning and reinforced busk. I would have probably preferred the black satin version since it’s more versatile, but this was the right price. Also, after all the compliments I got with the ivory against my skin tone; I’ve definitely warmed up to this colour, heehee. ;)

You can see this corset and others at What Katie Did’s website.