Tag Archive: tempest

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!

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.

What Katie Did Satin “Tempest” Corset Review

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

Fit, length Front is about 14″ inches high; the highest part (from the apex of the bust) is 15 1/4 inches high. Moderate hourglass silhouette. Good for average torso length; not a longline corset. No hip gores, but has ties at the hips to adjust the hip measurement. Bust area fits up to about a small D cup in my opinion.
Material 3 layers; fashion layer is 100% polyester satin, and the lining and interlining are both 100% white cotton twill.
Construction 5 panel pattern, no hip gores. External boning channels, a floating liner (very comfortable). Also has 6 garter tabs.
Binding Peach satin (matched) binding neatly machine stitched on both inside and outside.
Waist tape 1″ wide invisible waist tape between the interlining and lining.
Modesty panel Attached 7″ wide fabric lacing protector on the back made of satin and twill; stiffened placket under busk.
Busk Standard flexible busk (1/2″ wide on each side) about 11″ long (6 pins) and the center front has 2 pairs of grommets at the top to make another almost 3 inches above the busk. The busk is backed with a 1″ wide stiffener on each side.
Boning 14 steel bones not including busk. 10 spirals (1/4″ wide) in external channels, 4 flats (1/4″ wide) sandwiching the grommets.
Grommets 22 grommets total, size #0 two-part grommets with moderate flange; set equidistantly, no splits, no wear/fraying/pulling out of grommets
Laces Strong nylon braided shoe-lace style laces; they’re thick, they grip well and they are long enough. Has some spring to the lace but very difficult to break.
Price Currently $280.50 USD (at the time I reviewed it it was ~ $250) on the What Katie Did website.

Final Thoughts:

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

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

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