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Corset Connection (Versatile Corsets) Dita Underbust Review

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

Fit, length Front is about 12 inches long, from underbust to the lap at the “princess seam” (the side-front) is 9 inches long – appropriate for average-to-long torsos. The bottom of the corset swoops down to cover lower-tummy pooch. This is not a longline corset; it’s cut higher over the hips at the side.  Modern slim silhouette, reminiscent of the traditional Victorian hourglass silhouette, except with gentler curves. Also includes a halter strap (see the Final Thoughts for more info). This corset can accommodate about a 9-10 inch hip spring, and the ribs are about 6″ larger than the waist.
Material 2 main layers: the lining is 100% cotton black twill (although custom commissioned corsets from Versatile will contain herringbone coutil lining). Fashion fabric is a medium-weight pink satin (interfaced for strength) with black accent boning channels and binding made from black shiny pleather.
Construction 5 panel pattern. Twill lining is flatlined/rollpinned to satin fashion layer; top-stitching between panels (seams are double-stitched at minimum), external boning channels. Also contains 8 garter tabs.
Binding Black binding that matches the external boning channels, made from bias strips of black PVC, trimmed short on the inside rather than folded under (this is typical of leather/ pleather binding, and fine because it won’t fray).
Waist tape 1″ wide petersham waist tape exposed on the inside. If you had ordered a corset without external boning channels, then the waist tape would be sandwiched between two layers of material.
Modesty panel Attached 8″ wide fabric lacing protector on the back, covered in matching pink satin (more breathable than the PVC or pleather), stitched on one side of the corset; unstiffened placket under busk made from matching black PVC.
Busk Standard flexible busk (1/2″ wide on each side) about 11″ long (5 pins), reinforced with a flat steel bone on each side.
Boning 22 total bones not including busk, all flat (spring) steel bones. On each side they are double boned on the seams (1/4″ wide), 2 sturdier flats sandwiching the grommets and another flat bone beside the busk.
Grommets 24 grommets total, size #00 two-part grommets with moderate flange; set equidistantly, no splits, no wear/fraying/pulling out of grommets. This type of grommet is my personal favourite used in American-made corsets.
Laces 1/8 inch wide round nylon cord – strong, virtually unbreakable, not stretchy, glides well through the grommets and doesn’t catch, but they’re slippery.
Price Currently $358 USD for the standard size and basic fabric on the Versatile website. For contrasting channels, there is no price markup!

Final Thoughts:

This is the third of several corsets I will be reviewing for Versatile Corsets/ Corset Connection. The samples were originally agree to be sent back, but the owner of Corset Connection asked me to sell them here on my website (90% funds still go to Versatile) instead of sending them back.

I don’t often wear materials like pleather or PVC because I find it doesn’t breathe very well – however, since the main fashion fabric is satin and the pleather is just contrast, this style is a bit more comfortable. Still, if I were to go back and order this piece custom, I would likely have chosen a different fabric combination. The perk to Versatile Corsets that I have not seen in any other company – if you want external boning channels, there is no mark-up in price! You can also choose from dozens of fabric and colour choices for the binding, trim, and channels – or make them all different colours or fabrics if that’s your preference. There are many different possibilities!

The thick halter strap was comfortable around my neck; it was covered with black pleather/ PVC material to match the binding and boning channels, and was adjustable with hooks and eyes (similar to bra hooks). I didn’t personally find that the straps pulled too much on my neck, and I was able to keep my shoulders and my neck back – however, for those with forward-head posture looking for a solution, this corset will not miraculously help. I like how the fabric of the corset wraps up and around the side of the torso, which both helps to flatten any breast tissue that wraps around the side and in the armpits, and for those with smaller busts this cut helps to lift the bust and push it together to create cleavage. 

Overall, I am glad I had the opportunity to try on this corset. I find the Dita underbust to be much more suited to my figure, as I have a longer torso. It’s a great corset for lengthening the line of the torso, thanks to the vertical contrasting boning channels, and the swooping line of the lower edge down to the pubic bone. It makes me look much leaner and taller compared to the Snapdragon cincher that I reviewed before – however, those with shorter torsos may prefer the Snapdragon for its length. The one perk is that both the Dita and the Snapdragon corsets are the exact same price, so neither the taller nor the shorter lacer has to worry about paying more for the style that suits them. To see other models in the Dita corset, Versatile has a small gallery so you can see how it fits different people. You can see it on their website here.

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Corset Connection (Versatile) Snapdragon Underbust Review

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

Fit, length Front is about 9.5 inches long, center half is 10.5 inches. Slim silhouette. This corset is quite short, just ending at my iliac crest – if you have a longer torso, I recommend the Dita underbust which is a more longline version of this. The top line of this corset comes up around the sides of the bust, which pushes the bust forward and together, and can help flatten any “side muffin top”. The back then scoops back down.
Material 3 main layers: the lining is 100% cotton black American coutil, fashion fabric is a heavyweight purple satin and it has a rose lace overlay. Boning channels are black satin.
Construction 5 panel pattern. Coutil is flatlined/rollpinned to satin and lace layers; top-stitching between panels (seams are double-stitched at minimum), external boning channels. Also contains 8 garter tabs.
Binding Black binding that matches the external boning channels, made from bias strips of black satin.
Waist tape 1″ wide petersham waist tape exposed on the inside.
Modesty panel Attached 7″ wide fabric lacing protector on the back, covered in black satin, stitched on one side of the corset; unstiffened placket under busk.
Busk Standard flexible busk (1/2″ wide on each side) about 8″ long (4 pins), with a flat steel bone on each side.
Boning 22 total steel bones not including busk. On each side, 8 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 28 grommets total, size #00 two-part grommets with moderate flange; set equidistantly, no splits, no wear/fraying/pulling out of grommets. This type of grommet is my personal favourite used in American-made corsets.
Laces This particular corset has purple ribbon, about 1/2″ wide 
Price Currently $358 USD for the standard size on the Versatile website.

Final Thoughts:

This is the second of several corsets I will be reviewing for Versatile Corsets/ Corset Connection. The samples will later be returned and sold at great discount.

There are a few things I like about this corset, and a few things I would change if I had the opportunity to get it custom made. Aesthetically I do prefer the more dramatic silhouettes, so if I were to go back and purchase this, I would likely have it made-to-measure, and in a smaller size (the one in the video was a size 26″) so that I could have a bit more curve in the waist (more like the lavender version seen left, instead of some of the other styles seen in their gallery on their product page).

The thick halter strap was comfortable around my neck; it’s made of a smooth-yet-strong matte black satin that can be adjusted with bra hooks. I didn’t personally find that the straps pulled too much on my neck, and I was able to keep my shoulders and my neck back – however, for those with forward-head posture looking for a solution, this corset will not miraculously help. I like how the fabric of the corset wraps up and around the side of the torso, which both helps to flatten any breast tissue that wraps around the side and in the armpits, and for those with smaller busts this cut helps to lift the bust and push it together to create cleavage. 

 The Snapdragon corset is available in various colour combinations as you can choose the main fabric, have a choice of lace overlay if you wish, then choose the type of trim, external boning channels, and binding – they can all be different fabrics if you wish! I’m glad that I had the opportunity to see the differences in construction between the various different corsets depending on the styling choices.

Overall, I am glad I had the opportunity to try on this corset. However I think the Dita underbust is a little more suited to my figure, as I have a longer torso. (I will be reviewing the Dita underbust several weeks from now!) To see other models in the Snapdragon corset, Versatile has a small gallery so you can see how it fits different people. You can see it on their website here.

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Contour Corsets Review (Summer Mesh Underbust)

This entry is a summary of the review video “Contour Corsets Summer Mesh Underbust Review” which you can watch on YouTube here:

Fit, length Front is about 12.5 inches long, back is 13.5″ long. Unique silhouette in which the ribcage mostly follows the natural contours, tapering a bit through the lower ribs, but nips in dramatically at the waist for an extreme hourglass shape – almost wasp-waist in silhouette. I had requested this type of ribcage – if you prefer a more natural shape, this can be accommodated. This is called a “mid-hip” cut; coming slightly over the iliac crest but not longline. Extreme hipspring. See the “Final Thoughts” section on other fitting notes.
Material Primarily one layer of very strong, almost no-stretch poly mesh. I chose the “gold” color to match my medium-olive skin tone (it’s a cross-weave of a light yellow and deeper pinkish-copper). Despite being synthetic, the holes in the mesh allow my skin to breathe. Still, I always wear it with a liner underneath. Boning channels and binding are made from somewhat matching light-brown twill.
Construction 6 panel pattern, with most of the hip-curve between panels 3-4. At least triple-stitched: Lock-stitching between panels, seam allowances pressed open and zig-zag stitching to further stabilize the seam, then external boning channels, double-boned on the seams (external channels often contribute to an even stronger seam). No garter tabs (not requested).
Binding Brown twill that matches the boning channels; machine stitched inside and outside.
Waist tape None. This corset is strong enough without a waist tape, and in fact stronger than many of my corsets that do contain waist tapes. (I admit I had my doubts, but this corset has been tried and tested for nearly a year.)
Modesty panel 4″ wide stiffened modesty panel (lacing guard) in the back, suspended on the laces. 1″ wide modesty placket under the front closure, with a very heavy flat steel bone (essentially a boned underbusk).
Front closure Not a busk! The front closure is a “stayed zip” – heavy duty metal YKK zipper, secured into twill panels with the mesh overlayed. A 1/2″ flat bone is on either side of the zipper, and a 1/4″ flat bone sits on top of either side of the zipper as well. The very stiff and heavy 1″ underbusk further stabilizes the zipper so it doesn’t buckle. This has been my first tightlacing corset with a zipper and I’ve had no isssues with it.
Boning 29 total steel bones. On each side, there are 10 bones in external channels, then 2 flats on either side of the grommets in the lacing system, as mentioned before another 1/2″ steel beside the zipper, another flat bone on top of the zipper, and the last 29th bone is the heavy underbusk underneath the zipper.
Grommets 26 grommets total, size #0 two-part grommets with a large flange; set closer together at the waistline; high quality – no splits, no wear/fraying/pulling out of grommets
Laces I opted for the heavy-duty lacing; nylon braided shoe-lace style laces; they’re thin, they grip well and they are long enough. Very easy to lace up; they glide through the grommets well but hold their bow tight. Zero spring.
Price The Summer Mesh underbust costs between $520 – $575 at the time of this review. The price depends on the size and other considerations (see below). Asymmetric patterns (for those with scoliosis, etc) add $100. You can see her full price list here.

Final Thoughts:

When I first recorded the review and did the “first edit”, it was nearly 20 minutes long because I had so much to say about this corset. It is like no other corset I’ve had before, so even for a review such as mine (which is on its own pretty objective, but still comparable if you read across the tables of different reviews on this site), it can’t really be compared to other corsets in my collection. The posture, the materials, the construction, the pattern/ silhouette – everything  about this corset is just… different. Be prepared for a really long discussion (and as model KathTea had once said, “If this is tl;dr then corseting is probably not for you”).

Continue reading Contour Corsets Review (Summer Mesh Underbust)

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Orchard Corset CS-411 Underbust Review

This entry is a summary of the review video “Orchard Corset CS-411 Underbust Review”. If you want visual close-ups, you can watch the video on YouTube here:

Fit, length Center front is 10″, shortest part is 8.5″. It’s a shorter corset that fits closer to a cincher on my body. Gives a moderate hourglass shape – this is a Level 2 silhouette, so the ribcage is 4″ bigger than the waist, and the hips are about 8-9″ bigger than the waist.
Material 3 main layers – the outer coarse-weave poly-brocade fashion fabric, flatlined to a sturdy cotton interlining, and lined in twill.
Construction 4-panel pattern (8 panels total). The shape of the panels is very similar to the cincher by Isabella Corsetry, although the contours are slightly less, the ribcage and hips a little smaller. Constructed with a slightly modified sandwich technique.
Binding Binding at top and bottom are made from commercial black satin bias strips, machine stitched on both sides. There are no garter tabs in this corset.
Waist tape One-inch-wide waist tape running through the corset, hidden between the layers. I did not check to see if there was glue used in this one (see my CS-426 review if you want to know more about that particular corset).
Modesty panel There is a modesty panel on the back, made of a layer of black satin and a layer of twill. 5” wide (~3″ usable space) and attached to one side with a line of stitching.
Busk Slightly heavier busk, slightly under an inch wide and 9” long, with 4 pins. It is fairly sturdy; less bendy than a standard 1/2″ busk.
Boning 16 bones total in this corset. On each side, 6 of them are spirals about 3/8 inch wide and then there are two flat steel bones, both ¼” wide sandwiching the grommets.
Grommets There are 20 2-part size #00 grommets (10 on each side), with a small flange, spaced equidistantly. On the underside every grommet is split and quite scratchy, but they don’t catch on the laces so I can’t complain.
Laces The laces are ¼” wide flat nylon shoe-lace style. I find them to be long enough and quite strong, but also rather springy – you just have to tug a little harder to get the corset to stay closed because of the elasticity of the laces. However, Orchard has some higher quality laces (in several colours) available on their website – I very much prefer their ribbon laces to the standard shoelace style laces.
Price Currently $69 USD.

 

Final Thoughts:

Although this particular fashion fabric is not available to purchase through Orchard Corset (as it was a prototype), the cut of the corset, construction methods, and other fabrics/ materials should all be the same – so in this review I’m really commenting on these features as opposed to strictly the shell fabric.

I very much prefer this style of thicker poly-brocade compared to the thin shimmery satin shown in my CS-426 corset review. I found that satin had a tendency to wrinkle easily, when the satin started to pull in places, you could see the crossweaves of coral and brown threads and the wear of the corset was quite apparent. The satin also pulled and frayed easily where it had caught onto things (keep it away from any hooks, scratchy/sharp edges, or especially velcro!). This brocade is sturdier, doesn’t wrinkle as easily, is harder-wearing (doesn’t pull or fray as easily) and is better at hiding general wear and tear. A bird told me that Orchard may begin stocking all-cotton corsets in the future, which would be an even better choice for those looking for regular support.

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Waisted Creations Underbust Corset Review

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

Fit, length Front is about 12 inches long, and the shortest part (from underbust to lap) is 9″. Unique silhouette in which the ribcage follows the natural contours but nips in dramatically at the waist for an extreme hourglass shape. Hips end a little lower than the iliac crest and very rounded. Luthien specializes in extreme hip springs, so this shape would be comfortable for hourglass or pear-shaped corseters. This corset was made to measure.
Material Fashion layer is dupioni silk in “dragonfly”; backed onto cotton coutil; lining is lightweight printed cotton.
Construction 6 panel pattern. Top-stitching between panels, many bones sandwiched between the layers, and a floating liner. No garter tabs. One of the seams at the waistline did rip, but has held up well after mending.
Binding Matching dupioni silk, machine stitched outside and hand-finished inside. Slight frayed area in the top edge of the binding, but I will be fixing that later.
Waist tape 1/2″ wide invisible waist tape between the interlining and lining.
Modesty panel None. (Not requested.)
Busk Heavy-duty wide busk (1″ wide on each side) about 11″ long (5 pins).
Boning Heavily boned; 34 steel bones not including busk. Most of the ones around the side are spiral steel; double boned on the seams and additional bones in the center of the panels. Another two steel flats sandwiching the grommets on each side at the back.
Grommets 26 grommets total, 5mm two-part Prym eyelets with moderate flange; set equidistantly; high quality – no splits, there are some that didn’t roll perfectly, but there is no 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 At the time of recording this video, a made-to-measure, unembellished underbust corset is £200 (about $310) and overbusts start around £300.

Final Thoughts:

This corset was used in my “corset seasoning” mini series a number of weeks ago – anyone who had watched those videos will know that this review doesn’t tell the whole story of my ups and downs with this corset. I was originally upset that my mini series didn’t run as smoothly as anticipated, but over time I’ve come to agree with viewers that a “perfect” seasoning process wouldn’t have been half as useful, as I wouldn’t have been able to show people what is normal wear and what is atypical during seasoning, or offer troubleshooting/ solutions to issues as they were encountered. You’re welcome to learn more about how this corset wore in over time by reading or viewing the mini series here. (I do promise to catch up on the written versions!)

Much of this corset was left to the creative liberty of the maker. I had provided my natural measurements, gave suggestions of silhouettes and shapes that I liked, and requested a specific silk from Silk Baron. At the time that I received my mockup to test the fit, the maker mentioned that she was not able to get the specific colour of silk I wanted, and offered some complimentary embellishment as compensation. The change in colour was subtle and I didn’t need to match the corset with a pre-existing skirt or anything, so this wasn’t a huge issue for me at the time. I chose the gold lace to go along with the shade of green silk provided. The crystals/rhinestones weren’t discussed; they were a surprise. Once again, not a huge issue for me, but if you are the type to want to know exactly what you’re receiving, please be very specific before ordering.

The turnaround time of this corset was approximately 5 months, which is a longer duration than I’ve experienced from other corset makers – there seem to have been some complications, and the maker is very busy. If you plan to commission a corset, be sure to contact her at least 6 months ahead of time, in order to give your corset a proper break-in session prior to your event. She mentions that at the moment she is not accepting new orders, but she normally only accepts commissions on an extreme case-by-case basis.

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Serindë Couture Silk Overbust Corset Review

This entry is a summary of the review video “Serindë Couture Silk Overbust 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, and she makes very sophisticated and sultry pieces as well, as evident in this gorgeous romantic overbust.
She currently doesn’t have a website but you can find her on Etsy, DaWanda, and Facebook.

Fit, length This overbust is a sample so the measurements of this corset may not reflect the measurements of a custom-fit overbust you commission from Serindë. Center front is 14″ inches long, and from peak of the bust to the curve of the lap is also 14″. Lovely hourglass silhouette with a conical ribcage and rounded, feminine hips. Longline corset, and the mild sweetheart is designed to be almost a mid-bust rather than a full overbust. I like the rounded contour of the bust area. Large hip spring; very comfortable in the hips. Recommended for hourglass and pear-shaped ladies, especially those with a bit of a smaller ribcage.
Material 3 layers; fashion layer is champagne dupioni silk backed with interfacing; strength layer is coutil, and the lining is soft cotton.
Construction 7 panel pattern with no hip gores – 4 panels in front contribute to smooth a smooth, rounded bust, and 3 panels in the back. Hip area is also very smooth with no wrinkles or puckering of the fashion fabric. Top-stitching between panels, sandwiched boning (two per seam), and a floating liner (very comfortable). 6 total garter tabs.
Binding Black satin bias tape, neatly machine stitched because this was a sample for a photoshoot and time was of the essence. Serindë explains that she hand-finishes the binding on personal commissions.
Waist tape 1″ wide invisible waist tape between the strength layer and the lining.
Modesty panel Floating modesty panel suspended by a ribbon on the back, in matching dupioni; lightly boned. but does include a placket on the knob side of the busk.
Busk Standard flexible busk (1/2″ wide on each side) about 12.5″ long (6 pins), reinforced with a sturdy 1/4″ wide flat steel bone.
Boning 28 steel bones not including busk. On each side there are 11 spirals (1/4″ wide), double boned on the seams, 1 flat (3/8″ wide) beside the busk, and 2 flats (3/8″ wide) sandwiching the grommets.
Grommets 36 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 black. Very strong, has not broken or frayed despite lacing very tightly in this corset.
Price This sample was available on Etsy for €390 which is around $520; subject to change.

Final Thoughts:

This corset makes me feel like a princess. The dupioni silk lays perfectly smooth with absolutely no wrinkles – Serindë is a master in taming fashion fabrics and proper turn-of-cloth! The embellishments on the corset compliment one another so well, and are not overbearing – the hand-sewn lace motifs draw the eye to the waistline and create the illusion of an even smaller waist, while the hand-flossing on the ends of the bones balance out the embellishment on the top and bottom edges, and the beading/ Swarovski crystals add a bit of sparkle. I also like how the crystals are organically laid out and not symmetic on both sides. This creates somewhat of a “natural” type of beauty, as if the crystals stuck wherever the wind made them land. This also means that if I were to go out dancing in this corset and one or two of the crystals were to fall, then the corset would still look perfectly fine and finished. However these crystals hold very well and I don’t think they will be falling off anytime soon! The beaded straps, designed to fall off-the-shoulder, add another level of romanticism to this corset and are attached with a bit of elastic to protect the silk from ripping due to any tension, and also adds a bit of adjustability. This piece is pure grace and glamour.

To see Serindë’s standard size sale items, do check out her Etsy store here, and if you would like to commission a custom piece from her this year, don’t hesitate to contact her via email or Facebook.

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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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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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Orchard Corset Maroon Underbust (CS-426) Review

This entry is a summary of the review video “Orchard Corset Maroon Underbust (CS-426) Review”. If you would like more complete information and side notes about the corset, you can watch the video on YouTube here:

Fit, length Gives a nice hourglass shape – this is a Level 3 silhouette, gives the most extreme curves. Center front is 13″, shortest part is 10.5″. Longline corset that comes over the hips. Quite comfortable.
Material 3 main layers – the outer satin fashion fabric, flatlined to a sturdy cotton interlining, and lined in twill.
Construction 6-panel pattern (12 panels total). The shape of the panels is very, very similar to the Josephine corset by Isabella Corsetry, although the contours are slightly less, the ribcage and hips a little smaller. Constructed with a slightly modified sandwich technique.
Binding Binding at top and bottom are made from matching maroon satin, double-thickness. I like how it’s very narrow. It’s machine stitched on both sides, folded under nicely on the front and then stitched in the ditch between the corset and the binding, to catch the rest of the binding on the underside.
Waist tape One-inch-wide waist tape running through the corset, hidden between the layers and glued to the lining.
Modesty panel There is a modesty panel on the back, made of a layer of satin and a layer of twill. 5” wide and attached to one side with a line of stitching, reinforced with glue.
Busk Standard busk, half an inch wide and 11” long, and 5 pins. However it’s less bendy than other busks of the same width, which is one perk.
Boning 22 bones total in this corset. On each side, 9 of them are spirals about 3/8 inch wide and then there are two flat steel bones, both ¼” wide sandwiching the grommets.
Grommets There are 24 2-part size #00 grommets (12 on each side). They have a medium lip around. They’re spaced equidistantly about 1” apart. I see some fraying and coming away of the fashion fabric around some of the grommets around the waist. On the underside every grommet is split and quite scratchy, they catch on the laces, the modesty panel and my shirt.
Laces The laces are ¼” wide flat nylon shoe-lace style. I find them to be long enough, a little springy but that’s alright because they’re still strong – you just have to tug a little harder to get the corset to stay closed because of the elasticity of the laces, is all – not a big deal.
Price Currently $95 USD, but you can save 10% by using the coupon code CORSETLUCY

 

Final Thoughts:
I really do like the shape this corset gives; it’s quite curvy (especially for its price). I wish they hadn’t used so much glue in the manufacturing, and that they could spend just a little more on higher quality grommets.

Lastly, one thing that made me PO’d (perhaps not the company’s fault but the shipper’s fault) was that I bought it on sale (around $59) but when it was shipped to me, the value on the package was stated as the original $95 which resulted in my having to pay higher duty/taxes coming into Canada. I ended up paying nearly as much in shipping/duty than I paid for the corset itself! International customers, be aware of this before you buy.

*** EDIT January 2014 – it’s been a couple of years since this review, and a few things have changed. Orchard Corset’s newer stock has higher quality grommets with fewer splits, and they recently introduced all cotton corsets, which are more sturdy than the satin ones and much less prone to coming away at the seams or having the bones pop out. Additionally, the owner of Orchard Corset mentioned that several years ago, they had placed the value of the parcel as product+shipping, which is why the price was so high and I was hit with duty. These days, OC says that they only place the value of the merchandise (the literal price paid for the corset itself) as the value of the parcel, and they don’t include the shipping price, so duty should be much lower for international customers.

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Gallery Serpentine Victorian Underbust Review

This entry is a summary of the review video “Gallery Serpentine Victorian Underbust Review”. If you would like more complete information and side notes about the corset, you can watch the video on YouTube here:

Fit, length Victorian Hourglass shape, nice moderate curves. Center front is 13”. Stops just at the upper hips, it is not longline. One “pro” is the unique feature of how low the corset stops on the back, it curves nicely over the top of the bum instead of cutting into it. One “con” is how distended my torso looks in profile.
Material 3 main layers – the outer satin, a thick cotton non-woven interfacting as interlining, and black twill lining.
Construction Made from a 4-panel pattern. The satin and the heavy interlining are either flat-felled or fused together (depending on whether the interfacing was fusible or not), then those panels are topstitched at the seams. Bones are placed either in the seam allowances between the panels, or internal channels are made with twill tape.
Binding Binding at top and bottom are made from black satin bias tape. Folded under nicely on the outside; on the inside the raw edge is serged to prevent fraying and just stitched down flat.
Waist tape None.
Modesty panel None. To get a modesty panel costs another $15 from the website.
Busk Standard busk (flexible), half an inch wide and 12” long, and 6 pins.
Boning 12 bones total in this corset, 6 on each side. All of them are plastic. These are heavier-duty polypropeline bones but I would still prefer steel. To get the steel bone upgrade costs another $15 from the website.
Grommets There are 18 2-part size #0 grommets (9 on each side) and have a medium flange. They’re spaced 1.5” apart on the top and bottom and are spaced closer together (1” apart) at the waist for better cinching control. Grommets are very sturdy, no popping out, no fraying. However I would have preferred to have 10 more grommets because lacing down is difficult on the top and bottom. On the underside there are no splits; they’re nicely set.
Laces The laces I received with this corset are reportedly not the original laces. The laces I got are 1/4″ wide single faced satin ribbon, quite slippery and difficult to grip. The laces that I have read now come with the corset are black shoelace-style laces.
Price Currently $190 (AUD) for basic fabric and standard sizes. $210 for made-to-measure, and add $10 more for Asian brocade fabrics. Note that steel bones/modesty panel also cost extra.

Final Thoughts:
This… was not my favourite style. A lot of people noticed that my review was blasé. Perhaps my review would have been more fair if I had spent some extra funds to get a made-to-measure item with steel bones, but for financial reasons and accessibility, this was the right option at the time. I doubt I would buy from them again, but I guess I should never say never. Many of their happier customers have contacted me to say that their corsets are much more flattering, better constructed and include things like a modesty panel, so perhaps there are several makers for that company and there are inconsistencies between their products. I will give them the benefit of the doubt, however this one simply did not go well with my body type and looked unflattering on me. I ended up altering this corset by adding steel bones and a modesty panel.

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Ms Martha’s Leather Geometric Cincher Review

This entry is a summary of the review video “Ms Martha’s Leather Geometric Cincher Review”. If you would like more complete information and side notes about the corset, you can watch the video on YouTube here:

Fit, length Center front is 12 inches, side is 8 inches, cut high on the hip and doesn’t pinch.I have a size Medium and it has a waist of 22 inches. Small has a waist of 18″; each size increases in increments of 4″. I advise you to order the size for your natural waist, or up one size if you’re on the upper end of a size.
Material Leather fashion layer, cut in a ribbon-corset style with horizontal panels. The inner layer is twill. I had to air out the leather for a week before the factory smell dissipated enough for wear.
Construction 5 main panels – 2 of them create most of the shape with horizontal stitching, while the vertical panels hold the hardware and boning. Floating liner inside, and 6 garter tabs.
Binding Black leather; folded under on the front and then clipped short on the underside – common in leather or vinyl binding to minimize bulk.
Waist tape None –  typical of a ribbon-style corset. Ms Martha says her corsets are not for tightlacing.
Modesty panel MASSIVE 10-inch wide back panel that has a single bone running vertically down the center. Leather on the outside and twill on the inside. Also has a 2″ wide leather placket in front.
Busk 11-inch long, heavy duty busk – one inch wide on each side. Quite a bit stiffer than the standard flexible busk.
Boning Total of 8 bones in this corset. 2 spirals on each side seam and 2 spring steels sandwiching each line of grommets in the back.
Grommets 24, 2-part size #0 grommets. These grommets and the washers both have a very large lip which I like. The inside of the grommets have a few very tiny splits, but it’s forgivable because it doesn’t catch on the laces.
Laces Flat braided nylon shoelace style in black; they have a little bit of spring to them. Bulky, so they don’t glide through the grommets quite as well as a thinner one would, but it’s still very strong and very difficult to break.
Price Currently $175 USD in leather, and $170 in silk.

Final Thoughts

This cincher has a beautiful shape – I think it’s one of my favorite shapes of my underbust collection. It is totally comfortable over my hips and feels very secure but not overbearingly tight around my ribs. Because this is made out of leather and twill, I feel that it has stretched out a bit, but not dramatically. Note that the leather did have a strong scent to it when I first opened the package, but I left the corset to air out for a few days in a ventilated room and the smell soon dissipated. Later on I did change out the laces – while the original ones were very strong, it was also quite thick so I experienced a lot of friction when trying to tighten the corset, making it difficult to put on and take off so I simply changed them with thinner shoelaces. But I still own and wear this corset quite often, a year later – you can see it in some of my later videos, like this dressing with your corset post.

Now, be aware that I don’t know what will happen with your corset if you tightlace in this – mine has seemed to hold up fine – but there might be a possibility of a busk pin popping or a seam coming loose, if Ms Martha doesn’t give guarantees that her corsets stand up to tightlacing. I’m just putting that out there.

One thing I want to touch on is the sizing. These corsets run small. When I was looking at the size chart, a Small was recommended for natural waist sizes 20″ – 28″. Since my waist was around 27″ at the time that I ordered, I thought a Small would be great. Ms Martha strongly recommended that I go with a Medium instead. Apparently the size Small has a miniscule waist of only 18″ which was been far too small for me! I later heeded her advice and she was very kind and patient with me about exchanging this cincher. A size Medium has a closed waist of 22″.  So if you are petite or if you are around my size, consider ordering a size up. If you’re naturally on the fluffier side, then you will probably be able to reduce more than me, so order true. This store has the largest range of sizes of any off-the-rack store I’ve found to date, offering corsets for people with waist sizes 18″ up to 52″.

So for your consideration, here is Ms Martha’s size chart that has the “closed waist” corset sizes:

Small Medium Large XL 2XL 3XL 4XL
 18″  22″  26″  30″  34″  38″  42″
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Axfords C242 Lace Underbust Corset Review

This entry is a summary of the review video “Axfords C242 Corset Review” which you can watch on YouTube here:

Fit, length Circumferential measurements are very comfortable; no pinching in the hips or ribcage. Much curvier than I was expecting. This is a longline corset, starting lower on the ribcage and ending low on the hips – center front is 11″.
Material 3 layers: the strength layer is the inside lining – a tightly-weaved white cotton coutil (made especially for Axfords). Coral satin fashion fabric is flatlined to the coutil, and then the white real lace is laid ontop of the satin.
Construction The seams are top-stitched; bones are in internal boning channels at the seams made from twill or Prussian tape.
Binding Satin on one side and grosgrain ribbon on the other side. Quite unique from commercial bias binding used in other corsets. Neatly machine stitched on both sides.
Waist tape None.
Modesty panel Attached 6″ wide protector, not boned but it is stiffened, so it’s flexible but stands on its own. When I’m lacing down it doesn’t need to be adjusted, and it curves nicely with the contours of my spine. Very comfortable. Has a placket overtop of the busk to hide the hardwear.
Busk Heavy busk, 10″ long and one inch wide on each side. Quite a bit stiffer than the standard flexible busk.
Boning 14 bones total. There are 10 hefty spiral bones – they’re 7mm wide instead of 5mm wide. Also four ¼ inch wide spring steel bones which are also very sturdy and quite thick.
Grommets 30 grommets total, size #00 two-part grommets with moderate flange; set equidistantly. Axfords says that they use smaller grommets set closer together for more controlled tightening of the corset. Some splits along the back of the grommets but they do not catch on the laces and are not pulling out.
Laces Strong tightly woven braided shoe-lace style laces; they’re thin, they grip well and they are very long. No stretch or spring to the lace.
Price Currently £125 ($195 USD) for the lace overlay style, but £115 ($180 USD) without the lace.

Final Thoughts:

This corset is adorable, feminine, pretty, shapely… I think this is the girliest underbust I own – pink with floral lace. I’m impressed at how smoothly the delicate lace lays (say that five times fast!) over the pink satin – do I detect some roll-pinning? ;) Even when worn at large reductions, the lace does not pull away from the seams or wrinkle up with stress.

I was initially concerned about the strength fabric as it was said to be coutil but didn’t have a herringbone weave – this was my first experience with a plain-weave coutil – yet it has stood up the test of time, even without a waist tape. The grommets are also still holding up well several months later – I find my preferences now leaning towards more and smaller grommets on my lacing panel as it’s easier to make fine adjustments when lacing up.

The fit of this corset is flattering as well (in my opinion); I like the conical ribcage, and the hip gores make this longline corset very  comfortable over my hips. The shape is quite similar to the Mae Extreme corset by What Katie Did – I am able to cinch down further in this corset than I was able to in the regular Mae.

All of Axfords’ corsets come with a complimentary storage bag as well – of course, don’t buy a corset just for the bag, but only if you think the corset is as lovely as I think it is. You can see this corset in other colors, and other corset styles on their website here.