Have you ever had simply AMAZING food at a restaraunt, and then thought, "OH, man, if I could just make it like that!" ? Further more, have you ever endeavored to go home and make it? We all know about those top-secret recipes cookbooks, and we certainly know that the internet is a never-ending fountain of online recipes. It sounds plausible.
I think the stuffed chicken marsala from Olive Garden is what they'll feed us in heaven (along with the added bonus of us not gaining any of its 2,014 calories per serving) It's....seductive. Plain and simple. I asked my husband if he would love me more if I could make it. He looked me in the eye and said, "Honestly, yes."
So, I found the cheat recipe. It called for many....expensive things. "OH, well," I thought, "it will still be cheaper to make it." Well, I was wrong. After mentally adding all the ingredients in my head, it was going to be well over $40, plus the added couple hours to make it just so I could end up with something that was probably pretty good, but not nearly as good as Olive Garden's. You see, I've learned this lesson over and over again! I was cursed with the "do-it-yourself" attitude when I was born. I get it from both my mom and my dad. Now, don't get me wrong, it's not an entirely bad virtue.
Here's the problem. There are some things that you really should go home and make...provided you have the time, the energy, the know-how, and the fortitude. However, there are other things that you wouldn't dream of going home and making yourself. You're not going to see a beautiful large flat screen TV and think, "Oh, I'll go home and make my own." Heavens no! The people that do that for a living and have studied it and worked for years at it will do it much better than you can.
So, how does this all relate to corsets? Well, friends, it's honestly insulting when I hear customers walk past one of my splendid mannequins, poke at the fabric, wrinkle their nose, and snootily say, "OH, I could make that." I hate to tell you, but....you probably can't. You can most certainly go and buy some upholstery fabric at $10-$40 a yard,along with a $14 Simplicity Pattern ($1.99 if you're smart enough to watch sales at JoAnn) and sit there cutting the weak crackling tissue paper, and then trying in vain to fold the stupid pattern back together in a way that it might somehow fit back into the stupid envelope. You can stare at the hideously confusing directions and try to decipher what they are telling you to do as your eyes slowly glaze over. You can clear a place to lay your fabric out, and then enter into another war with the tissue paper, trying to pin it the right direction and cut around it. You can battle with your sewing machine for hours as you invent new profanities, break needles (if you're making a bodice, you should be using sturdy fabric) run out of bobbin thread, and become friends with the little seam ripper.
Whew. Wait, we're not done? Nope. From there, you can discover that plastic boning is the only stuff they carry at the craft store. You face the decision of either using the plastic crap, and having the edges of your bodice look like a lasagna noodle after you've worn it, or you can go and make a special order for metal boning off of the internet. Keep in mind that you'll have to pay shipping and handling, and there are two types of boning, several different widths of each, and about a million different ways of putting them into the bodice. You might have to special order boning casing, or you might get a special kind of boning that has holes in it so you can mark your bodice and put grommets right into the boning. There are multiple different ways, and you have to decide which is best for you.
OH, and look. We're at grommets! My favorite! As a young, ignorant 14-year old, the only grommets that I could find that I could apply were these goofy little eyelets with teeth that wrap around and grip onto the fabric. It was $2.99 for a package of 144. I also spent $16.99 for a tool that would set the eyelets for me. You'll probably do the same. Unless, of course, you want to buy a decent grommet press, which will run $40-$200, plus a die for the size of grommet you're using ($30-$40....some presses have them as additional items. Some have them included in the price). Also, you will want to get some actual 2-piece grommets that don't suck. They run about $10 to $25 for 144, plus S&H. Anyhow, if you go the cheap route, and get the crafty little eyelets, the second you really lace yourself into your bodice, they WILL pull out of the fabric. I'm speaking from an abundance of frustrated experience here.
Next, you sit and mark the bodice for the grommets, and apply them. If you mess up on one of them, your bodice will be ruined. Trying to take one back out creates a bigger hole than the grommet. It's NOT pretty.
Then, FINALLY, the moment of truth! All these hours of researching, reading, sewing, cutting, purchasing, driving, and emotional turmoil might finally pay off! You lace the bodice onto your body. Hmm......the simplicity patterns ALL cut off right at your natural waistline. Once, again, I'm speaking from experience. I know. The problem is that they pinch your waist, and pooch out your lower belly and love handles. It also makes your body appear much shorter than it is. You look like a tree stump. But, you persevere.
You wear it to your renaissance festival. Your own creation. Sure, the fit is a little off, because most people don't know that when making patterns, you make a size smaller than the pattern tells you. Sure, it's really digging into your waist. Sure, the satin ribbon that you used to lace it up is slippery and keeps unlacing. But you, "Just made your own". Wait to go! You sure told that stupid girl at Damsel in this Dress! Ha! "Take this, Michelle" you think, as you tug at your bodice that keeps creeping upward. "Who's laughing now?" you think with a self-satified smile as you look down and realize that your metal boning is starting to poke out the bottom of your bodice.
You walk up to a booth that looks familiar. There are buxom mannequins out front, wearing bodices that are richly toned and alluring. You discreetly reach over and finger one of the bodices, and realize that it has boning up every single seam, and that the boning is twice the thickness of yours (by the way, we special order our boning from Europe. America's steel is really poor quality.) Then, you feel this amazing piece of rod up the front. Wow, it wouldn't bend when you sat down, like your current bodice does. The grommets are beautifully set (We just purchased a $3000 machine, thank you very much). A gorgeous, curvy dark haired girl comes up and invites you in. She is kind and considerate, and a little sarcastic. She takes your bodice off, and tells you she loves the fabric, and then she tries on one of the ones from her booth. You look in the mirror, and realize that you're never going to make your own bodice again. You look like you instantly lost 20 pounds! You look like you got a tasteful and attractive boob job :) You look romantic and feminine. Yay!!!!!!! This is what you wanted in a bodice...
And there you have it. When you buy from us, you're buying from a company who is dedicated, honest, and friendly. You're supporting a business run by a woman who KNOWS bodices. My whole entire job is bodices. I have a lot more time to ponder them, research them, sketch them, sew them, and revise them into the perfect fit. Me and my husband have spent over a hundred thousand dollars purchasing the right equipment, supplies, and material to make them the best we possibly can. Our whole business is set up to do them. We have industrial everything! Now, I'm really not trying to make anyone necessarily feel bad. I think that going out and exploring your passions is good...but then again, you maybe have a job that you're really good at. You're doing that job so other people don't have to try and do it themselves. Your time is valuable. That's all I'm doing. I am very impressed with what I see that women have sewn up themselves, and there are most definately seamstresses out there who are phenomenal, and make amazing things. But, you know how I can tell instantly if you're a true seamstress? You come into my shop, you compliment me on the stitching and patterns, you ask me where I got my fabric, you say, " My gosh, I couldn't make it for this.", and you buy one from me. You know the scenario up above all too well. You know that value of being able to purchase a bodice rather than battling your sewing machine in an effort to make the same thing. You are my friends, and I respect you and I'm so grateful for you.
I am so tremendously grateful for my customers who have helped me build my dream. I am thankful for all your suggestions, support, input, and well.....$$$$. :) I promise that I will continue to improve, rethink, and revise to climb higher and higher to the tops of my potential. I literally lay awake at night thinking about what I can do the next day to improve my product and make it better for my customers. I want you to look in the mirror and see the woman that you know is inside. I want you to stop critisizing yourself, and realize that you have some serious assets that were brought out by a little thing like a corset. We have powerful weapons. They're called breasts. Use them wisely, friends.
Thank you again. If you actually read this whole thing, I'll give you %30 off on any bodice you want. ;)