Friday, November 28, 2008

A Corset That You Want to Pet

My friend, Moxie will appreciate this! Recognize this fabric? Moxie sent this to me to make a corset for her. While it is LOVELY, it is cotton upholstery, and cotton upholstery allows boning to pop right through it. What I ended up doing was adhering the whole entire piece of fabric to another piece of upholstery, and then cutting the pattern out of the two pieces glued together. I LOVE fabric designs like this.
Just in case any of you actually noticed that this is a little bit longer than my wench corset pattern, it IS! It's really more of a full-on Victorian underbust, only without 30 pieces of boning in a million channels up the corset. Okay, don't get me wrong, I really admire those beautiful heavily boned serious corsets, but I've got to say....mine do pretty much the same thing. Tummy flattening-check. Minimize love handles-check. Make chest look big and buxomy-check. Take 2-4 inches off of waist....yeah, check!!! In my opinion (and I could totally be full of crap) the most important parts of a corset are the boning and the pattern. There is some really cheap and wobbly steel boning out there. Just because it says it's steel doesn't really mean anything. I've talked to my friend, Ariel about this. She said she got a corset off of ebay that said it had steel boning, and it did...however, when she tried it on, it was all wobbly and didn't really do a whole lot to corset her. That steel was what is called spiral steel. It's like a coil of wire that's been flattened. It's good for overbust lines in a corset, where they curve out over the chest and then back in, but if you use spiral steel up the front or side of a corset, it's literally like a cheap piece-of-crap-hot-topic-fashion-corset. In other words, you won't have a skinney hourglass body unless you already have a 0% bodyfat shape.

The other important thing is the actual pattern! Okay, so every girl I have EVER talked to, no matter WHAT size she is says, "I hate the clothes in the stores! No one makes anything that fits me!" I've heard this coming from size 0's...and I'm thinking," wait, aren't you the only size they DO make?" But, here's something I've figured out. When clothing manufacturers pump out clothing, I don't think they're using a variety of fit models for their patterns. For instance, have you ever seen project runway? They design all of their patterns around a mannequin. A perfectly shaped tiny mannequin. Consequently, in almost all of the episodes, at least one of the designers takes their design off of the mannequin and puts it on the model, and it doesn't fit. They end up hand-sewing the blasted thing onto her!
Believe it or not, I actually base all of my patterns off of my customers that I meet at renaissance festivals. I come out with a new pattern every year, and I will haul it to these festivals, try it on tons of different shapes and sizes, and LISTEN to the customers!! If anyone ever says, "Oh, I like this right here, but I don't like how it does this here" I take a mental note to change it. Especially if there's repeated customers mentioning the same thing. I always go home and the first thing I do is take all of my different sizes of that pattern and change that one little thing. It makes a big difference! I have lots of new customers that are ordering online, and they almost ALWAYS say, " I'm giving you my waist measurement, but not my lower belly. Will the corset still fit? I have a big belly!" Guess what, friends....all women curve back out at their lower bellies. Guess what else. My patterns all curve back out at the bottom.
I just realized that I could literally go on for an hour about the subject of pattern-making, pattern drafting, and pattern grading. I'm really sorry if I'm boring everyone! This is my passion! ;) Anyway, I'm trying to remember what my original point was. Uh....I think I mostly just wanted to say, "My patterns REALLY do fit REAL WOMEN'S BODIES!" and the boning that I use is REALLY nice. In fact, for my spring steel, I have to have it manufactured over in Europe because there's no companies in America that make the really rigid thick steel. I pay a lot of money to get it manufactured, shipped over on a boat, and to have it arrive to me 3 months later!! I really care about a quality product. I will stand by my work til the day I die. Happy Holidays, everyone! Keep buying corsets! ;)


  1. Dear god that is gorgeous, I want to frame it as it is. fabric makers need to make more pasterns like this in the appropriate fabric for your corsets!

  2. This corset really is breathtaking. The amount of time and money you put into making your corsets show in the amazing quality of them.

  3. OMG that is gorgeous!!! I am sorry it was so much trouble because of the fabric. Thank you so much for your attention to detail and consideration of our bodies! I have much love for you Michelle!!!

  4. I sent you a request about a corset on e-bay a couple days ago. Like I said then, I'm such a huge fan! I love your writing too, and I'm so envious of your talent! This one is gorgeous. :-)
    Don't worry about boring people! I get sucked into your writing and I find it really interesting! If it's your passion, let it out sista! :-)

  5. Just bought this one via your artfire (*silent squeals of joy*)!

    I've pasted your website across all my steampunk buddies' facebook pages in simple adoration of your designs (and exceptional price range). It's so great to see someone creating superbly-crafted, uniquely-inspired pieces within reach of the average steampunker and ren-fairer. <3

  6. https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=8860539656121595525&postID=8813810808421015539&page=1&token=1293168986283_AIe9_BH2jjvNWz1Xg-vTCyeRvnQPrsHAFGv_EOm73iD3xrPZUzB_3VRHl05GbS7kbowCSOadD0lLtV8YtkmZPcra7o6Lxv-RhwdT3hlqbUu1bFNtdLXoG5XXrTAYlu7x0RsntJXOffB_A6kQNbM9qFDeYN3zPb3KMp38S7PUJbE8LUPAd_gv0jd35YjI_69--dotf433M4yr1Ihwrmk9q9aWTYYwt9mLDGMws65Z7iLpcN1m_vwsrWMsRtMhOUm9EC8ABJ5w075OEwXL7en6cXUBycTS0gjTjs7FxVVE_WL8grk1k0jtyp_BcnDFyn-EF0tLzL0_KdmkIe1mUYCR4nLxpetih_Q5-wdJn4FBy53o4n9aJiHGm_ZEEvSmh9sLwPIZilT5qfzPRBYXE9U5GhKOBJn6uhwwsxI9Kib3EYV7tgMeXvgp17yEr6nQZSButGZ0aNqoBLZl37vFsJ80cXkf5qb2oP3pVa7MchkSyPg7Mh_TD7Wsuwd0VLtMDlJo7w2HDsa5z7rIIBRPmcy1Psb51PHnQ44Oq4OGv_km1s53afl2QwPbLo6vgTNRZxQknjsnHHzP80Dz9fmRbPYa7ILXX3g5m4_5w7tXMPJqOzboFUnZuIoHyKJLC8Skemlfsl_vmvpr84hKfamgA74JO21JQ7NJpwbv0Eowm8NHFa0dD-1YVTs6A8AHgiWGXLKDdRoS7vZA9duw