corset maker

waist training things to remember:

-like all body modification, waist training/tightlacing is a journey, not a race. 

-you won’t season your new corset in two days. 

-you won’t close your corset in a week. 

-when it comes to corsets, as with sushi and tattoos, you get what you pay for. cheap corsets aren’t good, and good corsets aren’t cheap. expect to pay, at the bare minimum, $65 for a corset on a good day, and upwards of $200 or more. 

-buy a corset properly sized for your body. buying a corset that is too small won’t get you a tinier waist more quickly.

 -take your time seasoning your corset. if you can only lace it loosely and wear it for 45 minutes a day at first, that’s completely fine. waist training is a journey, not a race.

-don’t lace down too tightly. you will damage your corset, and you will damage your body. waist training is a journey, not a race.

-don’t wrap your laces around your waist after you lace in. the friction created by moving will erode the laces and the outer fabric of your corset much more quickly. why would you want to further damage the most stressed part of your corset? 

-you should still be able to breathe after you lace in. if you are laced in so tightly that you can’t breathe or move, or feel like you are going to (or actually do) faint, you’re laced too tightly. loosen your laces. waist training is a journey, not a race.

-drink lots of water. 

-purchase your corsets from reputable corset makers like @orchardcorset or @whatkatiedidlingerie. if you buy a corset from eBay or Amazon, you can’t be assured that your corset is spiral steel boned and not cheap plastic (no matter what the item description says). plastic boned corsets are fashion corsets and are fine for things like cosplay or fancy dress, but they will not train your waist.

 -don’t guess your corset size. buy a dressmaker’s tape for $2 at your local mega mart, learn how to take your measurements, and ask for help if you’re unsure. orchard corset has a live chat help to answer your questions about what size and type of corset you should buy for your body. they are experts. listen to them. 

 -tightlacing is for everyone. don’t ever let someone tell you that you can’t waist train based on your height, weight, gender, or anything else.  tightlacing is for everyone.

 -in case you weren’t listening before, waist training is a journey, not a race.

youtube.com
30DoC #6 - Who is my Favourite Corset Maker?

Depends on what kind of corset I want. I’ve come to realize that there is not any one “perfect” corset out there for everyone - each corsetier(e) has their own specialties, rules about what commissions they will and will not accept, etc. But if you have a specific kind of corset in mind, I give a few names of corset makers in the video who would be good for the job.

Mentoring

If you’re an aspiring corset maker looking for someone to take you under their wing and become a mentor to you here is some helpful advice to help you on your corsetry journey. When finding a mentor consider (first and foremost) *why* you want them as your mentor. What can they teach you and where do you know them from? Mentoring is often ‘born’ from an existing relationship between an intern and corsetiere, or perhaps a student and teacher.

Let us clarify what qualities a mentor should have. A mentor is a teacher and someone who will be helping you grow into the fabulous corset maker you are wanting to become. As well as having the necessary knowledge and skills, a mentor needs to be patient and kind.  The role of mentor is something that should be taken seriously, by someone with the knowledge and skills to be of help to you. Mentors need to be able to communicate and teach their student in a positive way. A mentor will only communicate with their student - there are no public “reviews” or discussions of their work. It’s a private arrangement and there is a lot of responsibility on the mentor to be patient, nurturing, educational and kind. Just like a teacher should be. A mentorship is often quite long, perhaps a year or even more (depending on the arrangement).

Should you be lucky enough to find a mentor, don’t expect a mentor to sit down and give you one-on-one lessons each week or spoon feed you all the information. You’re going to have to work hard on your own and do a lot of independent research and work. But, once you have something to show for it (a finished corset), your mentor will look over it and provide some constructive feedback. Your mentor needs to know about stitching, hand finishing, patterning, fitting, construction… all these things from firsthand experience or else how are they going to advise you? Wouldn’t it be amazing to learn from someone you admire?

Mentors are rare, and they are valuable, but no one is entitled to one and a professional corsetiere shouldn’t feel obliged to be one. Corsetry is a hard, time consuming business so devoting many resources to an apprentice with no financial or business gain really won’t make sense for most (and nor should it).  You’d be hard pressed to find someone willing to take you on as it’s an investment of their time and resources, so don’t expect a corsetiere to automatically take you under their wing (and don’t be offended if you ask and they say no). We don’t mean to be blunt, but it’s a serious reality of the industry. All that said, it is an incredibly rewarding one and making beautiful corsets is one of the most rewarding things a sewer can do (from our perspective anyway!).

Mentoring no-no’s to consider:
1. Someone offering to be a mentor is usually looking for a cheap corset and they’re very unlikely to have the qualifications to help you and are just trying to benefit from your skills. It would be more beneficial to you to make corsets for friends or family - people you can fit in person. Then get feedback on the corset and fit from your mentor (or from respected corset making groups).
2. Mentors don’t act like clients (even if they’re paying for materials). It’s an entirely different scenario compared to a client paying a reduced rate for a sample corset “in exchange for feedback”. That feedback will be coming from a different perspective and it’s a onetime thing. A client like this can leave a review as well as provide direct feedback to the maker and this is different to the role of mentor.
3.  People who don’t make corsets cannot be a mentor unless they are extremely experienced wearers and then there are other things you need to consider such as: who’s work do they buy? Who do they admire? What’s their track record in corsetry? Etcetera.
4. There are so many people trying  to grab a deal on the internet (kind of in the same vein as 'alt’ models asking for 'sponsorship’, 'gifting’, 'collaboration’ from businesses). People want things for free (or super cheap), and they won’t reasonably adjust expectations. Be careful of people offering to pay for materials in exchange for 'mentoring’. Why not instead make your friends some corsets you can learn from? Wouldn’t it be nicer to make pretty things for people you know and love instead of making corsets for strangers?

Something else to consider is that just because you’re going into corsetry doesn’t mean you have to go into business.  There’s no rules that you have to sell them just because you’re making them, and you should only bother selling if you’re willing to do the research and the work to make it a proper functioning business. You need to learn how pricing works and if your product is not up to scratch, don’t sell it until it is! Don’t underprice things because they aren’t good enough - if they’re not good enough you shouldn’t be selling them. Underpricing damages everyone around you and most of all yourself and ruins your future potential (pricing up is always so much harder than pricing down). If you can’t find a mentor, or are just wanting to make corsets for fun there are many corsetry courses all over the world, as well as many books and online resources. Be proactive and take charge of your learning. You can do it! :)

Lastly, we’ll leave you with some things to consider when finding a mentor:

1. Do you admire their work?
2. Are they well thought of in the community?
3. Do they have a helpful attitude?
4. Why would they be a good mentor for you?
5. What do they really know about corsets?
6. Have they mentored anyone before? 

-CP1 and CP2

2

My favourite colours are blue and black.  I leaned on that HARD with this one.  I wore the skirt for 2 days during Fan Expo.  I did have another outfit lined up, but I was so happy for a chance to wear the skirt that I didn’t want to take it off, hahaha. It was surprisingly comfortable, even for 9hr+ days spent in Artist Alley.

On another note, Mille Noirs (the gothic branch of Mille Fleurs) has become my new favourite makers of corset skirts.  I own over a dozen corset skirts (7 Atelier Pierrot, 3 AatP, 1 Atelier Boz, 1 Excentrique, 3 Mille Noirs, 4 Meta, etc), and Mille Noirs is the ONLY one that uses steel boning.  Even Excentrique only included 2 strips of steel boning and the rest were all spiral steel boning (which I admit, is more comfortable/flexible and for cinching, but not tight-lacing, it is plenty).  I’m in loooove~~<3

Outfit rundown:
Blouse: Surface Spell (dressform pic blouse: Atelier Pierrot)
Skirt: Mille Noirs
Underskirt: Haenuli
Necklace: Handmade by me.
Tights and Shoes: Off-brand

Are corsets good back support?

Corsets are an incredibly important part of my life for a variety of reasons. At the top of the list is my awareness that they completely affect the way the wearer feels. This is emotional as well as physical. At their most basic, corsets are excellent core support - and in today’s world where posture is quite neglected, we need all the help we can get.

I don’t often speak about myself, my body image issues, or my background outside of corsetry, but a lot of things have brought me to be very interested in the human body and its abilities. I grew up not only very interested in costume history, but dance also. I’ve been a devout yoga practitioner, love Pilates and swimming, and trained in circus arts for several years, constantly testing my own limits physically and mentally. I look at corsetry as sculpting - both as a corset wearer, being able to affect the shape of the natural body, and as a corset maker, creating line and form from simple pieces of fabric and steel.

I studied ballet very passionately until I was 12, when a run-in with a school bus while on my bicycle cracked my pelvis and made dance near impossible for several years. It may have been that injury, or some other predisposition to hyper-mobility that means I often have severe pain in my hips. Lately it’s been shocking to me how much pain I experience on a daily basis.

I suggest to clients and friends frequently that they try a corset for relief from back and pelvic pain, but it took me over a week to listen to my own advice. Because of my dance background I focused first on stretching, strengthening, chiropractic, acupuncture…but as far as instant pain relief goes - the corset wins. Don’t think I won’t pursue these other things - I’m not remotely interested in chronic pain, nor do I ever want feel like I *have* to wear a corset, but that I can feel instantly held and supported, and feel the screaming pain melt away - sign me up for that!

The other bonus is feeling more elegant, I like the line of my body better, and am sitting up straight at my computer or drafting table. The mind-body connection may never cease to amaze me. Better posture genuinely leads to feeling more confident - a positive feedback loop if ever there was one.

Some people worry that corsets make your core weak, that you can be lazy, but as I’ve been sitting typing this, I’ve felt myself try to slump back into my bad posture several times, only to have the corset remind me to sit up straight. The corset isn’t doing the work for me, it’s keeping me present to the work that I need to be doing. It’s also stabilizing my sacrum, which doesn’t come easily.

The photo above is of my second maternity corset client, one who needed bust support as much as back support. She has since delivered a healthy baby and will be getting a new belly section to help her body return to its pre-pregnancy shape.

I work regularly with clients who have been referred by doctors, chiropractors, and physical therapists, for lower back support, upper back support, scoliosis support, bust support as back pain relief, hernia support…the list goes on. It’s always a delight to see people move from pain into comfort, and to see the emotional transformation take place at the same time.