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Author Topic: The Master Corsetry Thread take one  (Read 7008 times)
Angelica Needle
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« on: July 20, 2010, 06:56:55 pm »

This forum has been missing something for some time.

We've always had a definitive goggles thread, and a master pocketwatch thread, but there is one thing that is almost as pervasive in Steampunk as these items.

Corsets.

Wearing them, buying them, making them... Anatomical is always abuzz with talk about them.

And so I present you with the Mastery Corsetry Thread, a thread for doing such things as sharing information about making your own, discussing health facts and myths associated with corsetry, reviewing corset-makers, and, of course, showing off your new pretties!

First up, a glossary of terms. Please post to have me (or a friendly passing moderator) add anything to this; as you can see, it is rather incomplete!

Glossary

Bones or Stays: The strong strips of material that make a corset stiff and give it it's shape. Traditionally these were made of whalebone, though other materials -- including rope! -- were used. In a modern corset, these are generally made of polypropylene (plastic) in various weights (from very flimsy to really rather strong and solid), flexible but strong spiral steel boning, or strong, rigid flat steel boning.

Busk: The front fastening of the corset. Tends to refer to this style of fastening, though strictly even a zipper closure might be called a busk. Not all corsets have busks.

Corseting: Wearing a corset.

Laces: Are fairly self-explanatory. Whatever is used to lace your corset shut. Usually these run down the back, though some designs put them in the front, or both down the front and back. Depending on personal preference, there are many methods for lacing a corset. Two of the most popular ones, as many people find they make lacing themselves in much quicker and easier, are this one, recommended by Gallery Serpentine, a maker of "general wear" type corsets, and this one from Wasp Creations, a maker of tightlacing corsets.

Overbust: A family of corset styles that, unsurprisingly, extend up over the bust. Example.

Tightlacing: The practice of wearing a tightly-laced corset at all times to create often extreme and generally permanent body modification. Corseting for waist reduction of up to several inches is not the same as tightlacing.

Underbust: A family of corset styles that, as you would imagine, stop below the bust. Example.

Waist cincher: Often used simply as an alternative term for an underbust corset, usually for types that give a particularly dramatic waist shape, but is also used to refer to a shorter, somewhat more belt-like style. Example.


If you have better example pictures, please share! It's kind of hard to find safe-for-work ones, epsecially for underbusts and cinchers.


Reviews

This section will contain links to posts within or outside of this thread reviewing makers.



Resources

Links to external resources -- suppliers, guides, etc.

In no particular order.

Information:
Corsetry community on Livejournal
Long Island Staylace Association

Sales:
Gallery Serpentine (Australia, ships internationally) Garments only. Made-to-measure available.
Timeless Trends (USA, ships internationally) Garments and some supplies.
Vollers (UK, ships internationally) Garments only. Made-to-measure available.



And finally, a disclaimer. I am not an expert on corsets or corsetry, and it must be borne in mind that any medical advice given by anyone in this thread cannot be guaranteed. Speak to your doctor or physiotherapist if you have any serious health concerns regarding corseting.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2010, 07:28:15 am by Stella Gaslight » Logged

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Flynn MacCallister
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« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2010, 04:05:12 am »

As mentioned by Rob, I'm in the market for a corset (or 2 Wink )

I've had a look around some of the websites linked here, and have seen a few things I like, but as a first-time buyer, I don't want to make an expensive mistake. I'm especially enamoured of those Lady Adventurer corsets on H&A Smiley

I'm somewhat on the busty side (34H) so an off the peg isn't necessarily going to work - I have a cheap one which goes misshapen when I put it on, and doesn't do much for the underarm boob look Wink For similar reasons, I want an overbust corset. Will that be supportive enough for full-day wear? Not that I am likely to do that frequently, but just in case (for events like the Asylum, for example).

I'm also looking to lose a chunk of tummy podge. I have an old back support which brings my waist in quite small compared to what it currently is, and I'd like to get back to that, so how adjustable would a made-to-measure corset be if I have it made according to current measurements?

I didn't wish to jump in on anyone else's thread, I thought I'd start afresh, but I have looked at some of your other posts. I know I should be looking for the busk down the front, but is there anything else that's essential?

I'm based in the UK Midlands - I saw that Darkshines had posted about a shop in Birmingham, but I couldn't find an address on their website, only an address in Banbury - can you tell me where it is, or if it's moved? It would be good to have a look at different styles in the flesh, so to speak!

Thankyou all Smiley
« Last Edit: July 23, 2010, 03:42:50 pm by Stella Gaslight » Logged
Flynn MacCallister
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« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2010, 04:24:12 am »

From one busty girl (30FF at the moment... how did that happen?! ) to another, you're going to have no luck with an off-the-rack overbust. You will have to have it custom-made. At a 34H, you're clearly slim everywhere else, so I'd actually suggest even a custom might not be so comfortable for you, because of the simple logistics of getting a boned garment to go from small waist and ribcage suddenly out to a large bust. Though I'm hoping someone will disagree with me, and give you the contact details of a maker who does it well.

My personal inclination is to suggest either an off-the-rack or custom underbust for a first corset, to make sure that you aren't making "an expensive mistake"! A custom overbust for a large bust is going to be expensive, and there is the risk that you'll realise that you don't actually like corseting with a "proper" steel-boned corset...

From my point of view, the advantages of the underbust: You don't have to worry about sizing difficulties with the difference between a slim ribcage and a large bust. You already know how your breasts are going to look with it, because you just wear a bra with it. You get the waist-shaping and tummy-flattening advantages without having to worry about unusual boobage.

Adjustability: how many inches are you trying to lose off your waist? If you are only going for a couple of inches down, and you are happy to wear your corset now with a fairly wide gap in the back, you should be able to get it made a little smaller than it "should" be, and it will fit when you lose the weight.

As for immediate waist reduction? Up to four inches is a good rule of thumb, though especially at first it will be less than that.
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Angelica Needle
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« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2010, 10:18:22 am »

At a 34H, you're clearly slim everywhere else,

Ahhh, if only.... under my bust I go into classic pear-shape Sad I'm working to get back my waist, but it takes time! I have some basques which have to go larger in the back size to accommodate my torso Sad

BUT... I hadn't thought an underbust corset would be suitable - didn't think you could wear a bra with it (of course, none of the illustrations ever show that!). Do you not get wire clash? I will certainly look at those, as I'd automatically dismissed them.

Quote
Adjustability: how many inches are you trying to lose off your waist? If you are only going for a couple of inches down, and you are happy to wear your corset now with a fairly wide gap in the back, you should be able to get it made a little smaller than it "should" be, and it will fit when you lose the weight.

I'd like to lose about 7", but realistically that probably isn't going to happen, and certainly not at any great speed (I've adjusted exercise & eating habits, but I'm not actually 'dieting', so hopefully it'll be sustainable loss) So 2-4" is probably about right for the moment, especially if I'm aiming to be wearing it for the first time in public for the Asylum.

Thanks for your advice.
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Lyca
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« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2010, 12:55:01 pm »

Excellent thread  Smiley. Would add the Long Island Staylace Association to the Resources section - they can be found here: www.staylace.com.
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Lenora
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« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2010, 01:12:22 pm »

thank you so much for all that useful information.......as a novice, hoping to incorporate a corset in her costume, getting the terminology right plus the all important lacing, is a must.

 Smiley
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darkshines
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« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2010, 02:09:12 pm »

Would you like us to post pictures of examples? I have an excellant underbust I will take SFW pictures of if you want?
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lady joanna
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« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2010, 07:45:59 pm »

Loking forward to reading more on this thread!
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Angelica Needle
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« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2010, 08:14:22 pm »

Excellent start, thankyou!
 Grin
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Flynn MacCallister
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« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2010, 01:50:35 am »

Would you like us to post pictures of examples? I have an excellant underbust I will take SFW pictures of if you want?

Yeah, if you can get a good picture, that would be excellent!

Also, you may as well show it off here anyway... >_o
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Flynn MacCallister
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« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2010, 02:13:54 am »

At a 34H, you're clearly slim everywhere else,


Ahhh, if only.... under my bust I go into classic pear-shape Sad I'm working to get back my waist, but it takes time! I have some basques which have to go larger in the back size to accommodate my torso Sad

BUT... I hadn't thought an underbust corset would be suitable - didn't think you could wear a bra with it (of course, none of the illustrations ever show that!). Do you not get wire clash? I will certainly look at those, as I'd automatically dismissed them.


Yeah, a lot of people don't realise. I have no problems at all with the interaction between my bra underwire and the top of the corset. I will mention, though, that a balconette style, rather than a natural round full-cup style, tends to look best with an underbust -- some people find they can look a little saggy with a rounder style, me included. For me, Curvy Kate's "Thrill Me" (which was identical but called "Showgirl" last season...) is the perfect shape. ^__^

Quote
Adjustability: how many inches are you trying to lose off your waist? If you are only going for a couple of inches down, and you are happy to wear your corset now with a fairly wide gap in the back, you should be able to get it made a little smaller than it "should" be, and it will fit when you lose the weight.


I'd like to lose about 7", but realistically that probably isn't going to happen, and certainly not at any great speed (I've adjusted exercise & eating habits, but I'm not actually 'dieting', so hopefully it'll be sustainable loss) So 2-4" is probably about right for the moment, especially if I'm aiming to be wearing it for the first time in public for the Asylum.

Thanks for your advice.
[/quote]

You usually buy corsets 4"-6" down from your natural waist size, and most corsets are not designed to be worn closed -- a gap of a couple of inches is to be expected. If you're going for nice shaping without serious waist reduction, you'll probably find that if you buy 6" down it will work for you for some time.

Talk to the seller about it, though. Even better, find that physical shop so you can try it on! XD
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Angelica Needle
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« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2010, 06:06:14 pm »

Not sure whether to continue here, or to add this question to the Master Corsetry Thread (or maybe the answer could be put there?!)

I've noticed quite a difference in shape of the underbust part of underbust corsets. Some are quite high between the breasts, the one pictured in the Corsetry thread is completely straight, others are shaped in a curve (surely that would clip the bottom of your boobs?). Is there any noticeable difference between them, especially if wearing a bra as well?
« Last Edit: July 22, 2010, 06:15:41 pm by Angelica Needle » Logged
darkshines
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« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2010, 06:11:21 pm »

I'm a skinny busty girl (28DD) and I find overbusts do NOTHING for me, except squash me flat! Underbusts are FAR better!

The place I recommended is in the basement of The Oasis shopping centre in Birmingham (next to the PVC/fetish stall), and the couple who run it are lovely!

I do have some corsets for sale, I have a thread in trading, I'm just having a clearout Smiley
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TheArtifixer
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« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2010, 06:32:12 pm »

We will be glad to contribute to this thread.
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Fine yet affordable corsets.
Custom and hard to find items and supplies.
Angelica Needle
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« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2010, 06:42:07 pm »

I think a trip to Birmingham might be on the cards Smiley

Thanks!

Oh, and I looked at your lovely corsets.... but I think they're all rather too small for me Sad
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darkshines
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« Reply #15 on: July 22, 2010, 07:25:30 pm »

Most are between a 28 and a 30, so actually they are bang on the right size for a 34.....
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Angelica Needle
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« Reply #16 on: July 22, 2010, 09:11:52 pm »

Most are between a 28 and a 30, so actually they are bang on the right size for a 34.....

Alas, it's only the bra that's 34.... as I said, I'm very much pear Wink
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darkshines
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« Reply #17 on: July 22, 2010, 09:13:28 pm »

Ah I getcha.
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Flynn MacCallister
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« Reply #18 on: July 23, 2010, 02:37:08 am »

Not sure whether to continue here, or to add this question to the Master Corsetry Thread (or maybe the answer could be put there?!)

I've noticed quite a difference in shape of the underbust part of underbust corsets. Some are quite high between the breasts, the one pictured in the Corsetry thread is completely straight, others are shaped in a curve (surely that would clip the bottom of your boobs?). Is there any noticeable difference between them, especially if wearing a bra as well?


I personally like the ones that are straight across, because I tend to wear them over a buttoned shirt, and the ones that curve up or have a point between your breasts tend to result in the shirt not sitting quite right. I think they tend to work better under clothes, or over a very fitted stretchy fabric.

From a comfort point of view, I have never felt there is much to pick between them (provided they are well-made and actually fit right!), and choose based on aesthetics.

The reason the master corsetry thread started out with mostly straight-across examples is because they tend to be displayed in more "safe for work" type images~! Hahahaha.

At the end of the day, the best thing to do is to try some on! ^__^
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lady joanna
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« Reply #19 on: July 23, 2010, 06:25:06 am »

For busty girls would not a half-bust with gussets be appropriate? It would give you support but with out the dramatic difference in sizes of a full overbust (and wouldn't flatten when laced tight). Obviously you would always be limited to wearing it over another garment or as underwear.

Alternatively, there is a set of stays in the kyoto costume institute's collection with shirred cups.... I shall see if I can find a photo....
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Flynn MacCallister
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« Reply #20 on: July 23, 2010, 06:37:39 am »

For busty girls would not a half-bust with gussets be appropriate? It would give you support but with out the dramatic difference in sizes of a full overbust (and wouldn't flatten when laced tight). Obviously you would always be limited to wearing it over another garment or as underwear.

Alternatively, there is a set of stays in the kyoto costume institute's collection with shirred cups.... I shall see if I can find a photo....

The biggest challenge in corsetry for busty girls lies in the transition from ribcage-region to bust-region. It has to be a very sharp angle, something that the long, graceful lines of normal Victorian-style corsetry really can't cope with.

I'm having trouble picturing what you are talking about; what I am picturing would either have overspill or a lot of uncontrolled "sloshing".
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lady joanna
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« Reply #21 on: July 23, 2010, 07:29:53 pm »

This is what I was talking about. Quite complex, but there's potential. If you made the busk narrower to alow for larger cups.



Another alternative would be a regency corset which has a shape more like a balconette bra.

http://www.worldmags.com/graphics/1819stay.jpg

It was just a thought  Smiley I'm by no means an expert with my decidedly pathetic bust  Wink
« Last Edit: July 23, 2010, 07:32:55 pm by lady joanna » Logged
Annie
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« Reply #22 on: July 24, 2010, 12:59:28 pm »

Hello

I'm intrigued by the subject of this thread...is it corsetry for masters? <grin>

I'd like to kick off a discussion about "corsets all day every day".  Today err, yes, 2010, we only wear corsets only for special occasions.  In the Victorian era corsets were essential all day every day for any lady claiming to be respectable.  This hardly surprising because a small waist was evidence of gentility.  No, I’m not going down the tight lacing, wasp waists path, it was just that corset not only gave the proper waist, it gave the correct posture and movements. (also a flat back, which is not rated at all today)

Most Victorian middle class ladies probably could not remember not wearing a corset…there are pictures of baby, toddler, teenage corsets on the web.

My question (at last!) is…would you be different if you had worn a corset all your life, instead of just for special events.

Love..Annie
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Lady Georgina Marsh
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« Reply #23 on: July 24, 2010, 08:47:43 pm »

Quote
My question (at last!) is…would you be different if you had worn a corset all your life, instead of just for special events.


Yes, you certainly would! As you're already said they could 'flatten the back' and also misshape ribs, but there were also problems with internal organs.

I was stopped in the street last year at a convention, by a small group who asked why we were all dressed up. I was wearing one of my own corsets at the time and tighlaced about 6" down from my normal waist size (I'm getting to the point... promise!). Turns out the group had stopped us their mate had a 'thing' about corsets and they asked to measure my waist (bit weird I know but I was fine with it). Anyways, this guy actually worked in a morgue, and when they carried out autopsies (sp??) he said he's had old ladies from the early 20th century, that have been found to have creases in their internal organs from wearing corsets on a daily basis!!!  Shocked

Oooh, and as for recommendations, can I add to the recommended retailers list please (assume this will be added to the ones at the top at some point?) Harlots and Angels are amazing, and have introduced some specific steampunk items to their catologue in recent months:

http://www.harlotsandangels.co.uk/catalog/index.php
« Last Edit: July 24, 2010, 08:53:58 pm by Lady Georgina Marsh » Logged

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« Reply #24 on: July 25, 2010, 05:18:55 pm »



I'm based in the UK Midlands - I saw that Darkshines had posted about a shop in Birmingham, but I couldn't find an address on their website, only an address in Banbury

A corset shop in Banbury! Where?
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