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Author Topic: Master Corsetry Thread (Post A Review!)  (Read 65176 times)
Flynn MacCallister
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« on: July 26, 2010, 07:35:51 am »

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, by the lovely Lyca. Example, modelled by the wonderful Countessa Lenora.

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, Example, both modelled by the Countessa Lenora.

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, especially for underbusts and cinchers.


Reviews

Desert Orchid Corsets -- Reviewed by Sweetest Poison.



Resources

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

In no particular order.

Information:
Corsetry community on Livejournal
Long Island Staylace Association
Underbust pattern tutorial
Moments In Time -- Victorian Secrets, via Victoriana Blog
Elizabethan Costume Page -- includes corset patterns and tips, should be adaptable to our interests
Boned modesty pannel tutorial
Floating modesty pannel reference image
Floating modesty pannel tutorial, with bonus drama. (Scroll down past the rant.)

Sales:
(Please do not recommend unless you have had dealings with the seller. Please also consider including a review.)
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.
Harlots and Angels (UK, ships internationally) Garments only. Makers of the famous Lady Adventurer and Swashbuckler styles.
Shameless Fashion (Canada, don't know about shipping, contact for info) Garments only. Custom only. Specialises in underbusts. See also the Facebook page linked from the main site.
Desert Orchid Corsets (UK, ships internationally) Garments only. Custom only? Specialises in extensive choice of fabrics.
Dark Muse Corsetry (Australia, ships internationally) Garments only. Specialise in made-to-measure, off-the-rack also available.

Corsetmaking.com (USA, ships internationally) Supplies only, including patterns.


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 health concerns regarding corseting.





** Remake, as we had some technical problems with the old one after a thread merge. Sorry, folks! If you were awaiting an answer, the original, locked thread can be found over there. **
« Last Edit: May 21, 2011, 03:31:13 am by Flynn MacCallister » Logged
Flynn MacCallister
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« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2010, 07:40:19 am »

Because of that little problem with the last version of this thread, there were a couple of open questions... so to carry them over:

Quote from: Angelica Needle
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


Quote from: Annie
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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Flynn MacCallister
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« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2010, 07:44:30 am »

Quote from: lady joanna
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


Oh! I see!

As underwear, I think I'd love the regency style... but I think it would be a challenge to get either design to look "right" as outerwear, considering the styles we expect to see as outerwear...

I don't know, though.

But, yes, from a mechanical point of view, either of those is a great solution. ^__^ (Sadly, not one that you could wear with a strapless dress, but hey. ;p   )
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lady joanna
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« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2010, 01:17:09 pm »

I'm glad you can see where I'm coming from!

The one pictured reminds me quite a lot of loosely renaissance styles and I think it could transfer quite well into steampunk as an adventuress type bodice with a pretty blouse.

Yes, I agree the regency style would work best as underwear and I think it would have to dictate a more traditional Victorian look in your choice of clothes, but if it means having a corset that is comfortable and supportive it would by no means be a negative sacrifice. I know the regency shape is very different to the corsetted Victorian shape, but with the right petticoats and padding it would certainly be workable. Could there possibly even be scope to merge a Victorian underbust with the top half of the regency style?Huh
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AlegrahEredschtadt
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« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2010, 08:53:02 pm »

I'm quite glad this thread came about!

I could most definitely see some modding to that style of corset, though I think it'd be a bit more difficult than worth it, very possibly. In a way, it reminds me too much of ren faires than it does something that would belong in steampunk, though.
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« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2010, 10:01:56 pm »

http://tacticalcorsets.com/

That is all.
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Angelica Needle
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« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2010, 05:46:27 pm »

A question for Flynn or anyone else who wears a bra & an underbust corset. I have availed myself of the style of balconette bra recommended by Miss MacCallister (my God, I could balance my drink on that!), but is there a trick to positioning the corset?

I purchased a rather elegant corset from Top Rock in The Oasis in Birmingham last week (excellent service there, by the way), and the lady told me that I could just shift the corset to where I wanted it positioned. However, in the practice runs, I keep getting it such that the side bones in my bra dig into my arms uncomfortably. Even when I loosen it & drop it down, it still seems to end up in the same place. I'm rather short-waisted which probably doesn't help, but is there anywhere I should try to line up the corset - should it meet the bottom of the bra, or be below, for example?

Many thanks good ladies. Smiley
 
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Flynn MacCallister
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« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2010, 12:31:37 am »

Angelica, what style did you try? (Specifically, was the top of it straight across, curved, or pointed?) Also, is your bra band nice and firm? It's not a problem I've ever encountered... most of mine do sit just over the bottom of the curve of my bra underwire, but if my bra is uncomfortable, I've never had difficulty wriggling the bra around a little until it sat right again...

Heehee, I know what you mean with the balconette bra. The effect would be even more dramatic with an overbust corset! ;p
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ValancyJane
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« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2010, 05:05:44 pm »

Since ones mentioned them yet, though their corsets are more along the fantasy-ish lines
Damsel in this Dress
Pendragon/MadGirl
Mayfaire Moon
Evening Arwen
Ties that Bynde


and more historically accurate:
Starkers

Also, you should add a disclaimer to that section that "the list is provided as a resource and does not imply any sort of endorsement of the sites listed.  In other words, buyer beware."
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Flynn MacCallister
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« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2010, 06:15:31 am »


Also, you should add a disclaimer to that section that "the list is provided as a resource and does not imply any sort of endorsement of the sites listed.  In other words, buyer beware."

I assumed that no-one would recommend sellers unless they had dealings with them...
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RoseOak
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« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2010, 12:10:57 pm »

A question about sewing thread. I have a horror of seams splitting, ect so I was wondering if there was any special sewing thread anyone would recommend of if I'm alright using regular cotton.

The TV short corselettes I made for my sister and I were made using regular thread and they have stood up to 7 hours bus journeying and 4 hours dancing without any trouble, its stretched a bit but still secure.

thanks
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AlegrahEredschtadt
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« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2010, 05:07:49 pm »

Ohh, I shall ask a question. Rose, thank you for jogging my mind. I've a not-so-wonderful quality corset that's become a bit of a disappointment, but I need to be able to lace it without the seams splitting any further. I've basting stitched them so they wouldn't split when I had to wear it for a few hours. Any ideas of a way I can re-enforce them until I buy a new one? I figure my next will be tight-lacing quality so it lasts.
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ValancyJane
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« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2010, 03:31:26 am »


Also, you should add a disclaimer to that section that "the list is provided as a resource and does not imply any sort of endorsement of the sites listed.  In other words, buyer beware."

I assumed that no-one would recommend sellers unless they had dealings with them...

I've seen it on other boards where one person has a great experience with a seller and then the next person has a bad one.  I bought a dress from a highly recomended seller and had delivery issues.  Its always better to have the disclaimer than not.
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Flynn MacCallister
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« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2010, 08:55:52 am »


Also, you should add a disclaimer to that section that "the list is provided as a resource and does not imply any sort of endorsement of the sites listed.  In other words, buyer beware."

I assumed that no-one would recommend sellers unless they had dealings with them...

I've seen it on other boards where one person has a great experience with a seller and then the next person has a bad one.  I bought a dress from a highly recomended seller and had delivery issues.  Its always better to have the disclaimer than not.

... but the idea kind of was that it was an endorsement, rather than a list of sellers I could have found using google...
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Flynn MacCallister
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« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2010, 04:20:57 am »

Has anyone got any pictures illustrating corset styles? I'd prefer to have your pictures than some random ones I found on the internet!
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AlegrahEredschtadt
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« Reply #15 on: August 05, 2010, 10:05:28 pm »

I have some of a mid-bust, I'll have to see if I could post them. :]
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« Reply #16 on: August 07, 2010, 05:51:40 pm »

I actually am into making corsets, myself. I have to finish up one made of ducttape and reflective tape, but pictures will come. Then...well..then comes MY newest corset. THAT will be fun. Muahahhahahahaha...Couch...cough...>.>......<.<....>.>
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Lyca
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« Reply #17 on: August 07, 2010, 07:10:44 pm »

Alright, since we've no photos yet, I'll cross post this from tactile:

Here is a corset that I finished sewing just in time for the Summer Sizzler. It's a victorian overbust, with sweetheart neckline and shaped hip. It's made from coutil, recycled striped cotton canvas, spring steel boning (spiral at the sides and bust, flat either side of the grommets), steel busk, brass grommets and cotton bias binding. I think it measures about 34 - 24 - 36 over the corset. Pattern drafted by me from scratch.

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs284.snc4/40540_415549528545_507643545_4729693_6720390_n.jpg
http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs282.snc4/40445_415549558545_507643545_4729696_1601830_n.jpg
http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash2/hs142.ash2/40445_415549563545_507643545_4729697_2519221_n.jpg
http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash2/hs142.ash2/40445_415549568545_507643545_4729698_299163_n.jpg
http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs302.snc4/40445_415549573545_507643545_4729699_4480719_n.jpg
http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash2/hs142.ash2/40445_415549578545_507643545_4729700_6977119_n.jpg
http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs212.snc4/38932_415549603545_507643545_4729702_4939729_n.jpg
« Last Edit: August 07, 2010, 07:12:17 pm by Lyca » Logged
lady joanna
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« Reply #18 on: August 07, 2010, 10:10:12 pm »

Lovely corset Lyca. I love the waist shaping - that's something I'm gradually becoming more courageous with.

I'll get round to posting pictures soon as I have some samples underway for the Asylum.
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AlegrahEredschtadt
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« Reply #19 on: August 07, 2010, 11:53:06 pm »

That's absolutely gorgeous, Lyca!
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ForestB
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« Reply #20 on: August 08, 2010, 03:28:19 am »

That is a fabulous corset Lyca! (I'm a little envious- hope I can make one half as nice...)
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« Reply #21 on: August 08, 2010, 02:16:00 pm »

Here are the 3 corsets I have.

The first was bought.  Leather and quite comfortable.
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

The next two were custom made for me and the fit is fantastic.  Expensive, but well worth every penny.

The octopus corset
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

The expedition corset (not a great photo - I need to wear it more)
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

This is the lady who made my corsets.  She has an eye for detail, lot of skill and had them both done when she said she would.

http://shamelessfashion.com/
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Flynn MacCallister
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« Reply #22 on: August 09, 2010, 01:45:09 am »

Lyca and Lenora, they are gorgeous! Lyca, yours is really pretty. ^__^ Do you guys mind if I link them in the first post?
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Countessa Lenora
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« Reply #23 on: August 09, 2010, 02:31:18 am »

Glad you like them.  Go right ahead.
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Lyca
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« Reply #24 on: August 09, 2010, 09:17:45 am »

Thank you - I don't mind either  Cheesy
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