The Ultimate Guide to Corsets

What is a corset? Nowadays the word refers to a whole bunch of things – including girdles (Corset purists feel free to gasp and look offended with me!) and bustiers. When I talk corsets, I mean “real” corsets, or the historical definition of a corset:

Corset (noun): a close-fitting undergarment, stiffened with whalebone or similar material and often capable of being tightened by lacing, enclosing the trunk: worn, especially by women, to shape and support the body; stays.

I’m writing a series of posts on corsets. I have rather a lot to share on the subject! Lol I come from a making-ball-gowns-out-of-curtains type background – so my first experience with corsets came from spending a VERY long time drooling over them, dreaming of owning one, researching how I could make one without being able to afford the proper boning and fabric, and attempting to (multiple times) from the wrong materials!

A custom made wedding corset
I’ve made lots of corset-ish things – but this is one of the only true corsets that I’ve made myself. For a friend’s custom designed wedding dress!

Now with what I do for a living, I wear at least 20 new corsets each year for photoshoots! And despite getting to lace up so regularly into all the new pretties, I don’t think my obsession has died. I LOVE corsets.

This is going to be an 8 part series. When I post each new part, I’ll come back here and update the link!

The Ultimate Guide to Corsets
This pic features just a few of the corsets that I wore last year for photos.

And here are the parts!

Part 1: History of Corsetry

Part 2: Types of Corsets

Part 3: Real Corset Styles

Part 4: Anatomy of a Corset

Part 5: Pattern Matters

Part 6: Find your Perfect Corset Size

Part 7: Wear a Corset like a Pro

Part 8: How to Care for your Corset

Steampunk Pirate Costume – Airship Minx

I made a Steampunk pirate costume!Steampunk Pirate Costume

My “belladonna” skirt is I believe the #1 skirt I make which makes me think of pirates.  So it’s the one I wore here.

Steampunk Pirate Costume

The sleeves are completely one-of-a-kind.  Each time I design and make something new, it gets a “cuteness to cost ratio” based on how long it takes to make it, vs how cute it looks!  Lol these turned out cute, but waaaay too time consuming, so I will not make them again.  Instead I’m working on a new similar design that is both cuter, more flattering, and takes less time to make, so I’m able to offer a better price.  ^.^

Steampunk Pirate Costume Steampunk Pirate Costume

The pirate hat in the photos is also a handmade creation.  I’ll hopefully get a few made and posted in my etsy shop soon!

Steampunk Pirate Costume Steampunk Pirate Costume

I made just a couple of these and sold some over Halloween – but I still have a couple left, and the costume can also be custom ordered.  It’s available here.

Steampunk Pirate Costume

Jewelry by my sister, Vixen’s Delight.

Announcement – Black Friday Sale

This past weekend I did my after-Halloween overhaul.  This is a several day process – where I put on an awesome audiobook, and spend some time buried up to my nose in lace and pretty fabrics – cleaning and organizing.

This year, while at it, I realized something.  Holy crap, did I make a lot of pretty things this year!  And I have a lot of pretty ideas that I still have yet to make.  Which means I need more space in my stock closet!

So… Drumroll please… I’m having a sale!

I’m putting nearly a third of my shop on 40% off!  If you’ve been eyeing one of the samples I make for photoshoots (and it hasn’t sold yet) here’s your chance to get it at an amazing discount.  You can see my size Small photoshoot samples here, and my Medium and Large photoshoot samples here.

All of my outfits and costumes will be 10% off.  You can see the Steampunk costumes here, and the Victorian Gothic section here.  If it’s something I already have on clearance, it’ll be 50% off.  The sale ends on Cyber Monday (November 26th.)

Victorian Lace Wedding Dress – Lady in Blue

One of my resolutions this year was to reduce the “waiting for pictures” dresses sitting in my stock room!  Can you believe I made this skirt and shrug in 2014?!

Victorian Lace Wedding Dress

This is one of my more practical designs.  It hitches to knee height – because dancing is important! 😉  I took all these pictures with the skirt at full length, however.  If you want to see the hitched look too, check it out on etsy.

Victorian Lace Wedding Dress Victorian Lace Wedding Dress

Do you like the hat?  It’s a new style I’m excited to add into my shop – at a customer’s suggestion.  It starts out as a big Kentucky Derby hat – but since I’m me, I must hand shape it so that it has my signature pointed front.  🙂

Victorian Lace Wedding Dress Victorian Lace Wedding Dress

The end result is more fun than historical – but I love the way it looks with my Victorian satin wedding dress.

Victorian Lace Wedding Dress

One final note – if you look closely, you can see spots on the skirt in the photos.  That’s because it started raining on us, the instant we got to the park and were ready to start taking pictures!  Lol New England is like that – the weather report will say 0% chance of rain right up to the moment the sky opens up and starts spitting out rain drops.

I was like screw it – I’m ready – this dress won’t get ruined if it gets a teensy bit of water on it – and I can re-curl the feathers on this hat.  So we took pictures quick like bunny, before the rain got too heavy for us.

Victorian Lace Wedding Dress

As always, jewelry by my sister.  This set is one of my personal favorites.  You can see it here in her shop.

Thanks for reading!

Sleeping Beauty Costume – Briar Rose

If you follow my designs, you’ve seen this skirt before.  It is the same style I made for my “Lady Enchantress” fantasy wedding dress, and for my “Dame En Rouge” fairytale wedding dress.

When I made this briar rose sleeping beauty costume, I was going for a more gothic princess type look, and I thought I would keep the corset top as simple as possible to let my new skirt design take center stage.

The back has all these pretty tucks, and it seems a shame to cover them up with a jacket.  🙂

And of course, every gothic princess needs a crown.  This gothic crown is a prototype – the final version is a bit wider, with five flowers along the top, which I find is a bit more flattering to the face.

I can custom make this dress in all sizes. If we switch out the corset for another style, I can offer a plethora of gorgeous colors, as well.

The exact dress in the photos is one of a kind.  It is posted for sale in my Etsy shop here.  The crown is also listed for sale here.

Jewelry by my sister.

Green Victorian Dress – Gothic Jewel

Green Victorian Gothic Dress

This green and black gothic wedding dress features one of my new skirt designs.

One of my goals this year has been to make more dresses with full length skirts.  I think I’ve set a new record for time spent drafting new patterns over the last few months!

My sister is modeling the dress in these photos.  She’s wearing a mini fedora bridal hat trimmed with satin ribbon and roses to match the ball gown.

I have satin ribbons to match all my satin fabrics, so if you are ordering one of my gowns, I can make this hat to match.

Do you like the beautiful jewelry in the photos?  You can find it in my sister’s etsy shop.

The one-of-a-kind dress in the pictures is listed for sale in my etsy shop here.

Black Steampunk Dress – Sable Siren

Gothic Steampunk Dress

This black steampunk dress has been a long time coming!  I make dresses in this style fairly often by special request.   It’s my popular “Vintage Diva” bustle skirt – but with an added fluffy ruffle to bring it down to knee length.

Gothic Steampunk Dress

My sister (modeling in these photos) is pretty tall with long legs – so on most people, this gothic dress will be fully knee length.

Gothic Steampunk Dress Gothic Steampunk Dress

Do you like the lovely gothic necklace and earrings she’s wearing in these pictures?  They’re posted here and here in her Etsy shop.

Gothic Steampunk Dress

The corset she’s wearing is from a new supplier.  They are AWESOME corsets – full steel boned, uber curvy, heavy duty, and available in a plethora of styles and color combinations.  They come in all sizes, and can even be customized to measurements for unusual figures.  I’m excited to start offering them in my shop!

Gothic Steampunk Dress

This one-of-a-kind dress is listed for sale here.  And you can purchase the hat in the pictures here.

Gothic Steampunk Dress

Steampunk Costume – Perfectly Purple

Purple Steampunk Costume

I love fun and funky color combinations.  Do you?

Purple Steampunk Costume

Most people would pair this steampunk corset with a black skirt for an easy match.  But with Halloween coming soon, I’ve been making a lot of black steampunk costumes.  So I decided to bring out the bright and beautiful colors in this corset when I made the matching skirts.

Purple Steampunk Costume

This outfit can be worn without its matching bolero shrug, but I love the way how the short jacket brings the look together.

Purple Steampunk Costume

And to me, of course, no look is complete without matching hat!

Purple Steampunk Costume

I made a fedora style hat to match this look – but with a mini or full size top hat, I think it would make an epic Mad Hatter Costume.

Purple Steampunk CostumePurple Steampunk Costume

The skirt is my “Vintage Diva” pattern, but instead of wearing it with a bustle or underskirt, I put it over a fluffy vintage petticoat.

Purple Steampunk CostumePurple Steampunk Costume

Jewelry is by my sister, Vixen’s Delight.  You can purchase the dress here, and it’s matching shrug here.

Purple Steampunk Costume

Steampunk Halloween Costume – Sassy in Red

Red Steampunk Costume

Halloween 2018 is coming on fast!  So my sister and I decided it was time to hightail it to the park and get some new pictures of costume type things.

Red Steampunk Costume

This first set of pictures is me in a Steampunk Halloween costume.  I could see this look working awesomely for a Saloon girl, or a Queen of Hearts with a unique twist.

Red Steampunk Costume

I love making things that match – and this Steampunk mini top hat is no exception.  It’s decorated with the exact fabric and trim from the corset.

Red Steampunk Costume

The steampunk bustle skirt in the photos looks new, but it’s actually a slightly shorter version of the style I’m wearing in this Gothic Wedding Dress and in this Steampunk Wedding Dress.  The jackets covered up the bustle-y cuteness in my previous sets of photos.  I’m still tweaking the back design to make it perfect, but I’m very pleased with how this skirt turned out.

Red Steampunk Costume

I do believe this dress makes an awesome addition to my collection of deluxe Halloween costumes, don’t you?

Red Steampunk Costume

The jewelry i’m wearing in these photos is handmade by my sister, Vixen’s Delight.

Red Steampunk Costume

I made only two of these dresses.  If you would like to make one of them yours, you can purchase it here.

Red Steampunk Costume