Archive for November, 2008

Anniversaries – Travel – Changes

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

It’s Been 10 years!  At the risk of sounding trite, it does seem like yesterday that we started this experiment – for that is how the Fitting Room started – as an experiment to see if I could control the amount and type of work I do by concentrating on  – Corsets!  Could there be enough call for custom corsetry to keep a business running?  Well, I’m happy to say, yes there is!

I’m always amazed by the fabulous ideas that you bring to me.  It is fascinating work, and suits me well.  I’m still very inspired and expect to continue on for the next 10 yrs.

This has been a great year for travel.  I have just had a three week vacation on the east coast, visiting NYC ( oh!  the gothic fashion display at FIT.),  Cape May New Jersey where we participated in the Victorian Week festival,  and Newport RI to visit the “cottages”.  These are fabulous back drops to display our Victorian costumes – It is always a joy to “dress the part” and enjoy history on a very personal level.

Changes – As you have discovered, the Fitting Room web page has a new home  ( .  I have to confess that I tend to neglect my web page – I don’t get around to updates very often, as I’d rather be sewing and creating fabulous corsets.  Now my new web site will have a ‘blog’ where I can post more often.   I plan to keep to the subject of corsets and corset making, and post corset making tips, photos, and advice.  I really want to share what I have learned during 40 yrs (well, I started very young) as a seamstress and designer.  Part of our mission here at the Fitting Room has always been to share knowledge.  Corset making is a very small community.  I have benefitted from others who have shared their knowledge and I feel compelled to pass along the knowledge.

So look for my ‘blog’, and I’ll try my best not to use it for cheep therapy.  Although, I cannot guarantee that there will not be a ‘rant’ now and then!

Welcome to the next ten years of  the Fitting Room – Look for the web changes, and checkout our new sale items.  Send us your orders for fabulous custom corsets,  and thank you for all your support!

Marie Cooley – Corsetiere

A Letter From Marie

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

2007 was a great year at the Fitting Room! I made more corsets and sold more supplies than ever before. Thanks to all of you – our favorite customers – who ordered amazing creative corsets – and brought me great ideas and fabulous vintage fabrics and really made my work interesting – in a good way!
And thanks to those of you who just stop by to look at the pictures and dream a little bit. For all of you I’m changing all the pictures in the Gallery – most are from this year’s orders (and a few old favorites). Also, there are new pictures in the ‘How to Select a Corset” section. Remember that these are just suggestions. Custom ordering means that you can choose the shape and details that suit you. The fabric options are endless – even polka dots – I didn’t think I could do it, but have a look in the Gallery. Polka dots can be amazing! I have many suggested fabrics, but feel free to offer choices of your own – even polka dots! I’ll let you know if they won’t work – and those are few and far between. New Projects: A thought keeps nagging at me that I should put together a book on corset making – at least describing my method and what I have learned over the years. And to this end, I will soon be offering an expanded Corset Fitting Kit – with more detailed instructions. If this interests you – let me know – It will get the project done faster. I can also use your feedback. There many more corset makers now than when we started The Fitting Room 6 years ago.
This is much more than just a passing fashion fad.

Also, I would like to include in the book a collection of answers to the question “Why do I wear a corset?” Maybe we can dispel some of those old myths and get some insight into the real and diverse world of corset wearers of 2006. So write to me and let me know why you wear a corset. (As always, we are very sensitive to your privacy and will only reprint your response with permission.)

Thank you all again for your support, and I hope to talk to you all soon.

Marie Cooley
The Fitting Room

PS – I should answer my own question! Silly me.
“Why I wear a corset”. I started wearing corsets as part of historical recreation costumes – Renaissance, Georgian, Victorian, Edwardian. If you put all that work into a great costume – it should fit and look right and that can’t be accomplished without a corset. It was wearing a costume with all the underpinnings that I discovered that corsets can be comfortable and functional and that you can move and work and dance and do everything that women have done for centuries in a corset. I discovered that to really enjoy history – I needed to make and wear the costume. (see picture of me at Williamsburg – a week in the 18th century – what fun!). Then I discovered the creativity of designing original costumes that included a corset – many of my favorite designs include a corset. Why? Because they smooth out the figure, support other features – heavy skirts, sleeves, and even wings, and they make you feel sexy and attractive. And isn’t that what fashion is all about.

There is also the ‘wow’ factor – a corset will get you a lot of attention – it is unusual and provocative – and I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoyed that.

So there is my answer – let me know what you think, and I’ll compile the answers for the book