Frequently Asked Questions
Here area some of our most often asked questions. If you don’t find the answer to your question please e-mail me and I will be happy to help you. You can also find information on corset making and wearing on my blog.
1. Do you have pre-made corsets in stock?
No, I do all custom, one-of-a-kind corsets, made to order.
2. Do you have a catalogue?
No, our web page is our catalogue, everything that we think is important is there. And if you catch me in a weak moment and I do mail you a catalogue, it is only a copy of the web page and you can print this off yourself.
3. Which kind of stay do I need?
For the average Victorian style corsets I use the 3/8" steel bone. If you are small, or if you want a light weight corset you can use the 1/4" , if you are very large or want more strength use the 1/2" bones. For Tudor/Elizabethan, the 1/2" work well. The 3/8" coil are good when you need a flexible corset, or if you have curved pockets such as in an 18th century, or a 1890's S-curve style. The 1/4" ' coil are great for light weight boned bodices and for the over the bust curves. Don't use coil beside the grommets in the back. A lot is your personal choice, or what has worked well for you in the past. I often mix bones for specific purposes within one corset, or double up the bones in one pocket for more strength.
4. Why can't I use plastic boning (strapping tape, hack saw blades, whale bone, fishing line, wooden spoons, bamboo skewers, I could go on and on….)?
If you are at this site you have access to the right tool for the right job - real stays just work better. Warning - if you have old whale bones don't be tempted to use them in a new garment. By this time they have dried out and you risk them splitting and splintering and hurting you.
5. Do you carry corset patterns?
Yes we do! Click here to find out more.
6. How many inches can I take off my waist with a corset?
The answer is: IT DEPENDS! And I can't stress this enough. It depends on what size you are to start with, how muscular you are, how much body fat you have, and how squishy you are. A small person who works out may only get 1-2 inches - a large person with a compressible figure might get as much as 6". In some cases, your waist may even be larger in a corset. The point is: a corset smoothes and elongates your torso and gives the nice corseted look and corseted feeling that we are after.
7. How tight can I lace my corset?
A corset doesn't need to be uncomfortably tight to do it's job. I recommend snug. If you choose to wear it as tight as possible, it won't last as long, and you can do harm to yourself. If you choose to "tight lace" or "waist train" , there are many sites devoted to those lifestyles, and please do your research. Waist training is a fetish lifestyle choice. It is not something you do for two or three months to look better on your vacation.
8. I have a bad back - will a corset help?
I am not a doctor and I don't practice medicine, and we don't make corsets for medical purposes. Talk to a doctor, and follow their advice.
9. I've never sewn before - Can I make a corset?
Well, never say never, but corsets are not a beginners project. You need to be well aquatinted with your sewing machine, and able to sew a straight line - not always the easiest thing to do. I've taught a lot of workshops, and students that are familiar with sewing techniques and terminology pick thing up very fast - if you have to explain about grain, and bias, and interfacing, and grading seams it goes much slower.
TIP: You are going to break needles - wear safety goggles.
TIP: This is not the project for impatient people who want to cut corners.
10. My wedding dress is too tight - will a corset make it fit?
Probably not. Corsets take up space, and change your shape. Although I just experienced the exception that proves the rule, in most cases it is best to have the corset before you get the dress and then have the dress altered with the corset on.
11. Do you make corsets for large people?
12. Do you make corsets for men?
13. Do you make corsets for…..
Oh just fill in the blank, and the answer is Yes! (exceptions being medical purposes.)
14. Do you like your job?
Yes I do - after over 30 years of custom sewing this venture is the most fun and the most challenging and it holds my attention. I look forward to reading my e-mails every morning, as you always come up with some new and interesting ideas. Thank you for your input, and keep those questions coming.