The world of Corsets

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A Simple Guide to waist Training May 16, 2010

Filed under: About Corsets — Another Lone Gunman @ 8:08 pm
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Waist training requires dedication and devotion, it is not something that will just happen by occasionally wearing a corset and it will take time, it will also need maintenance.

Just like training for a fun run or learning new skills, you will need to work hard to get to your goal and once you get there you will still need to do some work to stay there. Once you have done your fun run or learnt your new skill, if you stop training or learning, you will start to get unfit or start loosing your new skills. Suddenly 6 months later with no maintenance you go for a fun run and run out of breath half way through, the same thing would happen with your waist training, without occasionally keeping up your waist training your body will slowly revert to it’s former state.

I don’t want to deter you, I just want to make it clear that you will have to work at waist training. I often get asked if a corset will permanently reduce your waist by however many inches, the corset is an inanimate object, it won’t do anything unless you use it to do what you want it to do. The key factor here is YOU!

But if your up for the challenge, then lets go through it:

Waist training is not complicated, it just takes time and patience and you can do it at your own pace. There are no hard and fast rules, there is just a
simple ratio, the more you wear a corset that pulls in your waist the more effect it will have.

Most people who waist train are obsessed with corsets, they love wearing corsets and can’t leave the house without one. On the other hand, most people who are are obsessed with corsets end up with a trained waist even though that was never their intention.

Full blown waist trainers will wear their corsets all day every day, some take it further and wear their corsets to bed, only taking it off to bathe. Others just wear their corsets when they are up and about but take them off when at home on the sofa. You can choose how you want to do it and you can tailor your system to different days.

Bear in mind that the length of time you wear your corset makes more difference than how much you pull your waist in, it is better to be comfortable and wear your corset for long periods than pull it in too much and have to take it off a few hours later.

If you are a beginner, I wouldn’t recommend going for more than a 4” reduction. It will take a while to get used to it and over time you will work out whether you can go for a greater reduction.

Have patience with your training, don’t pull in the corset to the point that it makes you uncomfortable, it will just discourage you. A corset should take you feel good! What a lot of people don’t realise is that corsets and your body take a while to settle in when you first put them on. If you give your corset and body about 30 minutes of wearing at a comfortable reduction, you should be able to pull in the extra inch or so without discomfort. The fibres in the fabric relax when they warm up a bit, your body also adjusts to accommodate the corset, the 30 minutes is a generalisation, some people can pull in the extra after 10 minutes others may have to wait an hour, again we are all different and our corsets are all different.

Another thing to bear in mind is that a new corset will be like new shoes, you will have to bed it in. If you bought a new pair of shoes, you would probably put them straight on but hopefully you wouldn’t start running a marathon because you are bound to get some blisters. Just like your feet need to toughen up where the shoes rub and the shoes need to soften where they will flex, your torso will have to do some toughening and the
corset will have to do some softening.

So in conclusion, have patience and don’t rush the training by over doing the reduction or not bedding in your corset. You will get there in the end!

A few extra notes:

For your main Daily wear corset I would recommend going for a heavy cotton, it breathes well and will last longer than most other fabrics.

Once you have reached your goal waist size, you will still need to wear a corset on occasion to maintain your new shape. How often you need to wear it will vary from person to person and you will have to work out your own rhythm. The simplest way I can think of doing it would be with your trusty tape measure and a notebook, keep track of how often you wear your corset and check up on your waist measurement, if it starts to revert, wear your corset more! By this point though, you will probably be obsessed with wearing corsets so it won’t be an issue.

Having several corsets can also be beneficial, not just to feed your corset addiction! You can have different corsets for different occasions, a nice short comfy one for doing the chores, medium length ones for giving your back some support at the office and some longer or more decorative ones for showing off to the world. It is probably a good idea to have at least two, this will allow you to swap between them and air one out or clean it whilst the other is in service.


The ribbon corset April 3, 2010

Filed under: In the studio — Another Lone Gunman @ 5:18 pm

I first made this corset a few years back and now I want to revisit it. Here is the original:

This was a fairly tricky corset to make, the panels between the pinstripe fabric are actually 2″ wide ribbons. You can see a tiny gap between the ribbons at the front, about a third of the way down the corset.

I want to have another go at this pattern and try give it some more shape, it wont be easy but I think it is doable. The ribbon allows skin to breathe better and makes for a more comfortable corset in warm weather.


Woohoo, Here is the 14 panel underbust corset as promised! March 27, 2010

Filed under: In the studio — Another Lone Gunman @ 3:57 pm
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14 panel steel boned underbust tight lacing corsetI have had it ready for a while and finally managed to do some photographs. Let me know what you think of it!


Steel Boning, why, how many and what does it do. March 9, 2010

Filed under: About Corsets — Another Lone Gunman @ 11:08 am

The real main purpose of steel boning in corsets is to support the seams. It holds the seams in place and prevents the corset from riding towards the waist, similarly to how some skirts ride up. The bone just holds it in place.

The eyelet channels will also have steel boning in them to spread the load of the lacing more evenly across the fabric but mainly (surprise surprise) it holds the edge of the corset up, stopping it from scrunching and going out of shape.

The busk is just steel boning with some fasteners attached. It once again spreads the load across the fabric and as with the eyelet channels, holds the front of the corset true. If you have ever seen a corset with just hook and eyes up the front and no boning to support it, you will probably know what I mean.

If a corset has a closed front, boning is often put in the front panel, especially if the front panel is pointed. This is just to stop the points from folding over.

How many bones should a corset have?

As said above the boning is only there to support the seams and edges.

So a corset should have 4 bones where the eyelets are, 2 bones in the busk (or 1-2 bones in a closed fronted corset depending on the shape of the panel) and 1 bone in each seam (depends on how many seams the corset has ie. a 8 panel corset has 6, 10 panel 8, 12 panel 10, 14 panel 12).

A corset that is well cut (shaped) does not need any more bones than that, they are only there to Support the shape and keep the seams in place. No amount of extra boning will improve the corset.

What about the extra bones between the seams

If the corset is properly cut (shaped) and is a decent strength, the bones in the side serve no purpose apart from allowing you to say “my corset has 42 bones in it”.

The reason bones do what they do is because they are put inside a shaped seam that pushes them into a certain shape. The middle of a corset panel is not shaped, it is a flat piece of fabric so sticking a bone in it will not add to the shape. When you wear the corset, the shaped seams manipulate the fabric to give it a curve but without that seam  there is no shape. If you take your corset off again and lay it on a table, the middle of the panel will still be able to lie flat.

I wouldn’t recommend paying extra money for the extra boning, I would be happy to put in the extra boning if someone still wanted it, it makes no difference to me.

What type of boning do I choose?

This is a tricky question because boning manufacturers all make bones with different properties and different corsetiers use different suppliers. I can only base the recommendations on the boning I have settled on using.

The main two types of boning are the spiral steel bones (like a spring crushed flat) and the flat spring steel bones (A flat piece of steel that is flexible).

The flat spring steel is my first choice, although some of the manufacturers make very rigid flat steel that bends and doesn’t return to it’s original shape. The flat spring steel I use is very flexible but still offers great support (caution, here comes some engineering talk: The forces on the bones in a corset are mostly compressive forces) the seams try to scrunch up and try to squeeze the bone shorter but because the bone is flat steel, it wont get any shorter.

The spiral steels are more flexible but can compress. The Flat steel I use is more than flexible enough to move and bend and return to their original shape but they are malleable, this means they can be shaped with force.

Over time they mould to the shape of the corset and your body, I do give this  a head start by pre shaping some of the bones to suit the cut of the corset but the rest is done by you wearing the corset. The bones moulding to your body is similar to buying new shoes, it beds in over time and gets more comfortable. It wont mould out of shape though because the shape of the seams will limit how much it can mould, it will be a compromise between your corset and your body, allowing the corset to do it’s job without breaking you.

I make corsets with both types of bone but only use the spirals if the person I am making the corset for is adamant that they want them, which is rarely. People have only ever requested the spiral boning if the have had a corset in the past with the inflexible cheep flat boning.

Please feel to comment, ask questions or argue below, if you do decide to argue or feel that I am wrong, feel free to correct me but please justify your argument (ie.. Don’t just say “Your wrong, a corset should have extra bones.”, say “Your wrong, a corset should have extra bones because the extra boning does ………”)


The truth about corset liners February 21, 2010

Filed under: About Corsets — Another Lone Gunman @ 11:02 am

There appears to be a new trend in the corset world:

Corset liners

While I understand how the idea of a corset liner could be good, the fact of the matter is that you shouldn’t waste your money on one.

Corset liners are generally made of lycra or spandex, the problem with these materials is that they do not breathe. So for all this talk of how they protect your skin and the corset I would say that the opposite is true. Spandex and lycra will make you sweat especially when you put a proper corset over the top.

When it comes to underbust corsets,  most people wear them as outerwear over a shirt, this basically makes the shirt a liner. If you intend to wear it as underwear against bear skin and you are worried about damage to the corset, save your money and buy a pack of cheap Cotton vest tops. If you have a corset that is lined in cotton this will also help matters. Natural fibers allow your skin to breathe and will reduce the amount you sweat and you can generally buy 5 cotton vest tops for the price of a corset liner.

It is best to buy vest tops that are too small so that they are skin-tight. You can do this with overbusts as well. If you are worried about the vest top showing, put it on but don’t put your arms through the straps, then just fold down the excess. Another option is to just cut off the excess of the vest top you don’t want, cotton jersey generally doesn’t fray.

So there you have it, you can now “make ” a whole bunch of corset liners for next to nothing!

Best of luck, let me know what you think by commenting below.


Next pattern on the list, a 14 panel underbust corset! December 22, 2009

Filed under: In the studio — Another Lone Gunman @ 2:19 pm
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I went for historical recreation last time, with a bit of modernisation. The human body has changed a bit in the past century.

The next project will be my own creation, a 14 panel underbust instead of the usual 10 panels used in most tight lacing corsets.

I found a few historic 12 panel and 14 panel patterns but I couldn’t find any that would suit what I wanted to do, so I am going to have to start from scratch. I prefer starting from the beginning anyway, when I make my own pattern I know exactly where to adjust it and what each individual section does. With a recreation I have to make a pattern and make a mock-up before I know exactly how it all works and then I can work out how to amend it.


The pretty housemaid Tight lacing corset is done! December 20, 2009

Filed under: In the studio — Another Lone Gunman @ 10:42 am
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Using the second Draft of the pattern I put a corset together in a black cotton coutil, here she is:

Pretty housemaid tight lacing corset

Pretty housemaid tight lacing corset

She has some beautiful curves and pulls the waist in with ease.