Saturday, September 12, 2015

The difference between custom and "off the rack"

So I wanted to take a moment to explain why I don't keep a lot of different corsets in a lot of different sizes, and it hit me, I have the perfect examples to illustrate this!

On the left (or top depending on how the html decides to play on your screen) is a corset made from "off the rack" measurements. I did not adjust anything to the pattern. This is just your standard "42 inch waist" corset. On the right (or bottom)  is one that I altered to fit my measurements exactly. 

Take a good look at these two photos. While the red one is beautiful, you can see some stark differences.
  1. Take a look at that waist in the red one. There is only a slight curve there.
  2. Looking at the bust, from front on, I kind of flatten out a bit.
  3. Again at the bust, I kind of have a bit of a muffin top rather than smooth round humps.
Now compare that to the purple:
  1. We see a sharp indent at my waist, making it very well defined
  2. the bust is rounded out and holding all of me
  3. Rather than muffin tops, we now see lovely rounded mounds over top of the corset, along with signs of more cleavage (the chemise kind of blocks this for the most part)
And this ladies and gentlemen, is why I only keep a handful of samples and instead dedicate myself to making custom corsets. 
While I love the red one, it just isn't as comfortable as the purple. With the purple corset, I sometimes forget that I even have a corset on (until I go to reach for something!). It fits me like a second skin and becomes apart of me. In contrast, the red one feels very forced, and honestly it doesn't flatter me as well. 

There is just something about having my natural curves highlighted that makes me feel more confident and sexy. This is my shape. I haven't been tight-lacing or waist training to get this figure. My natural measurements are 54-43-53 (as of 9/5/15... I have them posted in my Corset Making 101 DVD and I believe they were a bit different then)  Compare that to the Butterick Size Chart  which only allows a 5-6 inch difference between bust and waist and has hips 2 inches larger than bust (where I'm an inch smaller). These are "off the rack" measurements. 

It is the pushing you into standard measurements that makes a corset feel uncomfortable, flatten you in places you want plump, and just generally does not give you the corset shape you want. I can do that, but I'd rather highlight your natural shape, and show you what YOU look like, not what the corset looks like. 

I hope this gives you a better understanding of why I don't carry a mass amount of different sized corsets when I'm at a show. Rather than a quick sale, I'm looking to satisfy my customer and build life long relationships. Corsets should be uplifting, not restricting. 

Monday, September 7, 2015

Spreading the word and learning a new art.

This Summer I took on a project that sounded so simple. Turn my Corset Making 101 class into a DVD. How hard can it be? Right? Right?

WOW!!! What a summer!

The first obstacle was to come up with a story board. I have a lesson plan for live classes, but having some one live asking questions, and being able to "read the room" is very different from looking into a camera. 

Looking into the camera was another difficult bit. Remembering to look up, smile, and be mindful of where my hands were while sewing to make sure the camera could see what I was doing... well, it's a lot! 

But I survived the filming. I thought that was the worst... until the editing started. 

Now I don't have a terrible self image. I'm pretty comfortable in my own skin, but watching myself on film was one of the hardest things I have ever done. Not only did I nit-pick EVERYTHING from my voice inflection to my hand gestures, to what I was wearing, but I also felt very self conscience. I just wanted everything to be perfect. 

As we've continued on, my videographer/editor has reminded me that I'm a seamstress, not an actress, and that coming across on the video is not a bad thing. I don't have to be perfect. I know what I'm doing and that shows. If I trip on my words, or roll my eyes, it just makes me more personable. It's what makes me The Sewing Wench. 

This project has taken a lot more than just my time and understanding. It takes money, and that is slowly running out. 

If you'd like to help support a one woman corset factory, there are a few ways you can help me make this project see its full potential. 
  1. GoFundMe campaign here: for direct donations
  2. Buy the pre-sell of the DVD here:
  3. Purchase anything from the website or the Etsy page
  4. Spread the word through Twitter, Facebook Google+, Pinterest, or any other social media or email/word of mouth
Sometimes getting the word out is just as important as direct donations. Having the right word get to the right person can have a huge impact.