pandaemonaeum: (Default)
pandaemonaeum ([personal profile] pandaemonaeum) wrote2010-02-17 06:20 pm

Rare Public Post

I very rarely post publically about my work.

Reason number 1 is that there are a dozen communities out there you can follow if you want to know boring day-to-day waffle about making and selling corsets. Reason number 2 is that I am often bogged down in the minutae of it; I love all the aspects of it, the different styles, the weird and wacky patents. Reason number 3 is that most of my friends just couldn't give a toss. Because this is my personal journal, and they're my friends, not my clients.

But I'm doing it today, because I am heartily sick of being called 'obsessive' and 'timid'. These people clearly don't know me.

When I was 14 years old, I started to express my personality in dress. You couldn't buy what I wanted to wear but that wasn't a problem, as I had been sewing since I could hold a needle. My great-aunt had worked in an atelier in Glasgow before her marriage and she taught me 'housewifely' skills. My mother didn't have much money and so made our clothes; she taught me how to use a sewing machine and commercial patterns.

10 years later, I was dressing up in one of my Victorian outfits to go out, and 'Gone With The Wind' was on. Marmee was tightlacing Scarlett (hahahaha) and I thought "I want one of those." There were no commercial patterns; there were no online corset resources; there were hardly any internet forums, let alone specialist ones. So I went to the University library and used the research skills my degree was teaching me to look up primary sources. And I was hooked. It took me 2 years alone to track down somewhere that stocked busks - I had to look it up in huge books of public records in a library, then telephone round places to see if they were still in business. Think of that when your Google-fu is weak.

In the ensuing 15 or so years, I have tried every combination imaginable in getting a wearable corset. I've used everything from buckram through to vintage suede. I regularly look at weird fabrics and think "would that make a nice corset?"

Every corset I make now starts with coutil and steel boning. If I don't use those, I call it a bodice. The reason for this is simple; I've tried everything else and this is what I feel is best.

If your mileage varies, fine. But stop calling me names for doing what I see fit.

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