New Conical Corset Tutorials

I am very pleased to announce four new tutorials. These have been sitting on my computer for a couple months now, and I couldn't be happier to finally share them with you. The first two tutorials cover basic conical corset making, useful for creating a quality, fully functional foundation garment using modern materials. The first drafting tutorial covers the creation of a conical corset block, which is the starting point for all conical corset patterns I draft. The second drafting tutorial shows how to convert the block into a basic tabbed renaissance corset pattern like the one I used for the corset making tutorials.


Corset Making Tutorials

How to Edge Around Tabs
This tutorial shows binding the edge of a corset around tabs using a sewing machine, and describes partial hand-stitching for the binding. The binding can also be entirely hand-stitched, but to save time I normally either completely machine-sew the binding, or machine-sew the front side of the binding.

Sewing Basic Strapless “Renaissance” Stays with Modern Materials
This tutorial shows how to make basic strapless Renaissance stays or bodies, which will work as a foundation garment for any costume requiring a conical silhouette. The goal of this method is to create stays as easily and simply as possible, using readily available modern materials, while still providing a proper Renaissance fashion silhouette. If your goal is to create an historically accurate pair of stays, this is NOT the method you will want to use.


Corset Pattern Drafting Tutorials

How to Draft a Basic Conical Block (Torso Only)
This tutorial shows how to create a conical corset block for the center of the torso. It does not include shoulder straps. This block is the basis of all conical corset and stay patterns that I draft. It is not, in and of itself, a working pattern. It shows one solid half of the torso (center front to center back), and has no seam allowances. This method of making a basic block will work for most body types.

Drafting Basic Strapless Renaissance Stays (Front or Back Lacing)
This drafting tutorial is based on the basic conical block. The piecing of this pattern is a modern re-enactment design, intended to give the proper fashion silhouette for the minimum amount of work. The shape of the body is modeled after Dorothea Sabine von Neuburg’s pair of bodies, minus the shoulder straps. The front-most tab placement is modeled after the pair of Effigy bodies.

Upcoming Renaissance Costuming Workshops

I have a series of four workshops coming up in the next month, all centered around Renaissance costuming and corset-making. In the near future this series will be followed up with a workshop on Renaissance-style hoop skirts and bum rolls, as well as workshops on how to draft and construct true Effigy-style corsets using reed boning.

Details for each of the workshops may be found on their individual event pages. Sign up via the forms on the event pages, or by using the main contact form. Space is limited, and the first class is in just two weeks, so if you wish to attend sign up early.

  • Making Renaissance Chemise and Bloomers (19 Feb 2011)
    Sacramento, CA
    Attendees will use measurements to create a raglan-style chemise with ribbon drawstrings and gussets in the armpits. The collar and cuffs can be plain or ruffled as desired. Optionally, elastic may be used on the cuffs instead of ribbon. We will also use measurements to create basic crotched or crotchless bloomers either with ribbon drawstrings or elastic (optional). Cuffs may be plain or ruffled as desired.

  • Making Renaissance Partlet and Bloomers (26 Feb 2011)
    Sacramento, CA
    Attendees will use measurements to create a raglan-style partlet with tight collar and cuffs and gussets in the armpits. The collar and cuffs can be plain or ruffled as desired. We will also use measurements to create basic crotched or crotchless bloomers either with ribbon drawstrings or elastic (optional). Cuffs may be plain or ruffled as desired.

  • Conical Corset Pattern Drafting (5 Mar 2011)
    Sacramento, CA
    Attendees will use measurements to create a conical corset block, and then use that block to create a fully functional basic tabbed conical corset pattern.

  • Basic Tabbed Conical Corset Making (6 Mar 2011)
    Sacramento, CA
    Attendees will make a partially boned, strapless, basic tabbed conical corset using spring steel boning, cotton ribbon edging, and two-piece grommets. The completed corset will be perfect as a foundation garment for costuming any time period requiring a conical-silhouette. It will be front-lacing, back-lacing, or both, as desired.

For the latest notification on future workshops, follow my event RSS feed.


My New Web Site

My new web site is up and running. It's not perfect yet, and it's not complete, but it is running. All the product information, portfolios, and tutorials from the old site have been transferred, along with about 1/3 of my old blog entries. In the next few weeks expect the layouts to change, especially in the portfolios and the sidebars. I'll also be continuing to add all my old blog entries.

Current Features:
  • My sewing, corsetry, and art blog is now up and running. In the next few days I will resume updates with WIP, musings on sewing and drafting, notification of new tutorials and articles, notification of upcoming workshops, information about new learning tools and other for-sale items, and an entirely new blog feature titled "Historic Inspirations".

  • Library of tutorials and articles is up and current. I will be continuing to add to the library over time.

  • Commission information is available on bespoke corsets, artwork commissions, and some costuming items. Please use the contact form for a precise quote on any items, including those not specifically listed.

  • Portfolio of past work in corsetry, costuming, and fine art.

  • General and targeted RSS feeds for log categories, and portfolio images.

  • User accounts, allowing in-system messaging, commenting without CAPTCHA or moderation, user profiles with as much or as little privacy as you want, and in-site subscription to RSS feeds and bookmarking without cluttering your email and other external systems.

Coming Soon:
  • Event calendar, with enrollment information and notification on upcoming workshops and events.

  • Shopping cart, with a comprehensive listing of available ready-made clothing and costume items, artwork, and learning tools.

  • User account enhancements and added interactivity.

  • Refined layout, for easier use of web site features.

  • Complete index of past blog entries.
acorns Holiday Sale

November 27th - December 15th's Black Friday Sale

The sale includes items from all sections of the web site, including seamstresses. Discounts are anywhere from 10% to 50% off the normal price.

I am offering a 25% discount on a plain coutil underbust corset with split busk (regularly $355), and a 32% discount on a tea-stained underbust corset with split busk (regularly $395). Both styles are just $285 if paid in full by December 15th, 2010. Delivery is estimated for January or February of 2011 depending upon the number of orders received.

As always, the sale corsets will be custome made, shaped to your measurements and specifications. To order your own, please contact me.

Some examples of past work from my portfolio:

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Corset Flossing Workshop

I have been a professional tutor in the past, but this will be my first formal workshop, so enrollment is extremely limited. Please contact me to sign up for the workshop. Payment is required in advance to reserve your space in the workshop, and is non-refundable. If you are not able to attend this time, don't worry. I am planning to offer this class again in January.

This course requires no prior knowledge of embroidery or corset making. Flossing may be added to a corset at any time, even years after it is made. We will discuss the basics of embroidery at the very beginning of the class. Attendees will become familiar with the basic materials and techniques involved in corset flossing. We will study and practice many different functional and decorative flossing stitches along with their variations. We will work on creating a flossing sampler. Attendees have the option of bringing in a corset they would like to floss, and will have the opportunity to discuss possible design choices.

Title: Corset Flossing
Price: $40/person
Where: Sacramento City Dry Goods (112 J Street in Old Town Sacramento, California)
Date: Saturday, December 4, 2010
Time: 10:00am - 3:00pm

Provided Materials:
Blank boned flossing sampler
Assorted thread and embroidery floss
Small package of embroidery needles
Flossing design diagrams

Please bring:
Embroidery snips or other small scissors

Optionally bring:
Millinery needle(s) (available through Sacramento City Dry Goods)
Embroidery handbook (available through Sacramento City Dry Goods)
Any desired thread or floss
Corset to floss


New Tutorial: How to Floss a Corset

Many times in the past year I have been asked how to floss corsets, and my answer has always been, "By embroidering." Flossing is, quite simply, applied embroidery. If you know how to embroider, you know how to floss. Until a couple months ago, I thought that was all the explanation that was needed.

During the course of an online discussion regarding online tutorials and guides, I was quoted as saying that I didn't know when I would get around to writing a flossing tutorial. My advice about learning embroidery was omitted, but it did make me realize that maybe this was something that was actually needed. It's certainly not the most involved or detailed tutorial I could write, there is a tremendous amount of interest in the subject (for good reason - flossing can turn a drab corset into a wow corset quickly and easily), and it will make an excellent subject for my first foray into workshop teaching.

So, without further ado....

How to Floss A Corset

This tutorial illustrates some of the basic embroidery patterns I have used for flossing, gives tips relating specifically to corset flossing, and assumes you have a basic working knowledge of embroidery. My flossing workshop is for all levels of skill or knowledge, including no prior experience with embroidery.

As with any new tutorial I post, I welcome any and all feedback, especially regarding any parts that are unclear, typos, and unanswered questions. Not all suggestions will be implemented in the tutorial, but your feedback helps me to write clearer and more helpful tutorials, and may point out areas that need their own tutorials.

I mention workshops because I am currently assembling materials for my first workshop, which will be on Saturday, December 4, in Sacramento on the topic of flossing. I will be posting more details on this workshop in the next few days. Attendence will be extremely limited for the first workshop, but I will be conducting more workshops after the holidays.