We're noticing a lot of people coming into the crazy world of corsetry lately. Welcome! You're in for a great ride.
I know it can seem daunting at first - you want a good fit, you want a great silhouette, and you want it without the custom price tag, but the learning curve is steep.
You need a place to begin, with clear, concise instructions, and with time and money at a premium, you need to make the best possible use of your limited resources.
To give you a hand, we've picked out the ten best, most useful, most time-and-money saving articles we've got at Foundations Revealed - and most of them are free to view for everyone. Enjoy!
The 10 Best Beginners' Articles at Foundations Revealed
1. How To Make A Corset (free to view)
Professional corsetmaker Jenni Hampshire of Sparklewren Bespoke Corsetry in the UK gives you a solid, simple, step by step tutorial to make an excellent first corset. This will not just show you how to throw some boning into a tube of fabric; this is your fast track to making your first corset something you can already be proud of.
If you're one of those crazy freaks whose very first corset is going to be for an important outfit - you know who you are - start here.
(We love crazy freaks. This website was founded by one.)
2. The Corset Maker's Tools (free to view)
What are the correct tools for corsetry, when there's so much out there, and some swear by tools that others avoid? Experienced corsetmaker Laura Loft shares what she's learnt and saves your time and your pennies by telling you what's in her toolbox, what has been relegated to the scrapheap, and why.
She also introduces clever low-tech essentials that'll save you a ton of time and frustration at next-to-no cost. What has freezer paper got to do with corsetmaking? You're about to find out.
3. Strength Layer Fabrics for Corsets (members only - sign up to view)
Many corsetieres would have you believe that a "real" corset is only made from coutil. That can be discouraging for beginners, because coutil ain't cheap and you need something cost-effective to practice with.
However, other go-to fabrics (like denim) tend to stretch, spoiling all your hard work by the time you've finished it, and causing frustration and discouragement.
Professional corsetmaker Marianne Faulkner reveals the secret to picking fabric for corsetry - fabrics other than coutil CAN work, IF they pass a series of tests...
4. Draft Your Own Corset Pattern (free to view)
Remember the part about not re-inventing the wheel? You don't need to be the 10,000th person to discover the hard way that commercial corset patterns don't really give an excellent fit. Start here to learn how to take your measurements and make a custom pattern that fits like a glove. We'll walk you through it, step by step, with minimal Math.
The corset pictured below was made by reader Hannah Light, who says "This is the first corset I drafted for myself using the "Draft Your Own Corset Pattern" tutorial; I've not used a commercial pattern since! It was the first time I made a body a different shape with fabric and steel and liked the result."
Hannah later went on to win our annual competition. :)
5. 3D Pattern Drafting for Corsetry (members only - sign up to view)
The 'duct tape method’ of patternmaking is especially helpful for people who are better with 3D than with measurements and a calculator. Make that perfectly fitting custom pattern - with a roll of duct tape, an old t-shirt and no Math required!
6. Saving Time and Effort (free to view)
Ever found yourself repeating a past mistake but not realising until it's too late? Or got ahead of yourself and had to unpick your hard work? Miscalculated how long something will take and ended up working into the wee hours? Or the most frustrating - ever tried to recreate a previous success only to discover you have forgotten exactly how you did it?
We've all been there, and all of these scenarios are particularly frustrating when they come up in corsetmaking - the time and money you're putting in shouldn't go to waste. Laura Loft, master of attention to detail, talks you through a failsafe three pronged approach to beating the corsetiere's worst enemy - wasted time and effort - once and for all.
7. Full and Small Bust Adjustment (members only - sign up to view)
Corsets often come out too small or too big at the bust. Here's a deceptively easy fix - a method that works even for large changes.
8. Planning Out Boning Channels (free to view)
Corset boning always begs a lot of questions - how many should you use, where, and why? This article addresses how to decide on positioning of boning channels, discusses the reasons for boning a corset, and provides ideas for experimentation, including a great list of general rules of thumb to get you started.
9. Basic Flexible Busk Insertion (free to view)
So you’ve got your busk, cut out your panels and are eager to get going. Then the mist descends: which way up does the busk go? Inserting a busk is a tricky skill to master if you don't know where to begin, but it'll improve your corsets 100% when you get it right (and make it a lot easier to get in and out of your corset).
Let us walk you through a few techniques on how to do it right first time, every time - and how to keep your stitching straight.
10. The Basics of Flossing (free to view)
The final, finishing touch that keeps the bones in place and gives that special hand-finished touch: here's our step by step guide to creating your first simple and complex flossing designs, including different threads to use, the right needles, basic stitches and making your own decorative, yet functional, flossing designs.
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