My most basic MayFaire Moon corset is a model with three lacings: one in the back, and one on each side front seam. The front piece, which I usually refer to as the stomacher, is closed with a 15″, 7 clasp steel busk. I use a nice, heavy cotton twill which holds up to years of frequent wear. Instead of grommets, which I’ve never liked, I use special lacing loops, which, being made of rayon and cotton, can be dyed to match or contrast the body.

The next-up model is my five-lacing corset bodice, which laces at the back, the front-side seams, and at the backside seams. More adjustable than any other bodice I’ve seen out there, it nevertheless maintains its rigidity and support, and does so elegantly and beautifully, though I’ll admit I’m a bit biased. I usually lace my Corset Bodices with satin ribbons, leaving them to trail with a pretty flutter. The ribbons can either match or contrast the fabric of the Corset Bodice. I’ve shaped the edges of the corset in various ways-one of my own is meant to suggest a heart in the front; a friend’s comes to rather Gothic points on the spine.

These Corset Bodices generally include 12 to 14 bones of half-inch wide, white-coated spring steel, including the bones of the busk. Waist reduction is generally quite good on the sides; the front of the garment is flat for a proper period look should you choose to wear your corset with, say, a period gown for anywhere from the Elizabethan to Rococo periods.

Though I most often work in silk dupioni or shantung, I’ve done these corsets in all-twill in one colour, or with the stomacher as a different colour (a clever and visually slenderising trick women have used since the 16th century). I’ve also made them in satin, in velvet, with lace overlays, and in leather. Again, I’m always open to new ideas, so throw something at me. As long as it’s not too heavy, in which case, give me fair warning and time to duck, would you?

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