Waist corsets (or corset belts as they’re also called) are usually no more than 5-7 inches tall and place pressure purely on the waistline. They’re less comfortable because of this but allow for a much greater freedom of movement than longer corsets.
Not a lot of good for corset training, the waist corset does have it’s uses, mainly as a fashion garment but it’s not completely useless to a tight lacer. Having a corset belt in your inventory means that if you need to take a brake from waist training or have to go without for some reason – if your going on a hiking holiday for example. You can use your waist corset to maintain your waist line while still being able to perform energetic activities.
The corset belt is a great starter sewing project for a would-be corset maker. The lack of a busk and minimal sewing make it an easy corset patte
How Long Should it be on?
Well, most dedicated tight-lacers will practice a 23/7 rule. This means only taking their training corset off for exercise and wahsing and only loosening it to sleep. However, this is an extreme thats built up to over years, don’t start at this level, you won’t keep it up! It really is up to you to decide how far your going to take it, so if your not enjoying it then ease up. To be effective however, it’s best to work up to at least 8 hours in your corset training corset each day. This should allow you to gradually progress to a smaller size, although it will be a lot slower. Wearing your corset all day and possibly wearing a maintaining waist corset of some kind at night should be your goal if you want to seriously tight lace to a tiny waist size. Otherwise you’ll find yourself fighting to get back into your corset each morning as you deal with the overnight expansion. If you feel like making a waist corset on your sewing machine, check out the bottom of the corset patterns page on this website for a free corset pattern.
You should never exercise in your corset, hopefully this is obvious, you should also make sure you do exercise! If you need convincing of why this is extra important to the waist trainer then read most post – Exercise – Combating the Negative Effects of Corset Training which should give you more than enough reason to sign up to the nearest gym!
Tight-lacers love the individuality of customising the body, a lot of modern corset training is practised because the wearer wants to follow their own idea of beauty rather than the reasons of old when corset training was practised to conform to society in the Victorian era. This is by far the biggest change that has taken place within the practise of waist training. Today its about empowering women (and men) rather than constraining them! So I’d like to point out that you should be corset training for you and not your peers, boyfriend, job etc.
So beside customising your body what other uses does the humble corset have? There are actually medical benefits to a tight laced corset. Medical corsets are used for back pain and spine deformaties. If your looking into them for this reason you should ask your doctor to direct you to a specialist. But a much more likely reason for you my readers to be waist training is to loose weight. Corset training is great for helping to reduce your weight. Obviously it needs to be in addition to exercise and a sensible diet but you’ll find you physically can’t eat as much while wearing one. We’ll go into the ins and outs (yes I know, bad pun) of eating and diet in next weeks posts.
When you think of corsets you think of the traditional Overbust with the classic Victorian shape.
But for corset training, 9 times out of 10 we use an underbust. Does this mean the overbust isn’t effective? Well no, the overbust does the same job in the waist area, in fact I find it preferable to a short waspie corset that doesn’t cover, and therefore support, the lower part of the stomach.
So why then do most corset training beauties lean toward the below the bust model?
Well it’s all down to comfort and flexibility. Overbusts are great for a special occasion, there’s nothing more glamorous! But for doing the washing, tidying the house, buying the groceries, you don’t want to be as stiff as a Barbie doll. The underbust is just better suited to our modern fast paced lifestyle. Comfort should be one of your top priorities when considering buying a corset for corset training purposes, that and quality. Keep both in mind when you try on and tighten up and you can’t go far wrong.
Defining the Corset Training Corset:
The difference between a regular corset and a corset training corset or tightlacing corset is in the structure and strength. It is used for ‘body modification’ which means it has to have the strength to physically alter the shape of your body for extended periods of time until this becomes permanent to some degree (when taking off a corset you can’t expect your waist to not expand to some degree even after years of corset training).
To take this kind of long term strain a tightlacing corset has to be made of coutil ideally, I won’t go into the other materials that have been debated over the years, for me it has to be coutil. This is a strong stretchless cotton with a ‘herringbone weave’. Heres an example:-
The smaller the herringbone weave the less give the fabric should have and the better it is for corset making.
You can get satin coutils that aren’t herringbone weave, these materials aren’t as a rule as strong as the above type but make an excellent outer layer when coupled with a herringbone coutil lining. Which brings me onto my next point which is the layering. You can sometimes get by with a single layer of coutil, I’ve definitely seen a number of historic corsets made of a single layer. But remember the women that wore them had been corset training from a very young age and had tiny waists to support. If you are learning how to make a corset to reduce your waist substantially over time (or a customers waist), especially if it is a large or plus sized corset pattern – use two layers of coutil! You can often find three layer waist training corsets available commercially that have an outer layer of fashion fabric and two coutil layers for strength.
My last point to make on corset training corsets is the number of bones. Lets establish firstly tho that they should be made of steel not plastic. Often referred to as ‘steels’ corset bones can be made of two types of steel, sprung steel and spiraled steel wire, as below:-
Sprung steel boning comes with the ends rounded and tipped with a plastic. You can buy a continuous reel that can be cut with tin snips, rounded with a metal file and dipped in a liquid tipping fluid. Spiral steels need to be cut and capped with small metal U tips.
In a corset training corset you should expect to find the seams double boned, ie two bones at each seam with the seam running in-between. Some corsets will have more, the more bones the more strength and comfort the corset should provide. And that concludes the basics you should look for in a corset training corset.
We have finally finished the launch for the new printable corset pattern range but fear not! The free pattern page is still up! You can connect via facebook to get your very own copy of this beautiful and unique reversable corset belt pattern completely free! Then tell your friends about it to get hold of my pattern guide – which includes my secret list of the best places to buy corsetry supplies online! There are also several exciting new patterns available on the ‘Corset Patterns‘ page.
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I hope you all enjoy the corset belt, and as always good luck with all your corset making endeavors!
To do this you’ll simply need to find 3 separate occasions to wear your corset training corset around the house, or for an hour or two somewhere you won’t have to do anything strenuous.
You’ll want to put your corset on and very gradually tighten it, thus allowing the corset to mould to your body, while also getting your body used to the shape and feel of the new corset. This will also allow the tension in the fabric to ease at the stress points making popped eyelets and ripped seams less likely.
By “settling in” to your corset like this you can avoid the pains and aches that have been associated with corset training like back pain for example. These discomforts come from wearing a corset too tightly for your body, new corsets that haven’t been properly broken in will aggravate these problems.
Yesterday was (I’ll admit!) a bit of a strict telling off for those trying to push their body too far too soon, apologies if I sounded like anyone’s mother
Now, how to corset train properly:
Its very simple and you can’t go far wrong if you follow the golden rule – ‘listen to your body’, if it hurts stop. If your just starting out you need to brake your corset in (more on that tomorrow) otherwise it won’t have time to mould to your body shape, wont feel as comfortable ad it could and won’t last as long as it should.
When you put your corset on after the braking in period you still need to do it gradually. Give yourself a minimum of 20minutes to gradually tighten it, allowing time in between tugs for your body to settle in and the corset to start feeling loose again. Stop when the corset stops feeling looser after 10minutes or so.
If you’re corset training correctly like this you can expect to reduce your waist by between 2-5 inches in the first 3 months, the longer you go on tight lacing and the smaller you get, the harder it will be to reduce further. You should be wearing the corset all day for this except when bathing and exercising. Again start slow with 2-4 hrs and work up to full days.
Always listen to your body, its the most important bit of advice I can give any new corset trainer. Also make sure you are checked over by your doctor regularly when practising extreme corset training – in my opinion this is anything beyond a 5 inch reduction on someone with a stable weight.
The autumn winter catwalk ’11 brings a new dark and slightly twisted trend. All black outfits with a little S&M thrown in turned up. And in amid the leather PVC and lace were some beautifully naughty corsets. Here are just a few from (bottom to top) Louis Vuitton, Giles and Versus:
Beginners Corset Making DVD With 10 Sewing Patterns
Learn Step-By-Step How To Make Your Own Beautiful Corsets
Everybody Has It Wrong…
Corsets aren’t just for advanced sewers; they seem difficult because their construction is so different to that of any other garment. With my easy to follow step-by-step beginners video you can see how each step is done; constructing a corset really is fool proof – or I’ll give you your money back! All you need is the ability to sew in a straight line either on a sewing machine or by hand! The Express Corsetry Course will guide you through everything from where to get good quality, inexpensive materials to exactly how to construct your corset step-by-step. Sew along in real time and see exactly how its done without having to interpret instructions from a book.
Yes, You Did Read That Correctly.
If you find that even with the video to guide you it’s too difficult – I’ll give you your money back!
Along with the easy to follow video you get these two PDF books:
Finally! A Complete Course That Makes Corsetry Simple, Easy & Fast!
So exactly what patterns are in the Compendium?
Well, you get all these gorgeous patterns:
Obviously I love the Course; I wrote it!
But what do my customers say, who are already using The Express Corsetry Course?
I would love to add your story and pictures to my testimonials. Please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org!
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“Hi I’m Scarlet. I’m 28 and a 3rd generation seamstress specializing in corset construction. I have a degree from Goldsmiths University London in Fine Art & Art History which centered around complex fabric sculpture construction. I have been making and selling corsets to private clients for around 2 years now and have just written a comprehensive downloadable course on how to make corsets.”
Here I Am in One of My Self-Made Corsets –
Compendium Pattern: Straight-Topped Overbust from the Modern Collection (slight modification; two front panels into three)
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Most people know there are at least a few different types of corset available, but in reality there are as many different variations as there are different makers; so its important to study the shape and style of a makers previous work before you buy. The most popular types are the hourglass, conical, and waist corset shapes. Others include pipe stem, S bend, Elizabethan and of course the male corset, which can be any of the above altered for the male physique.
When starting to corset train, the S bend and the pipe stem are no-go areas, these styles are for experienced tightlacers only and mould the body into fairly unnatural shapes; altering the torso to a much larger degree than the other styles. The Elizabethan shape belongs more to the realm of the historical re-enactor and the period dresser and is also less commonly used for corset training as the familiar modern day corset shape is based on the Victorian corset.
Your choice of corset style depends entirely on your desired body shape and preferred level of restriction. This will normally lead you to choose either the waist corset or an on the hips or over the hips version of the hourglass or conical shape – or something somewhere in-between these three.
The main question you should ask yourself is ‘do I want to shape my ribs?’ If the answer is ‘no’ or ‘that sounds scary!’ then opt for the hourglass, you can always progress to the conical shape later. The hourglass corset follows the curves of the ribs, moulding the figure while allowing room for them, the conical shape has straight sides that taper down from top to waist like an upside-down cone. This alters the position of the lower ‘floating’ ribs but should not cause discomfort in this area. Aching ribs are a sign of a too tightly laced corset. Remember, corset training is a gradual process not a quick fix, when in doubt – loosen!
The time period for altering rib shape is about 8 months plus, which varies from body to body and can take up to a year and a half to have full effect. During this time the corset needs to be worn at least 12 to 14 hours a day during the day or whenever you are most active. Sleeping in your corset won’t work, you need to eat, drink, walk, talk and play scrabble in it for corset training to take effect. To exercise however, the corset should be removed. A conical rib cage can reduce lung capacity slightly in the same way cardiovascular exercise increases it, but this is unlikely to affect you unless your aiming for an extreme reduction to an inched waist size in the teens. There are no other health issues involved and a conical shape won’t stop you exercising, rock climbing, scuba diving or having children.
As to corset length; whether you go for an on the hips or over the hips corset depends on your tummy flattening requirements. Over the hips gives more support to this area and is preferred for extreme tightlacing as the pressure of the corset is spread over a larger surface area and the abdomen isn’t under strain from lack of support. There is slightly more restriction of movement from a longer corset but it will also improve posture and support the back more. When ordering a pre-made corset in the longer style it is important to check that the length of the front busk (if it is a front opening corset) isn’t so long that it will hurt your pelvic bone when your sit down. The torso is shortest when the body is in a sitting position so to check this length sit down on a hard surface (not a padded sofa etc) with your back straight and using a stick or large ruler measure from your pelvic bone to your breast bone. Allow 2 inches more for an over bust, although the overbust is rarely used for corset training.
Lastly we come to the waist corset, also known as the waist cincher or waspie. This is the ‘corset training light’ corset, it has the benefit of complete freedom of movement and gives the figure the same sexy waist as a normal corset. However the waist corset gives no support or shaping to the stomach or ribs and the limited surface area also means less pressure can be safely and comfortably applied to the body; thus making the waist corset unsuitable for more than light corset training. The waist corset also gives the figure a less streamline silhouette as only the middle 6 to 8 inches are reduced. ©
I will be writing a complete step by step on how to make your very own corset along with details on where to get all the materials both in the US and the UK. Its not very cheap to make corsets, but I’ve found a few places online that sell good quality materials at bargin prices! It takes a few days when your a beginner but theres nothing like being able to build and customise your very own corset! All you need is a sewing machine, the ability to sew in a straight(ish) line, and some patience!
— I do hope that if you have a go you’ll send me pictures and feed back on your efforts. For now here are photos of some of the corsets I’ve made, the striped one being my very first! ©
Well I’ve finished my ‘Express Corsetry Course’ now and you can get hold of it by clicking the button to the right > It included two ebooks; the step by step manual with color pictures and the pattern compendium which includes 10 corset patterns both historic and modern including a corset dress! Check it out now >