INSIDE AN ENCHANTED CORSET
Standard Corset Features
A corset from Enchanted is based on at least 24 measurements to ensure that this luxurious garment fits you like a glove, and makes you feel SEXY!
First, a pattern is drafted from your individual measurements, and a mockup made from the pattern. Then, a fitting is conducted with the mockup to ensure that everything comes up, down, and all the way around to where it should be on your figure - comfort, aesthetics, the works. As many fittings as are needed take place before the finished garment is cut, to ensure the perfect fit for this special item.
You get your choice of fabric – if you want purple polka dots, then, providing you can find it, YOU GOT IT!
Enchanted Corsets are fully interfaced and lined with cotton corset coutil. They include all steel boning (spiral and flat), a steel busk with riveted posts and eyes, modesty panels in front and back, and satin lacing. Twill tape is used around the waist between layers to further minimize stretching in this crucial area.
Enchanted designer, Lisa Marie, is very familiar with the fashion demands of the bridal, gothic, Victorian, steampunk, CD, TS, TG, and BDsM cultures. Let Enchanted help you achieve the look you've always wanted!
The Enchanted Process
First of all, every Enchanted Custom Corset is hand drafted on paper from an extensive set of your measurements. Then, a mockup is made and tried on. A mock-up is a "rough draft" of your corset, made out of plain, unbleached coutil with temporary boning. The purpose of the mock-up is to ensure that the corset has the proper height and length on your body, as well as circumference at all points in between - it is amazing how much of a difference this step makes in the fit of your corset!
Every Enchanted corset has 12 panels on the body - six across the front, and six across the back. At the junction of each seam are two pieces of boning, decreasing the space in between boning, reinforcing and making the corset sturdier and stronger.
Enchanted uses only steel boning. Flexible spiral boning (1/4" wide) is used through the body and sides to allow for the curve that you seek. Rigid flat boning (1/4" wide) is used on either side of the gromments, and 1/2" wide flat boning is used under the busk to make sure that your tummy stays FLAT. For corset customers with a natural waist exceeding 42", 1/2" spiral boning is used throughout the corset and 1/2" flat boning on either side of the grommets for extra support. In sum, at least 26 pieces of boning, in addition to the busk, are used in every Enchanted Corset.
A custom corset is a very precise garment, utilizing vertical and horizontal measurements down to 0.5" to ensure that there is no rubbing or chaffing. One measurement, for example, is between your waist and your underbust. As everyone has different torso heights, this measurement is important to ensure that an underbust corset doesn't rub against the underwire on your bra, and to make sure that an overbust corset has the proper support for and placement of space for breasts. Multiply that consideration for details x 16 measurements, and you have an impeccably tailored garment that fits you like a glove! (For more information, please see Lisa Marie's blog post "Be a Savvy Consumer 101.")
The waist of a corset is the part under the most pressure, so Enchanted corsets include a piece of no-stretch twill tape (hidden between layers of coutil for your comfort) that runs the circumference of the waist. This keeps the waist from inadvertently stretching out, keeping the function of your corset...functioning!
Modesty panels are a really important part of any corset, both for your comfort and for aesthetics. The back modesty panel prevents the laces from digging into your skin and cleverly conceals the "back butt" that forms on even the skinniest girl from the compression of the skin at the waist. The front modesty panel is a slightly more subtle addition, but no less valuable: it prevents you from pinching tummy skin as you latch the busk, and ensures that the front view of the corset is not marred by a little of your skin or camisole showing through. Every Enchanted corset includes both a front modesty panel and a 5" back modesty panel at no extra charge.
Enchanted corsets lace up the back, and how the holes through which the laces run are finished has a lot to do with the expected lifetime of the corset. All Enchanted corsets use two piece grommets for extra stability and to eliminate the chance of the grommet pulling through. Most commonly used is the one piece grommet (typically referred to as an eyelet), a small metal tube with a lip on one end is inserted through the hole through which the lacing is to pass. With the one piece style, as tool is used to push the metal tube into a lip on the other side, a one step process. The problem with this is that it is really easy for the eyelet to pull out, and the laces to then start wearing away at the fabric of the corset - not good! The two piece system used by Enchanted puts a "washer" down before creating the second lip, providing a sturdy base on the back of the grommet that prevents the hardware from pulling through. Enchanted also puts grommets closer together at the waist, increasing their combined capacity load and strength at this crucial spot.
The quality and type of laces used to tighten a corset can really affect the wear on the back of the corset, the ease with which you (or an assistant) laces it, and how long the laces themselves last. While most companies settle for a cheap poly/nylon cord that slips the second you let go of it and can wreak havoc on the back panels around the grommets, Enchanted provides sturdy cotton laces with every corset.
Also available are lovely bonded satin laces that come in a variety of colors, are a dream to lace, don't tangle easily, and last up to a year with daily wear without wearing away at the back panels of the corset. See Textile Choices and Pricing for more information.
Lining a corset is very important - it adds a layer of protection from the boning, increases the longevity of a corset, lends strength, and just plain out makes for a more comfortable, classy corset. All Enchanted corsets are lined with 100% cotton coutil in a complementary color to the outer fabric. Coutil is a woven fabric designed for corsetry that has a really tight, firm herringbone weave for long life and no-stretch support ensuring that the corset molds your shape instead of vice versa. Often used for the outer layer of the corset as well, coutil now comes in a variety of colors and even brocade - see Textile Choices for more information.
How many yards of lacing are required for a corset is dependent on the back length of the corset, how many inches are being removed from the natural waist, and the spacing and number of gromments. Lacing for an Enchanted corset is calculated and cut only after the gromments have been installed, and all laces are hand tipped with metal aglets to complement the color of the laces (silver for light laces, black for darker laces).
Enchanted corsets are designed to leave a 2" gap up the back, and for a few reasons. First of all, we all gain and lose weight throughout the year and even throughout the month. The 2" gap, in addition to the 5" modesty panel, allows you to lose up to 2" and gain up to 3" and have the corset still fit reasonably well. Also, the lacing up the back of a corset is easier to tighten and loosen, giving your fingers more room to get a grasp. Lastly, the spacing makes the lacing look more attractive, showing off that you are, indeed, wearing a corset. Sexy!
Enchanted corsets cost are hand made by Lisa Marie right here in America - no sweat shops, no assembly line, no mark-ups between laborer and vendor; just a plain old-fashioned custom corset from the Enchanted sewing room to your eager hands. If an Enchanted corset seems expensive in comparison to other, cheaper corsets, it is because Enchanted corsets are not cheap! Look through your closet and count the number of "corsets" you have bought over time, but only wore once or twice because they fell apart, hurt, or just didn't fit. Multiply that by how much you spent on them, and you will quickly find that if you save your money, you could have a corset from Enchanted that will last for years, fit right, and be comfortable.
Commissioning a custom corset from Enchanted is easy! Simply fill out the form at Contact Enchanted Today, and I will contact you shortly (usually within 24 hours). Don't worry - you will be treated professionally regardless of sex, gender, age, weight, race, sexual orientation, or any of the other stuff that silly people can be weird about. First we talk about what you have in mind, and answer any questions you may have at that time. Then, measurements and discussion of textile choices. Next, the mockup fitting, and finally, DELIVERY! Live far away from Portland, Oregon? No worries! With the advent of the age of technology and information, there are several ways that you can have your perfect garment created long distance! It is most helpful if you have a Skype account, but we can also make it work via email, pictures, phone calls, and good old fashioned telephones.
If you live in Portland, Oregon, you can expect about four to six weeks between having your measurements taken and receiving your finished corset. Clients that choose to take the "long distance" approach can add a couple of weeks for the shipping back and forth of the mockup and the finished garment.
If you have any reservations, feel free to shop around. Don't hesitate to get a quote while you are here, and when you contact other companies, make sure you ask about all the things that you learned here. Beware of corsets that only account for a few measurements (waist, hips, underbust) - everyone has different lengths above, below, and between these measurements! Also be aware that several companies start with a comparatively low price, but additional charges apply for what should be included (such as modesty panels, busk, "extra" boning, a mock-up, etc...). If you find someone that offers your choice in fabric, a mock-up, and references for less...Rock on!