1) How long have you been making corsets?
I made my first "corset" when I was 15 years old. I made them
hobby until 1998 when I began making custom corsets professionally.
2) How did you develop your corset making skills?
I am primarily self taught, but I also attended the Fashion Institute
of Design and Merchandising, L.A., where I learned basic pattern
drafting. When I started, I didn't have access to commercial corset
patterns, books, tutorials, corset making communities, or the huge
online database of corset images. I have been reinventing the wheel
for a long time. In some ways I am a bit envious of all the resources
available for beginners today, but I am also glad that I had to learn
the hard way. By figuring things out myself, through trial and error,
I have a much deeper understanding of why things are the way they are,
and the many different ways one can achieve excellent results through
3) What made you decide to specialise in corsets?
I chose to specialize in corsetry for many reasons. Each custom corset
I create presents a new set of challenges. I love how complex and
detailed the process is. Custom corsetry is a craft that few people do
exceptionally well. Having the ability to utilize my particular skill
set to create such a unique garment makes me feel special and
valuable. I love how a well-made, perfectly fitted custom corset
makes my clients feel about themselves. I don't think I could stop
making corsets even if I wanted to. I love every aspect of it.
4) Where do you get your inspiration from?
I get my inspiration from all over the place, but mostly on the
internet. I love to see all the beautiful corsets being created by
people around the world. Seeing corsets others have made inspires me
to improve. When I started making corsets, few people even knew what a
corset was and only a hand full of people were making them
professionally. Now there are so many wonderful resources for the
average home sewer. It's exciting to see different artists'
interpretation of what was once thought to be an obsolete garment.
5) Do you have any fabrics or techniques that you like working with
I have a soft spot for eco-friendly fibers. I love hemp, bamboo, linen
and dupioni silk. I don't get to do it very often, but I enjoy doing
cutwork applique because it's so intricate and precise.
6) When designing for bespoke customers what process do you go through?
I work very closely with my clients to determine the best style and
fabric for their unique needs. If my client lives far away, we do a
remote fitting via email using pictures. They fill out a measurement
form. I use their measurements to create a corset mockup for my client
to try on. My client then sends me photos of themselves wearing the
mockup. I assess the fit based on the pictures and their written
observations, then I suggest modifications to improve the fit and
style. Once we have agreed upon the changes, the mockup is returned to
me. I then alter the pattern accordingly and make their final corset.
For clients who live in the area, I do a personal fitting. In this
case, I take the measurements myself, and fit the client in my corset
7)Who is your favourite designer and why?
I don't have a favorite designer, but I keep an eye on all the
prominent corset makers. Each designer has something special about
their work that I admire and appreciate. I get a kick out of seeing
what my clients come up with for their own corsets. It's fun for me to
turn their concepts into reality.
8) What did you want to be when you were younger?
Originally, I wanted to be an artist. When I was 12, I found out there
was such a thing as "fashion design". I wanted to be a fashion
designer for a very long time, but as I learned more about the
industry, I realized I disagreed with many of the basic principles
that the fashion industry is founded upon such as materialism, waste,
arbitrary rules, unhealthy ideals for what is considered beautiful,
and consumerism in general. The fashion industry seems like a churning
machine that spits out one disposable garment after another. A well-
made corset is a treasure that will last many generations and is very
special and unique to the person wearing it. You won't find many
custom corsets in the charity box or the land fill.
9) After a stressful day how do you relax?
I enjoy a very hot bath and a nice back rub from my husband. We like
to cuddle while eating healthy snacks and watching our favorite shows.
I also enjoy yoga, rebounding, and walks in nature.
10) Lastly we at Lulu and Lush love cupcakes, what is your naughty
I must confess, my idea of "naughty" is far from scandalous.
I make my
own icecream by blending frozen bananas. I like to top that with home
made raw chocolate sauce, fruit, nuts and coconut. It's super healthy,
and it really hits that "naughty" spot.