My name is Alexis Black. I am a professional corsetiere and owner of Electra Designs Corsetry. I have been making corsets for over 20 years. When I began, I did not have access to any type of corset-making information. There were no commercial corset patterns, no books, online communities or blogs, no instructional dvds or printed materials. I had never seen a real corset in person. Most people at that time didn't even know what a corset was!
The few people who were making corsets professionally online were generally very secretive and protective of their craft. I looked far and wide for materials and instruction. I would have done just about anything to have someone show me how to design and create amazing corsets. I taught myself how to design and construct corsets from the ground up, through trial and error...A LOT of trial and error, literally blood, sweat and tears. Over the years I have perfected my own unique methods for creating beautiful, perfectly fitted, high quality modern corsets for any size, shape, gender or purpose. I want to teach you how to do it too.
Courtesy of the internet, these days most people not only know what a corset is, they can tell the difference between a high quality corset that fits well and does it's job, and the mass-produced so-called "cookie-cutter corsets" that have become so prevalent. Thanks to a very active and passionate online corset community, demand for well-made corsets has increased to the point where many corsetieres (myself included) have long waiting lists and turn-around times because we just can't make quality corsets fast enough. Hand made corsets are very labor-intensive, time-consuming and can be pretty expensive.
More and more people wish to learn how to make corsets for themselves and others. Despite the increasing availability of corset-related information, learning how to make corsets can be a very daunting endeavor. With some effort, beginners will find a few helpful online communities, patterns, books, and even the occasional video tutorial. To my knowledge, there are currently no comprehensive instructional materials that do an excellent job of teaching people how to design and make really good corsets.
In an effort to share my love of corsetry, I have been teaching people how to make corsets in my home corset studio. Unfortunately, 99% of the people who wish to participate are unable to attend due to financial, travel and scheduling limitations. Not a day goes by that someone doesn't ask me for corset-making instruction and resources.
I have been reluctant to create instructional materials because it is a huge and very time consuming project. In order to do an excellent job of making comprehensive videos, patterns, printed materials and kits, I would have to take 6-12 months off work as a corsetiere. As a one-woman business, sacrificing my only source of income is not an option. I need enough money to replace (or at least substantially subsidize) my corset-making income so I can focus my effort and resources on creating the best instructional corset-making materials possible.
In addition to keeping food in my tummy and a roof over my head while I work on this project, your contributions will help pay for supplies, equipment, and the assistance of my talented graphic/ web designer and cameraman, Rodney Saenz and others who I will commission to assist me.
If you don't sew, or have no desire to learn how to make corsets, please consider backing this project as a way to help empower those who use my corset-making materials to start their own corset businesses. Contrary to popular belief, most modern corsetieres are no longer wildly competitive. I think I speak for many designers when I say that it is very exciting and inspiring to see what other people make. Many talented, hard-working people have become jobless or under-emplyed over the years. Many others work jobs they hate. My product will teach very valuable skills that will enable more people to work for themselves, while making beautiful garments that can last many generations.
My project is about sharing, teaching, and inspiring. It's about opening up, becoming transparent, and empowering people. It's about allowing others to stand on my shoulders, skip 20 years of trial, error, guesswork and frustration and get right down to making something beautiful, sustainable and functional. The more funds I raise, the more information I will be able to share in my videos, printed materials, corset patterns and corset-making kits, so please pledge generously.
Thank you for supporting my desire to share the secrets of my craft with the world. Be sure to check out the amazing hand-made rewards I am offering to supporters. I promise, you won't be disappointed!
I do not currently offer patterns for sale, but if this project gets funded, I will create a line of patterns, plus instructions for how to customize the patterns to fit any size or shape. I may even offer custom drafted patterns. Please share this project with your friends so we can get the funding to make it happen. :)
I am currently fully booked and will be unable to accept new orders for at least a few months. Please join my mailing list at electradesigns.net to receive an update when I have openings. Thanks for your patience. :)
Is the corset drawn on the marionette? Would we be able to request a certain style? Ex. Chic, western, renaissance...
I have not yet designed the prizes, but I will most likely design at least three marionettes, which will be printed on card stock. I'm thinking of making three different skin tones (possibly different body types, too, as I would love to make a plus size one). Each doll will have a different corset outfit on. The marionettes will have only one outfit (drawn on), but the paper dolls will have several changes of clothes (mostly naked body with interchangeable corsets and other garments). If possible (not sure if kickstarter will provide email addresses of sponsors), I would like to give you a choice once they are designed. I plan to make the other choices, as well as the paper dolls (also hoping to design several choices) available for sale on etsy after the campaign.
I am so excited about the paper dolls and marionettes, I can't wait to get started designing them. I have to catch up on my corset orders before I can get started on the prizes, but I KNOW you are going to love them.
What is the difference between the kit (comes with $750 award) and the DVD + pattern (comes with $500 award)? What are the other things you'd get with a kit?
I have not yet created the gifts or worked out the details, which is why the description was intentionally left a big vague, but here are the basics.
At the $500 level, in addition to all previous rewards, you will receive a multi-size underbust corset pattern, with a dvd showing how to put it together.
At the $750 level, you will receive all previous gifts, including the pattern and dvd (from the $500 reward), plus an overbust corset kit containing a multi-sized overbust pattern, printed instructions, and basic materials busk, boning, bone tips, waist tape, coutil, eyelets etc. The dvd from the previous gift will be applicable to both the overbust and underbust patterns.
1. What level of skill will a person need in order to follow along? 2. How much do you plan to sell the kit and DVD for if the project is funded by 3/2?
I plan to create instructional materials for intermediate to advanced sewers, with steps that are easy enough for a tenacious beginner with good command over a sewing machine and a good understanding of garment construction.
First, I wish to create some materials for beginner corset makers (they would have to know how to sew well, be very detail oriented, and patient, naturally), for example, how to make a simple 4 panel (8 panels all together) waspie without a busk or waist tape. More advanced students may work on more complicated patterns, that include a busk, waist tape, front modesty panel, etc. For fashion design students and people who already have some corset-making experience, I would like to cover pattern fit and customization, modification of style lines, fancy embellishment, etc. The more funding I receive, the more topics I will be able to cover.
I haven't planned it all out yet, but I want to create a big collection of dvds, patterns, printed materials, and kits, as well as some free online tutorials for at least 3 levels of ability and experience. I plan to sell them ala-cart and as sets, so sewers can pick and chose only what they need to fill in the gaps in their knowledge and learn a few new techniques to take their work to the next level, or they can buy complete courses that show how to make a particular style from start to finish. The techniques from one level will be built upon in the next.
There is so much I wish to share. If this project is funded, I plan to create the first ever, very comprehensive, easy to follow, step by step, multi-level corset-making system. It won't be just bits and pieces of info taken from other sources. Serious sewers and designers from competent beginners to advanced industry professionals will discover ways to take their craft to the next level.
I have not yet worked out the pricing because I want to make many products for many levels. A multi-size corset pattern might be between $30-60 depending on the style and complexity. A dvd with step by step instructions for a waspie might be around $60. A 3 part dvd set for a more complicated corset (long line overbust with all the goodies, for example) may be around $250. Corset making kits may range between $60-$130 depending on the style, level of complexity, and materials. I want to make it so you can buy just a pattern, just a dvd, or just a kit, or you can buy a set that has everything.
These are, of course just rough estimates. There are so many topics to cover. Very advanced materials will naturally cost more than materials for beginners.
My goal is to start with the basics for beginners and work out and up in complexity, so students who enjoy making a waspie, for example, and wish to learn more, can move up to the next level, which will build on what I have already taught them. Students who are more experienced can just jump ahead to the more advanced stuff.
If I get $20k in funding, I want to make a dvd (or multi-dvd set for longer lessons), printed materials, patterns and kits for the following 3 corsets:
Basic waspie construction for beginner corset makers
Underbust corset construction with minimal size modification
Overbust corset construction with full customization and extra bells and whistles not shown in prior lessons
I will be teaching my own very effective, time tested techniques, which are different than what you will find in other books, kits and patterns.
I wish I could be more specific about pricing, but until I receive funding, and begin work on the project, I won't really know for sure how it will be broken down. Hopefully this will give you a better idea of what you can expect.
Is the material you are planning to make going to be free after you are fully funded or are you planning on selling your corsetry course?
I do plan to offer short, free tutorials online, but the bulk of the materials will be sold to the general public.
If the campaign is successful, I plan to sell the materials on my web site, etsy, and possibly on Amazon. If the campaign is not successful, I won't be able to create any materials.
I do not currently have any classes scheduled. Please join my corset making meetup group to receive updates when a new class is scheduled. http://www.meetup.com/Make-Corsets/
I no not plan to offer another workshop for at least a year. If this kickstarter project is successful, you will be able to learn everything I teach in my workshops and much more, at your own pace, right in the comfort of your home.
The corset-mamimg instructional materials made in this project will be affordable and easily accessible. I plan to offer materials for every level, from Tenacious Beginner, all the way up to Industry Professional. Thank you for supporting this project.
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