Waist Not - Want Not
Corsetry Newsletter
April, May, June 2002
Volume 6 Number 2

In This Issue




I'm getting rather excited to say that the book manuscript I've been working on for over a year is nearing completion! If you've ever wanted proof that corseting works to reshape your body, here it is: Corset Magic: A Fun Guide to Trim Your Waist and Figure. Already four agents have chapters and full proposals to review and I am hoping I can soon enter into a contract with one to find a publisher. I've also met a physician on the email who is proving to be invaluable in my final research, but more on that later! I am still seeking an exercise psysiologist and registered nutritionist, so if you know any corset-friendly folks of that background, please let me know.

If you'd like to read the Introduction, please do!

You can order the manuscript on our Shopping Cart by email for $15, but be sure you have a well-fitting custom corset before you get too excited about starting to waist train. You've seen photos of our success stories in prior newsletters.

Denna and Christine
Denna and Christine

Here's our newest student who just started waist training, Denna, with Christine, a graduate! You go Denna! Already she is learning some important things about the program, which we'll share with you as time goes on.

Here's what a few folks who have already purchased the manuscript have said:
"Ann, I've read the first chapter. It's marvelous!!!!! The interesting history of corsets, the glory side of corsets (Hollywood movies), and the customized advice for different people... Oh, people will go to you after they take a first look at the book." Cat, Taipei, Taiwan

In April 2001, Alexandra said, "Thank you for the brilliant article. It really helps!" In July 2001, Rachel said, "Thank you so much for the monograph about corsetry and waist training. I appreciate how promptly you responded to my order. I just loved reading your paper. How did this wonderful activity escape me all these years?"

A 75-year-old gentleman email correspondent from London, who wore corsets for 60 lonely years without advice, help, or encouragement, upon reading the manuscript commented: "It is packed with very good advice . . . and you offer some good medical opinions from others who have a more specialized medical experience than me. This is very useful advice for any up-and-coming corset devotees. I read the paper you mention by Drs. Roy and Adami some years ago, and it is a good one. My corsets have given me a great deal of pleasure over the last sixty years, and I would make few changes to my life, if I had to do it all over again. I spent a great number of these years looking for a book like yours, that would help and guide me in my formative years, but it did not exist."

Hope you will order it and find it useful to guide your own waist training efforts based on the valuable experiences of others!



Well, this year in San Francisco took the cake! Chablis, our beautiful outgoing Empress of San Francisco, honored me with a lifetime Imperial Court title of "Princess of the Nipped Waist." You can see me proudly showing it off to the left. I was flabbergasted! I never knew those titles were far and few between, and I got to walk on stage a second time and show off my lovely new Moulin Rouge outfit, a joint project of Diana of White Lines design company in Fullerton, and me!


Monica Molton, my Image Consultant makeup artist walked on stage to represent Romantasy since I could only walk once! Doesn't she look super in her new Chinese brocade BR Creations corset seen as our corset of the month for April? I think so! We had a ball sitting at the TGSF table, met many friends we have met in August in San Diego, renewed local friendships and had a great time. You can see that our new Miss TGSF (I had a hand in that, being one of eight judges for her January pageant!) Kalani also attended and was looking fine!

Ann and Snatch

Proud to say that Chablis and Emperor Tom raised $16,000 for local charities. This is amazing and deserves our loudest applause, considering how donations went down after 9 11 as they were going all to New York! Congratulations to my friends and welcome to Barbie and Berlin, the new Royalty shown at right.

Interesting strategy of Chablis if it was strategy: give the girl a title and guilt trip her so she gets more involved in charity volunteer work. But seriously, now I do feel totally commited to this wonderful endeavor, now 36 years old. Hip hip hooray to Empress Norton Jose...grand mere of us all, for starting this beneficial sillyness and wonderful ballyhoo. May it and she long live, be healthy and prosper!


On March 9 a busload of queens and wannabe queens journeyed down to San Jose to see outgoing Mizz Monique Moore (photo far left) strut her stuff at her exit Coronation for Super Heroes and Villians. Who could be better than Jolting Joe Monana to celebrate, so I chose him for my Super Hero, and wore my 49er Point Count Point Cincher you can see you can see in the top photo and two center photos below. I accessoried my hero's outfit with a play football and cheerleader pompom! All in all the evening was great and you can see me with new Empress Barbie Lachoy in her great pink gown, and also Chablis with with former Empress Sheeba in photo to far right. Congrats to Mizz Monique for raising over $5000 for charites in the San Jose area!

San Jose Empress Ann and Chablis Ann and Empress

Ann Grogan  


Fall and spring have brought more questions and some challenges from customers regarding proper fitting of their new corsets. I want to share this important advice so that you can know what is realistic to expect in terms of fit, and where your responsibilities lie in producing the corset of your dreams.

MUSLINS: When your corset maker uses a muslin, that means she/he makes a cotton corset to your measurements. This is a test corset to insure you get to "tinker" with the final fit and adjust it to your latest preferences. It is a time to fine tune your corset. If you do not open your mouth and speak up, or if you do not fuly write out the amendments you need and send them by mail back to the maker, the final corset will look and fit and feel amost precisely as does the cotton muslin.

Despite going through muslin fittings, two of our customers were recently disappointed in the results and had to pay more to get what they wanted. Here is why.

Muslin fitting

The first customer went through the fitting for his underbust Edwardian. He approved the muslin. When the corset was delivered, he claimed it was not tight enough! I measured it and it was precisely made to his measurements and the corset maker assured me he had approved the muslin as tight enough at the time.

When I measured the customer, he had indeed lost 1/2 inch in his waist and 1" around his hips, accounting for some of the slack. His weight loss was not the corset maker's responsibility of course, nor was the fact that the customer decided he wanted more than a 4" reduction even though he had approved a 4" reduction in the muslin fitting. Our customer was so unhappy with the result that he rather irrationally claimed he had not had a "proper fitting" because the corset maker had been behind his back "doing something he could not see" and he had not authorized the muslin therefore! Sigh.

Point is: if you lose weight then the corset perhaps can be taken in (some corset makers refuse to take anything in as this can interfere with the fit and integrity of the corset), but surely it will be at your cost.

Second point is: a muslin IS A TRUE FITTING no matter if you keep your mouth shut, look in the back, fail to look in the back, or speak up. That is your responsibility. We give a two page instruction form about what to look for in your muslin fitting, so our client could not have been uninformed!

You will have time to check the fit with your corset maker, including the proper ultimate waist reduction, and you must ensure that you are not rushed in the process, as my customer was not! My customer, quite a bright businessman, well knew that he was having a muslin fitting, but afterwards, experienced a bit of consumer's remorse and would not accept his own part. in creating the problem.

Thereafter we adopted a practice to have customers sign the muslin and date it as approved so there can be no question in the future. Signing the muslin is like authorizing a "blue line" for my catalog for a printer. Once I sign the blue line I cannot complain if there is still some word misspelled in the final printed catalog! The corset maker in this case would charge $75 to take the back in, add lower hip darts, and "shrink" the corset.


Another lady customer claimed that her completed hybrid Victorian/18th century style did not fit well at the top, that the top edge had been raised "too high" over what she had authorized at the muslin fitting.

Most corset makers like this one, keep the muslin so it is an easy matter to double check what you think has happened. Our corset maker had made the precise amendment authorized by this client! Unfortunately, the client will have to pay labor charged to remove the top trim, remove the bones, cut them down, dip them in nylon coating, and reattach the top trim. I surmise this repair could amount to an extra $100 to $150 on a $400-500 corset, but then her corset will be perfect! I would be hard pressed to compromise on the matter, since the client authorized the muslin at the fitting!

When I checked the fit of the final corset, I found that she did not have the corset on properly. In these "squish front" corsets, it is extremely important to lace yourself almost totally in, then bend over, pull the bosoms in and up to position them correctly inside the bodice. When the client first laced in, her bosoms were squished down and flat, with the nipple pointing downwards. The top of her corset did, in fact, seem to rise too tall. However, when she re-positioned her bosoms, the top og her corset did not seem too tall to me and her bustline improved imensly, as even she had to admit. However, she still wanted to take a half-inch back off the top, again at her expense.

Sometimes it pays to pay for a $50 second fitting and delay delivery on your corset....I just had that happen to me. When Sheri tried on my first muslin for an overbust corset, despite the fact I thought I had given her correct measurements, it translated into the nipple line being 1" lower than my actual nipple. I have a very, very tall torso! I willingly paid Sheri to produce a second muslin and tinker with it and fine tune it, with the result that the final corset was exceedingly well fitting.

I even postponed wearing that corset at an important event becaues I wanted it to be done right, and knew that paying a little extra at this end of corset-construction would be a lot cheaper than getting an ill-fitting corset I would not wear, or that had to be redone from the final version!

I find that some customers, however, do not understand this principle. They are dead set on wearing that corset for a specific occasion and just become totally inflexible in allowing for corrections or paying a bit more for a second muslin fitting at the outset of corset construction. This is always problematic.

Rushing a corset maker hardly ever makes sense. They are human beings. It is far better to give them the normal time they need to complete a corset.

If you really do need and pay for a rush fee, surely you deserve a rush, but beware that you might end up with a disaster. You will likely get your money back from any reputable corset maker or purveying business, but sometimes you won't have your corset completed on time.

These tips are especially important for wedding corsets. You don't want a major disaster and ugly lawsuits on your hand or threatening corset makers with law suits, either! The stress is simply not worth it for anyone! I know some makers nd even Romantasy too, that will pass on your potential rush business to avoid the stress!


Sometimes we get lucky all around. Here are some great photos of bride Victoria from Texas. Jane was able to produce a Simple Pleasures Victorian for her and in 2 weeks to Texas! Victoria could not find the proper foundation garment for her wedding dress and had waited a bit too long for everyone's comfort! She called us in desperation. We are happy she looked so great in her dress and loved the corseted results as did her handsome hubby that wonderful day! Congrats to them both!

Victoria with husband


New training student, Denna, has already discovered how hard it is to drink enough water, required for waist-trainers to insure good elimination habits and nutrition while training.
Indeed, it is difficult to learn the habit of water drinking, especially for those of us who think we hate its insipid taste! But you can, and must learn, so try these tips, and let us know if you have any to add:

1. Keep a plastic glass (or glass) about 6 oz, or smaller if you must go smaller, in the bathroom. Every time you go in the bathroom, wash your hands then reach for the glass and drink one full glass before you let yourself leave the room! Consider the bathroom your prison until you drink your water! :-) Maybe post a note to the right of the door jam so that you see it: GO BACK AND DRINK YOUR WATER!

2. In the morning, are you starting with two warm big coffee mugs of water before anything? Well, you can go to the bathroom first of course and then go to the kitchen. You can add lemon and honey to make it taste better if you like.

3. Are you drinking juice at least once a day----but only 1/2 glass with 1/2 water. I find if the water is flavored with juice I like it better and sometimes can drink two big glasses that way during the afternoon.

4. You can get flavored no cal and no carbonation water at Safeway. I find it too sweet for me but maybe do 1/2 glass and 1/2 juice and add a squeeze of fresh lemon.

5. Have your spouse or housemate promise that one half hour before dinner he/she will hand you a big glass of water and watch til you drink it down.

6. Are you carrying a medium size bottle of water in your big purse to school and work? When I plan wall noon, I drink a large glass 30 minutes before I exercise, then walk, then drink another glass after I finish.

7. When you drive, do you have another bottle always in the car full of fresh water? If you are driving with someone, ask him/her to remind you to drink a bunch from that bottle. Don't just leave it on the back seat and not drink it!

8. If you have a computer table, do you have another bottle on that table staring you in the face? I try to keep a big glass to the right of my computer so I always see it and reach for it. Excuse me....my glass is empty and I have to go get another one!

9. Remember, tea and coffee do contain water so that is one way to get it into your system. It is not the best way of course, but it does count, too! It just does not count as one of the eight glasses of regular water I want you to drink each day you are training----and even when you are not!

10. At work on your computer screen to the side put a post it note: DRINK ONE GLASS OF WATER 1/2 HOUR BEFORE LUNCH AT 11:30 AM (or whatever time is 1/2 hour before your lunch)

11. Ask a partner to remind you to drink when he/she thinks about it. When I am visiting my mom's and because we both try to drink more water, we remind each other, and it works. Every time she gets a glass she pours one for me and hands it to me and I have to drink it, and vice versa!

The San Francisco Cotillion

We visited the Cotillion on January 26. We enjoyed being on the judge's panel with Chablis, Theresa Sparks, and Jamison, along with Danae Doyle and three others. Rachael Janelle was the happy coordinator, especially after it was all over! I was happy that Kalani won but the contestants were all great! The victory brunch on Sunday was fun!

Ann Kalani Ann and Monica
Ann and Chablis Dana and Rachel
Ann and Miss Cheryl The Judge Kalani and Ann
Ann and group Stage

"First, a note of thanks for posting the Romantasy page. It was there that, a few years ago, I discovered that corsets were alive and well and living in San Francisco - as well as a good many other places. Until then I thought I was a "throwback" and that there must be something wrong with me for admiring the styles of 50 and 100 years ago; then I discovered that there were others like me. It literally changed my life and I feel you deserve my thanks." 1/5/02

"You have an awesome website. It's the best thing out there, really informative!" Arianne upon leaving her fitting for her bridal corset 1/9/02

"Dear Ann, Just to let you know that the corset arrived safely and I am very pleased with the results. An excellent fit, very comfortable and very good quality. I would definitely recommend anyone serious about corsetting to visit you for advice and fitting." DK, Canada 1/12/02

"Ann, Thanks Name: Nocturna Time: Monday, January 21, 19102 Comments: This site is unparalled with its wealth of information! I've been bouncing around in here for days! If I was in your area, I'd be there, like, yesterday... ------------------------------------------------------ Private Comments: I have always been interested in corsets since I was a child. This website is like a dream come true! Practical information and everything...I'm sure I'll be doing business with you soon! Thank you for your dedication in corsetry! I wish I lived nearer to your location... "

" Hi Ann, It arrived last week. It's beautiful and I feel beautiful in it. After years of diets, workouts and hormones all I had to do was slip it on and tighten it up and finally I had the figure I was looking for so long. I wish I had a digital camera I would send you a picture. I'm so happy. Thank you." Bill 2/28/02

" Ann, I wanted to send this brief note to let you know how it's going with my new corset. I'm following your instructions and breaking it in gradually. It's a very strong temptation to pull it in tight and wear it all day but I'm showing restraint because it is such a nice corset. Thank you for selecting a strong, long-lasting one. It's worth the money. It's very easy to get into, even though I have to put it on alone. I have not yet experienced any discomfort after the two hour period. I am ready to try it on longer and of course a little tighter. It really does a good job of raising my waist. " TW 3/5/02

"Dear Ann, I was shocked upon opening the package of (Sue Nice teal velvet standard pattern) corset I received yesterday. No, no, please do not be surprised! It is simply because that beauty of the corset exceeded my expectation. Thanks for your instruction over several e-mails, a color and a sizing -- my biggest concerns as you know -- came out to be perfect. I should rather say, more perfect than what I have imagined. The first impressions were excellent, including that of a golden tissue wrapper which beautifully complemented the teal corset. On the other hand, the real revelation is that what I have ordered is such a luxury, and that I have still not known, until then, what authentic corsets are. Each detail differs from my beloved S.P. cincher. A thickness and a weight of velvet, sturdy construction, even a slight difficulty of mastering how to fasten and lace up: What a fresh sensation and what a fun! I could know this only by touching and wearing the corset in practice at last. In addition, your personal note and a cute handmade corset greeting card are charming! After all, I am very happy with everything I received. I feel it may not be a coincidence that my birthday will come in a few days. Ann, I thank you so much for your skillful arrangements with a love of corsets. You might have had enough of my inquiries and requests over one little corset. However, if you allow me to make one more, would you please tell my appreciation to the superb Ms. Nice. Sincerely yours, Sayuri (Japan)

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With spring in the air, hope springs eternal. Perhaps we can get out to garden soon, work in the soil, and appreciate all the gifts of Mother Nature. I hope your area is warming up and that you will soon have flowers in the garden of your soul!

Ann Grogan Flower

with Corset Dream Makers, Robby Cannedy and Martina Ostermann

Please view previous editions of the newsletter.