Muslin fitting

Introduction

A muslin or cotton corset and the process of using one to insure excellent fit of the final custom corset, is described in detail below. However, at the outset we wish to stress that a good fit will be the result of three or perhaps, four peoples' input:

(1) ours when we initially measure you (or your friend who measures you if you cannot attend a fitting appointment in San Francisco),
(2) your corset maker who makes the muslin and might be the person who fits it on you,
(3) the person who tries the muslin on you and marks it up for correction, and
(4) you!

While we take special care to measure you properly, and our corset makers also take special care to make the muslin according to those measurements, the true test of fit is when you are laced into the muslin. There is absolutely no way to guarantee perfection with only one person's input into the process: it definitely takes all three or four of us working together, as described below.

So kindly read the following information carefully and let us know if you have questions. We will also send a copy of this information with the muslin to remind you exactly how to test the fit, if you cannot personally visit your corset maker or ROMANTASY representatives.

Please also remember that in most cases this muslin fitting process works exceedingly well to insure a good fit. In rare instances a mail order muslin results in a corset that does not fit, and even where we personally fit the muslin on you, this sometimes will not result in perfection. In both cases, some adjustment of a completed corset will need to be made.

If we have fitted the muslin, of course we shall be responsible for the alteration but if you have fitted the mail order muslin, then a small additional alteration charge will be billed. Again, in rare cases a second muslin will be mailed at a small additional charge, because we want our product to be well nigh perfect!

Please remember that we cannot guarantee fit nor pay for amendment charges that might be needed to a final corset based on a muslin that you have fit, signed and dated, and returned authorizing us to go to final production. Upon placing an order you will have been informed of the above risk that you undertake, and you will have signed an agreement to that effect.

Typically, alterations in a completed corset, while not easy or quick, can be done and we give you schedule priority in order to return the adjusted corset to you at our earliest opportunity.

ROMANTASY, however, cannot guarantee 100% perfection unless you personally attend a fitting, as each person's body is completely individual and fitting a bodice or bustline can be very challenging indeed, even where the bra size is a standard size! Now for the details:

Fitting

1. A "muslin" is a trial corset made out of a heavy cotton material, with eyelets and lacing up the back just like the corset. It is patterned according to your measurements.
2. At the fitting, the corset maker or your own personal seamstress or dressmaker, if you cannot come to San Francisco for a fitting, will try the muslin on you. You will have the opportunity to look at yourself, walk around and sit to experience the trial corset on your body.
3. Now is the time to give your corset maker feedback: what changes do you want in the style or fit? If you are using your own dressmaker to test the muslin pattern, be sure to have her/him mark all changes to the muslin in black magic marker or pen, then use a separate piece of paper to write out any further instructions to the corset maker before you mail the muslin back to her/him.  Muslins must be tried on, marked and mailed back within seven days to insure an orderly process and meet your delivery deadlines or expectations.
4. If you don't give your maker feedback, the final corset will look and feel exactly like the muslin.
5. Minor adjustments to the muslin are without additional charge; major adjustments will result in additional fees billed at time of delivery of your corset.
6. Your corset maker will tell you what is minor and what is major, and likely can give you the approximate cost for major changes. They will ask you to initial any change order to be sure we have it right.
7. If you miss your fitting appointment without giving us or your corset maker 24 hour advance notice, you will be billed $75 and if you re-schedule one or more fittings, each fitting will result in an additional $75 fee.

Some tips on what to look for when you try on your muslin:

1. Does the bottom hem go low enough to cover your tummy once the waist line squishes you in?
2. Does the side underarm go too high so that it feels uncomfortable with your arms down?
3. Is the circumference around your chest or rib cage too tight so that some breast tissue falls outside the corset?
4. Is the corset back bottom hem low enough over your derriere?
5. Is the corset back top hem low enough to fit well under your wedding dress back?
6. Is your cleavage correctly placed and defined, or are your breasts too closely "squished" together in front?

Lady wearing muslin, showing flesh pushing over the top.

View the photos on the left and right. Taking and sending similar photos with your muslin or by email to us, is extremely helpful in visualizing exactly what changes need to be made. Take your photos standing full front, side (with arms down, then with arms up please), and back. Also, take them first with the muslin unpinned, and then with muslin pinned or marked to show what needs to be changed to ensure a good fit.

Look now at the three photos on the left. If your muslin closes completely at the back at the bottom, but will not close at the top, this is important to tell us or show us, since the back gap should more or less be open in a parallel fashion (like the third photo bottom left)  in your completed corset. If when your arms are down, you develop "splooches" of skin like toothpaste under the arms, that signifies that the top edge of your corset might not have enough fabric in the back, or that the underarm edge should be raised (in this case about 1/2 to 3/4 inch) to cover and control more flesh. Some clients love high-backed corsets for exactly that reason, and now is the time to tell us how high you want the back to be raised.

Now look at the three photos on the right. The top one shows us how the bodice is a bit too loose at top, while the second one is properly pinched and pinned to create darts that take in the loose fabric and snug the muslin up to the bosom as the final corset should be. The bottom photo shows how to pinch and hold a dart in the fabric to pull the bosom in, then pin it.

Note how in the bottom left photo, our client has taken a black magic marker and drawn a line on the muslin at her upper back. That tells us that she wishes us to lower the back edge to her marking. Please do the same on your muslin--at any point or area on the muslin top or bottom--according to the specific shapes you desire in your final corset.

Further, please note that your final corset's top and bottom edge will NOT be the top or bottom of the actual muslin, but will be the stitch line (view black stitch line on muslin photos). Thus, if this stitch line is too low or too high for your comfort, be sure and put an arrow in the proper direction up or down along the edge and where exactly you want us to raise or lower that edge, and tell us by exactly how much (in 1/4" increments).

If you get confused or have questions about this process, do not hesitate to call your corsetmaker or ROMANTASY. Our phone numbers will be prominently displayed in the muslin fitting instructions we will send with your muslin. And please don't forget to return your muslin as we request within seven days of your receipt of it!

Photo showing a lady wearing a muslin whose top is too loose.

Photo showing a lady wearing a muslin, marked to indicate that the sides should go higher.

Photo showing a lady wearing a muslin, with her corset maker pulling the top in until the fit is correct.

Lady wearing a muslin showing the appropriate amount of back gap for a new corset.

Photo showing a lady wearing a muslin, with the top pinned to fit properly.

General

Remember, if you make major adjustments in the style, the corset maker may have to make an entirely different pattern for which you will be charged. We try to make this very clear at your measurement appointment at ROMANTASY, but some customers don't fully understand the importance of being sure they want one particular style.

Fitting

For example, we had a customer who thought she wanted the Scarlett O'Hara just-to-nipple style. But at her fitting she realized that her nipples could "pop out" while walking. We had attempted to clearly describe this style and its limitation at the consultation appointment, but the client did not truly appreciate this fact until she tried the muslin on! She changed her mind and then wanted an overbust Valentine Victorian. This resulted in a $85 re-pattern charge, even though we had fully explained the difference in styles at her initial consultation and measurement. Some changes do result in the corset maker making an entirely new corset for you. Therefore, please be very careful when you select a style you wish at the beginning of your order.

At an in-person muslin fitting, be sure to ask the corset maker if you are completely changing the style or making a major change for which you will be charged. If you are doing this with a muslin we have mailed to you at your location, you may telephone us to inquire about the same matter, or upon receipt of your pinned muslin we determine that an additional charge will be due with your balance payment, we will let you know immediately and obtain your authorization for same or your choice to return to your style as originally ordered with us.

Remember especially that corsets fit quite tightly when worn over clothing, compared to the feel and fit of a muslin over your bare body. If you intend to wear it over thicker winter clothing, or any clothing at all, be sure and tell the corset maker, and do not opt for a very tight-lacing corset (a 4" waist reduction when the sides of the corset are laced together may be "normal" for many customers or even what we recommended, but you may not wish to have it feel so tight on your body when worn over clothing).

The operative words re: your fitting are: Speak now, or forever hold your peace.