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Dinosaurs and day-corsets

  • By Catherine Clavering
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Dinosaurs and day-corsets

Ever since I wrote about all the things that can go wrong between idea and a garment in your hands, "dinosaurs" has become the codeword for problem productions. Currently the day-corsets are in dinosaur territory. Here's the story so far!

Danielle developed the day corset pattern with me but because we had a very clear idea of what we wanted, we worked towards the design rather than working the design around the components and skills. That means rather than find some exciting fabric and things the factory can do, we found something we wanted to do and then attempted to find the right fabrics, components and skills to do it with.

This is often problematic!

So, the day corset has these components, and here are their problems:

Powernet: it uses  a much heavier powernet than we normally use, but even to make 75 of them it's only a small quantity. The first batch of net wasn't heavy enough so we had to find someone who would sell us a small amount of black powernet at a wholesale-ish price. It took me a while to find anyone who wasn't asking me to buy 100 metres.  Very heavy powernet also just isn't that common anymore. Still, we know now how to get it so in the future that should be OK.

Elastic trim and bra hook fastenings - same problem here, we don't need much, but we're solving that by the factory providing it as it's pretty standard.

Fusing: We can't get anyone to sell this to us in small amounts and then send it to countries in the East of Europe . . . happily the factory use it for other things, so we're getting it from them instead.

Zips: these have to be specially finished, as the right length is not one that is available as standard. this can take anything from 2-6 weeks depending on how busy the zip people are. Also, I have to take a trip to see the Man About The Zips, because apparently they don't believe in online B2B sales.

Black Taffeta centre. Like a muppet I didn't calculate correctly how much we'd need so we need to get some more.

Cotton coutil: all fine! We're keeping a huge roll in the factory as we use it for all the corsets.

Acres of black satin double faced ribbon: The factory says I didn't send enough, as I sent merely hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of metres . . . though I think this is because they think they have to put loops for suspenders on it, whereas we didn't put those into this design.

Flat steels and spiral steels:  Currently I am fighting with the factory because  I bought 18cm, and they think we need 20 cm. As steels are expensive and take at least 2 weeks to arrive, and I think the spec is for 18, it's causing some friction. The Day corset uses different construction to the  none stretch corsets, and thinks like seam allowance and how much room the steels have to move are different and clearly it's causing issues. did I mention that also ordering them is mildly nighmarish as they are all fractionally different and rather than saying  "20cm long, 7mm wide spiral steels" you need to know an abstract SKU and a German translation? And that the supplier won't tell us clearly what the minimum order quantities are? so it's more of a negotiation than an order.

End caps, eyelets: all fine, we buy them by the pack of 2000!

Labels: the labels for these need to be different than to normal corsets, plus they have to have variations for the silk panel ones. Oh, and I had to test the washing conditions by, you know, actually washing  the samples, before we did the labels.

Also, in the middle of all of this faff, the factory moved. Yup, actually up and moved all their machinery and everything. So that took a while! Plus the person I used to talk to has moved on,  and I can't speak their language, so we're having a few translation issues. If there's one thing that working across countrioes has taught me, it's that local sayings and proverbs generally take about 20 minutes to explain!

So the current state of play on corsets is; we made the demi corsets and the waspies, and the day corsets are next on the list followed by the emerald deVille and the Ivory tempest, but there's a delay while we wreangle with the factory about exactly how they will be made and whether we have everything ready or not . . . I will keep you posted . . .

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