Monday, October 22, 2012

Corsetry 101 - What to Know Before You Purchase

Typically, corsets are constructed of a flexible material (like cloth, satin, brocade, patent leather, or leather) stiffened with boning (also called ribs or stays) inserted into channels in the cloth or leather. In the 19th century, bones of elephant, moose, and whale were favored for the boning. 

Corsets are held together by lacing, usually (though not always) at the back. Tightening or loosening the lacing produces corresponding changes in the firmness of the corset. Depending on the desired effect and time period, corsets can be laced from the top down, from the bottom up, or both up from the bottom and down from the top, using two laces that meet in the middle. It is difficult—although not impossible—for a back-laced corset-wearer to do his or her own lacing.

Plastic boning is now the most commonly used material for lightweight corsets and the majority of inexpensive and ultimately lesser quality corsets, referred to as fashion corsets. Waist reduction is not possible with a fashion corset.  If you decide on a fashion corset for your costume or outfit, just remember that since they have plastic boning, they will not offer the same support as a steel boned corset.  The point to remember is, with a plastic boned corset, your body will shape your corset, your corset will not shape your body.

Flat or spiral steel boning is preferred for stronger corsets and generally better quality corset, too. High quality steel boned corsets will keep their shape over time even if you want to wear them all night long, whereas acrylic (plastic) boned corsets will not. The steel bones make for a smooth, streamlined shape without any lumps or bumps and they really will change the figure into a nice hour glass if laced tightly. Most wearers can expect a four or five inch waist reduction.

Don't be put off by thinking steel would be uncomfortable either. As any connoisseur will tell you, well-made steel boned corsets offer an outstanding level of support and that means comfort too. In fact, when wearing a plastic boned corset, I can tell you that it is much less comfortable than a steel boned corset, because the boning is not meant to hold you in. Because of this, the boning buckles and pinches your skin. Steel boned corsets hold you in, prevent pinching, and will pull waistlines in by 4-5" and will push and lift the cleavage if desired. These garments are fully adjustable at the back so you can tension according to comfort or control. Good Steel Boned Corsets have a minimum of 14 steel bones and up to 24 steel bones for ultimate control, 100% cotton lining for comfort and removable modesty panels allowing you to cover your back or wear the corset open. Authentic corsets have steel busks (unless otherwise noted), a metal lacing bone, and several layers of fabric for strength.

Waist training corsets have the most slimming and shaping capability of any other. The potential waist reduction is around seven inches for most wearers. I strongly recommend starting with less tight lacing and working your way up (or in) to a sexy hourglass over a period of time. In order to achieve a waist reduction of six or seven inches, a corset needs to be very well constructed. 24 spiral steel bones are used to make sure to deliver the results desired. Wearing waist training garments over a long period of time can change your body shape, and not just while you're actually wearing the corset. Permanent changes are possible. In fact, for some people a long-term change in body shape is the ultimate goal. If you're one of them, remember that anything that changes your body shape permanently is a pretty big deal. Talk to a medical professional before starting this kind of program.

In contrast, a girdle is usually made of elasticized fabric, without boning. Common brands of “shapewear” such as girdles, garter belts, and waist cinchers are Rago, Spanx, and Hanes. In my opinion, Rago is the best shapewear in the market right now offering the most shaping and contouring of any elastic, boneless shapewear.  These products will be comfortable, slimming, provide some shaping, and reduce the “muffin top”, but do not offer much in the way of inches in waist reduction.

I hope this serves as a helpful buying guide. If you have any questions regarding what different types of boning look like or need more specific information about how a corset is constructed, you can search the web and find lots of Wikipedia articles, pictures, and videos to further your education. Thank you for reading!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Performance Schedule

Thought you all might like to know where I am performing in the near future!
Stay tuned for individual posts for each event.

Bone Doggie & WTB; Halloween Show at Abbey Underground in Denton - Oct. 26th

Halloween Dallas Erotique Art Show at the Velvet Curtain in Deep Ellum - Oct. 31st

BE Starlets; BE Bust Out at Quixotic Theater in Deep Ellum - Nov. 9th

BE Starlets; Shadows and Light at Excuses Cafe in Deep Ellum - Nov. 17th

Private Party - Dec. 1st

WTB; End of the World in Denton - Dec. 8th

Private Party - Dec. 29th

Thursday, October 18, 2012

How to Make Pasties Step-by-Step Guide

Hello everyone!  I am super excited to share this with you.  After searching the internet, I didn't feel like there were enough guides on how to make pasties.  So I created one for you, so you can see how I make pasties. Enjoy!

Please read all instructions carefully before starting.

Materials Needed:
Thin Plastic Canvas Cross Stitch Material or Craft Felt (any color that makes sense for your project)
Glue Gun and glue sticks
Sequins, Crystals, Feathers, Fabric, etc. (whatever you want to adorn your pasties with)
Compass and a Pen
Toupee tape

optional for tasseled pasties:
Fishing Spinners (yes, just like you get at the tackle store)

If you are using crystals you will want to use these tools as well:
Rhinestone Wax Positioner Stick
Precision Syringe Glue Applicator (10 mL)000
Precision Syringe Glue Applicator Tip (pink)

Step 1: Measure Your Areola.
Your areola is the colored area around the main “nipple” part of your breast.  Take your measurement across the diameter of the areola.  If your areola is 3” across, then you will add a ½” for waste (add even more if you prefer that your pasties be extra pointed).  So you want to set your compass to 1 ¾” (the radius) and draw two circles on your Canvas or Felt. (I prefer canvas material because the tape sticks to it better and there is less chance of popping a pastie.)  Draw your circles.

Step 2: Cut your circles.
Cut your circles out.  Take the circles and gently fold in half once in opposite directions (making an “x” fold line).  This is just temporary so that it is easy to find the center.  Cut across the radius of the circles in one place on each one.  You should end up with what looks like two PacMans with their mouths closed.

Tip: If you are wanting to attach tassels that spin, before you continue to step 3 (gluing your PacMan closed), snug a spinner in the center of each pasty and bend the inside over flat (bending it is to keep the tassel from flying off and keep the spinner from poking your nipple.)  Do step 3.  Then place a little dab of hot glue on the inside end to secure.  Continue to step 4 from here.

Step 3: Glue your PacMan closed.
Take your pacman circles and overlap the edges of each one about ¼”.  (Please note: The more you overlap the edges of your pasties, the more pointed they will be.  You are also reducing the overall size when overlapping more.  If you like your pasties really pointed, plan ahead and give yourself more than a ½” extra in step 1.)  Use hot glue to attach.  You should end up with two cone shaped circles about the same size as your areolas. Now you have your base!

Step 4: Decorate your Pasties! A few different methods are concluded below.

Applying crystals to your pasties.
If you are making crystal pasties, you will want to plan your pattern and/or where you want to place your crystals first, especially if you are using multiple sizes or wanting a specific pattern. Use a "syringe applicator" and twist on a colored "tip".  Fill syringe applicator with glue by removing the plunger and squeezing glue to about 1/2 full or less then press down on plunger to push glue to bottom of syringe to avoid bubbles.  
Syringe applicators and tips are cheap and disposable. Make sure your crystals have been set up with stones facing up by using a "wax stick" instead of tweezers (which are harder to maneuver). Squeeze dots of glue onto the surface; it's a good idea to practice on paper first. You can apply 3-4 dots or more when proficient. The wax stick will easily pick up each crystal and place it on dot of glue for quick work. Make sure dots are large enough to glue near edges of stones not just the center. 

I recommend after you place your center stone, next, place your outermost stones. This way you get that uniform look around the edge. Then, starting placing stones around the center and working your way around and around in circles nesting in between other stones to fill in the rest of the pastie. Let dry overnight.

*See my other blog post "Bling It Up!" for more information and a list of some of my favorite crystal distributors.

Applying Sequins to pasties.
Draw a thin line of glue using your E6000 filled syringe around the outermost edge of the pastie.  Place your single strand sequin trim on the glue and repeat swirling around and around until you reach the tip of the cone.  Cut the excess off and glue the end down.  You can also do this and then add a second color around the outside for a border if you want.  Let dry overnight.

Applying fabric to pasties.
There are two ways to do this.
One option: This process is a bit different and more intricate than others.  In this case, you will need a base pasty for each areola and then two extra slightly smaller PacMans not glued yet (4 circles total).  Take your chosen fabric and cut out a circle about a half inch larger than your base.  Use your E6000 syringe and put a generous amount of glue over the top of the pasty base.  Center your fabric up over the glue and press into place (this can get messy).  Once your fabric is attached, clip notches in the excess fabric evenly spaced around the edge. Draw a line of glue around the edge of the back side of the pasty and fold the fabric edge down to the back of the base.  Once the fabric is attached, cover the back of the pasty with glue.  Then take your extra, not yet glued PacMans, and nestle them into the back of the base over the folded fabric.  Take special care to make sure all the edges are glued down well.  Line the front edge of the pasty with trim, if desired.  Let dry overnight.
Another option: For this method, you will need a base pasty for each areola.  Take your chosen fabric and cut out a circle about a half inch larger than your base.  Use your E6000 syringe and put a generous amount of glue over the top of the pasty base.  Center your fabric up over the glue and press into place (this can get messy).  Once your fabric is attached, carefully trim away the excess fabric.  Line the front edge of the pasty with trim, if desired.  Let dry overnight.

The most important thing to remember about this whole process, is to have fun and create something that expresses/matches you or your character.  If you aren’t happy with your first set, keep trying.  Practice makes perfect!

If you decide you aren’t the do it yourself type, Luscious Peach, Zenda Designs, Miss Malicious, or Lemme Adams can help you with that.  ;)  Send me an e-mail at and I will hook you up!

Here are what some of the products listed above look like.  You can find these at some local craft stores, but its
easier to find these online.

Thanks for reading!  I hope this was helpful. Have fun!


Scarlet Peach

Monday, October 15, 2012


Costuming with Rhinestones

Nothing Shimmers or Dazzles like genuine Swarovski Flatback Rhinestones:

Here’s a little history, if you’re interested...The Swarovski Company was established in 1895 as a factory in Austria, after Daniel Swarovski received a patent for his cutting machine, a relief from the old and difficult manual cutting process, and lead to the beautiful creation of Swarovski crystals. The outcome was uniformity for all Swarovski crystals and a cheaper affordable price. Swarovski crystals are still prized for their quality and brilliance to this day.  When reflecting back in time, would you have guessed that the first rhinestones were named after the Rhine River whose banks border Germany and Austria? People collected stones for their natural beauty. Most rhinestones come from Austria and the Czech Republic. For thousands of years, people have been creating glass stones using various formulas for glass and various shades of colors.

The creation of any glass crystal is formed by a combination of sand (silica), soda (a form of salt), and lime (burnt limestone) in the presence of extreme heat these elements melt together to form glass. The Swarovski Company has perfected this technique and makes crystals like no other by using an exclusive glass recipe, which is still a well kept secret today. In the 1800’s Daniel Swarovski also invented a precision cutting machine which allows each brilliant rhinestone more faceted cuts repeated with exact precision than other brands of rhinestones. Swarovski flatback rhinestones have 14 facets instead of the ordinary 8 facets in addition to a higher lead content in the crystal glass which explains the increased clarity among Swarovski flatback rhinestones. This devotion to excellence of accuracy and detail has made Swarovski crystals the most prized rhinestones to use and own.

The Swarovski company creates its glass with a special compound that imitators cannot duplicate. This special compound creates the incredible brilliance of their product. The delicate color palette is another quality that sets Swarovski crystal components apart from others.

With so many stones out there, how can you tell if the crystals you are purchasing is actually a Swarovski crystal....or an imitation?

Tips to determine crystals are genuine Swarovski:

  • Swarovski crystal beads and pendants are generally not strung when offered for sale.
  • Look for the original Swarovski packaging. Dependent on size, the bulk packages will range from 10 gross to 1/2 gross, in well-branded, sealed envelopes. The newest Swarovski bulk packaging is sealed with an authenticated silver toned hologram saying "SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS."
  • Swarovski crystals are perfectly uniform. Since they are machine cut, each crystal is the same.  The precision cutting of Swarovski machinery allows each crystal to have its facet juncture "pointing up." This means the facet junctures all meet at precisely the same point. This is a similar aspect of diamond faceting. This means that the height, width and slope are consistent. A hand polished imitator bead will not have as uniform a cut. You may also notice different dimensions from stone to stone.
  • Because of its special glass compounds, Swarovski crystal will out-sparkle an acrylic flat back of lesser quality when placed in a side-by-side comparison.
  • AB finish Swarovski crystals have a uniform surface luster. There are no swirling marks from the vacuum process that produces the AB finish, and generally there are no scratches. The "imitations" often have scratches, swirl marks ("oily" looking surface). Some of these imperfections, in the "imposters," have to do with the lower quality of the finish.
  • When you look inside the crystal, you will see no bubbles. If you see any bubbles, you know immediately that it is a fake.

The Swarovski flatback rhinestones (Style 2028) are most popular because of their faceted front and the foil covered flat back which adds to their sparkling brilliance. They can be easily attached to fabrics and other surfaces by using glue which is especially designed for this purpose (see resources). Swarovski flatback crystals are also used on bras, panties, pasties, lining the edges of a costume or to trace a pattern on clothing and whatever your creativity comes up with. The use of Swarovski flatback rhinestones to add sophisticated dazzle is almost unlimited. Let your own creativity be your guide and have fun decorating!

In my opinion, you should always use some Swarovski crystals for your costumes, however I have found an inexpensive trick to be helpful when covering a large area with crystals on a budget.  If you mix genuine Swarovski crystals with inexpensive acrylic flat back stones, you can still achieve a dazzling look, and get a lot of coverage at a fraction of the cost. ;)

Colors of Swarovski Crystals:
Crystal is clear and the most common rhinestone with no color and a “diamonite” like appearance. Colors are transparent with many gemlike colors often easily named as emerald for green, peridot for lime green and sapphire for royal blue, amethyst for purple and siam or ruby for red. Any color with “light” in front of it, is just a paler version of the color Swarovski crystals.

The Aurora Borealis (AB) Coating:
AB Swarovski crystals refer to the clear stones that have an Aurora Borealis coating added to the stone to give it a beautiful prismatic effect. This AB coating applied to Swarovski crystals affects the light’s refraction so the stone appears to reflect colors of the rainbow with the clear base color showing through as most dominant. Swarovski Crystal AB rhinestones are clear crystal stones with an AB coating applied. The AB coating casts the light’s colors in all ranges and appears to reflect an Aurora Borealis throughout the clear Swarovski crystals.

AB Color Swarovski crystals use AB coatings on colored crystal which reflect truer range of colors in the red, blue, green and gold areas. Other AB rhinestones such as the Czech stones reflect more of a gold/yellow color than the true color brilliance of AB coated Swarovski Crystals.

Effect Colors are special colors usually producing two or more different colors through polarization of the glass so that light affects its color depending how light hits it. Such as the fire opal I used for my Fever routine. Only Swarovski crystals have perfected this method and thus has a much broader color spectrum of choice.

How to Attach Crystals

Pre-Arrange Designs before attaching your Crystals:
Since glue can start to set fast, it is always best to arrange your designs first and place crystals, using wax positioner stick, in their proper upright position (flat side on bottom) so they are ready to be applied quickly. Always pre-plan your design so that when the crystals are heated or glue is applied, you are ready for immediate placement so you can continue to the next rhinestone to be placed on fabric without struggle. You can find transfer patterns online for purchase if desired, you can make your own transfer patterns, or you can simply arrange a pattern free-style.

Hot Fix Flat Back Crystals versus Foil Flat Back Crystals:
The two best ways to guarantee adhesion to fabric that is being gently washed is to use Swarovski hot fix rhinestones which already have a glue coating on the back that is activated by heat or by using glue which is especially designed for this purpose (see resources).

A hot fix tool is an electric heating wand which uses various tip sizes for application. Screw in the correct tip size for the size of each of the Swarovski hot fix rhinestones being used, than heat the wand for about 2 minutes. Do be careful, the metal end of the wand and the tip as well as any metal parts are burning hot and should not be touched. Meanwhile, using a wax positioner stick, place each of the Swarovski hot fix rhinestones selected turned face up. Now Vertically position the wand over the item you want to pick up and lightly pick up the rhinestone in the cup of the tip. Don’t force the stone into the tip. Push the correct tipped hot fix tool over a rhinestone and hold it up for about 12 seconds while watching for the glue on crystal to bubble to a shiny, lighter shade. Only when the rhinestone is heated, place it by lightly tapping the crystal on the fabric you want to decorate and quickly remove the hot fix tool. You do not need to use much pressure. The Swarovski hot fix rhinestones will adhere to the fabric in a few seconds when glue cools. Remember to have a safe place to rest your hot fix tool if necessary in between applications.

Using an adhesive to attach your crystals is as much less complicated process and if you are like me, safer.  Basically, you want to plan your pattern and/or where you want to place your crystals.  Keep them laid in place, if possible, while you work. Use a "syringe applicator" and twist on a colored "tip".  Choose colored tip by size of stone and thickness of glue. For thicker glues use larger tips and for thin glues use smaller tips. I like to use a small pink tip when using E6000 since it usually tends to “ooze” out faster than you want in one squeeze. To fill syringe applicator with glue just remove the plunger and squeeze glue to about 1/2 full or less then press down on plunger to push glue to bottom of syringe to avoid bubbles. Make sure your crystals have been set up with stones facing up by using a "wax stick" instead of tweezers which are harder to maneuver. Squeeze dots of glue onto the surface; it's a good idea to practice on paper first. You can apply 3-4 dots or more when proficient. The wax stick will easily pick up each crystal and place it on dot of glue for quick work. Make sure dots are large enough to glue near edges of stones not just the center. Syringe applicators and tips are cheap and disposable. Professionals recommend this method of gluing because it is fast, easy and neat.

Sizes of Rhinestones:
Sizes are universal by using ss to mean “stone size”, and range from ss5, it’s tiny (1.7 to 1.9millimeters in diameter) to ss48( 10.9 to 11.3 millimeters) it’s big. Size 20ss and 34ss are the most popular sizes to use for costuming and making pasties.

How Else Can I Help?
I hope you found this article informative and inspiring! You'll be pleased to know that if you aren't the do it yourself type, or you just can’t find the time, Scarlet Peach is here to help. At Luscious Peach we offer lingerie including custom corsets, shoes, pasties, accessories, hair products, and feather products. I also handle custom embellishments and costuming work. Send me an email at for a consultation and quote.

Rhinestone Wax Positioner Stick
Precision Syringe Glue Applicator (10 mL)
Precision Syringe Glue Applicator Tip (pink)
Iron On Mylar Transfer Paper 9.5 x 11 inches

Favorite Fixatives:
Beacon Rhinestone Glue GEM-TAC