Posts Tagged ‘Ms. Martha’s Corset Shoppe’

“The captain said everyone, so hold on to the blasted door and quit yer whining!”

Lolita Lynnette obviously wasn’t going to listen to a word I said. Which meant the only recourse I had was to listen to her. I gripped the doorframe, my filthy nails digging tiny crescent moons into the wood. For her part, Lynnette yanked and tugged until I was forced to let out the breath I’d sucked in. And then she yanked and tugged some more. She couldn’t have weighed more than a hundred pounds in full battle gear, but the woman had strength hidden deep in those tiny bones.

By the time she stopped torturing me, I was certain I’d die of asphyxiation. “I can’t breathe,” I eked out.

She huffed out a sigh and loosened the ties so infinitesimally I couldn’t be sure she hadn’t just pretended. “That’s all you’ll get. You look fabulous.”

Her tiny hands swooped over my sides as if to make sure I could feel just how much smaller my waist had become. I had no clue what the captain had in store for this landside excursion, but the inclusion of corsets served to define the phrase “hell on earth” for me.


Contrary to the story above, I love corsets. Correction. I love good corsets. Sometimes I still like the less-than-good ones though.

In fact, my first corsets fell very much into the latter category. Frederick’s of Hollywood. Plastic boning. Minimal waist reduction. And they held up for shit. On the flip side, they were cheap and I didn’t know for sure if I’d like wearing them.

It wasn’t until several months later that I got my first steel boned corset. I bought it from a friend and wore it for some of my author photos. Let me tell you, there’s nothing quite like being cinched up tighter than I’ve ever been in my life out in the desert around Vegas wearing five-inch heels. Did I mention that the corset was completely black and it was very, very sunny.

Crazy thing about that photoshoot. All the sweating? Totally made my skin glisten. Honestly, my skin has never looked as good in pictures as it did those. And the corset? Dear gods, that was when I fell in love. No, I didn’t suddenly look like a size 2, but holy hourglass, Batman!

That corset led to another (underbust this time, which I personally love less). And that led to my first ever custom corset… which I hate. I’m not sure what it is about that one but it… let’s just say it fits fine, but it’s quite painful to wear and it makes the girls look like a shelf–and not in a good way. After that debacle, I was leery about buying anymore. Surely I could make do with my cheap Freddie’s corsets and the two good ones I had?

Then I discovered Ms. Martha’s Corset Shoppe and learned what a really good corset feels like. As a well-endowed lady, a good corset does more than cinch my waist, it takes the pressure off my back from hauling the girls around all the time. I swear, I learned what it must feel like to be a B-cup… without losing my cleavage. In that corset, I understand how heroines can kick some butt in the steampunk novels we know and love, even when tied up securely.

Sadly, my every day life is less than corset-friendly, but I’m very much looking forward to my next opportunity to wear them–specifically the beautiful blue one that feels so amazing. Ms. Martha, if you happen to be reading, thank you and I hope to see you again soon.

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Lolita Cindy, Gail Carriger, and I

By the time Lolita Cindy and I made it back to the dirigible, we barely had energy to stagger to our berths. As excited as I’d been for the opportunity, I hadn’t anticipated the excursion to be quite so draining.

From the moment we’d stepped inside World Steam Expo, my heart sank. Though I could indeed blend in as Lolita Suzanne had suggested, my quest seemed impossible. How was I supposed to find one item in this sea of finery, frippery, and outright nonsense? As daunted as I was by the immensity of my task, I refused to shy away from the challenge. Lolita Cindy seemed quite at home so, as I’d been told, I accompanied her for much of the first day.

We learned of villains and heroes and damsels-in-distress (who I feel are all best put out of their misery, thank you very much). In addition, we learned both trickery and attacks with a variety of weaponry. As soon as I felt comfortable enough, I set out on my own.

The Bawdy Boys

Oddly enough, it didn’t take long before I set my eyes upon my goal. In mere moments, however, it was snatched from my grasp and lost once more in the crowd. I spent much of the evening searching for it, from the battle room of Aegis to the thrummingly violent strains from The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing–all for nought. I retired, exhausted and dejected.


Lead Singer of TMTWNBBFN

After an unfortunate delay, I returned the next day to resume my hunt. When every avenue brought me nothing, I turned at last to the lure of wormwood and the hope of second sight. Once again, music called to me, the siren songs of The Bawdy Boys as well as the musical displays from Steam-Powered Giraffe hypnotized me, lulling me into a strange sense of security and innocence as the drink took hold of my brain. I danced in a haze of clockworks and corsets until I woke with the sunrise…outside on the grass.

No one was near, but beneath the expanse of my skirts rested the sapphire beauty I’d come to claim. How I’d taken possession of the thing, I’ve no earthly idea. What the wormwood and music did to my mind…

Blasted evil scientists…

It didn’t matter. I had what I’d come for. At once, I secreted it away from pirates, scientists, and that little slip of a girl who delighted in showing off with her pistol. None there could be trusted, not even my fellow Lolita. Still, appearances had to be maintained, so after securing my treasure, I made my way back to Lolita Cindy, staying demurely by her side until we returned to the ship.

Though I detest the idea that I had to leave my prize, I am confident none will find it. For certain things have a life of their own–the sapphire chose me as its keeper as surely as I chose it. And I will return. I must. For this adventure has only begun.

Bloody Pirate (aka my partner-in-crime Maureen’s favorite pirate, Thee Bluebeard) trying to blend in with Steampunk Chicago

Needless to say, I had a fantastic time at World Steam Expo, and I can’t wait for next year. Also, if you have a chance to visit Ms. Martha’s Corset Shoppe, I highly recommend her work. I got a beautiful blue corset from her at the convention and am kicking myself for only buying one.

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