Podcast Episode 10: Corsetry Goodness with Cathy Hay of Foundations Revealed

Hello Lovelies!

We’re BACK with new and exciting episodes of Fashion History with American Duchess! While at Costume College, we were able to snag a bit of time with Cathy Hay, the Founder & CEO of everyone’s favorite costuming and corset making subscription sites: Your Wardrobe Unlock’d and Foundations Revealed

Putting that Selfie Stick to good use while recording our episode on a hotel bed! ha! šŸ˜€

We had a lovely time chatting about all sorts of different things related to her business, its future plans, the Symington Corset Collection in Leicestershire, England, and just general girl chatty goodness!


  • Unknown

    August 11, 2017 at 3:07 AM

    Okay, everyone says "padding!" to make your body fit a corset rather than make the pattern fit your body, but that assumes everyone's fit issue is they're smaller than the pattern. I'm fuller busted and much smaller rib-caged and frankly, just making the top larger means I end up with boobs in my armpits, no support, and everything is too big and too small at the same time. So, redrafting has to happen.

  • Unknown

    August 11, 2017 at 4:36 PM

    I understand Elizabeth, it's frustrating to feel that you're the "wrong" shape for the pattern. But the pattern is there to serve you, not the other way around. If you're costuming, the pattern has to do the work to make you into the fashionable shape of the period you're going for, whatever your proportions. In some spots that's done by shaping of the panels to put your bust in the right location (pushed up, flattened down, spread apart or smooshed together, depending on fashion's whims), and in some places it's done by padding. The point about padding is that it's often overlooked in favour of believing that everyone just laced themselves down into tortuous pain. In fact, padding was used together with lacing to re-proportion various parts of the body to conform to the overall silhouette that the period demanded – which could be done regardless of size. In your case, maybe the hips were padded to come into proportion with the bust. It's freeing when you realise how much they were doing with what nature gave them to re-sculpt themselves to the shape they wanted.

  • Rebecca

    August 16, 2017 at 6:47 PM

    Hi ladies! I love the podcast, but it can be really frustrating to listen as the volume levels are so inconsistent. I listen on headphones, and in every episode I get my eardrums blown out because I have to turn up the volume to hear most of the episode, then an extremely loud burst of laughter or cheering will make me have to yank off my headphones because it's so surprising. Please please please see if there's any way to equalize the sound so your listeners can not have to worry about sudden explosions of loudness in an otherwise very quiet podcast. Thank you so much, and I look forward to listening if you all can get this fixed.

    • Jenny Wren

      August 17, 2017 at 9:31 PM

      Hear hear.
      Also, if you're going to do a five-minute advert for your guest's business, could you please put it at the end and not the beginning? It's kinda off-putting to wade through a sales pitch first.

    • Lauren Stowell

      August 17, 2017 at 9:58 PM

      Hi Rebecca – We are doing the best we can with the levels. We'll try to manually adjust the bits where there is laughter to avoid the eardrum blasts in the future. We don't want to break your ears!

      Jenny – As with all our guests, it's important to establish first who they are, why you might want to listen to what they have to say, and where you can find more information about them/what they do/how they do it to aid in your own costuming adventures. If you don't like the format of our podcasts, they may not be for you.

  • spinnerin

    August 23, 2017 at 11:37 PM

    Ohhhhh, I want a Foundations Revealed membership so badly now….Not in my budget currently, but hopefully soon!

    I'm still dancing with glee that y'all are podcasting! It was Lauren's interview on Threadcult a few years ago that got me really jazzed about sewing my own wardrobe (not an historically accurate one, but for some reason hearing about rectangles and crazy inside (lack of) finishing released my inner dressmaker, I guess. So yay! Keep it up; I'm having so much fun listening to y'all!

    • spinnerin

      August 25, 2017 at 3:35 PM

      Um, scratch that; my mom has treated me to a month and I'll be able to handle at least one more. Foundations Revealed (and Wardrobe Unlock'd!!!!), here I come!

      ::dives into a heap of virtual corsets::

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