This being November, many Americans such as myself are pondering those things which we have to be grateful. Trite though it may be, I knew I wanted to touch upon it in my column this month. One thing I am continually grateful for on a daily basis is being a 21st century woman, regardless of my nostalgic admiration for things antiquated and retro. I love that we have the freedom to enjoy and embrace these old fashioned aesthetics without being obligated to adhere to (sexist) ideals of the day, and that we can pick and choose when and where we want to employ these aesthetics, mixing and matching old and new with utter abandon according to our personal taste and daily whims. I love modern medicine and technology, which brings me to the crux of the matter (you knew there was a point in there somewhere!): I love the internet and its infinite capacity for connection and knowledge both. With that in mind, here are three amazing online communities for various skill levels. As I am, primarily, a corsetmaker, there is naturally a bit of an emphasis on that field.
Learn to Make Corsets Like a Pro
A Facebook group founded by Alexis Black (of Electra Designs), which she created to go with her successful Kickstarter for corsetmaking resources. The community is open to members of all skill levels and backgrounds, and a typical post will be either a specific question regarding construction and troubleshooting of corset construction, or merely an enthusiastic update on the status of a current project. Alexis herself will regularly chip in to answer questions, and overall the group is very responsive and helpful, allowing one to get a reading on several opinions and possible solutions.
When you’re ready to kick it up a notch, Cathy Hay’s Foundations Revealed has you covered. While there’s a heavy emphasis on corsetry, they also have articles on making girdles, bras, and even bum rolls! Foundations Revealed is a subscription-based site, and as they add a new article every week I find it well worth the money for the variety of the articles and authors. There are articles appropriate to every skill level, from basics to complicated experimental designs. As well as a wealth of information on various patterning and construction techniques, they also have articles on the topic of running a business. If you’re not sure about committing to $12 per month, sight unseen, check out their selection of free articles. Foundations Revealed also recently launched its own forum.
Independent Lingerie Professionals
Founded by The Lingerie Addict herself, Cora Harrington, Independent Lingerie Professionals is a small, private community for independent lingerie professionals, from designers and retailers to boudoir photographers, media outlets, and beyond. If not invited directly, you must be vetted by group moderators for admission, and you must stay actively engaged to remain in the group. Within the community, we talk about a range of topics: When presented with a new or particularly challenging situation, we have an amazing community to ask for advice, but we also share articles about lingerie/the industry, social media utilization, etc. Even those posts that aren’t directly relevant to me, I find interesting as they give insight to other facets of the industry.
Are you an indie designer? Do you participate in any of these communities? What other online resources do you find valuable? Tell us in the comments!