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So You Want to Be a Lingerie Designer: 3 Amazing Online Community Resources

A flossed corset by Pop Antique, as shot by Karolina Marek on Victoria Dagger. Much of my corsetmaking knowledge comes from researching via various online communities.

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.

Corset interior with floating modesty panel by Electra Designs, founder of the Learn to Make Corsets Like a Pro group on Facebook.

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.

Foundations Revealed is an amazing subscription-based resource for anyone interested in learning to make foundation garments, particularly corsets.

Foundations Revealed
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.

The Lingerie Addict herself, Cora Harrington, founded a safe and private Facebook group for Independent Lingerie Professionals.

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 not 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!

Marianne Faulkner

Marianne Faulkner is the designer of Pop Antique, a clothing and corsetry line specializing in sustainable materials and comfortable curves. She is based in San Francisco where she earned her MFA in fashion design at the Academy of Art University, and has been a columnist at The Lingerie Addict since 2011.

7 Comments on this post

  1. Maggie says:

    Thanks for sharing this. Although I don’t make any corsets (yet!) I can see all these resources being very helpful.
    It’s always awesome to talk to others in the lingerie industry. I actually find it to be a very inclusive community.

  2. M. Magpie says:

    It’s very strange to me to see the Learn to Make Corsets! Facebook group here, with no mention of the Corsetmakers LiveJournal group.

    Corsetmakers has been established for about eight years longer than MCLP, and it has a highly organized tag system, making it much easier to find and learn from past conversations than the timeline setup of MCLP does. Additionally, while it has many of the same participants, a number of professional corseteries I’ve never seen on Facebook post there. If I had to give a beginning corsetmaker just one link, I’d definitely send them to LJ over FB.

    • Marianne Marianne says:

      I thought about including Corsetmakers on LJ, but didn’t for a variety of reasons. It can be a very political atmosphere in that group, and the LiveJournal audience has been slowly dwindling. I think the main reason I didn’t include it at the time, though, is that there’s likely to be a follow-up post (or several) specifically about corsetmaking. For this piece, three communities makes for a nice, digestible article. I often run towards the verbose, so sometimes I have to curtail myself by breaking down one big piece into several smaller ones.

      For those who are interested, the link to the aforementioned community is here: http://corsetmakers.livejournal.com/

  3. Ros says:

    I don’t really want to be a lingerie designer, and I’m not planning on making corsets, but I am beginning to make my own bras and knickers. Do you have any suggestions for less specialist/less professional places to find this kind of support?

    • Marianne Marianne says:

      I would recommend looking for books on the subject with good reviews on Amazon. I am planning on doing a future post on print resources (ie books) for would-be designers or at-home craftspeople… Communities like these aren’t always only for pros (ILP is the only one mentioned above that is); you may investigate a community such as LiveJournal and see if someone’s formed a group there with the subject matter you’re interested in. Or you can start one and see who else comes to join!

      • Ros says:

        Thanks! I’ll look forward to that post. I follow quite a few general dressmaking blogs and I’ve picked up a couple of tips for lingerie there. I hadn’t thought of LJ, but I’ll definitely have a look there.

  4. Awesome post! I haven’t been as into the corset groups, but I definitely want to join in and see what’s going on there.

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