Your Wardrobe Unlock'd and Foundations Revealed are an online community and college focussed on how to make historical and modern corsetry, clothing and costume.
We give our Members the resources to push out of their creative comfort zones and explore new ground.
We encourage our Writers to produce original and interesting work that both helps the whole community grow, and helps make the Writer an authority in his/her field. Want to be a Writer for us? Let Editor Jema Hewitt (right) show you how!
I know writing an article can seem very intimidating! We all worry that we aren't expert enough to tell other people how to do something... or we can sew just fine, but we don't know how best to write it all down.
Don't panic! You don't have to be “The Best in the World of All Time”, either at sewing or at writing articles, to have something interesting and useful to say. So if you'd like to share something that has interested you, or a creative journey you've been on, I'm here to help and guide you through the process.
Remember we pay for all articles (hurrah!) and you also get complimentary access to all areas of the site for a limited period of time, to say nothing of participating in one of the loveliest, most creative and supportive communities out there today! So what are you waiting for?
What To Write
I'm looking for articles that will inspire people to start sewing today, help them with any problems and give them lots of lovely ideas.
I have written some useful style sheets that will give you a really solid idea of how to put each type of article together, how to structure it from introduction to conclusion, roughly how many words to write for each bit, how best to take great step-by-step photographs, and so on.
Complete projects step-by-step: In whichthe reader is encouraged to get involved in making something from start to finish, with all the information they need to totally complete a fabulous thing. It could be a recreation of a museum corset from a patent, or the construction of a specific piece of historical costume, like a well researched specific bustle skirt. It might be a modern wedding corset of your own design! These articles can be quite big, so they will often be divided into several sections and released in logical parts (you get paid for each part.) Stylesheet for a complete project part 1 ~ Stylesheet for a complete project part 2
Shorter articles: These might be an interview with a fabulous designer or a review of a series of books. There could be how-to articles which might concentrate on one technique - for example constructing a specific historic button or how to take a pattern from an existing bra, showing how you brought a fabulous cosplay outfit together, or even troubleshooting difficult fabrics. Historic research could come in here as well. Stylesheet for a short how-to article ~ Stylesheet for a research style article
I'm going to continue to introduce more video elements. It doesn't take long for you to do a little video intro filmed on a smartphone, and it helps the reader feel connected to you. Most people love to know who is teaching them. Having us actually talking directly to them really helps “put a face to the name”.
I'd love every single article to have at least an introduction video by the author.
For the more involved, step by step how-to projects, it will be good to have close up videos of any tricky bits.
If you fancy doing a full video tutorial for each stage, that would be fantastic!
If you don't want to write anything at all, but just give us a video guided tour of your atelier, video interview a famous designer, or video your inspirations and techniques, that could be wonderful too!
We want corsetry to make up about 70% of our articles, but articles on other topics such as lingerie, costume, wigs, millinery, accessories and specialities will still be important. Listed below are some of the areas I'd love to be commissioning articles in... things that perhaps seem a little under-represented on the site at the moment...
Beginners' how-to projects, such as the standard classic corset patterns from Simplicity, Butterick and assorted independent designers. Following their instructions and discussing any fit issues, adjustments or difficult bits.
Stays and flat fronted corsets – full on how-to projects recreating historical garments.
Inspiration, history and how-to's on the 1980's/90's New Wave of corsetry: Goth, Gaultier, Westwood, Mugler, Vollers, Romantasy...
1940's and 1950's girdles – history, stretch fabrics and how-to's
Making modern pants and knickers. Drafting blocks, using stretch and elastics.
Gentlemen's tailored waistcoats, ladies tailored, corseted waistcoats... drafting and making up.
Constructing from interesting materials like fosshape, laser cutting, pvc. How-to's, tips and tricks.
Using a half scale mannequin for drafting and designing.
An exhaustive exploration of the best events around the world that involve costuming and dressing up! Diary and explanations.
Using very fine lace in corsetry panels. Tips and tricks.
Other cultural influences, non-Western style dressmaking.
Any unusual, strange or stunning corsetry or costume - historical or modern - that you've seen, made or got an idea for!
Any other ideas? These are just my wish list - I'm open to whatever project is obsessing you right now, and I'm always all ears for your ideas!
Your article should be new, unpublished, and written in English.
Almost a fifth of our Members speak English as a second or third language, so use simple, clear sentences that aren’t too long.
Good grammar and spelling are a must.
Be friendly, yet professional. Picture the reader as a friend who is looking for better quality help than she can usually find in a Google search!
You must include where you got your images from - we must be careful about copyright! All your pictures must be
In the public domain OR
Pictures that you have full permission to share, from the photographer, model and any other artist involved.
The images must be available for commercial use. If you need assistance finding appropriate images, let me know. While you may not be able to use a particular picture (such as one from a museum), we can always link to it from the article if you really need it to make a point.
How Writing For Us Works - a Timetable
Your name and contact details
Your business name (if appropriate)
Links to your website, blog, or a Facebook page or community where your work is displayed (or attach photos of relevant items you've made).
Type of article – "how-to step by step article" or "research article" or "set of 5 mini how-to videos", etc
Subject of the article (a bit more detail about what exactly you are proposing)
The article's approximate length (at least 1500 words for a one part article and 3000-15000+ for a longer, multiple part piece)
For larger projects in multiple parts we also need a project schedule - ie break it down into parts, with suggested milestones and deadlines
I will then reply and let you know whether we are interested in your proposal, with a contract.
We will arrange a comfortable, realistic submission deadline for you, which then goes on our calendar. We are counting on you to keep your commitment. I will email you a reminder 2-3 weeks in advance of the due date. If a you are not able to deliver an article, we stress that you should let me know as soon as possible so that we have time to arrange a replacement.
If you confirm that you will deliver an article as promised when we send out the reminder email, and then you fail to deliver it, any future articles from you will be pulled from the schedule.
How to submit your article
Sending large files and pictures for the articles via email is not always easy, so we encourage you to use Dropbox, which allows up to 2GB of online storage for documents/photos/etc. It’s as easy as downloading a small program to your computer and dragging and dropping your files into the program. It handles the uploading automatically.
The Editor will send you a link to our submissions folder in your reminder email. It’s not a requirement to use it, email is still fine, but if it’s a large number of files, you might find it useful.
Publication of your piece will usually be made up to six months after receipt. Unless stated, you will be expected not to disclose fine detail of as-yet unpublished future articles, future developments or confidential aspects of business that you may help us develop. However, you are welcome to advertise your involvement with the site and general details such as the subject of the piece.
We reserve the right to omit or edit any work submitted or accepted at any time.
You retain intellectual property rights
Your article will be published on our website, will remain there as part of the archive of resources, and may be duplicated in other products we develop. In all cases you will be fully credited as the writer.
Furthermore, due to the nature of the site as a subscription service and out of fairness to readers, we require that you do not publish your article elsewhere until at least six months have passed from the publication date.
However, outside of this usage license, we do not hold any exclusive rights to work published on our website. The creator retains copyright of both the article and any images supplied, and you may go on to use them as you wish after the six month exclusivity window. We’d be pleased as punch to see “This article first appeared at www.yourwardrobeunlockd.com.
It doesn’t need to be anything fancy; it’s fine as long as it includes
Your name and address as a header at the top
The date (including year)
The company you’re invoicing (Harman Hay Publications)
"I’ve been lurking around the online corset community for at least 12 years... I’ve made a few ‘ok’ corsets... a nicely sewn tube of fabric with some boning shoved into it, a structurally sound garment with clean lines but no finesse. Period corsets are so much more than that.
You’re right: we haven’t yet arrived at the late 19th century level in the present corset revival. I believe that the stitchers and corset makers of Foundations Revealed will be the first to get there. You are showing us how to get from point A to point B by intuitively understanding what it is that we don’t know."
Our step-by-step tutorials at Foundations Revealed and Your Wardrobe Unlock'd are already the best on the Web, allowing costume makers and corsetmakers around the world to learn online. By studying corsets that were developed, perfected and produced in their thousands in their Victorian heyday, and marrying what we can learn from the past with the technologies and the bodies of today, we can learn how to sculpt modern corsetry away from an unexciting mediocrity to a new, beautifully sewn, curvy perfection.
But there’s only so much you can learn through your computer. All of that online learning is incomplete if you never get to see the real thing... to handle real Victorian corsets, turn them over in your hands, look closely, take photographs, take measurements, and most of all, talk about corsetmaking in person with experts, enthusiasts and professionals.
So we’d better complete your education, and offer you an opportunity to do that, hadn’t we?!
The collection essentially tells the story of the Symington company over a period of one hundred and thirty years. It includes garments made both by Symington’s and by their competitors, which provide an insight into the development of corsetry and foundation garments from the late 19th century through to the beginning of the 1990s. It is considered one of the most comprehensive collections of Victorian corsetry in the world - and yet hardly anyone realises that it even exists.
On Saturday, August 20th 2011, you will have a chance to visit the collection for a day to inspect the Victorian and Edwardian corsets in the collection at close range. The curator, Philip Warren, will be on hand (schedule allowing) to answer questions and share his encyclopaedic knowledge of the history of corsetry at Symington’s, and so will some of the writers you know from Foundations, including Jenni "Sparklewren" Hampshire, Cathy Hay and Marion McNealy.
A range of corsetry will be let out of its archive boxes for us to see; when you book your ticket, do let us know if there’s anything in particular that you’re hoping to see, such as spoon busks, cording, flossing, skeleton corsets and so on. We have made a special request already, for example, to see the extraordinary and unique flossing sampler (above right) that so excited Melanie Talkington - corsetmaker to Dita von Teese and Cathie Jung - that she now uses some of these original embroidery patterns on her own corsets at Lace Embrace Atelier in Vancouver, Canada.
Please note: you will not just be visiting a museum, in which you peer through glass cases at artefacts mounted on the other side. This is a hands-on visit, where subject to the advice of the curator, you will be allowed to handle the artefacts, photograph them and take ideas and inspiration away for your own work.
The Symington collection does not have a permanent museum home, and cannot be visited like a regular museum. This is a special event laid on just for us, so I hope you’ll take advantage of this unique opportunity to enjoy a collection of corsets that we consider to be the world of antique clothing’s best kept secret.