Saturday, March 3, 2012

Can You Wear a Corset with an Ileostomy???

Birthdays are always hard for me. It's the time of year where everything I haven't accomplished career-wise really hits home. I try to go into the day with no expectations so I don't become disappointed, but a little part of you that expects just a tiny bit of specialness is always heartbroken when nothing good comes your way.

We just got done with our SECOND move, and Mr B is extremely busy with grad school, and we don't have any money to spend, (we barely have any at all) so I understood why I would be receiving no presents this year.
Since I can't eat cake, or hardly any food at all (not typical of ileostomates, just me as I have slow transit and possible borderline Gastro Parisis), there was no cake or candle blowing. Our tiny rented rooms are empty but for lawn-chairs we borrowed from the landlady and our big suitcases. No streamers or balloons--kid things, but they can brighten up a place.

After some really uncomfortable and unsuccessful sex, I spent the rest of the night crying in the rain, waiting for buses that showed up late, walking in the really fucking cold wind to get to an overcrowded bar that didn't have room to seat me. (And at that point, I wasn't going to spend an hour traveling to the heart of the city to nightclubs.) I think I'm also so sad because when we moved, we had to leave our cats behind, with the promise from my mother that she'd make sure we'd get them back. Well, she's grown attached to them, and only wants to relinquish one now, and hasn't spoken to me since. I kept checking me inbox every day, thinking she would at least write me for my birthday, but alas...
We just feel so lost and alone and without money and directionless in this country.

Earlier that day, I went in for my second appointment to get my corset fitted. Lace Embrace is a fabulous place here in Vancouver BC where they will fit you properly and make adjustments for your own body type and desires. Because I have scoliosis, I had to wear a TLSO back-brace for about 15 years or something, at least more than ten, and I became used to the feeling of having that nice rigidness around me. However, corsets are breathable, plastic braces are not!

Lace Embrace has shops now all over the country of USA, and is run by this surprisingly young-looking Melanie. (Seriously, she looks like she's 22, and not in a surgically enhanced way at all, but in an enviably good-genetics way.)
On my first visit, her assistant fitted me and began filling out the form for the kind of corset I wanted. On my second visit, Melanie fitted me herself with Dita Von Teese's prototype stage corset. (Yeah, did  I mention Dita flies to Vancouver JUST to see Melanie and get fitted for custom corsets by her??)

Amazing. Anyway, mine is I think called the femenette, and right here on me is Dita's prototype... an overbust--I'm getting an underbust, and it's too big for me, as she is bigger than me anyway. (My shoulders look all wonky because I have on this sweater-shrug thing that goes over my T-shirt... I don't know what it's called, but it always slips off my shoulders and makes them look like footballer shoulders.)
Yes, that's Mr B waiting patiently in the background.

With Melanie, I discussed how I have an ileostomy and how I'll need access to the bag. She took down my measurements and said no problem, she can make the corset shorter, or have a little flap that opens and buttons up again, just like the Victorian nursing-corsets, with flaps to open for boobage to come out.

I have this problem with ligaments in my body, and those holding up my organs are wear and so my liver etc has all fallen very low. With a corset, it lifts them back up where they should be. And no, it's not bad for your digestion, and no, I'm not a tight-lacer. I don't want to have to defend my reasons for liking corsets. Some feminists will say it's cages of men's tyranny or whatever bla bla. Others will say Why--you're skinny enough. It's not about being skinny, it's about being an hourglass, and I love old fashions anyway, so STFU.

I'm getting mine made in this pale pinkish sort of cotton twill--I think it's called??--that has this sort of jaquard-ish floral design. It's going to be edged in cream lace, and though we still have to knock out a few details about stitching, for the most part, I think that's it. In 4-6 weeks I return to Lace Embrace for a specific fitting of my actual corset--and I will keep you posted!!


  1. I love corsets-- for costuming anyway. I have one nearly authentic Elizabethan one that I made (It's short enough that I could still wear it with no problem) and a few corset-style tops, like the one for my Ariel costume

    I need to design a new one for my specific needs now...Maybe one like the elizabethan, with tabs that will hold out a skirt to disguise the bag better.

    Good luck with your corset-- I'm sure it'll be beautiful!

    1. Nessa! I was totally thinking of you when i wrote this post! I remembered you were saying how you were afraid you wouldn't be able to wear one... SUPER COOL THAT YOU LOVE COSPLAY TOO!! And your outfits are amazing! I love your sewing-work! Ariel costume was CRAZY AWESOME!! <3

    2. I wrote a blog post about clothes today and linked back here.
      I can't wait until I feel like sewing and can make some clothes that really suit both my style and situation. I have some ideas for some 40sish designs that are still slim and streamlined, but won't show that miserable bag! And I've gotta get around to making a bag-holder since my tights are half of what holds the thing flat!

      Have you ever cosplayed? I hate that I've been too sick to do it for over a year :( I have to get rid of some of my costumes now (tummy baring ones). Did you see the Suigintou costume? I could see you enjoying Rozen Maiden.
      I have SOO MANY costumes I want to make, but no energy to sew right now. :(

  2. Love it! I would love to get one too!

  3. I came across your blog by accident, and I wanted to let you know that I think you're beautiful (both inside and out). You've got amazing spirit and I admire how you make the most of the cards you've been dealt. :) Even though I'm a stranger, I wish you all the best!

  4. BTW, I totally get what you're saying about sucky birthdays. Mine was last week and I had to cancel BOTH parties I had organized (they were more get-to-know-you game nights with people I *want* to be friends with. I still haven't made many friends since we moved!) because my kids had the flu and were puking their guts out!
    The first year I had colitis, my boyfriend (now husband) had just moved up to be near me. He had a big dinner planned and even had reservations, but I was in so much pain that day that putting any food in my mouth made me crumple up in pain and clutch at my abdomen. After a big fight (he had put a lot of effort into his plans!), we finally ended up at the mall where I wandered around crying. He bought me a shirt. Sucky. Worst birthday ever! (though with a birthday during spring break, I had quite a few other lonely ones that came close!!)

  5. It's been a while since you've posted, but I thought you'd like to know-- I'm done chemo! AND I might have a chance to design for the United Ostomy Assosciations of America! Either way, I'm working on my designing lately. FUN!

  6. That's awesome--so glad to hear it, nessa!! I never even knew about this ostomy designing, that is too cool.! Gonna look it up right now!


  7. The Corset shown on the lovely Dita von Teese was in fact custom-made by Dark Garden in San Francisco, and embellished by Catherine D'Lish.
    We would very much appreciate that it not be suggested this work was done by another maker, no matter how talented. Many thanks!!

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