Linda Sparks

Linda Sparks

Linda Sparks was born in Toronto, Ontario and graduated from George Brown College in Fashion. Her career started in the Toronto fashion industry but a move to the country changed her direction and she began costume building for the Stratford Festival Theatre in the late 1980s.
After almost ten years in theater, she opened Farthingales in 1997, a company she created to supply architectural products to the theater industry of North America. Farthingales stocks unique products like corset making materials, that can't be found in most fabric stores. 

In 2006 Linda opened Farthingales L.A. Inc. to better supply the US market. Farthingales L.A. Inc. is a corset shop, selling the raw materials, patterns, books and both ready made corsets and custom corsets. The L.A. location is also where Linda teaches her corset making workshops. She is the author of The Basics of Corset Building.

Q & A

If you won the lottery, what would you do with your newfound wealth?
That depends on just how much, I assume we’re talking millions. Pay off all debts, get my husband to retire so he can travel with me as I continue to grow the business, give various family, friends, and staff money to help them out and build a special apartment complex for people who struggle to live independently, hire someone to supervise them and support them. After the kinks are worked out of the initial one...build more in other communites

If you were granted one wish, what would you wish for?
Excellent health for myself and family.

If you could visit any time, place, or person, when, where or who would you visit?
I’d be a fly (one that could understand all it hears, of course) on Elizabeth I throughout her whole life and a friend to Diana, Princess of Wales because she needed one.

If you could be any other person, animal, plant, etc…for a day, who or what would you be and why?
Ah, an eagle or a dolphin. An eagle to soar over familiar places and new places, to feel the freedom of that kind of flight…and not experience motion sickness! A dolphin to swim in the ocean and see all there is to see there and feel the excitement they seem to feel. Just to be able to swim would be nice!

Who's your favorite fictional character, and why?
Sherlock Holmes--he’s just fascinating but somehow I doubt that Conan Doyle was.

Who’s your present celebrity crush? Name a past (and hopefully embarrassing) celebrity crush.
Hmmm, do I really want to put this out in public? I guess the current one would be George Eads and the past one Tom Selleck…who didn’t?

What was the worst job you’ve ever had?
Working on a farm at haying time…sweaty, covered in scratches and dust, and feeling so exhausted I could barely standup in the shower. There are better ways to lose weight.

Who is or was your favorite pet? What made him/her so great?
Rocket was a pound puppy who grew to be over 120 lbs of solid heart. He was big and calm, never barked and didn’t know the word “no” because we never had to use it. He just seemed to know what we needed him to be and had the most incredible way of looking you in the eye. One friend said “It’s like he’s looking right into my soul.”

What’s the most sentimentally valuable possession you own?
Like what would I miss the most if my house were to burn to the ground? Photo albums, that’s it. I have “things” but they are things and while they have memories it’s the pictures so I can share those memories that I would miss.

What’s the last totally selfless thing someone did for you—be it emotional, monetary, or just telling you that you had toilet paper stuck to your shoe…?
I work away from home a lot and was away for my birthday, a woman I only knew casually came into the shop with a bouquet and said she knew I was in town and it must be kind of lonely on my birthday so she brought me flowers. She wouldn’t say how she knew it was my birthday and the really odd thing was the bouquet was of peonies--a favorite flower of mine and usually in bloom in my garden around my birthday.

What do you enjoy doing the most with your free time?
When I actually have some I like to just sit by the pool or the fireplace with my husband and catch up on family news and other stuff. It’s amazing how fast the weeks go. If our kids (now adults) are around it’s nice to all be together for a bbq.

Besides writing, what other forms of art and creativity do you indulge in?
Sewing, drawing, pattern drafting, designing…these are all for work but they are the creative part. I also enjoy planning house renovations--that is a great distraction

Do you cook? If so, is there any particular dish that you've mastered and would like to share?
I enjoy cooking but creating something new is far more fun than mastering, I like to look in the cupboards and pull a meal together from what I find so it’s never the same twice. Creating from sparse cupboards is best--if the shopping has just been done it’s not nearly the challenge or as  inspiring.



Think of a corset as a blank canvas.Linda Sparks' The Basics of Corset Building: A Handbook for Beginners is a comprehensive guide to building your first corset, including:Section...