It’s been a week of daily corset wearing, and it’s time to report on all my findings! Here goes…
Simplicity 9769 Is Not Your Friend
I started the week with a cheap eBay corset I bought for $15, but by day 2 I had sliced open the sidse and added two triangular gores to flare the hips, making the corset a bajillion times more comfortable. Why?
|Cheap eBay corset with added hip gores at the side, allowing that additional flare over the hips|
When you squeeze your waist, that volume has to go somewhere, and that somewhere is down. I found that rather huge hip flares are necessary, even when reducing a little, to keep the corset from cutting into the hips, and to easily and comfortably displace the waist.
This brings me to Simplicity 9769, and really ANY modern-made commercial corset pattern (with few exceptions).
After a few days of wearing my cheap eBay corset + hip gores, I put on my ole pink n’ black standby, a corset I made years ago, using Simplicity 9769. I intended to wear this mid-bust to an upcoming event, so I tried it on with the dress bodice, and quickly discovered how HORRIBLY UNCOMFORTABLE it had suddenly become. I’ve been wearing this corset for years – what changed?
My willingness to be in pain. That is, in all the years I wore this Simplicity corset, I unconsciously allowed myself to be in pain the whole day in costume, but after wearing a corset all day for just a couple days, suddenly I was quite unwilling to go there, especially after achieving the same results in a far more comfortable way with just a cheap eBay underbust.
What is missing from the modern commercial corset patterns is shaping. If you want to reduce your waist even a little bit, you need some mega hip gores. I don’t mean just a gentle flare over the hips – I mean, like, these:
|Symington Corset, 1875|
So that was the end of my pink n’ black Simplicity corset. Luckily I had Chrissy’s mid-bust corset pattern, complete with nice hip flare, so I ripped the busk out of my old one, and set to work putting together this new one:
I didn’t do a particularly good job, but it fits much better, and currently reduces comfortably down to 26.5 inches, with the capability of going to 24.5 inches.
*When you are looking for a corset pattern, look for one with hip gores, such as these: Ageless Patterns, Past Patterns, even Simplicity 2890. Cut the hip gores the largest size you can, even larger than you think you will need – you will be surprised how quickly they fill out.
This week I wore the corset about 7+ hours per day, lacing it the tightest in the morning, and letting it out throughout the day, especially after meals.
I have eaten less in general, and my random, rampant snacking has gone down considerably. I did eat a 1 lb. Qdoba burrito in a corset, but in general it’s not a good idea to ingest big, heavy, salty, bean-filled food, or carbonated drinks.
I have had no trouble breathing, have been able to bend to tie my shoes, and even put air in my tires at the gas station. Driving a car was no problem at all – I just needed to straighten my seat up.
|Stand up straight! via|
I am always aware of the corset being there, but I am just as aware of it being off, and not in a “relief” sort of way. While wearing the corset, my posture is much improved, to be expected, but what wasn’t expected is that when I take it off, I continue to hold myself upright instead of immediately slouching down into my “normal” super-slumpy position. Just by standing more upright, my waist un-corseted looks a helluva lot slimmer, even at the same girth it was prior to beginning this experiment.
At the end of week one I am far more used to how the corset feels than when I started, even if I am still aware of its presence. However, I recall what it was like when I started wearing a bra, or certain types of undies – holy moly, get these things off of me!! Yet over time, and in getting bras and undies that actually fit and are made in a way that is comfortable for me (I prefer underwires, for instance, and find soft-cup bras extremely uncomfortable), I got used to these underpinnings, and now feel rather exposed when not wearing them.
|The back lacing on my new corset – my bust is small, but my rib cage need more room.|
I expect the same will happen with the corset, assuming it fits as it should. Already I want to make other styles to see how they fit and feel, and to find the right one for me. I’ve learned that I need large hip gores and spiral steel bones, I’m small in the bust, but I need more room in the rib cage, and that when I get all of these things right, reducing comfortably and easily to 25 inches will be no big deal at all.