In 2007 I made the Past Patterns #001- 1820s/40s Corded Stay. Initially only cotton cording was sewn in for support along with the wood busk at center front.
Well, after my first mock-up fitting of my 1844 bodice I realized I need to make a few alterations to the corset to improve on its purpose. You know from reading my previous post that I had already added a bone to the sides and one on either side of the grommets. I have now done more.
The current alterations included taking a 1/2" dart out of the back hip gusset to reduce the size around the hip area. Instead of cutting the gusset, I simply took up the excess and sewed a traditional dart from hem to point of the gusset. The corset is only two, thin coutil layers so the dart was easy to manage.
I've also now added a total of 10 steel bones to this thing, including the previous 4. You can see the bone casing I've sewn directly to the inside of the corset. I added bones to the outside of the bust gussets and two pairs to the side back area. These help SO much in the wrinkling factor. And the top now keeps me up where I should be.
I also pushed the busk up to the top and sewed a line at the bottom to hold it up there. I can remove the stitching so the busk can be removed if need be (for laundering).
So case in point: for women with more "squish factor" and curvier figures, basic corded corsets don't support as needed. Steel boning can help wonders for this.
I believe women back then with full bust and hips would have added whalebone along with the cording for a supportive garment if the cording itself was not enough (see photo below). However, with more layers of thicker fabric and a fully corded corset, one could manage a decent fashionable figure.
What do YOU think?