My copy of the Mantua Maker 1800 -1820 Regency Corset Pattern came, so I started working on my first mockup of the corset to wear under a regency gown at the 1812 Quilt Challenge show in March. When I was in highschool (the last time I really did a lot of garment sewing), I could somehow get away with cutting straight into my fashion fabric, but now, eight years and 40lbs later, that would have been a very dangerous proposition. So here is what happens when you try to make the pattern with no alterations for someone with size 16 measurements, larger-than D cup breasts, a short waist and a lot of squishability.
I cut out size 16 with D-cup gussets, since that matched my measurements (well, and those are the largest gussets). I sewed on grommet tape so it could be laced, topstitched some ribbon on for cable-tie bones casings, and had Carl lace me up.
I didn’t have anything to use as a busk, and ran out of ribbon to use as quick casings so it isn’t nearly as rigid as it needs to be, but my goal at this point was to see how much it needed to be shortened and see how all the pieces fall on my body. On one hand, it actually laced up pretty evenly with a 3.5″ or so gap—perfect, if that was the only thing that needed to fit.
This is a side view.
My arm is pretty much straight down my side, but the side piece of the corset is not under my arm at all. I need to shorten it at the waist by at least an inch (which I was pretty sure about when cutting, but wanted to check first). Aside from seam placement, the hips fit well. The bust was an utter failure.
So, time to pull this apart and make a second version. Since measurement-wise this was the right total width to fit, but the front is so wonky, I think I need to work from the assumption that my front is effectively much wider than my back. For my next one, I’ll likely cut out a much larger-sized front and adjust the back and side pieces so that my overall measurements are the same as this first mockup, but the inches are spread out over the pieces in a different manner. Once I get the pieces to go where they should, then I can tackle the issue of gusset sizing and shelf-creating.
Have you made this corset? Did you have issues?