And it's done. It fits. I like it.
But the problem with this style of corset is, obviously, bust support. Namely, there is no bust support. I definitely need support. So I have been trying to figure out just what women of this era did when they had bosoms. Because, obviously, not everyone had the slim, slender, slight figure that was in fashion then. And I am not just going to let myself flip and flop in careless abandon over the top edge of my corset.
|I was just wearing a modern dress under this, so had to crop the un-flattering, un-supported bosom part out. But you can see how the corset fits and smooths the figure.|
I discovered that bras were worn with corsets like these. I have come across quite a few photographs of original brassieres from this era and they look strikingly similar to some modern bras. It makes no sense to me to wear BOTH a bra AND a corset (why not just combine the two and have just 1 supportive undergarment instead?) but fashion does not always follow common sense.
|This is from earlier than the 'teens but wow - it really looks no different than a modern bra!|
It seems some bras were combined with corset covers and some were worn plain, with a corset cover on top. I am still trying to learn if bras were ever worn under the corset and chemise like a modern bra but it seems that sources would indicate they are worn on top of the chemise and the corset and may fasten to the corset to keep itself in place, as shown here in this advertisement from Lady Carolyn's interesting blog post:
In passing, underwear of this era is really very frustrating and complicated. At least to someone coming from the early Victorian era, where a chemise, corset, drawers and petticoats were all that was needed to create a fashionable silhouette.
After looking at a number of styles of brassieres, I decided I liked the look of this one:
It is similar to the free pattern for a 1910's brassiere Jenni has graciously shared with us at Historically Dressed.
I draped a bodice today that is meant to give a similar look. It is cut with princess seams since for me it is easier to get a smoother fit when using princess seams instead of darts. It is cut with the straps cut as part of the bodice instead of separately. It is fitted to my natural waist but I think for my final brassiere I will shorten the waistline a tad. The waistline of my corset hits me at about rib level so it is a little high waisted so as to give the fashionable smooth-hip look.
I just don't know how much support is needed. Do I go for a medieval-style, bust-popping level of support or just a gentle, natural, slightly lifted support? The support of the current mock up is somewhere in the middle. It lifts the bosom up so it is above the rib-cage waistline of the corset but it is not so high as to be screaming "hey! look at meeeeeee!!"
This advertisement from Vintage Ad Browser seems to support the idea of having a moderate level of bust support although it is from the late 'teens. I like that it shows a real woman wearing a bra and corset instead of a drawn illustration.
So, we'll see what comes of experimentation. There are so many freaking undergarments in this period. My gosh. I don't know if or when I will ever get to the shirtwaist and skirt I really want from this period!