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RebeccaMI
04-17-2007, 02:34 PM
My Mom has wanted to get into Civil War reenacting since I got into it a year or two ago. We decided that with her wardrobe, we're going to go about it the right way and start with the right foundation: proper undergarments. However, my Mom wears a DD and we're wondering about finding a comfortable corset for her. Mine is made from the Simplicity pattern 7215 and I think it's quite nice, but I'm only a D. So do you ladies have any recommendations for corsets for busty ladies?

bob 125th nysvi
04-17-2007, 02:56 PM
My Mom has wanted to get into Civil War reenacting since I got into it a year or two ago. We decided that with her wardrobe, we're going to go about it the right way and start with the right foundation: proper undergarments. However, my Mom wears a DD and we're wondering about finding a comfortable corset for her. Mine is made from the Simplicity pattern 7215 and I think it's quite nice, but I'm only a D. So do you ladies have any recommendations for corsets for busty ladies?

is a corset 'proper' for your impression?

Farm girls and labor class women wouldn't have worn them (ever try weeding a garden in one?).

Just something to ponder during your search.

sbl
04-17-2007, 03:58 PM
Bob have you? :p

Corsets at this time are supports for the breasts and a platform for holding up all the skirts and such.

ElizabethClark
04-17-2007, 04:06 PM
Bob, I'd definitely appreciate your references for actively-working women not using supportive undergarments--it's the opposite of what I've been finding for about 14 years, and I'd be glad of the contrasting information.

(And yes, I have weeded a garden in a corset, and among my friends and I we've driven wagon teams and worked laundry and dye pots, and walked across country, and chopped firewood, and scythed hay, and panned for gold, and chased toddlers, and breastfed newborns, too. "Corset" and "torture device" aren't synonymous. :) )

Yes, it is very possible to create a supportive corset for the over DD crowd. Because every corset needs to be custom-tailored to the figure, you can tailor things far beyond simple sizing charts. The differences between a D bust and DD bust are not as dramatic in a corset as they can be in a bra, as you're not working with a confined cup size, so you're basically designing the home for the bust to "live", and it's a pretty malleable subject. :)

Bob has a good question: what activities does the corset need to support? Corsets designed for maximum fashion shaping have a different cut and boning scheme than those for minimal shaping. Either is possible, regardless of the figure base itself, and you can accomplish both with the pattern shape you have currently, just not in the same corset.

What's your mom's anticipated impression and activity level, and what's her comfort preference?

bob 125th nysvi
04-17-2007, 06:07 PM
Bob, I'd definitely appreciate your references for actively-working women not using supportive undergarments--it's the opposite of what I've been finding for about 14 years, and I'd be glad of the contrasting information.

(And yes, I have weeded a garden in a corset, and among my friends and I we've driven wagon teams and worked laundry and dye pots, and walked across country, and chopped firewood, and scythed hay, and panned for gold, and chased toddlers, and breastfed newborns, too. "Corset" and "torture device" aren't synonymous. :) )

Yes, it is very possible to create a supportive corset for the over DD crowd. Because every corset needs to be custom-tailored to the figure, you can tailor things far beyond simple sizing charts. The differences between a D bust and DD bust are not as dramatic in a corset as they can be in a bra, as you're not working with a confined cup size, so you're basically designing the home for the bust to "live", and it's a pretty malleable subject. :)

Bob has a good question: what activities does the corset need to support? Corsets designed for maximum fashion shaping have a different cut and boning scheme than those for minimal shaping. Either is possible, regardless of the figure base itself, and you can accomplish both with the pattern shape you have currently, just not in the same corset.

What's your mom's anticipated impression and activity level, and what's her comfort preference?

comes based on Historical interpeters that I have dealt with. Those who portray an middle/upper class woman will do it for social purposes but not for hard work. The harder working impressionists don't do and use a cost justification (a poorer woman would not want to ruin the one she owned by working hard in it.)

And you must have been driving my team because they can be handled by a three year old! Actually drving a team is really easy and a corset may help with posture in the ring.

bob 125th nysvi
04-17-2007, 06:08 PM
Bob have you? :p

Telling. But you can always stop by my tent to check it out big boy.

Linda Trent
04-17-2007, 06:54 PM
I agree with Liz, I've weeded a garden, worked laundry, walked up and down hills and across country, chopped firewood, milked fidgety shorthorn cows, cleaned horses' hooves, rode sidesaddle, cooked, cleaned house, slept, worked at an inn, tightened bed ropes, used a privy, assisted in caring for children... well, there isn't much I haven't done in a corset. :rolleyes:

I've found my corset to be a lifesaver. If I have it tight enough (while not too tight) it gives me better posture and prevents me from re-injuring my back while working with cast iron pots, laundry tubs and other heavy things. I've even been known to wear my corset in the 21st century when I injure my back, since 99.9% of the time I injure my back is due to poor posture.

Actually in the 21st century you can see working guys wearing back supports when doing heavy work. Just watch the stock boys at groceries or workers for a freight company.


The harder working impressionists don't do and use a cost justification (a poorer woman would not want to ruin the one she owned by working hard in it.)

There was another alternative for those who didn't need the stronger support of the corset and that was a working stay. It had minimal boning, buttons, and cloth, yet the tight wrapping effect, and the four or six bones it supports the bust (like a sports bra) and minimally supports the back. There was even a pattern for one in one of the Godey's that Hank made for me. I love it as well, but honestly I don't tend to wear it as often due to the fact that it doesn't give me the support on the back.

Of course I'm lucky as I have an extremely comfortable corset. :-D

Just two cents from one who wears both a corset and a stay!

Linda

ElizabethClark
04-17-2007, 06:56 PM
Bob, I'd have to respectfully disagree with the hard work and cost arguements at this point... corsets were not an expensive part of a wardrobe mid-century, and could be made at home very cheaply, particularly if the woman in question makes corded or quilted stays. A corded or quilted stay doesn't call for anything beyond cotton or hemp cord, firmly-woven cotton fabric, and some thread.

A poorer woman is not likely to own two complete wardrobes... but a dress that is made to fit with a corset or stay won't generally fit without it, so if she's saving her corset for "best", she's going to need to have clothes that only get worn with that dress, and that seems to fit with the middle working classes or better, not the lower classes.

The two arguments don't jive for me... Those engaged in harder work need back support, and corsets are ideal for that. Not wearing any form of supportive undergarment in a working class role is similar to saying, "Well, I only wear my bra to church... don't need one for working everyday." Sure, you can get away with it today, if the folks at the local grocery store are any indication, but mid-century, seeing a woman's freedom-loving bosom swinging about in her dress is generally not considered the "done thing"--women used supportive garments in gold camps, in factories, on farms, in tenement slums... there are so many valid options for historic supportive undergarments, and examples of very working class women in working situations wearing obvious supportive undergarments, that it's a stretch for me to accept such reasoning based on the desires of modern interpretive staff who may or may not be wearing a well-fitted, appropriately-for-their-figure supportive undergarment along with the rest of the historic clothing system.

Those guys at Home Depot wear corsets--otherwise known as a weight belt. Women doing laundry with period methods, or guiding a plow, or gardening, or doing any other heavy labor in a free citizen impression, have historic supportive undergarment options that should be explored, for greater work-related safety!

Working hard in a corset won't wreck it. The chemise absorbs the oils related with sweat, and a corset will dry if it gets soaked through with perspiration. Corsets can be washed and dried (just not run through the mangle), so they don't have to stay gross, either. Dirt stains may happen if you're sweating in a red-clay garden, but that will happen whether you're working or not.

Okay, I'll hush for now... gotta go pick up the husband and figure out dinner. :)

Carolann Schmitt
04-17-2007, 08:45 PM
Bob -

Elizabeth has posted some excellent points about wearing corsets while doing hard work. There are numerous examples in period diaries that support her arguments. I also disagree on the comment about corsets being expensive. Based on my survey of period advertisements, the average price of a corset or pair of stays - depending on style and materials - ranged from $0.50-$2.00. In My Heart Is So Rebellious, Sarah Caldwell is living in Warrenton, VA while her husband works for the Confederate government in Richmond. In a letter dated February 14, 1862, she asks her husband, "I wish you would buy me a pair of Corsets. Rail Road Corsets I want. They use to sell for $1.50 – to $2.00 – get me a colored pair No. 21. Don’t give an exorbitant price for them tho’." In subsequent letters during the following twelve days, she repeates her request and again admonishes him "don’t buy corsets if over $2.00 per pair". Based on other comments in the same letter, this is apparently an inflated price and much more than she was used to paying.

Period books and magazine articles on "advice to new brides" or "suggested wardrobe for those emigrating west" suggest that 2-3 corsets was the absolute minimum required for a "basic" wardrobe. These quantities, if not more, seem to be fairly common across the socio-economic structure.

Like Elizabeth, I'd also be interested in any primary source information your interpreters could provide. I'm into my fourth decade of studying mid-19th century clothing and their reasons contradict everything I've found to date.

Carolann Schmitt
04-17-2007, 08:51 PM
So do you ladies have any recommendations for corsets for busty ladies?

Rebecca -

Your mom can definitely have a corset that fits, is comfortable and supportive. I've fitted up to a G in some of my classes. There are several different patterns that may work for her. All will take custom fitting and tweaking. Answering Liz's questions about activity and comfort levels could help us make additional suggestions.

Regards,

Spinster
04-17-2007, 09:06 PM
Must be jump on Bob day:rolleyes: . Not that he's a bad guy--just that some interpreter who stood around talking all day has fed him a line that fit into her view of how things should be.

Sorry Bob, that dog just won't hunt--folks that do real 19th century work just can't back you up on this one. Nor does the preponderance of primary source material.

My corsetted waist is larger that my natural waist--all it does is shift things around, make my body take on a more period line, make my clothing fit, and support my back while doing heavy work.

Now that last statement is in bold because its important. My period impression is a working one, just like the bulk of the female population in the mid 19th century. I lift heavy water filled pots on and off a fire while encumbered by corded petticoats, wool dress, aprons, children, dogs, chickens, and interested bystanders.

The one time I attempted to do this without a corset (because temperatures were above 100), I had to send my husband on a 80 mile trip to get said garment. I could not lift the dyepots without them.

Even when I am at home, running dyepots in the yard in jeans and a shirt--I've got that corset on too. Its support is vital.

Additionally, the corset supports the waistbands of the various petticoats, keeping them from cutting and rubbing at the waist, as many can attest that such garments do without that support.

Now, back to the original question.

For corsets for full figured women, Originals by Kay (Kay Gnagy) does an excellent job in custom fitting the large woman, in a true period shape.

For heavy working wear, Joy Melcher, Civil War Lady makes a longer heavier corset--I like it very much for the type of work I do, and consider it a reasonable trade off for its stiffness and back support. It is of heavier material than Mrs. Gnagy's corsets, and those who do a lot of hot weather reenacting may find it undesireable for that reason.

sbl
04-18-2007, 05:11 AM
Dear Mrs. Lawson,

I'm glad you and the other ladies answered Bob from personal experience. I remembered from Rev-War reenacting that the 18th century stays helped the women in my old unit with back support.

bizzilizzit
04-18-2007, 08:12 AM
is a corset 'proper' for your impression?

Farm girls and labor class women wouldn't have worn them (ever try weeding a garden in one?).

Just something to ponder during your search.

Believe they would have - at the very least a stay, which has no bones.
Elizabeth

Delia Godric
04-18-2007, 09:37 AM
On the original question (since the rest seems to be covered well).... Fitting a corset for a larger bust isn't difficult at all. I actually find it easier than smaller busts. Personally, one of the best pieces of advice ever given to me was about bone placement. By placing the bones on an angle forming a V from side to stomach to side, better support is given while remaining quite comfortable.
I thought we just recently had a discussion on fitting curvier corsets on Liz's forum. I don't recall the thread title though.

Anna Worden

celtfiddler
04-18-2007, 10:49 AM
Rebecca--
You might want to get in touch with Kay Gnagey--she does wonderful corset work. I had her measure and fit me for mine and it's extremely comfortable and supportive. I'm wishing I was in the midwest so I could get her to measure me for a new one after dropping 30 lbs.


is a corset 'proper' for your impression?

Farm girls and labor class women wouldn't have worn them (ever try weeding a garden in one?).

Just something to ponder during your search.

I've cooked for a cavalry group, done a nursing impression, etc all while wearing one. I've yet to see research stating a farm woman or labor class woman wouldn't have worn one.

A properly fitted corset gives the necessary support to accomplish such tasks.

Memphis
04-18-2007, 10:51 AM
Jump on Bob? Nope. Jump on Scott for ruining a perfectly good lunch with that suggested visual image of Bob weeding his kitchen garden wearing nothing but a corset. Yikes!

Be careful around the rose bushes. ;)

RebeccaMI
04-18-2007, 11:35 AM
What's your mom's anticipated impression and activity level, and what's her comfort preference?

To answer that question, I have to tell about my impression first. My impression is a woman who is the CW precursor to the USO: I travel around (with my mother or another family member, although in reality that person is not always there) and entertain the soldiers by doing dramatic readings or singing. I also do things like helping them write letters, cooking, laundry, nursing if no nurses are around, etc. (I wanted to do something creative, not just your basic cook/laundress/etc. And yes, I have read of at least one person who did what I am portraying.)

So, my Mom's impression is going to be my mother (a stretch, I know :lol: ), a middle class woman. In real life she's not allowed to lift anything heavier than a gallon of milk, so she's probably not going to be doing too much labor in her impression. The fabric she bought for her dress is a solid color medium-quality silk (possibly dupioni?).

She's not a large lady, she's just well-endowed. My waist is 30" and hers is probably only a few inches more than mine.

sbl
04-18-2007, 01:01 PM
"She's not a large lady, she's just well-endowed. My waist is 30" and hers is probably only a few inches more than mine."

Sounds like a fine figure of a woman. A widow perhaps?

ElizabethClark
04-18-2007, 01:51 PM
Now, Scott, we're going to rename you Yenta. :)

I've not read a lot on traveling entertainments for the soldiers myself--can you point me to a few books on the subject? Sounds very nifty! (Personally, I've always wanted to participate in a traveling "show", even though I've terrific stage fright for singing. I think if I were doing it as a mid-century person, rather than modern scaredy-cat singer Liz, I'd be fine!) What entertainer are you modelling the impression on? Does her biography talk about her life situation before, during, and after? That may give some great clothing cues that can translate over to Mom's things.

I can see the sense of Mamma as a chaperone. I don't think it's terribly useful to try and set yourself into a particularly middle-class role, though--someone working on stage for a living isn't going to fall into the middle classes, but rather into the working classes. That doesn't preclude Mamma wearing a silk dress (avoid the dupioni, go for taffeta, which isn't slubby, and she could have purchased from older stage stock and remodelled, or bought second hand, it having once belonged to a wealthier woman) in her role as your manager/chaperone, and would absolutely prepare a role for her within her physical capacities. Having her in very solidly "respectable folks" clothing (as well as you, if not in stage costumes) keeps the travelling act in the "respectable artist" range of life. :)

Sounds like a corset with moderate fashion shaping, and PLENTY of comfort for the hips and lower abdomen (for sitting!) would be good. Does she have an overall rounded and soft shape, or is she one that has a heavier bust, sudden waist, and very sudden hips that seem to go straight out at right angles from the waist?

Another thing to look at is the softness of the bust. Whether large or small, a soft bust will settle down into the corset and "cave" above it. If she has this "dishing" going on, it can be corrected in the dress, rather than in the corset, by adding some bust padding in the hollow. There's a freebie article in the Compendium section of the site below my name that walks you through diagnosing the need for padding, how to make them, and how to install them.

It often works better to have a little dishing corrected with padding, rather than push The Girls up to the chin. The bosom is not meant to hold a champagne glass and a dinner plate, after all, no matter how convenient it may be at supper time. :)

The angled boning that Anna mentions is also more comfortable to full figures than straight up/down boning. It helps control side-spill, and correct the tendency for generous bosoms to migrate east and west and take up residence in Lower Armpit County. It also means there are no bones jabbing into the tender flesh of the hip, or being asked to make that 90* corner at the skeleton. The boning isn't placed in a true V, it just angles from the armpit toward center front or back, skimming to the side of the jut of the hipbone in favor of the softer areas to the front/back of it.

RebeccaMI
04-18-2007, 02:08 PM
Sounds like a fine figure of a woman. A widow perhaps?

Sorry to disappoint you, Scott, but she and my Dad are very much in love. In fact, they just celebrated their 30th anniversary together.

RebeccaMI
04-18-2007, 02:44 PM
I've not read a lot on traveling entertainments for the soldiers myself--can you point me to a few books on the subject? Sounds very nifty! (Personally, I've always wanted to participate in a traveling "show", even though I've terrific stage fright for singing. I think if I were doing it as a mid-century person, rather than modern scaredy-cat singer Liz, I'd be fine!) What entertainer are you modelling the impression on? Does her biography talk about her life situation before, during, and after? That may give some great clothing cues that can translate over to Mom's things.

I need to see if I can find more information about the woman, actually. She was mentioned in the book Women in the Civil War by Mary Elizabeth Massey. The woman (whose name I can't remember right now, unfortunately) wanted to be a nurse, but Dorothea Dix turned her down because she was only 19. Still wanting to do something to help the soldiers out, she loaded up a cart with all kinds of supplies, and she traveled all over (with her husband, I think) entertaining the soldiers by doing dramatic readings, singing, putting on tableaus, and nursing where it was needed.

I don't really regard it as an entertainer as much as I regard it as someone who wanted to help so badly that she did whatever she could. It's not like she was a professional actress before the war or something.

sbl
04-18-2007, 04:59 PM
I'm going on 23 years with "My Dear Wife". She loves history but not reenacting anymore.

bill watson
04-18-2007, 08:10 PM
I think there's confusion in many minds, aided by casual purchases of corsets that don't fit, and by all kinds of myths that assume the things are only for slaves to fashion, that the things are torture devices that restrict movement. My wife says not so, she had an ill fitting corset when she started, then fell among kind companions and got one done right, and it was night and day.

It is a source of constant amazement how many historical interpreters at venues where you pay money to have them tell you things actually don't know what they're talking about. I've heard corset myths and the rib-removal myth, but top prize goes the poor woman in a Richmond venue who told me, in response to my question about what they used to produce the tromp d'oeil floor we were walking on: "Marble," she said. Might have been the first time she looked down, and it WAS very good work, but still....

Linda Trent
04-18-2007, 09:18 PM
I think there's confusion in many minds, aided by casual purchases of corsets that don't fit, and by all kinds of myths that assume the things are only for slaves to fashion, that the things are torture devices that restrict movement. My wife says not so, she had an ill fitting corset when she started, then fell among kind companions and got one done right, and it was night and day.

There were women who were hard to fit back then just like there are today, and for some corsets caused sores and discomfort. In an 1853 issue of Godeys a lady sent in a pattern for stays that she had
worn for some time past, and can answer for their ease and convenience. I had suffered greatly from a pain in my side, but since I have worn stays similar to this pattern, I have been much better. One yard and a quarter of satteen is sufficient to make them; and three lengths of whalebone, one on each side of the front, and another down the middle of the back, should be used. Hooks and eyelet holes, or buttons, for fastenings.

Like this lady, I too, suffered pains in the side and occasional welts, but after Hank made this pattern of stays I have been pain free. Granted this is a pattern for stays with shoulder straps, and not something a lady could wear to the ball, or under her finer dresses when she wanted that mid 19th century silhouette, but I can testify to the comfort and ease of this thing. Of course with about 15 small buttons down the front, don't be in a hurry to get dressed or undressed. :roll:

A free pattern for this pair of stays can be found at http://www.tudorlinks.com/treasury/articles/1853stays.html

Linda

RebeccaMI
04-20-2007, 10:05 AM
OK, I went back to the book... The woman's name was Elida Rumsey Fowle and I guess I would say that my impression is loosely based on her.

Below is the paragraph about her from the book on pages 60-61. I hope I'm not doing anything naughty here because I did credit the title and author in my previous post.

"There were in both North and South many young women whose hospital work consisted primarily of entertaining patients with songs, tableaux, musical programs, and readings. One of the most remarkable was Elida Rumsey Fowle, who wanted to be a nurse but was rejected by Miss Dix because she was only nineteen. She turned to singing and storytelling and in one year gave more than two hundred performances for hospitalized soldiers. Wanting to do something more, she established a soldiers' library in Washington for which she collected thousands of books, tracts, and newspapers; and before she was done, this institution resembled the later USO clubs, for refreshments were served, entertainment was provided, and writing supplies were furnished the servicemen. Mrs. Fowle and her husband, riding in a wagon filled with medical supplies and food, were the first to arrive on the battlefield after Second Manassas and had been caring for the troops for several hours when Miss Dix and her nurses appeared. Many soldiers remembered Mrs. Fowle, who created opportunities for service when denied the one she most wanted."

The reference cited for that paragraph is:
Mary Gardner Holland: Our Army Nurses (Boston, 1895), pp. 71-76.

sbl
04-20-2007, 11:16 AM
Dear Rebecca,

This paragragh is on line....


Our Army Nurses
by: Mary Gardner Holland

"Of note is Elida Rumsey Fowles story-this 19-year-old began serving her country through song, and later, through storytelling and the opening of a free library and reading room for soldiers. Rumsey married John A. Fowle in the Representatives Hall: . . the couple were receiving congratulations, when a soldier in the gallery shouted, "Won't the bride sing the Star Spangled Banner?" and she did, then and there in her bridal dress, with never more of fervor in her voice."

There's an impression.

RebeccaMI
04-20-2007, 12:08 PM
:lol: It's the perfect person on which to base my impression. She's the kind of person I am like in real life!

bob 125th nysvi
04-20-2007, 06:18 PM
Jump on Bob? Nope. Jump on Scott for ruining a perfectly good lunch with that suggested visual image of Bob weeding his kitchen garden wearing nothing but a corset. Yikes!

Be careful around the rose bushes. ;)

silk drawers too.

Did i get dinner? LOL

bob 125th nysvi
04-20-2007, 06:21 PM
since I don't wear them I can only go by what I was told by the Historical interpeters.

Maybe that was the issue because they couldn't find proper fitting ones they didn't wear them.

ElizabethClark
04-20-2007, 07:10 PM
It is definitely harder for men to research corsets without raised eyebrows occasionally. :)

Main point is, I suppose, that those with the title "historical interpreter" have an obligation to make sure they're interpreting based on solid historic information, and keeping up with current research as best they can. Being able to put that research to use and wear the full clothing system is an important part of it, but even if they're in jeans and T-shirts, being able to share historically-consistent information sort of goes with the whole "interpretive" part.

Oy--sobbing toddler. Time to go cuddle her.

sbl
04-21-2007, 02:45 PM
Dear Elizabeth, (or anyone)

I know the woman on the far right is posing, but do you think she is wearing a corset?


http://www.old-picture.com/civil-war/General-Porter-Major-staff.htm

Spinster
04-21-2007, 04:21 PM
Looks to be--the proper lines are there in the chest

Not everyone gets a smaller waist from the process--I'm a prime example.

Linda Trent
04-21-2007, 04:26 PM
Dear Elizabeth, (or anyone) I know the woman on the far right is posing, but do you think she is wearing a corset?
http://www.old-picture.com/civil-war/General-Porter-Major-staff.htm

Not sure what her posing has to do with anything, but I don't see any evidence that she isn't wearing some sort of support either a corset or work stays, do you?

Linda

ElizabethClark
04-21-2007, 04:37 PM
I, too, think she is wearing a period supportive undergarment. Without some sort of historic supportive undergarment, even thin women get a "blurb" at the waistbands. The very smooth fit of the apron and bodice would indicate a supportive undergarment--that may be a boned or steeled corset, or a corded corset, but something is under there stablizing her torso. This jives well with a servant role--she's not "fashionably" constricted by any means, but she has a nice smooth torso line.

Keek at the waist area: the apron sits smoothly and straight, which indicates it is tied firmly. Without one of the corset options, a firmly-tied apron tends to squish into the flesh somewhat.

Really lovely image... she's so tidy looking.

sbl
04-22-2007, 09:32 AM
Dear Linda,

Was it the custom of folks posing for photos to wear their best clothing?

ElizabethClark
04-22-2007, 09:57 AM
Not Linda, but from what I've found so far, the answer is "sometimes." If a person is going to a studio to have their portrait taken, they are more likely to wear their "best", though they don't always do so. For images taken out of doors at activities or staged photos like the one linked, occupational images, and that sort of thing, there's a wide range of "no spiffing at all" to "very spiffed", and no real way to form a rule.

sbl
04-22-2007, 04:12 PM
Dear Elizabeth,

Thank you. I'm also thinking of then photo that I haven't found on-line yet, of the women doing laundry in the back of Hospital #11 in Nashville. The women look like they know the camera is there and there are ALL kinds of shapes to be seen.

Linda Trent
04-22-2007, 05:40 PM
Dear Elizabeth,

Thank you. I'm also thinking of then photo that I haven't found on-line yet, of the women doing laundry in the back of Hospital #11 in Nashville. The women look like they know the camera is there and there are ALL kinds of shapes to be seen.

Scott,

Do you have a copy of that picture that you can post here? or send me so I can put it up for a week on my website with a link here so we can all look at it? Or can you tell us the name of a book it's in? Or describe it in more detail?

Thanks,

Linda.

sbl
04-22-2007, 07:40 PM
This link may work......


http://pro.corbis.com/images/NA011507.jpg?size=67&uid={0be3e990-d642-4ad5-b5fe-1d1c28c48718}

It won't "link" but try a copy/past to the address bar..

queenoftheconfederacy
04-22-2007, 10:00 PM
Rebecca--
You might want to get in touch with Kay Gnagey--she does wonderful corset work. I had her measure and fit me for mine and it's extremely comfortable and supportive. I'm wishing I was in the midwest so I could get her to measure me for a new one after dropping 30 lbs.


I agree with Kimberly about Kay Gnagey, Ive been doing a lot of looking around for the most period correct corset, and she is the best, I want to have her make one for me, but shes so busy, it takes a good while, but Im sure its completely worth it, and her corsets are fitted perfectly with whatever size gussets you need, especially those busty like me, most corsets I see for sell are that of the 1840s-1850s style, or ones for average sized chest, and they base the size of the bust on the size of the waist, and some people have freak bodies like mine, so its best to get one made for you, and I definitely recommend Kay, Im too impatient to wait for her to make one though, hehe, so I wrote her if she made patterns, and she said she will draw one up in your size for $25, which isnt bad being that its made just for you, but she doesnt include directions, Im still thinking of taking up the offer and making my own

RebeccaMI
04-23-2007, 06:34 PM
Not everyone gets a smaller waist from the process--I'm a prime example.

There's only so much squishing one can do... the stuff that's being squished still has to go somewhere and sometimes it can't go far. I don't think my waist gets very much smaller in my corset either.

sbl
04-23-2007, 08:36 PM
..you're not supposed to reduce it..you're supposed to control and shape it.

(Speaking respectfully of course)

Spinster
04-23-2007, 08:49 PM
Scott,

You'd be surprised (well, no, YOU would not be) how many folks think a corset is a tool that will make 50 pounds of mud fit into a 25 pound sack.:rolleyes:

I have a good friend that I have threatened to beat with my hominey spoon if she comes into an event one more time with a dress that she has made, but has not tried on her daughter, and thinks the corset will make it fit.

Each time we are faced with a choice---fainting girl, or me giving up whatever dress it was I packed for myself for Sunday best, so the growing girl will have something to wear. I have become accustomed to spending that particular 4 days in the same tatty old dress, while my good dress is out flirting.

tompritchett
04-23-2007, 10:11 PM
You'd be surprised (well, no, YOU would not be) how many folks think a corset is a tool that will make 50 pounds of mud fit into a 25 pound sack.

They have probably seen "Gone with the Wind" far too many times. :)

RebeccaMI
04-24-2007, 10:38 AM
..you're not supposed to reduce it..you're supposed to control and shape it.

(Speaking respectfully of course)

I didn't write what I meant very well. I was meaning to agree with and be supportive of Spinster. I've not measured it, but I look at pictures of myself wearing a dress over my corset, and my waist doesn't look like it gets very much smaller. There's only so much controlling and reshaping a corset can do. A person's body shape is a person's body shape, and the corset should work with that, not try to change that drastically.

sbl
04-24-2007, 11:30 AM
Dear Rebecca,
I understand. The corsets at this time are still acting as a brassiere and an anchor for the hoops and skirts. They give a "neat" appearance unlike the "muffin top" look modern women get (even my precious 11 year old daughter) between the waist and the bosum.

I've seen photos of women in outfits that were fitted to corsetted shapes where the top just wouldn't fit with out the corset on. There is a photo of a French cantiniere in the Crimea, 1854, who's jacket is straining event with her corset on.

sbl
04-24-2007, 05:35 PM
Cantiniere...


http://users.bigpond.net.au/eagle33/images/fam_history/cantiniere.jpg

Huck Finn
05-03-2007, 07:05 PM
On the original question (since the rest seems to be covered well).... Fitting a corset for a larger bust isn't difficult at all. I actually find it easier than smaller busts. Personally, one of the best pieces of advice ever given to me was about bone placement. By placing the bones on an angle forming a V from side to stomach to side, better support is given while remaining quite comfortable.
I thought we just recently had a discussion on fitting curvier corsets on Liz's forum. I don't recall the thread title though.

Anna Worden

This is, by far, the best thread the entire forum has ever seen. I would like to thank all of you ladies for the mental images shared here. It will be a warm winter. Oh, winter is over?:p