Demystifying the S-Bend
This one has been in the works for a while. I started developing the prototype over six months ago, and we went through several iterations before settling on this pattern draft.
S-Bends are tricky. This era was all about that strange forward lean, the wide, round hips, tiny waist, and low bosom. Done poorly, these corsets can either be extremely uncomfortable and constricting, or look too tubular, lacking that distinctive shape of the period. This is why I've made a couple adjustments to this draft that make it a bit different from my other standard sizes:
"hip spring" is a corsetry term for the ratio between the waist and hips. A bigger hip spring means bigger hips compared to waist. For these corsets, I've added 2"-3" (depending on size) to the hip measurement compared to my Victorian and Regency styles. That means you can achieve a greater hip spring in your corset. "But, what if I don't want to lace my waist down any more than I usually do for other eras?" You don't have to, because we are also including hip pads which you can hand tack or safety pin into the hip area of your corset. We're not attaching them, so that you can set them exactly where you need the extra oomph. I will post an attachment tutorial soon.
Here are two photos illustrating the difference that padding can make with the same waist measurement. In the first photo set I had stuffed about 8 shoulder pads in various places into the corset. In the next photo it's the same corset, I have no hip padding, and just the Wearing History "bust improver" (which is riding a bit high in the photo).
Padding is historically accurate, and is an excellent way to create the illusion of a smaller waist without actually causing discomfort. I've laced down my personal standard 3" here.
This era doesn't really need much bust support. In fact, any sort of push-up effect that we usually associate with corsets is counter to the silhouette of the era. To get that low, round bosom, you need a corset that ends at the mid bust and has some decent room through the middle of the ribcage and bust. Therefore, these corsets end about 2" lower than our Victorian style, and have more flare at the side of the ribcage. This also helps with the hourglass look. If you widen the top and the bottom, the middle looks smaller without being smaller.
This corset DOES pitch you into that forward stance. It takes a tiny bit of getting used to--as with all of our corsets, I suggest wearing it several times to "season" it before you first wear it for an event, so you can get used to the posture and feel. If you ever experience breathlessness or pain in any corset, you've laced too tightly.