This is both my first corsetmaking competition entry and my first attempt at a period pattern, but my first impression of the Symington 23160 pattern was that it looked do-able.
I wanted to keep this corset quite basic, since I do consider it underwear; no fancy fabrics, just plain coutil, letting the shape have the main focus and the flossing giving a bit of colour.
I also wanted to try to keep it as close to the original as I could, but ended up making some compromises; for instance I interpreted the flossing placement on the pattern to indicate that there should be lacing at the top, but could not find any that I liked, so I ended up moving the flossing upward instead.
I started with a rough measuring of my model to see how much I needed to scale the pattern, as I wanted to make a mockup with no other alterations than a general percentage scaling to start to better try to understand the pattern. A pattern measuring 122% of the original size was my first mockup.
As expected, the first mockup did not have a perfect fit, but I was surprised at how well it fitted with just the percentage scaling. The main areas needing adjustments were the stomach, where it stood out from the body at the lower edge, and the bust area, where it was a bit tight. For the mockup I only used boning on the middle of the panels, even though I was planning to add some boning channels at the seams as well to make adjustments easier. This presented some challenges later, but I will get back to that. After adjusting the mockup for the third time I considered myself done with the adjustments, and made a new paper pattern.
At this point I decided that I wanted to try out synthetic whalebone for the boning, but since the synthetic whalebone I had in stock was slightly wider than my slimmest steel, the lower parts of the front panels did not have enough room. I ended up widening panels one-four and taking off some fabric at the front end of panel five, but not doing another mockup since it was getting close to the deadline. Looking at the final result I think I should not have taken off as much at the bottom front of panel five.
My experience doing flossing was quite limited at the start of this project, but I thought it looked beautiful on the pattern so thought it would be a nice finishing touch. I had not expected it to be quite so time consuming, and ended up doing parts of it on public transport, which reduced the quality of those parts slightly. I chose to go for one of the colours specified on the pattern that also matches some jewelry I bought at an antique shop. After doing all the flossing specified on the pattern I was a bit unsure what type of flossing to go for where it was not specified. The flossing does keep the boning in place so dropping it was not an option in my opinion. I ended up choosing to continue basing it on flossing type O from the pattern, but simplifying most of them by reducing the elements closest to the center of the corset.
In total I am quite happy with the result, and have learned a lot during the process of making it.