First, I wanted a new corset, as I’m forever trying to avoid the dreaded quadra-boob. I finally accepted that my 1780s stays are the best shape on me for a flat front look, and made a strapless version of these for Renaissance wear. No, it’s totally not period, but I wear these costumes frequently enough that I just want it all to WORK — and we all (in Bella Donna) have made some concessions to theatricality and modern sense of attractiveness vs. historical accuracy. So, long story short, non-period corset shape it shall be, which at least gives me the cone shape.
I draped the bodice based on the fabulous pattern Sarah draped for me for my 1575 Florentine. Obviously I’ll be changing it to a wide front opening with ladder lacing, a lower neckline, and shoulder straps on the shoulder point. On my last two Venetian dresses I didn’t put the shoulder strap quite as far into the armpit as I’ve seen in all the portraiture, but I decided to go for it on this one and hope it doesn’t totally bind my arms!
The one downside to the corset I’m using is that because it curves in at the waist, I can’t get a visually straight line on the front opening of the bodice — it’s straight on the fabric, but because it curves in it LOOKS like it’s a slightly curved seam. Jenn (also in Bella Donna) gets a similar effect on her dresses, so I think it’s just a factor of the non-period corset shape. Judge me all you want!