It's been a week of daily corset wearing, and it's time to report on all my findings!  Here goes...

Simplicity 9769 Is Not Your Friend
I started the week with a cheap eBay corset I bought for $15, but by day 2 I had sliced open the sidse and added two triangular gores to flare the hips, making the corset a bajillion times more comfortable.  Why?

Cheap eBay corset with added hip gores at the side, allowing that additional flare over the hips
When you squeeze your waist, that volume has to go somewhere, and that somewhere is down.  I found that rather huge hip flares are necessary, even when reducing a little, to keep the corset from cutting into the hips, and to easily and comfortably displace the waist.

This brings me to Simplicity 9769, and really ANY modern-made commercial corset pattern (with few exceptions).

After a few days of wearing my cheap eBay corset + hip gores, I put on my ole pink n' black standby, a corset I made years ago, using Simplicity 9769.  I intended to wear this mid-bust to an upcoming event, so I tried it on with the dress bodice, and quickly discovered how HORRIBLY UNCOMFORTABLE it had suddenly become.  I've been wearing this corset for years - what changed?

My willingness to be in pain.  That is, in all the years I wore this Simplicity corset, I unconsciously allowed myself to be in pain the whole day in costume, but after wearing a corset all day for just a couple days, suddenly I was quite unwilling to go there, especially after achieving the same results in a far more comfortable way with just a cheap eBay underbust.

What is missing from the modern commercial corset patterns is shaping.  If you want to reduce your waist even a little bit, you need some mega hip gores.  I don't mean just a gentle flare over the hips - I mean, like, these:
Symington  Corset, 1875

So that was the end of my pink n' black Simplicity corset.  Luckily I had Chrissy's mid-bust corset pattern, complete with nice hip flare, so I ripped the busk out of my old one, and set to work putting together this new one:

I didn't do a particularly good job, but it fits much better, and currently reduces comfortably down to 26.5 inches, with the capability of going to 24.5 inches.

*When you are looking for a corset pattern, look for one with hip gores, such as these: Ageless Patterns, Past Patterns, even Simplicity 2890.  Cut the hip gores the largest size you can, even larger than you think you will need - you will be surprised how quickly they fill out.

This week I wore the corset about 7+ hours per day, lacing it the tightest in the morning, and letting it out throughout the day, especially after meals.

I have eaten less in general, and my random, rampant snacking has gone down considerably.  I did eat a 1 lb. Qdoba burrito in a corset, but in general it's not a good idea to ingest big, heavy, salty, bean-filled food, or carbonated drinks.

I have had no trouble breathing, have been able to bend to tie my shoes, and even put air in my tires at the gas station.  Driving a car was no problem at all - I just needed to straighten my seat up.

Stand up straight! via

I am always aware of the corset being there, but I am just as aware of it being off, and not in a "relief" sort of way.  While wearing the corset, my posture is much improved, to be expected, but what wasn't expected is that when I take it off, I continue to hold myself upright instead of immediately slouching down into my "normal" super-slumpy position.  Just by standing more upright, my waist un-corseted looks a helluva lot slimmer, even at the same girth it was prior to beginning this experiment.

At the end of week one I am far more used to how the corset feels than when I started, even if I am still aware of its presence.  However, I recall what it was like when I started wearing a bra, or certain types of undies - holy moly, get these things off of me!!  Yet over time, and in getting bras and undies that actually fit and are made in a way that is comfortable for me (I prefer underwires, for instance, and find soft-cup bras extremely uncomfortable), I got used to these underpinnings, and now feel rather exposed when not wearing them.
The back lacing on my new corset - my bust is small, but my rib cage need more room. 
I expect the same will happen with the corset, assuming it fits as it should.  Already I want to make other styles to see how they fit and feel, and to find the right one for me.  I've learned that I need large hip gores and spiral steel bones, I'm small in the bust, but I need more room in the rib cage, and that when I get all of these things right, reducing comfortably and easily to 25 inches will be no big deal at all.