I GOT INTO IT!!
It wasn’t easy, but I didn’t swear [much] and it didn’t take too long. I donned my silk chemise and a belly squasher thingy to help a bit. I wrestled again for a few minutes, and could see that it was NEARLY catching shut, but I couldn’t get a tight enough grip on the busk to fasten it without it slithering away or twisting.
Even lying down didn’t help- I could tell it made that little difference I needed, but my boobs blocked my view and I still couldn’t find a way to grip the busk properly…the facing pieces kept flipping out and foiling me.
To the rescue came my little newt in shining armour, and she fumbled and swore for a minute or so before it succumbed. Yay! Then the poor thing got conscripted to draw in the lacing to suit as best she could manage.
With the chemise, the bust fit is better, and I think that once the bones go in either side of the bust gores, the whole thing will behave and hold the girls in place. At the moment it sags at the sides and my boobs follow. It may need a drawstring round the top edge, and even a mite of padding to make a good shape, but that’s historically accurate.
To avoid such extensive wrestling to get it on, I think I may add in an extra couple of feet of lacing cord, just so that I get that extra bit of ease in the first place. With the small eyelets, the lacing pattern I used isn’t drawing through very smoothly, so I’ll also change that slightly.