Saturday, November 19, 2011

Round Two: 18th C. Stays

I'd barely finished my first set of 18th century stays when I decided to launch into another pair--this time, for a friend of mine who's been using hand-me-down stays and could really use a pair that fit properly.

Lucky for both of us, I still had plenty of canvas-weight for the innards, and some lovely olive green linen lurking in my fabric stocks.

This time around, I'm giving cable ties a shot for the boning. I used metal last time, and though the end result was fine, they were a pain--remember the "wrong size ordering debacle?" Yeah, I didn't feel like repeating that. I've heard only good things about cable ties for use in 18th century stays, so thought this would be a less expensive and less finicky material to try.

I also decided to be more authentic in my assembly methods this time--for my stays, I pieced the whole thing together and then did the channels and boning. Since I was a complete rhubarb at this, I really wanted to get the basic shape together first, in case I was totally off. Now that I'm more confident, I can do a better job of authentic construction--which will hopefully yeild an improved pair of stays.

Here's each peice cut and all three layers--two of canvas and one outer--pinned together and laid next to each other to show the shape. The lining will be assembled and tacked in separately.

So, once cutting was done, I marked out the boning channels (yep, with pen, because I'm sloppy that way) and started stitching!

...and stitching...

Fortunately, I had Sophie Biscuit to help.

She quickly determined that stuffed mice are more exciting than stays.

Still to come: all the boning, assembly, and finish work.

Also on the docket--another 1940s cocktail dress, hopefully in time for our annual Christmas Cocktails in December! Fabric ordered and pattern cut!


Krafty Girl said...

Nice Stay! Looks like it will be great. Does a Stay work for somebody that is D or DD? Or do you need to use something else? I would TRY to make my own, but am worried it will not be good enough.

What do you think?

Rowenna said...

Beth--definitely works for larger chests--in fact, I've met ladies with larger busts who would rather be in stays than a bra :) You just have to remember to proportion the bust of the stays more to your rib cage than your bust--the stays push up and out for support rather than accomodating the girls.

The Dreamstress said...

Lucky friend! I can definitely recommend the cable ties. What pattern are you using again?

And Sophie may learn that cable ties make excellent toys. Felicity loves to gnaw on them, and chases the ends that fly off as I cut them!

Rowenna said...

Dreamstress--it's half Butterick's "historical" corsets pattern crossed with the 1780s half-boned stays from Norah Waugh and then adjusted some more by me :)

Sophie LOVED cable ties--she had a really fun time while I was cutting them.