My Blog » New 1780s Stays Complete!

New 1780s Stays Complete!

When we last left off, I had just scaled up and fitted the 1780 stays pattern from Corsets and Crinolines. Now, after a few minor setbacks, my stays are complete!
In a perfect world these would be hand sewn, but time constraints and physical ability can’t be ignored. I want to have these and the dresses to go over them finished in time for my Williamsburg trip in March.

Construction was fairly straightforward. To start I traced the pattern pieces to a layer of heavy linen, and then basted that to a layer of silk taffeta, leaving lots of excess seam allowance. The visible boning channels were sewn on the machine in cream silk thread. This process was incredibly tedious since I wanted the channels to be as straight as possible and I didn’t want any unsightly backstitching on the front the corset. To finish the stitching on each channel, I pulled the thread through the front and secured it on the back of the piece. The pattern pieces were then cut out and assembled. I’m not sure I would want to repeat this process on another corset, my perfectionist tendencies are too strong, but it was interesting to make a half-boned pair of stays with visible stitching.

The stays are boned with half-oval reed, two pieces per channel. Since using it on my last corset, I’m a huge fan of reed, and haven’t had any problems with it breaking. I love how it conforms to my shape and is so breathable and flexible.

After the boning was inserted and the eyelets on the back were worked, I tried on my stays to check the fit before moving on to binding. I am incredibly glad I did! It was too big! In fact I could lace the stays completely closed. Otherwise, the shape on my body was great, so I ripped out the lining and boning, and took the stays in at the center front and at the two back seams. I left the center back alone, since certainly didn’t want to have to redo all those eyelets! To finish, I added decorative ivory silk ribbon along the seam lines and bound the stays in ivory cotton (since it was all I had on hand).

I have to say, I love these stays! They are far from perfectly constructed, but the shape is super comfortable on my body. If I make another pair later from this pattern (which I will most likely do), I would only make a few tweaks. First, I would take in the center front another ¼ of an inch, as well as the side front.The gap on me is much smaller than my dressform, only about an inch to inch and a half. Also, I would add a piece of boning that ran all the way to the top of the side front tabs. The horizontal boning is great for supporting the bust, but it needs a vertical bone on the edge to keep the bust from bowing outwards. On me, the straps don’t add enough tension to keep it perfectly in line. It doesn’t bother me enough to go back and change it on this pair, but it’s something to keep in mind for the next.


Posted: 11/20/2012 12:56:33 PM by Aubry | with comments
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