Saturday, 15 July 2017

Stays with nobody to wear them

Hello! It has been far too long since I've posted, but I have been very busy up until last week. More on that in my next post.
Another Unfinished Thing has been removed from the pile!
 I started these vaguely mid- 18th century stays more than 2 years ago. They were supposed to be my final project for the corseting class in second year fashion, but I didn't finish them in time.
I based my pattern on this pair from The Met, but it didn't turn out quite the same. I definitely made a few foolish mistakes, including somehow putting the straps on the wrong sides, so they point more inwards instead of outwards.
 It's made of two layers of cotton canvas with steel boning in between. The outside fabric is a mottled grey quilting cotton. As this was a school project, I wasn't too concerned with historical accuracy.
The bulky and annoying seam allowances, all graded and tacked open.
I stuck a plain black cotton lining in and bound the edges in silvery grey silk bias strips.
  It was a pain to do all those tabs, but with pliers to help I eventually got it done.
 Somewhere in the construction I slightly screwed up the alignment of the pieces, and sadly didn't notice until all the binding was done. The bases of the tabs do not form a nice smooth semi-circle, alas!
I stuck that godet in too low. Or perhaps didn't cut the tabs high enough.
 I used the grommet machine at school to do the eyelets, and they were done! I haven't tried them on a real human yet, but I got some photos of them on one of the school dressforms.

Sadly, they stays are a bit too big for her, and the foam is so firm it didn't compress well at all.
 I also need to get some proper lacing for them. They need so much that none of my nicer cord bits were long enough, and I had to use polyester ribbon.
 They were originally fitted to me, but I'm not sure they'd fit me well now. And even if they did I'd have no cause to wear them, but hopefully someday I'll get a real human of the right size to model them for some better pictures!

Good riddance to one more Unfinished Thing!


  1. Nice to see a post from you. This looks like a very complicated piece. I've never seen one of these before. I think you did a good job. It doesn't look easy at all.

    1. I really must post more often. I have 3 more un-blogged sewing projects!

      The machine sewing part was pretty easy because it was mostly straight lines, but the edges were definitely not easy to bind.

  2. Replies
    1. For all my complaining, yeah they did turn out quite pretty.
      But I must point out all the small mistakes, always!!