1780s stays, 18th century, projects

Boning Complete

I FINALLY finished boning the 1780s stays.  You know how you read about how 18th century stays were made by tailors (men), not mantua makers (women), in part because it was thought that one needed a man’s strength to get the baleen into the stays?  Well, I don’t agree that men = strong and women = weak, but I gotta say, sticking that German plastic boning into the casings was HARD.  No doubt, some of my channels were slightly too narrow (they were fine for metal boning, but the plastic is slightly thicker, so it takes up a little bit more room).  Some went in smoothly, and others took MULTIPLE teeny-tiny shoves… so much so that it took me the good part of Saturday to (cut, sand, and) stick in the boning, and my arm still hurts a bit three days later.

I draped and drafted out a strap pattern a while ago… but apparently I am a genius, because it’s not in the pattern envelope, nor is it anywhere else in my sewing room that I can find.  Sigh.  So I draped yet another!

Here’s the stays with all the boning in, draped temporary straps, still no tabs cut:

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  • Reply Andrew February 9, 2011 at 4:24 am

    But it was worth it, right?

  • Reply Bess Chilver February 9, 2011 at 5:14 am

    And you can guarantee that when you have made up and completed the strap from the second pattern, the original pattern will appear!

    Looks fabulous.

  • Reply Jwlhyfer de Winter February 10, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    What lovely coloured fabric! I wonder if it is similar in any way to the green Charlotte Corday was wearing when she stabbed Danton??? I’ve always wanted a dress that colour. I’ve read about the men versus women 18th c. stay making situation, and I always thought it was partly because those pattern pieces and boning channels were so intently curved from under the arms to the center peice. It seemed one had to really twist and hold tight the bones as you stitched them in by hand. Ugh.

    I can’t wait to see the tabs cut, though. I’ve been intrigued with the way they just form themselves when the bodice/corset etc. is draped this way. Linda did a 16th c. corset that waay, I think, but I’ve never done it.

    One last note: You know, Adrian Butterfield had an 18th c. waistcoat that she embroidered in the neckline; ” Liberte, Fraternite, Egalite.” It was “quelle charmant.” It would be lovely and a little wicked to embroider that inside a corset or on a pair of pockets or something.. Or perhaps Marie Antoinette’s entwining MA monogram! Mmm..Marie…(just watching Sophia’s movie – thought of you, and decided to check up- hope this isn’t too long or against etiquette or something.)

  • Reply kendra February 15, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    Andrew: totally!

    Bess: no doubt

    Jwlhyfer: nice to hear from you! Yes, the tabs forming themselves is super cool. I LOVE the idea of the embroidered waistcoat — I always remember your Serafina corset with the embroidery on the lining!

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