I should mention that I finished binding the handsewn 1780s stays! Yay! I finished it on the plane over to Paris, where I ended up having a funny conversation about them with a fight attendant who had a friend who was a stage costumer.
I ended up using the silk petersham ribbon sold by William Booth — it’s REALLY pretty, although a tiny bit more delicate than I would like. We’ll see how it holds up over time. I used vintage rayon seam binding for the welting.
Anyway, now all that’s left is lining… except that the front lacing holes are starting to rip! I’ve NEVER had that happen to me before, but I think it’s because I’ve been using a gros-grain ribbon to lace it shut, and I’ve been wearing them a lot (lots of try-ons lately). So, I’m planning to restitch the eyelets in front, and then lace a ribbon through each side as a protection against the lacing ribbon.
Speaking of which, does anyone have any good sources for period appropriate lacing? I always end up using narrow satin or gros-grain ribbon, which works but it’s not the kind of the cord they would have used in the 18th c. So far, I haven’t found a good alternative except for a waxed cord that is sold for beading, but it only comes in black, which would look bad on these stays!