1780s stays, projects

In Which I Cave

And realize that there’s no way I’m going to be getting to the hand sewn 18th c. outfit (stays, underpinnings, and Maja dress) until fall… and I really want to make something new for 18th c., and I want it to fit over my new stays shape.  So I caved and decided to make a machine made, modern corset supplies version now, and that way I can decide if I really love it enough (or if it needs tweaking) before making the ultra-period handsewn version!  Luckily, I have enough fabric to make 3 sets of stays, so I don’t feel like I’m wasting my lovely red silk damask.  And, I can use the ivory petersham to bind it, and take my time trying to find some kind of silk taffeta ribbons that more closely resembles those used in the period for the handsewn version.

So I’m using two layers of corset coutil, and steel boning.  I cut out and marked the pattern, which took one day, and then another day to sew the boning channels.  I had a brief moment where I thought about repeating the technique of hand knotting all the machine-sewn stitches, then remembered how long it took me to do that on my 16th c. corset, and slapped some sense into myself.

I’ve since done all the eyelets — perfect handsewing for weekday evenings.  Now I need to get off my butt and actually order the boning, which I’ve been dragging my feet about!


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  • Reply Jen January 15, 2010 at 1:08 am

    Hey lady, if you were being really period wouldn’t a guy be making those stays? ;)

    Which stay pattern are you using?

  • Reply wendy January 15, 2010 at 9:12 am

    I’m all for not hand sewing!

  • Reply Katherine January 17, 2010 at 5:56 am

    They’re gonna be awesome!

    I know it’s a moot point now but I tried to send you an email about plastic boning at Lacis.

    I’m getting a start over the long weekend at remaking mine too because I am tired of my broken reeds, but I haven’t raised silkworms or spun thread or woven (weaved??) cloth or anything (although I do like the jacquard loom -> digital programming connection) so there’s no hope for me ever entering a masquerade, but you rock on with your bad 18th self! ;)

  • Reply kendra January 21, 2010 at 2:35 am

    Jen – I’m late to respond, but check out the earlier posts to see the details on the pattern.

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