1780s stays, 18th century, projects

Pliers Help

I thought for sure I’d be able to whip together the stays pieces on Friday night — I mean, what’s six seams?  Nothing!  Well, I now have 3 of the 6 seams done, and obviously this is going to take me another week.  It’s HARD to sew through that many layers — pliers help, I have found — and to make sure you actually catch ALL of the layers, you have to stick the needle in, then check each side underneath to make sure you can see a bit of needle, before you can finish that stitch.  Le sigh!  I’ve basically killed my leather thimble, and my wrist is still tired…

Here’s a fuzzy shot of the outside and inside of one of the seams — thank goodness for welting, which will cover those ugly stitches!

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  • Reply Kimiko February 1, 2011 at 2:50 am

    I know it is a different time period than my own pair of bodies, but when I sewed the seams on mine together, I only used a very tiny whip stitch, as described on this site page
    It only catches a small amount of fabric, but the seam is strong, and in several wearings under pressure, has not given at all, nor has the fabric had problems. I used a strong linen thread, waxed.

    • Reply kendra February 1, 2011 at 3:43 am

      I’d love to do a seam like that, Kimiko, but I have no idea how you could go through all the layers! I’ve got 2 layers of cotton/linen fustian, 1 layer heavy linen canvas, and the silk damask outer layer. The way that it’s sewn is with the seam folded over, and then right sides together — so I am sewing through the fold in between 8 layers — and to get the thread to go thru all the layers, I’m having to take a pretty deep stitch!

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