1780s stays, 18th century, projects

Stays Channel Progress Update

So I would make all these grand proclamations about “I’m really back now!” — but life has just been incredibly hectic this fall, and I’m hoping it will start calming down, but I can make no assurances.  I am here, and I am actually sewing!  But work, in particular, has been butt-kicking-ly busy this semester, which just doesn’t leave me a lot of mental energy.

That being said, hand sewing stays has been the perfect project, because it’s eminently portable, so I’ve been doing a lot of sewing on the train (and a little in meetings or on the couch at home).  Of course I’ve gotten distracted a few times by other projects… but more on that in another post!

For now, I can report that I’ve finished sewing the channels on the side backs and sides, and am almost done with one of the backs.  So that leaves one more back, and then the fronts (which are, of course, the biggest/most complicated).

I’m SO glad I started with the least-likely-to-be-seen piece — the side back — as my stitching has definitely improved over time.  It’s not perfect by a long shot, but I’m relatively pleased with how the sides turned out.  The stays advice at Diary of a Mantua Maker has been super helpful, most especially the bits about “use an unbent needle” (I know, DUH, right?  But I am here to tell you that it’s a very possible mistake to make, and when you switch to a straight needle, things will work much better), move around the piece, and pin the bejeezus out of it (seriously, do it at right angles to the line you’re stitching, and do about 5 pins every 1″ — move the pins up as you work).  Also, I found it’s better to pull out wonky stitches right away than to hope they won’t show, because when you’re done, it’s way more annoying to pull out a whole section of stitches and resew them.

So, here’s one of the finished side backs with a macro image of the stitching — it doesn’t look as bad in the picture as it does IRL — and ditto, one of the sides with somewhat improved stitching.

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