1780s stays, 18th century, projects

The Return of the Hand Sewn Stays!

So, remember how I was all, “Boo yah, I’m going to make some hand sewn stays!”  And then I was all, “I want stays now!  I will make a machine-sewn version, and then hand sew later!”  And then I was all, “I got stays!  oooo, distracted by new shinies!”

And then work and personal life got REALLY REALLY BUSY, and I neglected my website for EVAH?

I’m back!  As much as I can be.  I swear, every Fall I say this, but this has been the busiest fall EVER at work; personal life is always busy what with friends and family and faire and costumes and things, but combine that with busy work, and you get an AWOL Kendra here.

The impetus — the more I wear my 1780s stays, the more I get the dreaded Side Boob Cleavage, bane of larger busted girls around the universe.  I hate it, I does, and some corsets do it to me and some don’t.  My original 18th century stays, made from a pattern given to me by a Costume College instructor and I think somewhat based on the Diderot stays, don’t give it to me.  My most recent 16th c. corset only does it somewhat.  My Victorian one does it up the wazoo.  And my 1780s stays have started doing it.

So, finally, a push to make a new pair!  So I’d better put my money where my mouth is and hand sew them, hmm??

First, let’s talk boning patterns.  I made a few tweaks to the pattern that I used last time — basically making all the tabs the same length, and fixing the straps to be more attractively placed.  But the big thing I need to figure out is the front boning pattern.  Because there’s definitely ROOM for the girls in my corset — if I push my stays at the top sides, the girls lay as I’d like them to.  But obviously the boning layout I’m using isn’t pushing me into the right shape.

So, here is a ROUGH approximation of what my current front boning layout looks like.  And here are some ideas, based on looking at exant examples, of other possible boning layouts — all of them will have the horizontal boning that the current layout has, I just got lazy about drawing it.

Any guesses which boning layout you think might push the girls more towards the front rather than the sides?  I’m thinking options 2 or 3.

And yes, I will definitely make a mockup — le sigh!

I have started handsewing the stays pieces (obviously working on the sides and back pieces), but more on that in another post!

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  • Reply howlgirl October 21, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    Let’s make stays together! You should try on my current pair, they don’t give me side cleavage, and I think it would be easy to mod the boning placement to be more period correct.

  • Reply Emma October 23, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    I say make a mockup of each of the options, that way you don’t have to guess and you can see for yourself. Machining them would probably be a good idea. You can then save your energy for the final product.

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